Setting your preferencesEdit
- Omit this section initially if very keen to see what interests you.
A logged-in user may customize the way a wiki page appears, or how the wiki processes certain actions. Click the "preferences" tab to go to your personal preference page. (If you are using the default settings, the preference tab probably appears in a drop-down Menu near the top right of the page.) Here you can
- Change the appearance of the page (click the "skins" tab to make a choice)
- Change your password
- Give your email address if you want people to be able to email you (they won't be told your address unless you reply)
- Set time display settings
- Adjust settings for things like "search", "WatchList", etc.
Finding an article of interestEdit
One of the first things you may want to do here is find an article about someone you are interested in, such as a great-great-grandfather. There are two main ways to do this:
- Use the standard search function. Nearly every page on this wiki includes a search box, either in the sidebar or somewhere in the body of the page. Type in the name of the person you are looking for, and click the "search button" below or to the right of the entry field. You'll get a list of articles that contain whatever you placed in the data entry box, unless there's an article with that exact name, in which case you go to it. The result may be a "disambiguation page", listing several people who share the same name. Usually there's enough information to tell you which one to click.
- Check the Category:Surnames pages. That category includes a listing of every surname that has been "categorized" on this wiki. Use the alphabetical quick-jump buttons to home in on your choice. Find the surname you are interested in, click the link, and you'll get a list of articles about people who have been categorized under that surname.
If you are looking at an article about a person, there are probably direct links on the page to individual parents, partners, and children, and maybe tabs at the top for more distant ancestors or descendants. Click! But if you want to get back to that person's surname category, you'll probably see a direct link to it near the bottom.
Editing an existing articleEdit
Every article can be improved, and nearly all can be edited by anybody, including everyone reading this sentence who can type and click.
If you see something that can be improved, hit "Edit" or "Edit with form" and have a go. Text is edited much the same as in a word-processing program. Several typing-aids (such as "bold") are in little boxes just above the editing box for an ordinary "edit".
If you think you've made a mess, click "Cancel" or just click away (e.g. to one of your bookmarks). But if a "Preview" looks about right, click "Publish". (If you are using "Edit with form", regrettably a "Preview" is of only limited help. Semantic Forms have their own way of doing things, one result of which is that you don't immediately see the final page, even after the first save.)
More tips for improving articles are at Help:Articles.
Creating a new articleEdit
A detailed guide to creating articles is found at Help:Articles/start. Please read it at least once before trying to create one.
Communicating with othersEdit
Use talk pages - usually indicated at the bottom of each "Edit" menu. Sign and date your posts there, using four tildes - ~~~~ - or the "Signature" button above the edit box.
When you register with this Wiki you automatically get a "user's page". User page has a number of possible uses, the most common of which is to use the related "Talk page" to receive messages from other Wikians.
You can set up your main User page any way you like. Some people use it to tell something about themselves. Others use it as a place to test out ideas, or to keep track of articles that they have written. (After a while, if you write enough articles, it gets to be something of a problem just remembering what you've written previously. Without some way of keeping track you may find yourself reinventing an article about a maternal g-g-g-grandmother that you created six months ago.)
With regard to that last point, some people just create a simple list of the articles they've created. You can also get such a list by going to "my contributions", but the list will be shown with the most recent articles first. If you keep track of it yourself, you can order them in any way that makes sense to you, such as alphabetical or family branch. Another approach to a simple list is to create a table that diagrams your family relationships. Perhaps a descendant table from a notable ancestor, indenting later generations using asterisks, colons, or dots. Examples at Category:Descendancy lists.
A numbered table of your ancestors can be easily created using Familypedia:Model_pages/ahnentafel. Each line can be separately edited for the addition of any kind of note about the person and links to children etc. If it's big it can be moved to a subpage of your user page or of your own biography article.