Posted by Matthew Rayback on June 30, 2010 in Wiki

In case you haven’t heard, has a wiki. (You can read the original announcement here.) We launched in beta in April at the conference of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) and since then, there’s been a lot going on.

Before getting into that, however, let me introduce myself. My name is Matthew Rayback and I am a senior editor for and am the overseer of the wiki. I wrote the silly little Bad Baby Names: The Worst True Names Parents Saddled Their Kids With, and You Can Too! , but more importantly,  I was one of the editors who worked on the third edition of The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy, which is one of the foundational sources of content for the wiki. I’m very excited about this wiki and I hope we’ll all have a lot of fun making it great together.

Now on to the good stuff.

Since NGS, we’ve been working hard and making improvements, both to functionality and to content. Check out these highlights:

  • You can now register to use the wiki. Note that if you are already an member, then you are already registered: if you are logged into your account, you’re logged into the wiki as well. Make sure you’re logged in before you make any changes or add any content.
  • We have created county pages for every county in the United States. These pages use information found in the extensive tables in Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources and are now “stub” articles, waiting to be fleshed out.  User “Tinauofa01” started this ball rolling by adding some great stuff to the page for Pima County, AZ. For more information about what we’re looking for on county pages, read our suggestions.
  • We’ve updated the homepage, making it cleaner and hopefully easier to use. Let us know what you think.

This is just a smattering of what’s been going on here at the wiki and you can expect more changes and improvements going forward, so keep your eyes out for my posts on the Blog.

And don’t worry. I know there are a number of questions about moderation and quality. These are issues we’re well aware of and have a plan to address. Watch for a future blog post on this subject.

For now, go explore the wiki if you haven’t already. Make some changes. Add some stuff. You can get there using the “Learning Center” tab on or by simply clicking here.


  1. Roger Manning

    It would behoove you to spend less time on gimmicky junk and more time on producing a piece of software that works.
    Both your 2008 and 2010 have the same problems. Legacy 7.4 has none of the problems with their software that you have with yours.

    I have used 7.4 for about two years because I tired of frequent time outs, freezes, and crashes associated with your software. Since I started using 7.4, I have had none of the problems associated with your software. That should tell you something. It tells me a story about how much you care about customer services vs. how much they care. You guy just don’t get it.

  2. Laurice Johnson

    Great, but exactly WHERE and HOW do I find the dang thing???? How about a link, Matt???

  3. Linda York

    I agree with Roger and am ready to convert to other software — so tired of crashes and having to go to a backup — not being able to backup reliably
    I kept hoping with each new update you would address this problem and eliminate these crashes and timed out periods with your software — so irritating!

  4. Matthew Rayback

    Laurice–there are a couple of links directly to it in the article, but if those aren’t working for some reason, the direct URL is

    You can also access it using the Learning Center tab on Thanks for your interest!

  5. RickK

    Roger, if Legacy 7.4 works so well why do you want to change?

    Roger & Linda, I’ve used Family Tree Maker for many, many years (always the current version) and find that it works fine. If you are using the current version (2010) and it is crashing there is something wrong with your PC or it has been installed incorrectly.

  6. Allen

    I love what y’all are doing with the wiki. However, if I might make a suggestion the Search box needs to be moved up to a more visible part of the page.

  7. Jan Murphy

    Regarding post #1, it would behoove readers of this blog to actually comment on the topic of the blog post, rather than turning the comments section on every single entry on the blog into a bitch-fest about what they are having difficulty with.

    Some users just don’t get it.

  8. Linda York

    how large s your file ????
    Ancestry told me the problems I have been having has to do with the size of my file — so I split my file into 2 files — still having the problem but not as often — so it is definetly the software not the machine!

  9. Matthew Rayback

    @Allen: Thanks for the vote of confidence and for the suggestion. We’re definitely looking at ways of making the design more usable. Keep your eyes out.

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