How-to guide

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Why a wiki?

A wiki is a website where anyone with an account can add or edit pages. "Why would I want to allow others to edit my pages?" you might ask. Well, because this is our information and our shared heritage. Cousins, distant relatives, and others interested in Friesland and Whitinsville history can come together to create this Biogragraphical Dictionary. By working together, we can do more than we can individually, and preserve our memories for future generations.

Create a new account

  • Click the "Create account" link in the upper right of any page.
  • Fill in the required information.
  • Press the "create your account" button only once and wait a few moments.

Edit an existing page

  • Navigate to the page and click the Edit link (top right set of tabs)
  • Add your text to the large box below the icons that look like this: Wiki edit icons.JPG
  • Click "Show preview" to see how your page will look
  • At the bottom of the page, under Summary, add brief text in the box describing your edits. It can be as simple as added birth date.
  • Make sure to click "Save changes" when you're all done
  • All edits to a wiki page are saved and disable in "view history".

Upload an image

Please ensure any photos you upload are not copyrighted. These images or documents should be in your possession or in the public domain. Photos of other people's work may be subject to deletion.

Family heirloom photos or photos you've personally taken that are uploaded to Friesland to Whitinsville may be used by others under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. If photos from this site are used by others, they must be credited to the original uploader. Other images that may be uploaded include those created by a U.S. government or whose copyright has expired (published before 1923).

  • Click the "Upload file" link on the left side menu (under tools)
  • Click the "Choose file" button and find the photo on your computer
  • Edit the "Destination filename". Titles such as Riverdale-postma-jellema-gravestone.JPG are more helpful than IMG_20161023_122004335.jpg.
  • Add a Summary description if desired. Things such as where/when the photo was taken, who took the photo, and a list of people are helpful. This summary can be added after the photo is uploaded instead.
  • Click the "Upload file" button

Note, this process will upload a photo to the site, but will not automatically add the photo to a page. See "Adding a photo to a page" for instructions.

Add a photo to a page

  • Edit the person's page
  • Add [[File:file name|200 px]] where file name is the title of the photo you'd like to place
  • You can adjust the size of the photo by changing the 200 px number.

Add section headings

  • Type 2 equal signs around the text like this: == text ==. No text other than the section heading and == may be on the same line
  • You may also select "Advanced","Heading", and "Level" from the edit icons above

Creating a new page

Nearly all of the people who emigrated from Friesland and appeared in records near Whitinsville have basic template pages on this site. Please use the search box in the top right corner to search for your ancestor's birth name before creating a new page. Pages will be titled with their birth name spelling (i.e. Dijkstra instead of Dykstra).

The style for page titles for people is: Birthfirstname Birthlastname. Please do not include patronymic names. Dates in page titles for people are only included in cases of disambiguation (where two or more people shared the same name). In these cases, pages are formatted Birthfirstname Birthlastname (birthyear-deathyear).

Please see this article for instructions on creating a new page. Alternatively, you may post in our Facebook group for assistance.


There is a "Discussions" page attached to every wiki page. This is the place to converse about suggested edits to a page, discrepancies of vital information, etc.

Watching pages

Watching pages means when another person edits the page, you will be notified of the changes made. To watch a page, look for the Star icon on the top right menu. Is the star Blue? Great, then you are already watching the page! Is the star White? Click the star, it will turn blue, and you will now be watching the page.

By default, all pages you add and edit are added to your watchlist. To change these settings, click the Preferences link in the top right menu.