Contribute to the Encyclopedia of Genealogy

Everyone is invited to contribute public domain information to the Encyclopedia of Genealogy.

While anyone can view all the information in this encyclopedia without registration, you must register before you can edit or add new information to the Encyclopedia of Genealogy. Registration is free, and there are no obligations. Your e-mail address is not shared with other organizations nor will you receive unwanted junk mail messages as a result of registering here. The requirement to register was added only to reduce the possibility of someone "spamming" the encyclopedia and other inappropriate conduct.

You must have the required access before the Encyclopedia of Genealogy will allow you to edit pages. You can register at any time by clicking on Register in the menu on the banner above.

NOTE: You can always read all articles without registering. The only advantage to registering is that you can then add new articles or update existing articles. If you do not plan to contribute to the Encyclopedia of Genealogy, there is no advantage to registering.

If you see an "Access Denied" message, it may be that the page you're visiting does not exist, or you are either not logged in or do not have access to create new pages on the site.

A NOTE ABOUT ADVERTISING: All entries must have "creative content" that is "functional" and adopts a "neutral" viewpoint for purposes of informing users. Inherently, advertisements are not "neutral." The Encyclopedia of Genealogy does not want to be a "repository of links" pointing to other sources. All articles on this Encyclopedia must be strictly non-commercial, although links to commercial sites are allowed under restricted conditions. Those links must be in the context of a larger creative posting and must not be the primary subject of the page or topic.

Please remember that everyone can edit every page. Violations of the non-commercial policy can be and should be edited or deleted by other users of this Encyclopedia.


Please post only information that you are legally entitled to contribute, such as: words that you wrote or public domain information or words from others that you have a legal right to republish. See the Copyrights page for more information.


If you would like to practice adding and modifying text in a test area, please visit the Sandbox. You can practice as much as you like there.

Page Names

The Encyclopedia of Genealogy contains many pages of content, each of which you can edit. Each page has a name, which the software uses to distinguish that page from other pages. The name of a page is used to access the page from the Internet.

Do not confuse page names with page titles. Page names are the file names saved on the wiki web server. Page titles are part of the text within that page. The two do not need to be the same although you will find it less confusing if the two are essentially identical. It is a lot easier if page names are not abbreviated. For instance, a good page name is "NationalGenealogicalSociety" and a bad name is "NatGenSoc".

You can name your pages anything you want, with the following restrictions:

  • Page names must contain only alphanumeric characters (A-Z, a-z, and 0-9).
  • Page names must be at least three characters in length.

For example, the following are valid page names:

  • Page
  • MyPage
  • Page4Me

And the following page names are invalid:

  • OK
  • My_Page

Page names are not case sensitive: MyPage, myPage, and mypage are all the same page.

Each page can also have a Title that is separate from the page name. This allows page titles to break the strict rules of page names. Set the title for a page in the Title text box at the top of the editing screen.

We suggest you give page names based upon the content of the page. When appropriate, use major subjects followed by minor subjects. For instance, all of the following are appropriate page titles:

  • Maine
  • Maine, Penobscot County
  • Maine, Penobscot County Genealogical Society
  • Maine, Penobscot County, Dexter
  • Maine, Penobscot County, Dexter Historical Society

In each of the above examples, "Maine" is the larger geographical division so it is listed first. The fourth example shows the name of the state, followed by the county name and then the name of the town appears last.

We would suggest that you NOT use a title of: Penobscot County, Maine.

For pages about people, please use page names of the form "SurnameGivenName" and set the page title to "Surname, GivenName".

Creating New Pages

To create a new page, click the "New Page" link at the bottom of the page or in the system menu. If you do not see this link, it means you do not have access to create new pages or have not yet logged in.

After clicking the "New Page" link, you will be prompted for a page name and a template. See Page Names for page naming rules and conventions.

Templates are pages that can be used to insert default content into new pages. See Page Templates for help creating and managing Templates.

Another way to create a new page is to simply link to it from another page, or type the new page's address into your browser's address bar. For example, if you enter:


into the address bar of your browser, the software will display an editing screen (assuming there isn't already a page called NewPage on your site). Type some text into the editor and click Save. The Encyclopedia of Genealogy will create a new page titled "New Page" with the content you entered.

If you see an Access Denied message, click the Login link to log in with your administrator account and try again.

Editing Pages

You can edit any page of your site simply by clicking the Edit This Page link at the bottom of the page or from the menu. Remember, you must have the appropriate access before this link will be displayed.

Using the Editor

The Encyclopedia of Genealogy's editor requires Internet Explorer 5.5 or greater on Windows, or Mozilla 1.4 or greater on Windows, Linux, or Macintosh. Other browsers will display pages in the Encyclopedia of Genealogy but are not able to edit them, in particular Netscape and Apple's Safari cannot be used to edit a page.

Setting the Page Title

At the top of the editor is a Title text box. Enter the main title you want displayed for the page. By default, the Encyclopedia of Genealogy will guess at the title based on the page's name.

Note that software will not process HTML entered into the Title field. If you enter <b>My Title</b>, that's exactly what the page title will be.

If you save the page with no Title specified, EditMe will treat your page a little differently. Pages without titles:

  • Are not listed on the Index page or search results.
  • Display PageName (No Title) as their title when viewed - where PageName is the name of the page.
  • Are listed in the list of templates that appears on the New Page screen.

Inserting Links

There are three ways to link to other pages and sites using the EditMe editor.

Automatic Linking

The EditMe editor automatically converts URLs into links when you type them into the editor. For example, if you type into the editor, it becomes a link right before your eyes.

The same is true for email links. Just type the email address, as in

Using the Insert Link Toolbar Button

To insert a page to another web site:

  1. Select the text you want to make into a link
  2. Click the Insert Link toolbar button.
  3. Choose "http:" from the Type dropdown
  4. Enter the full URL in the provided text box (i.e.
  5. Click the OK button.

To link to a page in EoGen (the page doesn't have to exist yet to link to it), choose other: from the "Type" dropdown and enter /PageName, where PageName is the name of the page you want to link to. Read the section below for an easier way to link to other pages in your site.

Using Double Brackets

Another way to link to pages is to enter a page name right in the editor, surrounded by two square brackets, like this:

  • [[InsertingLinks]]

When you view the page, EditMe transforms this into Inserting Links.

Linking to New vs. Existing Pages

A benefit of using square brackets is that EditMe indicates whether the page exists yet. If the page exists, a normal link is displayed on the page. If the page does not exist yet, the link is surrounded by one set of square brackets. This makes it easy to leave behind a reminder to create new pages you have linked to while writing content. Please do not delete such reminders.

  • [[ANewPage]] becomes [A New Page] (this page doesn't exist on this site)
  • [[InsertingLinks]] becomes Inserting Links (this page does exist on this site)

CamelCase Spacing

CamelCase refers to the convention of SmashingWordsTogether by capitalizing letters in a page name. The double-brackets linking mechanism inserts spaces before the capital letters and numbers in the page name, and is useful if you name your pages using CamelCase. Here are some examples of how EditMe processes CamelCase:

You may also notice that EditMe spaces out CamelCase when you create a new page, using the spaced text as the new page's title.

Automatic Title Insertion

If you have specified a Title for a page that is different from the page name, EditMe will use the title in place of the page name in the link text. For example, the FAQ page on this site has its title set to "Frequently Asked Questions". Therefore:

Using Alternate Link Text

If you want to link to an EditMe page using double-brackets but don't want the link text to be the name of the page, you can specify different link text by following the page name with a space, followed by the alternate text you want displayed.

  • [[PageNames Click Here]] becomes Click Here
  • [[FAQ FAQ]] becomes FAQ

Note: you cannot have a single quote (') or double quote (") in your alternate link text.

Using Brackets for Non-EditMe Pages

The double-brackets linking technique works for non-EditMe pages as well. Just include a fully qualified URL in place of a page name.

Bypassing Double-Bracket Processing

If you need to include text in your page that is surrounded in double-brackets, but do not want EditMe to process it as a link, insert a ~ before the page name or URL. EditMe will remove the ~ and display the text as you entered it.

  • [[~PageNames]] becomes [[PageNames]]

Deleting Pages

The checkbox labeled "Mark this page for deletion" indicates that this page should be deleted. Checking this box does not delete the page, but merely marks it for deletion in the Deleted Pages section of Site Settings. The page doesn't get deleted until a system administrator later reviews the deletion request. This ensures that pages are not accidentally deleted and that only administrators can delete pages.

Page Comments

The Comment text box captures a brief description of what you changed. This is particularly useful when multiple users are editing a site. The Versions page lists all versions of a page and the Comment for each version. The "Recent Changes" page also lists comments entered for edited pages.

The Editor Toolbar

EditMe uses a Rich Text Editor to edit article text. New features include a Word Cleaner for improved support of content pasted from Word, a Preview button, a dropdown of all the styles you've defined in the site's stylesheet, and an automatic HTML scrubber to clean "bad" HTML that gets into the editor.

Hover the mouse cursor over a button on the toolbar and a tooltip appears noting the function of the button. If you need instruction on any of the editor's features, click on the Need Help? link  located at the bottom left of the editor. (The HELP icon is no longer available in the toolbar.)

Inserting Images

Images must already exist on a web page before they can be inserted into a page on the Encyclopedia. If you do not have the capability to upload the image to a web page of your own, contact for assistance.

The insert image button opens a new window. You simply enter a URL to the image you want to link to and enter an image description. The description is displayed as an alternative text description of the image on the page.

Page Versions

Every time you edit a page, a new version is saved. Click on the Other Versions link at the bottom of every page to view the saved versions of the current page.

If you need to log in before having access to edit your site, you'll also need to log in before viewing the Other Versions page.

The Other Versions page contains a list of all saved versions of the current page. Each version is listed by Version Number, Revision Date, Title, the name of the User who made the version, and a comment, if one was entered.

Click a Version number to view that version. You can revert any page to a previous version by clicking the version number you want to revert to in the Other Versions page. Then click Edit This Page to bring the version into the Editor. You can make changes if you choose, then click the Save button. A new version will be created based on the content of the previous version. Versions created after the version you chose on the Other Versions page will still exist.

Page versions only contain copies of the text of the page, so they take up very little of your site's allocated disk space.