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<font style="font-size:88%">'''&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; [[Find-A-Volunteer|Find a Volunteer (USA / Worldwide)]]''' &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;'''[[Latest Wiki News]]''' &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;[[{{PAGENAME}}#Useful Links|'''Useful Links''']]</font>
<font style="font-size:88%">'''&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; [[Find-A-Volunteer|Find a Volunteer (USA / Worldwide)]]''' &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;'''[[Latest Wiki News]]''' &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;[[{{PAGENAME}}#Useful Links|'''Useful Links''']]</font>
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Revision as of 03:33, January 27, 2014

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              Find a Volunteer (USA / Worldwide)        Latest Wiki News        Useful Links

Note from the RAOGK wiki creator: The RAOGK wiki is a workaround for the official RAOGK site being down. Bridgett and Doc Schneider were the founders of the RAOGK website and like other genealogists, I am deeply indebted to their efforts as I benefited immensely from the work of their volunteers. When I created the wiki, it was out of my utmost respect for Bridgett and Doc's work. The wiki was my way to give back – my personal RAOGK for the RAOGK community – by providing a workaround for FB posts like Amy Mueller Stiles (and similar ones on the USA groups) on April 27: "...wall requests are ok on FB but it's like pulling teeth to get the info of what they are looking for sometimes. Direct email contact is best." My hope and intent with the wiki is that it fills a gap for genealogists while the official site is down ... a place for researchers and volunteers to connect (with the familiar ease of use) until the official site is operational again. (I wrote Doc on Mar 7, 2012, about the wiki, etc. and again on April 27. On April 17, the [lead] RAOGK admin gave "conditional approval" for the wiki.)

In a Facebook post (27 Apr 2012), Doc indicated he was starting to restore the RAOGK site.

About the RAOGK Wiki

Historical Background

The original Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK) website was the brainchild of Bridgett Schneider. Shortly before her death in 2011, she had a computer disaster and the site has been down since. Before the RAOGK site went dark, the global organization consisted of over 4,000 volunteers in every U.S. state and many international locations. The RAOGK wiki is dedicated to Bridgett's memory, to continue her efforts, and to provide a service that researchers and volunteers dearly loved and miss.

The way RAOGK worked was that volunteers agreed to do at least one free genealogy research task per month in their local area as an Act of Kindness. The RAOGK volunteers agreed not to charge for their research time; however, researchers were required to reimburse the volunteer for expenses incurred in fulfilling the research request (e.g., copies, printing fees, postage, film or video tape, parking fees, gasoline, etc.).

  • On state pages, volunteers would indicate what services they would perform -- e.g., courthouse/public records lookups, library research, tombstone research, etc. -- and what expenses (never their time) they expected reimbursement for.
  • Similarly, researchers would go to a state (or country) page and select a volunteer from a list of counties (provinces, etc.) based on the volunteer's description of services they would perform.
Bridgette Schneider

Bridgette Schneider (1946-2011)

Photo at: Findagrave (posted by Anja van Steel) and Nebraska Roots & Ramblings

Remembering Bridgett

For now, see the Wikipedia article about RAOGK.

RAOGK -- Facebook Groups Alternatives

Shortly before Bridgett's death, she posted that she'd had computer issues and the site would be down "quite awhile." Upon Bridgett's death, several of the RAOGK admins created Facebook groups to continue RAOGK's work while the site is down.

Volunteers post documents with the research services they offer:

The Facebook groups have a threaded discussion. Researchers can post their research need and members can respond with research help or suggestions.

Getting Started with the RAOGK wiki

Welcome to the RAOGK wiki, where you can contribute!! Yes, you can actually edit your entry/information on the wiki page. You can bold, italicize, change the description of your volunteer services. Any member can fix typos, punctuation, etc. Any member can also add pages to the wiki -- e.g., you may have a cemetery transcription to share and create a page specifically for that information.

Create a RAOGK account/username. It's free, and is a one-time action. You can have greater anonymity if you want it, and it's easier for other contributors to ask you questions and help you.
New to wikis? Visit the Community portal for an outline of main parts of the site and links to pages about editing. Note: If you can type emails/Word documents and use formatting buttons to bold, italic, underscore, do bullets/numbers, etc ... you're already a whiz at wiki editing!                  It's so easy!! It's as easy as 1-2-3.

  1. Login
  2. Edit
  3. Publish

A wiki allows collaboration between members:

  • Discuss any aspect of the site and
  • Ask questions at the Forum or on an article's "Talk" page. (The Talk page button is at the top of each page.)
  • Communicate with individual members and/or volunteers by leaving a message on their Message Wall or send a wiki email.
  • Participate in chat sessions.
  • Be sure to sign and date your contributions on a Message Wall or Talk page, so others know "who to talk to" and whether your message is still of current interest.
  • Click theFollow button below for pages that interest you. Then, if the page changes, you get an email alert.

To do most of the above, you need to be a RAOGK wiki member:

  1. First, create a Wiki account and
  2. Sign in to the RAOGK wiki.
    When you login for the first time (only), you'll be taken to your own User page.
  3. Modify your User page (optional).
    Create a sandbox page (to play with wiki text) ... in the Search field, type User:YourUserName/Sandbox
  4. Initially, you'll be prompted to Add a Page (this is a one-time action) ... click the Add a Page button.

For details on creating/modifying wiki text, see Wiki 101 for RAOGK and Modify your User page.
(Creating a user page is not required.) To exit out of the user page, just click the RAOGK name in the masthead.

Header-poll The wiki name may change soon. Vote for the wiki name you like best ... or ... suggest a wiki name by emailing a Wiki Admin)


The poll was created at 16:41 on July 5, 2012, and so far 273 people voted.

Comments, Suggestions, Concerns

Questions? Concerns?

  • Leave a message on the Talk page or contact a Wiki Admin.
(Click the Talk button ... located beside the Edit icon at the top of the page.)

Important Wiki Links

See Useful Links (scroll to bottom of the page) for both general and wiki links:

  • Wiki Basics
  • Help Files and FAQs
  • Researchers -- General Guidelines
  • Info for Volunteers
  • Useful Links
  • Special Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness Wiki Links

See the Latest Wiki News for such topics as:

  • Change to Wiki "Skin"
  • Wiki "Redesign" for Improved Navigation
  • New Wiki Poll ... suggest a new wiki name
  • Blogs Activated
  • Forums ... threaded discussions (coming)


Refresh blog
Create blog post


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Useful Links

Wiki Basics
Researchers -- General Guidelines

When making requests of volunteers:

  • Make requests specific -- avoid being too general.
  • Make requests ONLY for the volunteer's specified research areas. (Do not ask for out-of-area requests.)
  • Never ask more than one volunteer for the same request.
  • Ask the volunteer what reimbursements they require: copies, gas, parking, etc.
  • Negotiate an estimated completion time ... Remember: volunteers are not "on the clock," may research for multiple people, and respond reasonably as their time permits.

Note: If no volunteer exists for an area, Follow the page, for alerts of page changes.

Useful Links
Help Files and FAQs
Info for Volunteers

NEW (and existing) volunteers, contact: the Wiki Admin with the following information:

  • State:
  • County:
  • Your "display" name: ("Suz-eQ" ... "Sue" ... "Susanna Smith," etc.)
  • Volunteer Services: (Describe your services -- i.e., tombstone photos, obituaries, public records lookups, etc.)
  • Reimbursements (if any) for: gas/mileage, copies, fees, postage, parking, etc.

Note: Always provide researcher with an estimated completion time.

EXISTING volunteers may also Update Your Volunteer Information yourself.)

Special Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness Wiki Links
Questions? Concerns? Leave a message on the Talk page or contact a Wiki Admin.
(Click the Talk button ... beside the Edit icon at the top of the page.)

Switch to:               Find a Volunteer (USA / Worldwide)        Latest Wiki News        Useful Links

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