Hi WikiTreers,

Welcome to a new installment of “Meet our Members.” It’s time to get to know another awesome member of our community: Meet Helmut.

Helmut has been a wonderful WikiTreer since February of 2014. He is engaged in some projects such as our One-Name and One-Place Studies, as well as the Czech Roots project for which he is the Project Coordinator.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

Jungschaffer is a pretty rare name, so far everybody found with it could be documented as family. I’m still trying to find unconnected Jungschaffers. Other names are Klabouch – some family members in the USA changed the spelling to Klabough – and Sitter.

What are some of the locations you are researching?

My ancestors come almost exclusively from Southern Bohemia, all the way back to the earliest surviving church books. There are a few outliers, mostly people coming to the area after the Thirty Years’ War, and one twig from Moravia.

When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history?

I grew up in a family that had been expelled from Bohemia as ethnic Germans after WWII – and at the same time still having cousins living there. This got me interested in our family history and the history of Bohemia very early on.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

There are really no distinguished ancestors in my family, workers and farmers all, their only historic traces were the church book entries of their births, marriages and deaths. Maybe one exception: my great-grandfather Franz Sitter, he worked in the brewery in Budweis/České Budějovice …

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down or one you hope to bust through.

My direct line of Jungschaffers developed out of a family named Schaffer. The oldest member, Mathias, is documented only through his death and the births of his children, no marriage, no birth record. He is estimated to be born in 1668 based on his age at death and church books exist from 1615 on so there ought to be some record hidden in there. Family names at this time changed, some records were with given names only, and the records contain quite a few different towns and villages, all in chronological order but sometimes without the village given, so hopefully completing a comprehensive record of all births in the village in question will reveal some helpful pattern.

If you could pick one person in history to be related to, who would it be and why?

Nobody in particular, but being almost exclusively of German and Czech extraction I’d wish I could discover some family connections to other cultures (fat chance, I have almost all lines documented to the early 17th century without much possibility for older records).

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

I like traveling, preferably to some mountain areas where I can get some vigorous mountain hiking in – nothing beats relaxing with a good glass of wine after a day up in the mountains (bucket list: hiking the Via Alpina). Some classical music in the background and a good science fiction novel wouldn’t hurt either.

How long have you been on WikiTree and how active are you?

I found WikiTree early in 2014. As I am still working full time the amount of contributions to the tree has been up and down over these months and I’m still cleaning up and sourcing some of my original GEDCOM uploads. I do follow G2G regularly which is pretty much the only aspect of WikiTree I can do easily during work. I have been engaged in some projects such as One-Name- and One-Place-Studies, Czech Roots for which I am the project coordinator, and Global Outreach. Every so often I’ll come about a (unrelated) person of interest to me with poor documentation and can add some sources and family members, mostly with German background and utilizing some German sources otherwise not so easily accessible.

What are some of the features/aspects of WikiTree that you love/don’t love as much?

I very much appreciate the emphasis on documentation and the discussions about various aspects of genealogy in G2G. Also, the many projects allow the pursuit of interests often different from one’s family alone.

One of the downsides of WikiTree is the tremendous amount of unsourced, poorly documented, and sometimes fictional profiles still hanging around from the early years and the slow pace of clean-up. Another issue is the inability or difficulty to accommodate other than Anglo-American names: no middle names but multiple given names in many cultures, name order for East-Asian names, compound last names, single names etc. And of course my pet peeve: all those Germans born in counties, states, and countries that didn’t exist yet when they were born.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Go slow, take it easy, follow G2G, and ask questions; there are many helpful hands on board.

If you could leave one message for your descendants, what would it be?

Understand your history and it will help understanding the present.

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Greetings fellow WikiTreers! Welcome to the October 2017 edition of News from the Tree, our monthly report on new features and changes around the site, notes on community leaders, tips, etc.

What’s New?

Source-a-Thon 2017 was a Huge Success!

Wow, WikiTreers, what a great weekend we had for the Source-a-Thon!  The community really came together with 480 participants on 26 teams sourcing over 53,000 profiles.

Here are the top 10 teams:

  • Team Roses – 11,433
  • Kiwi Crew – 6,062
  • Team Virginia – 4,255
  • Legacy Heirs – 2,975
  • Team GB Gen – 2,789
  • Forget-Me-Nots – 2,784
  • Team Tornadoes – 2,743
  • Team New York – 1,922
  • Flying Dutchmen – 1,710
  • Southern Super Sweepers – 1,597
And the top individuals:
  • Lucy Lavelle – 1,780
  • Morgan Mulligan – 1,495
  • Deb Durham – 1,445
  • NJ J Penny – 1,242
  • Emma MacBeath – 1,177
  • Charlotte Shockey – 1,138
  • Susan McNamee – 1,009
  • Charlene Newport – 816
  • Abby Glann – 770
  • Kirsty Ward – 759

You can see more team and user stats here: http://wikitree.sdms.si/function/WTChallengesScores/Scores.htm?code=SourceaThon2017&Type=0

Thanks so much to everyone who participated!  WikiTreers ROCK!!!

Have you Checked your Weekly Connections in the Connection Finder?

Every week you can find two new connections in our Connection Finder.

Each Tuesday, we showcase a WikiTreer in a Meet our Members feature on our blog and they also get spotlighted in the Connection Finder for that week.

This week it’s Karen Tobo.

Karen Tobo

Karen has been a member for six years and has made 100,000+ contributions. She’s an active Connector who helps make the world a smaller place by growing out family connections for strangers until they meet on our global family tree (77.5% of WikiTree’s 15 million profiles are now connected within 100 degrees). Karen writes: “Making new connections is my favorite thing to do on WikiTree! I enjoy seeing how we all relate.”  Check your connection.

We also highlight what we call an Example Profile of the Week. These profiles are top-notch and meet the styles and standards criteria that the community has agreed upon. The notable whose profile is used as an example is also featured in the Connection Finder for that week.

Spotlighted this week is Queen Isabella I (1451-1504), sponsor of Christopher Columbus’s 1492 voyage, from the European Royals and Aristocrats Project..  See how you are connected.

And of course you can always see your connection to our standard connection anchors, Queen Elizabeth II and Kevin Bacon.

Follow the tag connection_finder for weekly updates on connections.

Eva Ekeblad is Our Newest Leader

A big congratulations to Eva Ekeblad, our newest WikiTree Leader!  She’s been with WikiTree since February 0f 2016 and has been doing genealogy since 2011.  The ancestors of my paternal grandfather back to the 1600s all came from a quite limited area in Västergötland, centered in the southern part of Viste hundred. They were self-owned farmers, or farmers on contract to a manor. The ancestors of my maternal grandparents came from the iron making districts in Bergslagen or from the farming country around lakes Mälaren and Hjälmaren.

She will be helping Lena Svensson lead the Sweden project. Thank you, Eva, for being such a valuable contributor to our community.

Have you tried GEDCOMpare 2.0?

As recently announced we are no longer doing traditional GEDCOM imports.

“Importing your tree” never really made sense here, where we share one tree. Working with the old system was like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. We forced you to compare everyone in your GEDCOM with potential matches on WikiTree, skip everyone who appeared to be a duplicate, and import the rest as new people, all in one painful step. And that was just the first step. If you didn’t go on to edit and improve the profiles that were created through the import you would be leaving messes for others to clean up later.

Now we have something that fits more comfortably with the way collaboration works here. It’s a dynamic process. It still begins with automatically-suggested matches. But as you compare them and explore existing WikiTree profiles, you can update those profiles and add relatives one person at a time using your GEDCOM data and your good judgment as a Wiki Genealogist.

This system is live, but it’s not perfect. Early testers are helping us figure out what needs to be improved.

If you’d like to be among these early testers, upload your GEDCOM.

To be clear, you will be creating and editing live profiles, and things won’t work quite as well now as they will in a few weeks. If you don’t want to be on the “bleeding edge” you should wait. Or feel free to use it, but don’t edit many profiles with it. (GEDCOMpare can still be used just as a search tool.)

Here are known issues: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:GEDCOMpare_Improvements

If you use the new system and have something to report that isn’t described on the GEDCOMpare help page or the GEDCOMpare Improvements page, reply here or post a new message using the tag GEDCOMpare.

Over Three Million WikiTree Profiles Have DNA Test Connections!

We are now calculating and displaying a new statistic on the home page: The number of profiles on WikiTree with DNA test connections.

Today that number is 3, 147,339.

This is awesome! It’s a number that really says something impressive about our commitment and progress toward growing an accurate shared family tree — a tree with relationships that can be confirmed with DNA.

What exactly is a DNA test connection? It’s where we post a notice on a WikiTree profile that says there is a DNA test that might be useful for confirming or rejecting relationships to that person. For Y-chromosome tests it means the test-taker is on the same paternal line. For mitochondrial tests it means the test-taker is on the same maternal line. For autosomal tests (the most popular these days, e.g. AncestryDNAFamily Tree DNA Family Finder, 23andMe) it means that the test-taker is within eight degrees and is therefore likely to share significant segments of DNA.

The bottom line: A DNA test connection is an opportunity to try to scientifically prove what’s been established through traditional genealogy.

Question of the Week

Have you participated in the Question of the Week yet? Every Friday a genealogy-related question is posed to community members in our G2G Forum. You can join in the fun and share a little about yourself and learn about your fellow WikiTreers! Follow the tag “question_of_the_week” to get the new question each week.

We recently asked “Who were you named after?”

Here are just a few of the answers we received:

  • I had conflicting stories from my parents. Mom said I was named after I nun she knew, but dad said I was named for Natalie Wood. I have always gone with dad’s pick. ;-) . ~ Natalie
  • I was named after a character in a theatre production!  My father was an usher and my mother came to see Oklahoma! so often she grew fond of the main character …They were breaking with tradition. In my family we have lots of name patterns. I found seven Joshua Pitman Trefry so far, and several other Joshua P. It makes for some interesting family tree puzzles. ~ Laurie
  • My brother was 5 years old when I was born, and Roy Rogers was a big deal in this young life.  He got to give me my middle name, so I was named Kitty Dale Cooper after Dale Evans.  I am lucky he didn’t go for Trigger or Bullet.  :-) ~ Kitty
  • My first name, Lena, isn’t really from anybody, even if my mom’s cousin has the same name. My second and third however are from my grandmothers, Maria from my father’s mother and Viola after my mother’s mother. Those names were not their first names either. Viola is kind of special to me since my mom, sister and daughter also have that name, so therefore I have tattooed five violets from my neck to my left upper arm. ~ Lena
  • I was named after Queen Victoria and Robert E. Lee.  My father had an affinity for both of those folks.  In an odd coincidence, “Lee” turns out to be a common middle name in my extended family: my 3x-great-grandfather’s half-brother William Lee Smith and at least three of his children.  We suspect that it may possibly have been my 4x-great-grandmother Elizabeth‘s maiden name. ~ Vicky

Meet Our Members

Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

Every week we post an interview with one of our members so you can get to know them a little better.  In case you missed it, here are our August features!


  • Remember point VI of our Honor Code: We respect copyrights. We don’t knowingly copy information that’s owned by someone else. If we ourselves want to preserve a copyright, we’re clear about what’s copyrighted so others don’t accidentally copy it.
  • When creating a profile, you will have noticed the box for entering a source. Sources are required on WikiTree. Try adding an additional source for one of the profiles you created. If you don’t have one handy, select “Research” from the pull-down menu in the upper-right corner of the profile that starts with the profile’s WikiTree ID, e.g. Franklin-1. Login to the RootsSearch tool and use it to search FamilySearch.org or a dozen other sites.
  • In the upper-right corner of every WikiTree page you will see pull-down menus with links for navigating the site. Spend some time exploring these menus. Just about everything on WikiTree can be accessed through them.
  • G2G, our Genealogist-to-Genealogist Forum, is the heart of our community. Take a trip there now to see what people are talking about, and if you’re ready to meet people, post a note to introduce yourself.
  • Venture out of your own branches! See the Volunteers Needed page for a list of ways that your energy and expertise (no matter the level) are needed right now. There is never a shortage of things to do on WikiTree.

Community Accomplishments

Top 10 contributors for last month: WikiTree Club 1000 July 2017

  1. K Bloom (9,436 new edits in September)
  2. Esmé van der Westhuizen (8414)
  3. Ronnie Halford (7956)
  4. Gregory Rose (7935)
  5. Kaye Mansfield (7797)
  6. NJ Penny (7498)
  7. Carrie Quackenbush (6871)
  8. Elizabeth Winter (6817)
  9. Paula Cullen (6345)
  10. Lilia Zwerewa Hordyczuk (5947)

Super Star recipients (recognized by a Leader for extraordinary contributions that go far beyond what is normally seen on WikiTree): 

Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication: Barry AshfieldLinda BarnettTess (Mapley) Cameron and Lynette Jester!

Project Updates

Project Spotlight: The Acadians Project

pgm.gifThe Acadians Project goal is to grow and source one family tree of French immigrants who settled in Acadia in the 1600s. Their descendants are concentrated in today’s Canadian Maritime Provinces, New England, and Louisiana (Cajuns).  They strive to have all Acadian descendants linked to their growing list of Acadian First Families.

If you would like to participate, click here to join.

Project News

Don’t Miss These!


SOURCERERS CHALLENGE:  Far too many profiles on WikiTree don’t have any sources. This challenge is about correcting that with census data, BMD records/index references, family bible references, military documents, land documents, wills, etc. Each month we’ll post in G2G to start up the month’s challenge. To participate, go to this G2G post.

SURNAME SPOTLIGHT CHALLENGEOur Surname Spotlights focus on 4 surnames each month. Pick one surname to work on during the month. In addition we have a theme for the month, sourcing, connection, error correction, or biography building. To join in the Oktoberfest Challenge, go here.

You might also want to check out our Weekend ChatSaturday Sourcing SprintsBiography Builders Challenge, Data Doctors Challenge and the Surname Spotlight Challenge.

WikiTree Calendar

Stay up to date with all the latest challenges, contests,  and upcoming events via our Calendar.

Thanks for all you do, WikiTreers. You’re the best.

Sincerely, The WikiTree Team and Leaders

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Hi WikiTreers,

Welcome to a new installment of “Meet our Members.” It’s time to get to know another awesome member of our community: Meet Isabelle.

Isabelle became a WikiTreer in June of 2016. She is active as a Connector and in our Notables and European Aristocrats projects as well as a participant in the Saturday Sourcing Sprints and Data Doctor Challenges.   Isabelle has also been instrumental in starting up the new French Roots project.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

I’m not researching any surnames in particular, at least not connected to my family. I’ve never found a Rassinot who was not a descendant of my great-grandfather, so a Rassinot name study would probably be one of the smallest in the world!

What are some of the locations you are researching:

Most of my research for WikiTree is done to make connections, especially in France and Belgium. I’m interested in all locations in France, but more familiar with my native Vexin (covering part of the present Oise and Val d’Oise départements) and the area around Poitiers where my children’s father is from. I actually love looking for places on maps and hunting for historic location names.

When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history?

After my grandfather died, my parents were given his family papers and photos, and that included his parents’ “family booklet” (livret de famille). That is an official little book given to couples at their civil wedding ceremony. This booklet contains the marriage details and later children’s births are also inscribed there (family booklets still exist, and when my children were born, we had to take the family book to the hospital to be filled in by the civil servant when the children were registered).

I was so excited over the booklet (first time I saw the names of my great-great-grandparents!) that my parents agreed to take me to the mairie (town house) to do some more research on the family. I was already interested in family stories before – my grandfather’s family especially – but this booklet was the starting point of my research. At the town house the secretary showed us the registers, how to use the 10-year indexes, everything I needed. I took the habit of going there every week and stayed quite late. The secretary used to go upstairs to his living quarters and leave me free range in the archive room. Of course this was only possible because I was raised in the village where my father had been raised, and his father, his grandparents and most of his ancestors had lived all their life there. So there was a double bonus – I could do all my research just by walking down to the town house, and because it’s a small place it was much less informal than in a city. After a few months my mother and I traveled to Lille to look for her ancestors and it was much less fun.

After the tutorial given by the municipal secretary at Liancourt-Saint-Pierre I got my second lesson in a letter from a cousin. I was worried about the father of my great-grandmother, as her birth record showed he was 70 when she was born. He told me not to worry about that but rather cross-check everything I could find about him, because registers could contain errors and it was always better to have a source for the birth and the marriage and death. So that took care of the importance of sources, and I was lucky to learn very soon that trying to go as far back in time as possible, as quickly as possible, was not the way to go and that consolidating every fact was more important.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

My great-great-grandmother Euphrasie Constance Chappart, the daughter of a shoe-maker in Liancourt-Saint-Pierre, because nearly all her ancestors were also from Liancourt and I was able to build her a nice tree all by myself as a teen. For the others I had to travel, or wait until the archives were online.

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down or one you hope to bust through.

I have lots of brick walls, and the one I reasonably hope to break through is in Switzerland. This will need either a change – archives being made available online – or travelling to Switzerland myself. I have just a little information from cousins in Switzerland who made some research on the Crausaz family.

My great-great-grandfather Jean-Baptiste Rassinot was a foundling – born in Paris in 1823. I tried to research him but hardly got anything. The Paris archives were destroyed in 1870 and his file was lost, so all we know is that he was taken in charge at Saint-Vincent de Paul Foundling Hospital as a newborn, christened and given to nurse to a woman named Victoire Sagnier in Franvillers, near Amiens. He must have been a tough little guy, travelling from Paris to Amiens at the end of December on a horse-cart ! We suppose he went somewhere else as soon as he no longer needed a wet nurse, because he’s not in the Franvillers census. He was recorded as son of Marie Rassinot but there is nothing left of her, she probably died in Paris long before 1860 and we have no clue where she came from. I’d love to find out more of where Jean-Baptiste was between 1823, when he was sent to Victoire Lagnier, and 1846, when he arrived in Liancourt-Saint-Pierre.

A brick wall I did break though was the Dronkers-Martens family. They are ancestors of my maternal grandmother, who was part Belgian through her father. I had very little about them when someone – Daan Dronkers – wrote about an ancestor of mine, Emile Bernard Dronkers-Martens – saying he was curious about him because he had studied the Dronkers family and thought he had all the Dronkers descendants covered, but that was the first time he heard about Emile Bernard Dronkers-Martens and did I know more about him? And added: the Dronkers family is from Lillo, near Antwerp. It was very motivating to work with someone else and inch by inch we found Emile Bernard’s father, and his grandparents, and finally the Lillo connection and proof that “my” Dronkers-Martens were a branch of “his” Dronkers. It’s hard to describe how exciting the breakthrough was!

If you could pick one person in history to be related to, who would it be and why?

It is an intriguing question because my ancestors are really very, very “ordinary”. There is a saying – a special French genealogist thing, maybe – that “everybody is descended from a beggar and a prince”, well, many of my ancestors were very poor but I’ve yet to find a prince among them ! There is a possible connection with nobility in my mother’s ancestry. We go back to a woman named Marguerite Duranel, who lived in the 17th century and may be the grand-daughter of a Catherine Cotteel, who definitely has noble ancestry, the van Pradelles family, themselves descendants of the Saint-Omers. I say maybe because though I’ve seen the connection in umpteen trees I’ve never seen a real source to confirm it. If it is true there must be a good source, somewhere, probably in the notarial archives, a testament or marriage contract. Anyway, some genealogies –  obviously mis-interpreting recent research by Thomas Delvaux – make them descendants of a daughter of Louis de Dampierre and Marguerite de France who was King Philippe V’s daughter. Which is impossible – Louis de Dampierre and Marguerite de France had only one child, a son – but I would have loved the link to the last direct Capets, “les Rois Maudits”!

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

I am raising three teen-age daughters and have a full-time job, which doesn’t leave so much time for other hobbies. I’m giving far too much time to genealogy as it is!

How long have you been on WikiTree and how active are you?  Are there any projects/challenges are you involved in? What do you enjoy doing?

I found WikiTree a little more than one year ago while researching the in-laws of a cousin, Robert Crausaz, who emigrated from Switzerland to Canada and the U.S.A. in 1913. He had a profile on WikiTree and I decided to contact the profile manager, David Wilson, saying I had more information on his origin. I got the kindest and most encouraging welcome – and stayed. I’m fairly active and check in everyday. I got even more hooked after the source-a-thon – it happened about three or four months after I joined – when I discovered I could actually stay logged in and contribute for most of the week-end without it being the end of the world! The first project I got involved in was Connectors, from there I started connecting Belgian and later French branches, and then Notables, which led to the Notables and Euro Aristo projects. I also participate in the Saturday Sourcing Sprints and Data Doctors Challenges now and then.

There are three WikiTree-ers – Emma McBeth, who started it all, Greg Lavoie and myself with a huge challenge: to launch the French Roots project, which already has about twenty members and we hope to become a top-level project soon. The project means to complement the existing France-related projects like Quebecois, Huguenot Migration and others (of course I forget some, sorry) and cover the ancestors who stayed in France and are not in the scope of those projects. As well as the people with French Roots but who do not match any of the existing projects. And of course those who are still in France – there are not many of us yet on WikiTree but we hope to attract more with the project. One of our tasks will be to develop French-language help pages. We have already set up a few pages, more for descendants who are not familiar with how to research in France: lists of resources, help pages on how to research French archives. We also created a list of French (or French Roots) Notables profiles who need help and right now we are busy organizing France sub-categories, both re-organizing existing categories in English and setting up the French language category structure.

What are some of the features/aspects of WikiTree that you love/don’t love as much?

The biggest strength of WikiTree and what makes it so attractive, is the one-person-one-profile rule. All the other sites have up to dozens of duplicates representing the same person and you’ve got to browse them all to find out which have quality research. Having just one profile as a reference is really incredible and that’s why I never looked back (I used to be a Geneanet adept, actually still have a huge tree there, with only a tiny fraction of it on WikiTree). So collaboration is the best thing on WikiTree, but it can be quite difficult sometimes. While exploring existing French genealogies on WikiTree I found that many of them are virtually unsourced. This is always a problem, but when a genealogy connects remote descendants to very famous noble or royal family sources are especially crucial, and most of all for the couple of generations that make the connection between the nobles and the emigrants. I’m afraid several  lines of ancestry look fairly fishy – actually I’m confident some of them can’t be correct – and what to do with them is a real problem. Most of the time the data has been innocently copied to WikiTree, maybe through a tree collected on another site, turned into a gedcom and uploaded to WikiTree. I’ve had contact with many descendants who try to come back and source them but it can be pretty difficult, especially if you don’t read French! When you’re working alone on your genealogy it’s so easy to remove a mythical character or connection. On a collaborative site it’s a much more complex exercise!

Another complex issue is internationalization. I’m still annoyed that Aliénor d’Aquitaine has “Eleanor” as First Name at Birth, which for a francophone is a bit jarring.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Nothing original: take your time, start with the most recent generations and source them properly (it’s not easy!) before moving on to earlier ancestors.


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Hi WikiTreers,

Welcome to a new installment of “Meet our Members.” It’s time to get to know another awesome member of our community: Meet Susie.

Susie MacLeod became a WikiTreer in April of this year and is one of our friendliest members. She is an active Greeter and Messenger, and a member of the Notables, Profile Improvement, United Kingdom, US History and Southern Colonies projects.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

MacLeod, Hudson, White, Stainback, Lorentz, Grier, Burt and Blount

What are some of the locations you are researching?

West and South Eastern North Carolina; Devon, Essex, Middlesex, Hertfordshire and London Boroughs in England. Although a current search on behalf of my cousin’s wife as taken me to Raj India which has been fascinating.

When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history?

I am adopted and so I’ve always wanted to know more about who I was and where I came from. Growing up in England with an English family, yet knowing I was American, made it particularly important to me. Thankfully by the time I had been reunited with my birth mother’s family my grandfather had written seventeen volumes of detailed genealogical research which he shared with me. From that point onwards I was hooked. I’ve been seriously invested in it and also in helping others find ‘who they think they are’ for about ten years.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

Probably Eleanor of Aquitaine. She had to cope with such a lot in her life. She was one strong woman and I’m all about strong women.

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down or one you hope to bust through.

I’m looking for my birth father and have nothing to go on but DNA. It came as quite a shock in June to discover through DNA that the person I had thought was my father for twenty six years isn’t my father at all. You hear stories about this kind of thing happening to other people but you never expect it to happen to you. So yeah, that’s my biggest brick wall.

If you could pick one person in history to be related to, who would it be and why?

Gosh there are so many possibilities here. Nancy Astor maybe? Another strong woman. I love the fact that she was the first female Member of Parliament here in the UK. I also love the fact that she used her wonderful home of Cliveden to host political parties for the social elite. The conversations that must have gone on!

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

I’m currently writing my first novel. I love to read historical fiction, do a plethora of different crafts (currently working on patchwork owls to sell for charity), baking, and am a Friend of Bletchley Park where the enigma code was cracked.

How long have you been on WikiTree and how active are you?  Are there any projects/challenges are you involved in? What do you enjoy doing?

I joined WikiTree at the beginning of April and it feels a bit like I fell down a rabbit hole into a whole new world. I love it here and spend many hours a day doing one thing or another. I’m a Greeter, Messenger, and member of the Notables, Profile Improvement, United Kingdom, US History and Southern Colonies projects. I love them all and wish I had more hours in the day to do them justice.

What are some of the features/aspects of WikiTree that you love/don’t love as much?

I love the community here. The spirit of collaboration and desire for accuracy are what drew me to WikiTree in the first place. The selfless way in which people give of their time and energy to help others just warms my heart. I’ve learned so much from everyone. It’s been a very steep learning curve.

Sure I’m not a fan of people getting their feelings hurt and misunderstanding each other on G2G sometimes, and I certainly think there should be greater accountability when it comes to voting up and down of posts / changing starred answers / flagging posts, but apart from that I love it all. It makes you want to do better, help people more, and give quality answers. After all, we’re one big family and don’t all families argue sometimes?

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Take your time and read everything. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Google “WikiTree, followed by your question” when you can’t find something and the answer usually pops up. Save loads of bookmarks in a place you will find them. Remember we are all in this together and above all else have fun on the journey.

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