Greetings fellow WikiTreers!

Welcome to the July 2015 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?

Relationship Trail with Confidence Settings

Have you tried out our Relationship Finder recently?   We’ve updated it to include confidence level indicators: Uncertain, Confident, and Confirmed with DNA.  Give it a whirl and see what you think!

If you check the relationship between two people and one isn’t a descendant of the other, there will be a whole subsection on Relationship Confidence that explains it a bit more.

WikiTree at the Global Family Reunion

On June 6th, a bunch of WikiTreers attended the Global Family Reunion in New York City to spread some WikiTree love.   Chris Whitten, our WikiTreer-in-Chief, was there, along with team member Erin Breen and leaders Tom Shaw, Keith Hathaway, Mags Gaulden and Karen Tobo to man our WikiTree tent.  Team member Lianne Lavoie, leader Roland Arsenault and his lovely wife and Keith’s family made frequent guest appearances. Our Forest Elf, Eowyn, who was also working as the Chief Cousin Coordinator of the Reunion, popped up every now again as elves are prone to do.

Mags Gaulden, Lianne Lavoie, Tom Shaw, Erin Breen, Eowyn Langholf, Christianne Arsenault, Roland Arsenault, Lucy Lavelle

People stopping by the tent were invited to participate in a fun contest to win one of our awesome WikiTree sweatshirts.  All they had to do was post with some of our fabulous orange props and let us post said photo to Instagram and they were entered in the raffle.  It was a blast! Here are a few:






You can view all the awesomeness in our galleries on Facebook, Google+ and Instagram!  You can also check out some live footage from our Hangout on Air.

Who’s New?

Help us welcome Maryann Hurt as our newest WikiTree Leader!   She’s been one of our outstanding members since January 2014.  Maryann has German, Irish, Danish and Scottish roots. She’s very active in many of our projects include the Categorization Project, Profile Improvement Project, European Aristocrat Project and she volunteers as one of our Rangers to help keep WikiTree safe and vandal-free!

Mentor Tips

  • After trying GEDCompare with your full GEDCOM file upload a smaller one for your first GEDCOM import. The WikiTree process is different than with other websites and a smaller file lets you get a feel for the process without getting overwhelmed.
  • Did you know you can “favorite” the posts you like in the G2G forum so you can find them later?  Here’s how.
  • Prioritize your profile updates. From your Watchlist click the fourth header ‘Last Edit’ to sort the list so that the first profile listed is the one that’s gone the longest time without being edited. Check it out! Maybe there’s something you can add or improve.

Project Updates

Family History Photo of the Week Winner: Esther Dearborn

The Categorization Project is doing major housecleaning. Now is a great time to join the project and learn many of the basics of using categories as they go through and discuss the best way to set them up, use sub-categories, and coordinate with projects of all sorts.

The Roll of Honor Project is starting work on an War of 1812 sub-project. Contact Terri Rick if you’re interested in working with them!

On Wednesday, June 24th, the Greeters Project hosted two Google Hangouts on Air.

The Hangouts were just a general chat session so we could get to know each other. The official agenda actually included the words “Yada, Yada”. The Hangouts were fun and relaxed even though we had some technical challenges during the first one. The second Hangout went along swimmingly!

Why two Hangouts? We hosted two to try and make sure everyone had a chance to jump in, despite time zones. You can view the recordings on:

Google+:  Morning, Evening

YouTube: Morning, Evening.

Lastly, check out our two newest projects:

  • Quakers Project that covers all Quakers worldwide, coordinated by Andrea Powell and led by Paula J.

Community Accomplishments

Top 10 contributors for last month:

WikiTree Club 1000 May 2015

  1. Kirsty Ward (12,552 edits in May)
  2. Vincent Piazza (12321)
  3. Carolyn Martin (6310)
  4. Philip Smith (6212)
  5. Paul Leonard (5406)
  6. Trace Allison (4993)
  7. Ronel Olivier (4554)
  8. Robert Hathaway (4460)
  9. Beryl Jacobs (4362)
  10. Carrie Quackenbush (4220)

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: Gaile ConnollyJohn BeardsleyDale ByersValerie Kerr and Carrie Quackenbush.

New Member Comments

When a Guest or Family Member volunteers to become a full contributing Wiki Genealogist we ask them to leave a comment telling a little about how and/or why they’d like to volunteer to grow our shared tree. We get some really great responses.  Comments such as:

  • Family History Photo of the Week Winner: Mary Hewish

    “My mother began doing family genealogy research before her death. A few months ago, I began looking over her findings and have continued to build upon them. I’m hooked! Each new bit of information is a puzzle piece that when fit correctly, will help enlarge a picture of not only our personal family’s history, but it’s contribution to our great nation.” - Toni

  • “I became very interested my family genealogy over 30 years ago when I first found out that some of my ancestors had already been traced back to 1700 in Pennsylvania — and especially when I was able to visit the original homestead which is still being used as residence. I am serious about accurately tracing the family trees of my own and my wife’s families. Therefore, I do agree with ‘our mission’ and ‘our nine simple rules’ and will try to ensure the accuracy of my work.” –  Dave
  • “I  think this is an exciting project in a more and more global community that the world is becoming. Both the interconnectivity of all human beings as well as going back to your roots can walk hand in hand.” - Roeland
  • “I’ve been working on the ol’ family free on and off for over a decade now. Just on a run about it again at the moment, trying to fill in some blanks when I stumbled across wiki tree. I think it’s brilliant and I’d love the opportunity to contribute. Who knows! I may have the details you’ve been looking for, and visa versa.” - Kat
  • “I am currently exploring. I stripped my Family Tree Maker file down to just my ancestors and one generation of descendants at each level. This is the sort of tree that my nephew and I started working toward a few years ago. If we can produce a global tree, with DNA, this would be quite a resource. If it works the way I think it should, I’m in.” - Steven

Anyone can view the latest comments on the Volunteer Feed.

If you have a few minutes to spare they are fun to read through and a great way to find people with interests similar to your own or researching the same surnames/locations. When you see a comment that resonates for you, click the thank-you link or post a comment to make them feel welcome to WikiTree.

Don’t Miss These!

Family History Photo of the Week:   Every Wednesday, two fun things happen in our Family History Photo of the Week project. First, you get to vote on the photos that were nominated during the previous week, and second, you can nominate photos to be voted on the next week. Follow the tag “photo_of_the_week” in the G2G so you don’t miss out on the Time to Nominate and Time to Vote posts.

Collaborative Profile of the Week:  WikiTree is all about collaboration and every week many members come together to work on the Collaborative Profile of the Week. Every week a profile is nominated. It’s usually a profile from one of our current projects that is in desperate need of some TLC.

Each Monday a new collaborative profile is posted and interested members can then chip in to help make the profile as great as it can be. Check out last week’s wonderful results on Edith Emma Coe’s  profile or join in on this week’s efforts with author Lucy Maud Montgomery. Follow the tag “profile_of_the_week” in G2G if you don’t want to miss these.

Weekend Chat:  Each Friday we start a Weekend Chat  post in G2G. All members are invited  and encouraged to come and post, whether it’s to introduce themselves, share what they’ve been working on, talk about the weather or post tips and suggestions.  This is a great way to get to know some of the awesome members of our community!  Follow the tag “weekend_chat” if you don’t want to miss out on the fun.

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

The WikiTree Team and Leaders

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by Bob Fields

On June 28:

Henry VIII (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Richard Rogers (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Mel Brooks (Image Credit: Wikipedia)











1490 - Albert of Mainz*, German archbishop. His sale of indulgences infuriated Martin Luther, starting the Reformation  (d. 1545).
1491 – King Henry VIII [Tudor] of England (d. 1547).
1577 - Peter Paul Rubens, Flemish Baroque painter (d. 1640).
1712 - Jean-Jacques Rousseau, German philosopher and composer, influenced the French Revolution (d. 1778).
1891 - Carl Andrew Spaatz, US Army Air Force General and Chief of Staff in WWII, directed the Eighth Air Force strategic bombing of Germany (d. 1974).
1902 - Richard Rodgers, American composer, partner with Oscar Hammerstein (1895-1960), EGOT and Pulitzer winner (d. 1979) (Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, The Sound of Music).
1926 - Mel Brooks, American actor, comedian, director, producer, and screenwriter, EGOT winner (The ProducersBlazing SaddlesYoung Frankenstein).
1946 - Gilda Radner, American actress and comedienne (d. 1989), wife of Gene Wilder (Saturday Night Live).
1948 - Kathy Bates, American actress and director.
1966 - John Cusack, American actor, producer, and screenwriter .


James Madison (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Franz Ferdinand and Sophie (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Rod Serling (Image Credit: Wikipedia)











548 – Empress Theodora I, Byzantine wife of Justinian I (b. 500) .
928 - Louis the Blind, Holy Roman emperor, King of Italy, King of Provence (b. 880).
1836 - James Madison, “Father of the Constitution”, 4th U.S. President (b. 1751).
1914 - Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria (b. 1863) and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg (b. 1868) are assassinated in Sarajevo by Bosnia Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip, starting World War I.
1975 - Rod Serling, American actor, screenwriter, and producer (b. 1924) (The Twilight Zone).

Other Events:

Edward IV of England (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Charles V (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Ned Kelly (Image Credit: WikiTree)











1389 - Battle of Kosovo: Turkey defeats Serbia, on St. Vitus’ Day, particularly important to Serbian history, national identity, and desire for independence especially before WWI.
1461 - Edward IV of York (1442-1483) is crowned King of England the first time, later overthrown by Henry VI (1421-1471) and crowned again in 1471, during the Wars of the Roses.
1519 - Charles V (1500-1558) is elected Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, ruled for 40 years.
1778 – American Revolution: Battle of Monmouth resulted in standstill, demonstrated the growing effectiveness of the Continental Army after its six month encampment atValley Forge.
1880 - Ned Kelly (1854-1880), Australian bushranger, captured at Glenrowan.
1902 – U.S. Congress authorizes President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) to acquire rights from Colombia for the Panama Canal.
1919 – World War I: Treaty of Versailles is signed in Paris, ending the state of war but sowing the seeds of WWII.
1922 – The Irish Civil War begins with the shelling of the Four Courts in Dublin by Free State forces.
1926 - Mercedes-Benz is formed by Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz merging their two companies.
1950 – Korean War: Seoul is captured by North Korean troops. 100,000 to 200,000 communist sympathizers are executed in the Bodo League massacre.
1967 – Israel annexes East Jerusalem in the Six Day War.
1969 – Patrons at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village, clashed with police in an incident considered to be the birth of the gay rights movement.
1978 – The US Supreme Court allows race consideration but bars quota systems in college admissions.

The individuals marked with “*” don’t have a profile on WikiTree yet. Please help grow our tree.

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by Bob Fields

On June 27:

Louis XII (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Charles IX (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Helen Keller (Image Credit: WikiTree)










1462 - Louis XII, King of France 1498-1515 (d. 1515).
1550 - Charles IX, King of France 1560-74, who allowed the instigation of the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre (d. 1574).
1846 - Charles Stewart Parnell, Irish politician, founder and leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party (d. 1891).
1872 - Paul Laurence Dunbar, African-American author, poet, and playwright (d. 1906).
1880 - Helen Keller, American deaf/blind author, academic, and activist (d. 1968).
1899 - Juan Trippe, American businessman, founded Pan American World Airways (d. 1981).
1953 - Alice McDermott*, American author and academic (That Night).
1975 - Tobey Maguire, American actor and producer (Spider-ManThe Cider House RulesSeabiscuit).


James Smithson (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Joseph Smith (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Jack Lemmon (Image Credit: Wikipedia)











1458 - Alfonso V of Aragon “the Magnanimous”, one of the most prominent figures of the early Renaissance (b. 1396).
1829 - James Smithson, English chemist and mineralogist, founding donor of the Smithsonian Institution (b. 1765).
1831 - Sophie Germain*, French mathematician and physicist (b. 1776) (elasticity theory).
1844 - Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, and his brother Hyrum Smith, are killed by a mob at the Carthage, Illinois jail (b. 1805).
2001 - Jack Lemmon*, American actor (b. 1925) (Some Like It HotDays of Wine and RosesMister Roberts).
2002 - John Entwistle*, English singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (The Who) (b. 1944)

Other Events: 

James Wolfe (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Battleship Potemkin (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Mao Zedong (Image Credit: WikiTree)











1759 - Seven Years’ War: General James Wolfe begins the siege of Quebec.
1905 - Battleship Potemkin uprising: sailors start a mutiny, in Odessa Ukraine, denouncing the crimes of autocracy, demanding liberty and an end to WW1, leading to the Russian Revolution.
1950 – The U.S. decides to send troops to fight in the Korean War.
1954 – The Obninsk Nuclear Power Plant, the Soviet Union’s first nuclear power station, opens in Obninsk, near Moscow.
1981 – The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China lays the blame for the Cultural Revolution, when millions were persecuted and displaced, on Mao Zedong.

The individuals marked with “*” don’t have a profile on WikiTree yet. Please help grow our tree.

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On June 21:

This day usually marks the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere.


Jean-Paul Sartre (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Benazir Bhutto (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Prince William (Image Credit: Wikipedia)











1639 - Increase Mather, American minister, Harvard College administrator, involved in the Salem witch trials (d. 1723).
1905 - Jean-Paul Sartre*, French philosopher and author and Nobel laureate (d. 1980) (existentialism).
1921 - Judy Holliday*, American actress and singer (d. 1965) (Born Yesterday).
1921 - Jane Russell*, American actress and singer (d. 2011) (The Outlaw).
1925 - Maureen Stapleton*, American actress (d. 2006) (Reds).
1947 - Meredith Baxter* and Michael Gross*, American actors and producers (Family Ties).
1953 - Benazir Bhutto*, Pakistani politician, 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan (d. 2007).
1982 – HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.


King Edward III (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Niccolo Machiavalli (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Santa Anna (Image Credit: WikiTree)











1040 - Fulk III, Count of Anjou, “the Black”, one of the first great builders of castles (b. 972).
1377 - Edward III of England, noted for his military success and for restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II (b. 1312).
1527 - Niccolò Machiavelli, Italian historian and author (b. 1469) (The Prince).
1631 - John Smith, English admiral and explorer in the Virginia Colony (b. 1580).
1874 - Anders Jonas Ångström*, Swedish physicist and astronomer (b. 1814) (the Ångström unit).
1876 - Antonio López de Santa Anna*, Mexican general and politician 8th President of Mexico (b. 1794).
1964 – Three civil rights workers are murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi, by members of the Ku Klux Klan.
2001 - Carroll O’Connor, American actor, director, and producer (b. 1924) (All in the Family).
2003 - Leon Uris, American author (b. 1924) (ExodusTrinity).

Other Events: 

Louis XVI (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Erwin Rommel (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Battle of Okinawa (Image Credit: Wikipedia)











1788 – New Hampshire ratifies the U.S. Constitution and is admitted as the 9th state, the last necessary ratification for full adoption.
1791 – King Louis XVI of France and his immediate family begin the Flight to Varennes during the French Revolution.
1813 - Battle of Victoria: a British, Portuguese and Spanish army broke the French army, leading to victory in the Peninsular War.
1942 – World War II: Tobruk, Libya, falls to Italian and German forces under General Erwin Rommel.
1945 – World War II: The Battle of Okinawa ends.

The individuals marked with “*” don’t have a profile on WikiTree yet. Please help grow our tree.

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