Hi WikiTreers!

Here are a few things happening around the community this week:

  • Michael Stills is recruiting members who have given or are interested in giving live presentations on WikiTree at their local library, genealogical society, etc.
  • Dean Anderson is recruiting members who have an interest in black sheep, spies and traitors in particular.
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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 Mel.

Mel Lambert became a WikiTreer in November 2015 and is one of our newest Leaders. She is active in our Military and War, Mentor and DNA projects and also participates in the Sourcerers challenges.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

Samples, Ellis, McTheny (Matheny),Boggs, Alford, Ashley, Elswick, Atkinson, Gilbert, Welborn

What are some locations you are researching?

West Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, North and South Carolina and wherever the sources lead me.

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

My interest in my family history started at the age 8 or 9, when my grandmother Sophia (Ellis) Samples told me about my great-grandmother. Her name was Nancy Bell McTheny and her husband was David Ellis. I remember thinking how cool the name McTheny was. Now, with the internet and WikiTree at my side I can explore to my heart’s content.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

I do not have a favorite, but I admire the women who came before me. Their life was filled with demanding work and hardship. One example is my great-great-grandmother Mary Jane (Boggs) McTheny. She lost her mother at an early age. She is found in the home of her grandmother in the 1850 Census. She also lost 3 of her children to Scarlet fever within 10 days of each other in September of 1856, yet she continued and raised her family. To me that is a indescribable strength. I know the conditions were hard as they are still hard in the rural areas of West Virginia.

My grandmother Sophia (Ellis) Samples is another. Her heart was so kind and her love was fierce. She worked in her flowerbeds even at age 100. The one story about her, which most in our family do not know, is the gift of the “Ponytail”. In the early 1950′s, (not long after my mother and father married) Mamaw Sophia gave my mom, Janice Bell (Samples) Gilbert her hair, a 3-foot-long ponytail, to sell just in case they needed money for food. Mom cherished this gift and the meaning behind it. She saved the Ponytail, and in the late 1970′s added her own 3-foot ponytail. Mom gave me the Ponytails in the late 80′s and to carry on the tradition I added my 3-foot ponytail in the late 1990′s. To my delight, I just received a photo of Nancy Bell (McTheny) Ellis (Sophia Ellis Samples’ mother) from my cousin. The photo shows Nancy standing with her long hair flowing.

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down.

OH, the walls of my family are high and well-fortified. I have been able to find sources and other useful information to help point the way, but have not found that one key to make me yell “YES”. I am rather tickled to have found beneficial source information for the Welborn side and filled in more family.

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

It is impossible for me to choose one, but I don’t have to choose. We are all interconnected, thus making us all one family. So, in the end I am related to both the great and the not so great.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

I started GrayMist Creations to express my creative side. I work with wire and gemstones creating Trees of Life and tree sculptures. I love Trees. To me they represent the greatness that can become from the smallest seed. I doodle, trees of courses, mostly on napkins. Oh, I love making my husband, of 37 years, crazy. I have just about gotten him totally white headed. :)

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

I joined WikiTree on 18 November 2015. I am a WikiTree enthusiast. I am on line almost daily. I am a Mentor and a new Leader. I love the thrill I get when I start hunting for sources. I never know what or who I am going to find.

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

I love the collaboration, shared knowledge and the friendliness of our WikiTree members. I believe we are all interconnected, which is proven by our DNA. WikiTree makes using DNA so much easier than the other sites out there. Oh, and it is FREE, which appeals to the thrifty side in me. I think the hardest part (I am still learning) is the format coding used inside profiles and writing good Bio’s. I just found the template to change text color. I see colorful profiles in my future. :)

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Go slow. Do not upload a large gedcom. it is better to add the profiles one at a time. I took that advice from my greeter/mentor when I started and I am so glad I did. Ask questions. Please add at least two reliable Sources (citing someone’s tree is not a source no matter where it is located) for your profile. The more sources the better.

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

Ask everyone older than you to share their stories. Be sure to WRITE them down and keep them safe. Even if you are like me and have issues with grammar and spelling. If they are on paper and shared, or posted to your computer, they can be handed down. My great grandchildren may be appalled at my usage of the English language but I hope they enjoy the stories such as how my Mom and Dad met and fell in love.

Most important – Remember to say and share your feelings to with other. Life is short, Enjoy every second of it.


 

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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 Debi.

Debi Hoag became a WikiTreer in October 2015 and is one of our newest Leaders. She leads our Messengers Project, is active as a Greeter, Ranger, and Connector, and participates in our Sourcerers Challenge.

Surnames and locations you are researching?

  • McGee in 1860 South Carolina > 1940 North Carolina
  • Helms and Baucom in North Carolina pre-1850 to present
  • Driggers and Brown in Florida pre-1850 to present
  • Campbell in South Carolina pre-1860 and Madison, Hillsborough, Polk, and Pinellas Counties of Florida to present
  • Meares in the Bahamas pre-1850,  Key West 1838-1860, and  Pinellas Counties of Florida to present
  • Fore in Mississippi pre-1900, Florida post-1900
  • Harding, Cundiff, and Carroll in Virginia
  • Hogg in Canada in pre 1890  New York,  New Jersey (named changed to Hoag c 1920-1930),  Scotland,  Canada, US migration pattern
  • Coop, Hess, and Lloyd in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, England, Wales, Germany,  US migration pattern

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

The Civil War Oath of Allegiance and Release of Prisoner of War document of my maternal grandmother showed me around 1982. It was for my 2x great-grandfather, Alvis Baucom.  I dabbled about with pen and paper research but couldn’t settle on a good way to relate to what I was finding. In the late 1980s when computers started being widely available for home use and the internet was becoming a “thing”, things really clicked. The first piece of software I bought was a genealogy program; the first website I visited was the AOL genealogy section. I was hooked.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

I honestly don’t have a favorite. There are some that I am more curious about but I love looking for little details on each and every one.

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down.

I’ve never reached a wall yet, either through being inordinately lucky or from knowing that I’ve not finished the research yet. I have furthest back ancestors, of course, but not because I know there aren’t records. Those are sitting there waiting for me to have time for further research.

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

I’m already related to all of them by virtue of being human. That’s enough for me.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

I love to travel and really enjoy photography, both landscape and street scenes.

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

I started at WikiTree in October 2015 and have been on most days since. I’m a member of several functional projects (Greeters, Messengers, and Rangers) and like to participate in the Sourcerers challenges as well as a few others. I usually concentrate on orphaned profiles when working challenges. My thought is that if we can at least prove they existed and belong with the people they are linked to, someone else might discover and adopt them.

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

I really like being part of a community where we can discuss things in a civil manner and agree to disagree when we need to.

I love that there’s a way for us to work together to record all our findings, both accurate and inaccurate, so that the most complete depiction of a person can be developed.

I don’t love the Find A Person search, finding it often either too broad or too narrow. Being able to narrow by place would be incredibly helpful. I can see the potential for that feature increasing as we work to standardize place names. I’m really looking forward to the possibility.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Start slow and source as you go because it’s so much more fun to be able to move to new research once you’ve got your people in. Don’t be shy about asking questions in G2G or in the comments page of other profiles. Remember that asking a question in a comment on your own page won’t get seen unless someone visits your profile. Have patience, with yourself and others, as we all work together to create this one big shared tree. Remember, we’re all cousins and we love our family!

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

I don’t have descendants, that’s why my research is all coming to WikiTree. I have no idea who will want it but I hope that someday someone will find it and know that I wanted them to know their family.


 

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