Greetings fellow WikiTreers!

Welcome to the July 2014 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?

“DNA and WikiTree” Hangout with Peter J. Roberts

On July 17, we hosted a Google+ Hangout, where special guest Peter J. Roberts talked to us about DNA in general, and how we can better incorporate DNA into WikiTree. Peter covered topics including:

  • How to optimize your Y-DNA and mtDNA results in WikiTree.
  • How WikiTree’s new DNA Ancestry Confirmation Aid helps make sure your genealogy is accurate.
  • How you can help develop additional WikiTree tools and aids for using your autosomal DNA and X-chromosome results.

It was very informative and participants asked some excellent questions. If you missed it live or want to watch it again you can do so at Google+ here and YouTube here.  Peter is also a guest blogger for us.  Check out his latest post “WikiTree Uncovers X-Chromosome Ancestral Treasure!

An Easy Way To Include A Photo in the Biography Section of a Profile

One thing that some advanced WikiTreers started doing, especially those around the Profile of the Week community, is including images inside the text of a page. For example, see

It can look great. But, if you don’t know HTML, it’s not easy.

To make it easy, there is now some copy-and-paste code on photo pages in the lower right hand corner that looks like this:

New Facebook group: “WikiTree for Genealogists”

Maggie, one of our fabulous leaders, started up a new Facebook group called “WikiTree for Genealogists” for the curious, the new and the seasoned members of WikiTree. If you would like to learn all about WikiTree before you join, this is the place for you. If you love doing your family history at WikiTree, then this is the group for you!  Please join us there and help share the WikiTree love with others who might be interested.

Who’s New?

We’re excited to introduce you to our three new leaders that were welcomed in June!

M. Gaulden:  We call her “Mags”.  She says “As a Child, my mother, grandmothers, and grandfather would often tell me about my family. Who we were, where we came from and how our family came to be. As a teen I was given some unpublished papers by a Hunt cousin. I scanned them, as teens do, but I kept them. Years later I went back to them and entered the information into Family Tree Maker. Soon after I started my hunt, pardon the pun, in earnest for the rest of my family.” Mags is one of our stellar Mentors and very involved as a Greeter and Arborist as well as super helpful in our G2G Forum!

Rick Pierpont: Rick’s been with us since August of 2013 and has almost 23,000 contributions!  He’s incredibly thorough and efficient.  One member commented on his profile “You just blew my mind with your sources.”  He is working on a Pierpont Name Study here on WikiTree.  A few of his notable ancestors include James Lord Pierpont, the composer of ‘Jingle Bells’, Thomas Sherwood, witness for the defense in the Goodwife Knapp’s witchcraft trial and authors Louisa May Alcott and Harriett Beecher Stowe.

Robin Lee: Robin joined us in April of last year and is a valuable part of the WikiTree community!  She is very active as an Arborist and works diligently and ceaselessly on the merging of duplicate profiles while making a conscious effort to do so as accurately as possible.   She has also brought up some great points and excellent suggestions in our G2G Forum – always on the lookout for ways we can make WikiTree a better experience! It has been said of Robin, ” You have done an outstanding job… you have done so much, and come so far… Thank you for all you contribute and do here at Wiki Tree! It is much appreciated!” Agreed!

New Member Comments

When a guest volunteers to become a full member we ask them to leave a comment telling a little about how and/or why they’d like to volunteer with WikiTree.  We get some really great responses!  Comments such as:

  • I would love to volunteer to contribute in whatever way I can. I don’t have much experience, but love digging til I find little nuggets of information on where my family came from and imagining how their lives may have been. Sometimes it can open an avenue of understanding why we are the people we are today. – Laura
  • I have almost no ego, I’m here to learn about my heritage and to help as much as I can in any way that I can! Count me in. – David
  • Been doing my family tree for over 30 + yrs. Hard part is waiting for records to be released because some have a timetables, laws, etc. Never let these hurdles stop you from finding where your family comes and what their lives where like. Theres a favorite quote of mine, that pretty much sums up everything on why I do what I do…The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. – Hazel
  • I absolutely volunteer any info I have to the public for the greater good of genealogy! :-)Sandi
  • Once I started on my journey to discover my families origins, I found I wanted to do more. I want to help bring the family together so that the young ones will know they have family out there. I also hope that new connections will be made and maybe new friendships. – Yona
  • Our family has been interested in genealogy for as long as I can remember. But no one made it digital. Perhaps that’s my task as next in line? :)Hedvig

Anyone can view these comments. 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. You can also click a link to thank them or even leave a comment to make them feel welcome to WikiTree!

Community Accomplishments

Top 10 contributors for June 2014:

WikiTree Club 1000 June 2014

  1. Michelle McQueen (10,557 edits in June)
  2. Vincent Piazza (9573)
  3. C V (7106)
  4. Susan Tye (6021)
  5. Michelle Brooks (5542)
  6. Mary Hammond (4985)
  7. Bob Tonsmeire (4867)
  8. Lisa Franklin RN, BSN (4776)
  9. Dr David Hughey (4592)
  10. Austin Pérez (4524)

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: Ciara Humphreys, Theresa Carrier-Torrealba, Peter Knowles, Kirsty Ward, Ray Jones, Paula Hurwitz, and Kay Wilson!

Google+ Hangouts on Air

WikiTreers – we’d love to get some feedback from you!  We’ve hosted two Google+ Hangouts on Air now, the one mentioned above about DNA and also our “100 Degrees of AJ” hangout.   Do you enjoy them? Would you like to see more of them? If so, what would you like to hear about? What topics/projects are you interested in learning more about?  If you have suggestions, please share them in our G2G Forum and we’ll see if we can make them happen!

You’re the BEST!

WikiTree is growing more and more every day  and we’re continually impressed with what a wonderful community of members we have!  We must give a BIG  thank you to all of you for the hard work and dedication you put in contributing to growing our worldwide family tree. You’re the best!

The WikiTree Team and Leaders

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Today’s Pick comes from our Titanic ProjectSir Cosmo Edmund Duff-Gordon.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

From his WikiTree Profile: “Sir Cosmo Edmund Duff-Gordon 5th Baronet was born on July 22, 1862, the son of the Honorable Cosmo Lewis Duff-Gordon and the former Anna Maria Antrobus.[1]  His family is known for their fine wines. He is known for his behavior during the sinking of the Titanic.

Cosmo married Lucy Christiana Sutherland, then Mrs. James Stewart Wallace, on May 24, 1900 in Venice, Italy. She was a divorcee with a sister famous for writing erotica. Cosmo and his wife were on the maiden voyage of the Titanic. Sir Cosmo and Lady Duff-Gordon boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg with ticket 11755. Sir Cosmo occupied cabin A-16 and Lady Duff-Gordon cabin A-20. For some reason the Duff-Gordons signed onto the ship as Mr and Mrs Morgan.[4]

Cosmo’s survival of the sinking of the Titanic is attributed to his boarding a life boat with his wife in defiance of the “women and children first” policy. He is further known for refusing to help those already in the water and offering the others in the boat what was considered a bribe not to assist them. He claimed he was paying the crew members for their list possessions but his boat was referred to as the “money boat.” They were in a life boat of only 12 people, 7 of which were crew members, with a capacity of 40. [5]

Cosmo stated there were no women and children waiting to board the boat and there was a witness to support this. The accusations of bribery were declared unfounded. The investigation report did mention that had he rowed toward the drowning people instead of away from them, they might have been saved.”

Cosmo died of natural causes in 1931.

View the full profile of Sir Cosmo Edmund Duff-Gordon. Can you help connect him to our worldwide tree?

Post by Eowyn the Forest Elf

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Known as Robbie Burns, Rabbie Burns, Scotland’s favourite son, the Ploughman Poet, Robden of Solway Firth, the Bard of Ayrshire and in Scotland as The Bard, Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and lyricist who is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland.

From Wikipedia: “Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796) (also known as Robbie Burns, Rabbie Burns, Scotland’s favourite son, the Ploughman Poet, Robden of Solway Firth, the Bard of Ayrshire and in Scotland as The Bard)was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and a light Scots dialect, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He also wrote in standard English, and in these his political or civil commentary is often at its bluntest. ”

From his WikiTree profile: “Robert Burns died of rheumatic fever in Dumfries on 21 July 1796 he was originally buried in the north east corner of St. Michael’s church yard, but in September 1815 his body was transferred to the mausoleum which was erected in the south-east corner of the churchyard and paid for by public subscriptions(even the Prince Regent – later George IV made a contribution.) Burns’ wife’s remains were added to the mausoleum in 1834 at which time a cast was taken of Burns’ skull.

Celebrated on, or about, the Bard’s birthday January 25th also known as Robert Burns Day (or Robbie Burns Day or Rabbie Burns Day) or Burns Night, although they may in principle be held at any time of the year, Burns suppers are most common in Scotland and Northern Ireland however there has been a surge in Burns Night celebrations in the UK .

The first suppers were held in memoriam at Ayrshire at the end of the 18th century by Robert Burns friends on 21 July, the anniversary of his death, and have been a regular occurrence ever since, the Burns suppers may be formal or informal typically the Suppers include haggis (a traditional Scottish dish celebrated by Burns in Address to a Haggis), the drinking of Scotch whisky, and the recitation of works by, about, and in the spirit of the Bard.All Burns Suppers are different depending on individual tastes and talents some celebrants may contribute the composition of original songs or poems , some may excel at giving toasts or reciting verse, while others may be captivating storytellers.”

View the full profile of Robert Burns. Can you help connect him to our worldwide tree?


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Catch up on what you might have missed in today’s WikiWeek in Review!

From the Community Abroad

 From The Tree

WikiPick of the Day

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