by Liz Shifflett

The New Netherland Settlers (NNS) project  includes settlers, their parents, and their descendants up to 1800 – see the criteria for settlers   and the section of the project page on additional categories   associated with the project.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

New Netherland settlers were a cohesive group of mostly Dutch immigrants who came to America starting in the 1600s and intermarried with each other’s families over many generations. Consequently, many family trees lead to the same small collection of only a few hundred immigrant pioneer ancestors in New Netherland. That huge overlap of trees resulted in many duplicate profiles of these ancestors. And because of the Dutch use of the patronymic naming system rather than the more familiar English surname naming system, these duplicates have not always been easy to spot, nor to resolve.

The solution was the NNS project’s Approval System for merges, which has been in place since March 2014. The review process starts when a profile is added to the Merge Notice category. After careful review of duplicates and verification of proper parent connections (Merge Compare category), one profile is selected for the NNS category and the duplicates are moved to the Merge Pending category.  All NNS profiles going through review receive project protection, referred to as a PPP lock.

A “Project Protected Profile” (PPP) cannot be merged away, which means that duplicate profiles cannot be merged until one is selected to retain the PPP lock and the others have the PPP lock removed:

~ Merge Notice  (starts the process with a PPP lock)
~ Merge Compare (profile has been PPP locked and is now under review and matched*)
~ Merge Pending (profile has been reviewed and is ready to be merged away once the PPP lock is removed)
~ NNS  (profile selected as the final WikiTree ID that all duplicates should be merged into – it retains the PPP lock)
* duplicates should be connected as an unmerged match

If you have New Netherland ancestors, check the NNS category to see if they are listed. If you have additional information that would argue for a different name – yay! Start a G2G discussion. NNS profiles are selected as the best choice “so far” for the final WikiTree ID, which is based on the “Last Name at Birth” (LNAB) field. That decision can and should be revisited when additional information comes to light. You can check all of the categories for profiles in your Watchlist (click the [limit to watchlist] link at upper right each category page) – if you find any in the Merge Pending category, please complete pending merges or check if you should propose a merge with an unmatched merge.

No need to wait for a profile to be labeled NNS to add sources and improve the presentation of information on any NNS profile either. Most profiles need to have work done: to improve them from their original GEDCOM import, to add sources for information included, to include evidence of “surnames” used in baptismal records, marriages, etc.  Any Wiki Genealogist can edit a profile in the New Netherland Settlers project, since they are all “Open” profiles (profiles for people born prior to 1814 must be Open).

Also, anyone may move NNS profiles through the project’s Approval System – see the detailed instructions  on how. Review is done systematically, a decade at a time, of identified profiles (identified by being placed in the Merge Notice category).  A review of profiles for people born in the 1620s was completed last month, and a review of 1630s profiles is nearing completion. So the review of profiles for people born in the 1640s will soon begin.

If you would like to be involved in the New Netherland Settlers project, feel free to contact Project Leader Liz.

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Greetings fellow WikiTreers!

Welcome to the January edition of News from the Tree, our monthly report on new features and changes around the site, notes on community leaders, tips, etc. The first edition of 2015!

We are thrilled to announce that we kicked off the year by surpassing 9,000,000 profiles. This is all thanks to the hard work and dedication from you, WikiTreers!

What’s New?

Family Anniversaries Feature

We released a new feature: Family Anniversaries. You can find it under your My WikiTree drop down menu. It shows all the birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and death date anniversaries for everyone in your Watchlist.

Some members like to share these on social networks or blog posts, or find other creative ways to honor their ancestors. Other members are using this feature to see if profiles that might not normally come to their attention could use a little TLC.

Global Family Reunion and WikiTree on Family Tree DNA

The new Global Family Reunion and WikiTree website is up and online on If you’re a FamilyTreeDNA customer and wish to join this project, login to your FamilyTreeDNA account page through this join link.

Kitty (Cooper) Smith, leader of our WikiTree DNA Project has been working feverishly to get this set up.  For more information on how to get involved, see Kitty’s announcement post in G2G.

Speaking of DNA and WikiTreers named Kitty Cooper, another wonderful member, Kitty (Munson) Cooper, wrote a great blog post recently about using WikiTree to organize your DNA results.

Generous Genealogist Badges

Has another member generously helped you with your genealogy? You can now award them a Generous Genealogist badge! There are three colors to choose from.

If you want to give someone a special thank-you, click the link to award a badge from their profile page or their badges page, or click directly to

Who’s New?

We’re pleased to announce PM Eyestone as a new WikiTree Leader.

PM joined our WikiTree family in May of 2014 and is active in many of our projects including the 1776 Project, Puritan Great Migration, European Aristocrats and the Magna Carta project, which he currently co-leads.  You’ll also see him posting to new members as one of our Greeters.

Outside of WikiTree, PM is involved in many hereditary groups including Sons of the American Revolution, Bloodlines of Salem, The Swedish Colonial Society and Descendants of the Knights of the Garter.  If you check out his profile page you can see the list of cousins he’s connected with on WikiTree.  Give our relationship finder a go, you might be a cousin too!

PM says, and we agree, “These are great times for genealogy research and they’re only going to get better.”

Mentor Tips


Family History Photo of the Week Winner: Jack and Doreen Hitchcock

Our Mentors are hard at work every day to help WikiTreers become more familiar with our site and all it has to offer.  Here are a few quick tips they’ve shared:

  • Watch that Watchlist! Been busy since joining WikiTree? Are you hitting that 100 or 1,000 Contributions goal every month? Chances are your Watchlist is growing, too! See this G2G post for tips on downsizing and managing your list and why it’s good to keep it around 5,000 individuals or less.
  • Want to find all the images you’ve uploaded to WikiTree? Go to your My WikiTree drop down menu and select Images.  Not only can you see all the photos and source images you’ve uploaded but also any images uploaded to profiles in your Watchlist.
  • WikiTree has a lot of pages! Bookmark (in your browser) pages that you want to get back to easily.

Project Updates

Magna Carta

It’s an exciting time for folks interested in the Magna Carta as this year, in June, marks 800 years since the signing of it.  Our Magna Carta Project is hard at work to accomplish as much as possible before the big anniversary.

The Magna Carta project has a few new things going on:

  • Launch of their Base Camp, where team members gather to follow each other’s progress as we build trails from Gateway Ancestors to Magna Carta Surety Barons. This is also where they collaborate. Everyone is welcome to follow their progress here:
  • Launch of a sub-project: Questionable Gateway Ancestors. These are immigrant ancestors who show Magna Carta and royal lines on WikiTree but do not appear in sources as known Gateway Ancestors. They are researching them one by one, with the goal of upgrading potential Gateways and removing dubious connections.
  • They are having their best week ever with 27 trails currently.

They are still looking for talented genealogists to join their team! If you’re interested, contact one of the Project Leaders: PM Eyestone, April Dauenhauer or John Schmeeckle.

Family History Photo of the Week

Our Family History Photo of the Week has had such great success in its G+ community that we’re expanding it to other social media sites.  We’ve recently opened up voting on the nominated photos each week on our Facebook page.  If you’re a Facebooker be sure to join us there so you can vote. Nominated photos go up for voting every Wednesday so watch for their posting tomorrow.

Holocaust Project

On January 27, 1945, the prisoners who remained at the Auschwitz concentration camp were liberated by Soviet soldiers and that day is now commemorated as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.  This year marks the 70th Anniversary of that remarkable day.  In conjunction with this we’ve started a new project to reinforce the remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust. If you are interested in participating please contact project leaders Eowyn or Maggie.

Community Accomplishments

Top 10 contributors for last month:

WikiTree Club 1000 December 2014

  1. Kirsty Ward (19,389 edits in December)
  2. Vincent Piazza (14244)
  3. Catherine V (7120)
  4. Susan Tye (6673)
  5. Wayne Burnie (6630)
  6. Dee Ann Pierce (5276)
  7. Darlene Athey Hill (5274)
  8. Sally Stovall (4985)
  9. Brian Ward (4953)
  10. Mark Chapman (4951)

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: Steve Bartlett and Paul Curran.

New Member Comments


Family History Photo of the Week Winner: Ann Cockram

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 am very happy to be part of a community that wants to share information willingly while maintaining the integrity of the sacred historical information that is being passed through the digital age. Vetted information is critical. However, sometimes if we don’t utilize this great technology we may never break through the brick walls. I’ve been working on four lines for almost four years. I have a lot of information and will probably never be completely done, but I’m proud of the knowledge of gained along the way.”  Terry
  • “Learning of my history, my family history and the history of my country is of great interest and a necessity if we are to know we are heading in life. To remember the finality of this life should inspire us to treat this life as a journey of discovery, instead of a burden to endure.” Geordy
  • “I’ve been ‘working’ on my family history since 1987 and have found exciting info and learned to look beyond the names and dates and research their towns and countries. This fleshes my ancestors out and makes them more human.” Marilynn
  • “This is my initial, tentative step towards recording my family’s background to make sure it is recorded before being lost and so it can be handed to our future generation for safe-keeping.”  Rod

Anyone can view these comments on the New 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.

RootsTech 2015

In just a couple weeks some of the WikiTree Team and Leaders will be heading to Salt Lake City, Utah for RootsTech 2015 (Feb 12-14), the biggest genealogy conference of the year.  They’re also teaming up with the Federation of Genealogical Societies who is having their conference at the same time and place. It’s a big week for genealogists!  If you’re attending be sure to stop by the WikiTree booth in the Expo Hall.  We’ve giving away some fun items you can wear and having drawings for a super cool WikiTree sweatshirt.  We’d love to see you.

Thanks for all you do WikiTreers. Here’s to another wonderful year together!

The WikiTree Team and Leaders

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by Bob Fields

On January 25:


Robert Boyle (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Robert Burns (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Corazon Aquino (Image Credit: WikiTree)










1627 – Robert Boyle, Irish, regarded as the first modern chemist (d. 1691) (Boyle’s law).
1759 – Robert Burns, Scottish national poet (d. 1796) (“Auld Lang Syne“).
1860 – Charles Curtis*, 31st US Vice President 1929-33, the first with significant (3/8) Native American heritage (d. 1936).
1882 – Virginia Woolf, English author and critic (d. 1941) (A Room of One’s Own).
1928 – Eduard Shevardnadze*, Georgian general and politician, 2nd President of Georgia (d. 2014).
1933 – Corazon Aquino, 11th President of the Philippines, who toppled the 20-year authoritarian rule of President Ferdinand Marcos and restored democracy (d. 2009).
1981 – Alicia Keys*, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and actress (“Fallin’“).


Genseric of the Vandals (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Al Capone (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Ava Gardner (Image Credit: WikiTree)










389 – Gregory of Nazianzus, Byzantine archbishop and saint (b. 329).
477 – Genseric, Vandals king, who captured and plundered Rome in June 455 (b. 389).
1852 – Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen*, Russian admiral, cartographer, and explorer who discovered Antarctica (b. 1778).
1947 – Al Capone, “Scarface”, American mobster (b. 1899).
1990 – Ava Gardner, American actress (b. 1922) (Mogambo, Show Boat).

Other Events:

Edward III (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Anne Boleyn (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Idi Amin (Image Credit: Wikipedia)









1327 – Edward III becomes King of England, for 50 years. He started the Hundred Years’ War with France.
1533 – Henry VIII of England secretly marries his second wife Anne Boleyn. She is beheaded 3 years later.
1905 – At the Premier Mine in Pretoria, South Africa, a 3,106-carat (1.37 pound) diamond is discovered. The “Cullinan,” the largest diamond ever found, was cut into nine large stones, now on display in the Tower of London with Britain’s other crown jewels.
1915 – Alexander Graham Bell inaugurates U.S. transcontinental telephone service, speaking from New York to Thomas Watson* in San Francisco.
1924 – The first Winter Olympics opens in Chamonix, in the French Alps.
1942 – World War II: Thailand (under Japanese control) declares war on the United States and United Kingdom.
1949 – The first Emmy Awards ceremony at the Hollywood Athletic Club.
1955 – The Soviet Union ends the state of war with Germany.
1959 – American Airlines has the first scheduled transcontinental flight, of a Boeing 707.
1961 – In Washington, D.C. John F. Kennedy delivers the first live presidential television news conference.
1981 – Jiang Qing*, the widow of China’s Mao Zedong*, is sentenced to death.
1971 – Charles Manson and three female “Family” members are found guilty of the 1969 Tate-LaBianca murders.
1971 – Idi Amin leads a coup and becomes Uganda’s president. Over 8 years he kills about 500,000 people.
2006 – The Islamic militant group Hamas wins a large majority of seats in Palestinian parliamentary elections.
2011 – The Egyptian revolution begins in Cairo, Alexandria, and other cities, with demonstrations to demand the end of President Hosni Mubarak*’s rule.

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

Help connect our Oscar Nominee profiles  for the 2015 Academy Awards.

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by Bob Fields

On January 24:

Hadrian (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Frederick the Great (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Neil Diamond (Image Credit: Wikipedia)










76 – Hadrian*, Roman emperor, built Hadrian’s Wall which marked the northern limit of Roman Britain (d. 138).
1670 – William Congreve*, English playwright, who wrote “Music has charms to soothe a savage breast” and “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” (d. 1729).
1712 – Frederick the Great, Prussian king, won the Seven Years’ War (d. 1786).
1862 – Edith Wharton, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author (d. 1937) (The Age of Innocence).
1888 – Ernst Heinkel*, German businessman, founded the Heinkel Aircraft Manufacturing Company which produced the world’s first jet plane and the first rocket aircraft (d. 1958).
1891 – Walter Model*, German field marshal, noted for his defensive battles mostly on the Eastern Front, who also lost the Battle of the Bulge (d. 1945).
1917 – Ernest Borgnine*, American actor (d. 2012) (Marty, McHale’s Navy).
1941 – Neil Diamond*, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (“Song Sung Blue“,  “America“, “Sweet Caroline“, “I’m a Believer“).
1943 – Sharon Tate, American actress, wife of director Roman Polanski, who was murdered by followers of Charles Manson (d. 1969) (Valley of the Dolls).
1947 – Warren Zevon*, American singer-songwriter (“Werewolves of London“, “Lawyers, Guns and Money“) (d. 2003).
1949John Belushi*, American actor and comedian (d. 1982) (Saturday Night Live, Animal House, The Blues Brothers).
1968 – Mary Lou Retton*, American Olympic gold medal gymnast.


Caligula (Image Credit: WIkiTree)

Winston Churchill (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Thurgood Marshall (Image Credit: WikiTree)










41 – Caligula, Roman emperor, assassinated by officers of his Praetorian Guard, succeeded by his uncle Claudius (b. 12).
1376 – Richard FitzAlan, 10th Earl of Arundel, English commander during the Second Wars of Scottish Independence and the Hundred Years’ War (b. 1306).
1965 – Winston Churchill, English colonel and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1874).
1975Larry Fine*, American comedian and violinist (b. 1902) (The Three Stooges).
1983George Cukor*, American director and producer (b. 1899) (The Philadelphia Story, Gaslight, A Star Is Born, My Fair Lady).
1986 – Gordon MacRae*, American actor and singer (b. 1921) (Oklahoma!, Carousel).
1986L. Ron Hubbard, American author, founded the Church of Scientology (b. 1911).
1993 – Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Justice of the US Supreme Court (b. 1908).

Other Events:

California Gold Rush (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Robert Baden-Powell (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Casablanca Conference (Image Credit: Wikipedia)









1848 – California Gold Rush: James W. Marshall* finds gold at Sutter’s Mill near Sacramento.
1908 – The first Boy Scout troop is organized in England by Robert Baden-Powell*, with the publication of the first installment of his book Scouting for Boys.
1924 – The Russian city of St. Petersburg was renamed to Leningrad in honor of late revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin. It was renamed to St. Petersburg again in 1991.
1935 – The Krueger Brewing Company placed the first canned beer on sale in Richmond, VA.
1943 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill conclude a conference in Casablanca, producing the doctrine of “unconditional surrender”.
1961 – Goldsboro B-52 crash: A bomber carrying two H-bombs breaks up in mid-air over North Carolina. The uranium core of one weapon remains lost.
1961 – Marilyn Monroe divorces playwright Arthur Miller after 5 years of marriage.
1972 - After 28 years of hiding in the jungles of Guam, local farmers discover Shoichi Yokoi*, a Japanese WW2 sergeant who preferred death to the disgrace of getting captured alive.
2006 – The Walt Disney Company purchases Pixar for $7.4 billion. Steve Jobs clashed with Michael Eisner, Roy Disney led a shareholder revolt, and Eisner was stripped of his chairmanship and stepped down as CEO.

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

Help connect our Oscar Nominee profiles  for the 2015 Academy Awards.

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