Hi WikiTreers,

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Mags doing a WikiTree demo at RootsTech

Welcome to  another installment of “Meet our Members”! It’s time to get to know another awesome person in our community: Mags.

Mags joined us in December of 2013 and is one of our outstanding Leaders.  She is actively involved in our G2G Forum as well as many of our projects such as First Peoples and as a Greeter.  Most recently, she’s stepped up as a Co-Leader of our DNA project.

Surnames you are researching?

Bacon, Compton, Crisp, Dillard, Gaulden (Gaulding, Gauldin, Goulding…you get the idea), Hammond, Hunt, Lord, McElmoyle (McIlmoil, McEmoil…again, you get the idea) and Templeton. On my spousal unit’s side: O’Doherty, Desjardin, Curren and Johnson. There are more surnames that sneak in.

Locations you are researching?

South Carolina, North Carolina, The State of Franklin, Georgia, Virginia.  County Antrim Ireland, Ayre Scotland, England and Wales.  Ottawa, Canada, Upper Canada, Pollans, County Donegal, Ireland.

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

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 As a teen I was given some unpublished papers by a Hunt cousin.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 began my dive into Genealogical Psychosis from which I will never return.  I am so incredibly fortunate to have had so much good material to work from.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

It is whoever happens to be on my screen at the time you ask. John Dillard has popped-up a bit lately because a most respected Dillard researcher has recently joined WikiTree and added his mtDNA test to our ever growing gene pool – Welcome John!

Tell us about the brick wall you most want to tear down.

The McElmoyle brick wall.  I have a good deal of information on the McElmoyle’s of York, South Carolina/Northern Ireland, but nothing that absolutely connects the dots.  A McElmoyle family paper at the Charlotte Mechlenburg library even has a statement that my ancestor buried in the same cemetery isn’t related. I have found an awful lot of information which puts the statement into dispute. You can read more about it in The Mystery of The Box, the Children of John McElmoyle, Sr.

I administer the McElmoyle DNA Project,  and have a One Name Study on the go, but since it is  rare name, it’s been very hard to get people interested.

Queen Boudicca (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

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

Boudicca.  She was a was a British Celtic warrior queen who led a revolt against Roman occupation.  Why? Because she was strong in her convictions and strong in love of her family and homeland.  She almost beat the Romans back  (my spouse’s family has a saint in it – I have to find someone really cool!).

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

Cycling, Sailing, Gardening, Volunteering, Reading, Writing, Sketching and Water Coloring, Whittling and…(I will try almost anything as long as I am sure it won’t kill me.  Probably not sky-diving, though I would love to spend a week on the ISS). Beer tasting – nothing more fun than finding a town or city with great micro-breweries and spending a weekend walking around, enjoying good food and fine craft brews.

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

I joined WikiTree in December of 2013.  I am on everyday.  I am incredibly active as I use WikiTree for my personal Genealogy and for my business, Grandma’s Genes. GrandmasGenes703x305trans.png

I also blog regularly and all things WikiTree often figure prominently in my blogs. I produce and host WikiTrees’s LiveCasts.WikiTree_Images-23.png

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

I love the community.  This is the most collaborative project I have ever been involved in.

It feeds my soul, that we are working as a community to get it right. magsgauldenavatarrace.png

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Mags and Maurice Gleeson at OGS 2016

This deserves it’s own Paragraph!  One thing I LOVE is WikiTree’s DNA features! WikiTree does things with DNA that no other genealogy site does, we combine community, collaboration and science. We have brand new and revamped help pages for getting started and diving deeper into your gene pool. This helps make DNA and WikiTree easy and extensive.

What I don’t love… When people don’t get genealogical collaboration. We collaborate, we work together, we help each other. “Everyman for himself” and “I want to control every aspect of MY family history” is old school thinking. WikiTree is progressive and forward thinking because collaboration is the new genealogical model. WikiTree is on the bleeding edge of this paradigm shift.

What advice do you have for folks who are new to WikiTree?

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AJ and Mags at RootsTech

BOOKMARK.  That one simple thing will help the new user get back to where they were 15 minutes  or two days ago.  It is so easy to forget when there is so much going on. DNA and privacy settings – be sure to have a low enough privacy setting that WikiTree can work its magic.

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

Live everyday like the next day is your first day – be exuberant and full of wonder, joy and laughter.


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  4 Responses to “Meet our Members: Mags Gaulden”

  1. Hello Mags, just read your “meet our members” page and I think you are quite an inspiration, you must be a joy to have around.
    You are just the right person to have as a leader and mentor, keep up the good work.

  2. I would like to be able to trace my family tree back to the 1700’s…..

  3. Mags, you are one of the coolest people I have ever met and I am so glad to have connected with you on WikiTree!

  4. Great write up! You are a hero!

    and Boudica needs a WikiTree profile.

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