Greetings fellow WikiTreers!

Welcome to the April 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?

Family History Photo of the Week Winner Evangeline Dounda

10 Million Profiles – Here We Come!

At just over 9,700,000 so far, we’re quickly approaching 10 million profiles.   We can’t thank you enough for all your hard work and efforts to grow our worldwide family tree. One of our Leaders, Peter Roberts, started a fun thread in our G2G forum for folks to guess when we’ll hit this amazing milestone.  Chime in with your guess and see how close you can get.

The Global Family Reunion

The Global Family Reunion (GFR) is only 38 days away!  Will you be attending? Tickets are available here.  We’ll be there so stop by our tent and say hello!  If you’d like to spend an hour or two volunteering we’d love to have your help.  You can contact for more details.

The GFR Team also just launched the SURNAME SHOWDOWN to Fight Alzheimer’s. It’s a family-friendly fundraiser where teams with the same last name compete to raise as much money as possible – and win prizes that will be awarded at GFR!  Check out the video.

If you want to participate head over the fundraiser page to create/support a team for your family last name now!

New Enhancements to Descendant Pages

We released a round of improvements to descendant pages. In addition to some minor design differences, we added:

  • Uncertain father or mother indicators where appropriate.
  • Confirmed with DNA indicators where appropriate.
  • More complete names for everyone on the page.
  • Marriage dates.
  • Spouse’s birth and death dates.
  • Hover-over titles.

Here’s an example: Descendants of George Arbuthnot Sr.

Here’s an example with some DNA indicators: Descendants of Thomas Roberts.

New Form for Uploading Images

We just made a small improvement live. When you upload an image, you can now include a title, location, date, and image type (photo vs. source). For example, see

Before this, you could only add the location and date after upload. It took longer, and as was suggested here in G2G, this meant that many people didn’t add this important information.

Moreover, there is a special field for the source of the photo. You’re asked to include whether you took the photo or scanned it from a family collection, etc. If you got the image from somewhere else on the web, you’re asked to include the URL and an explanation of why it isn’t copyrighted by someone else.

The source explanation is posted as a comment on the image page.

Finally  you are now warned if you are uploading an image that already exists on WikiTree. This is significant because it saves WikiTree server space (and money) to not have duplicates. It also helps connect profiles when one image is tagged for multiple people.

Who’s New?

We’re excited to announce three new Leaders this month:

Doug Straiton has been a WikiTreer since May of 2014.  He has a keen interest in genealogy and in history in general.  Born in Scotland and having Scottish ancestors it makes sense that Doug would head up the Scots in Foreign Service Project which is looking to fill gaps in our understanding of those Scots that fought abroad until about 1700 and also the Scots Abroad Project that is looking to find the migration patterns of our Scottish ancestors before the American, and later, migrations.

Lena Svensson joined WikiTree just 10 days after Doug did in May of last year.  She grew up in Hylte municipality in the county of Halland and the province of Småland, Sweden. Lena is active in many of our projects including European Aristocrats, Categorization, Global Community Outreach and Profile Improvement.  She is the Project Leader for one of our brand new projects, the Swedish Project.

Guy Constantineau has been a member since December 2012 and he is everywhere on WikiTree!  He is a Greeter, a Mentor, an Ambassador and a Ranger as well as super friendly and helpful in our G2G forum.  If you reach the Club 100 or Club 1000 badge during a month, don’t be surprised if you get a congratulations message from him on your profile page.  Guy excels at making our members feel welcome and appreciated.

Mentor Tips

  • Family History Photo of the Week Winner William Wills

    Have you run up against a brick wall in your family? Well WikiTree has a category for that!  Family Brick Wall.  For information on adding categories to your brick wall profiles, or any other profile, check out the using categories page.

  • Speaking of categories, when a category or subcategory is named improperly and has to be changed, a whole new one must be created, and all of the content from the original entry has to be redirected to the new page. This is especially important for categories that include many subcategories and/or profiles, such as cemeteries. If your project makes extensive use of categories and new ones are needed, please check with a project leader or coordinator to review the setup procedures. For example, the setup for U.S. cemetery categories is outlined on all of the Global Cemetery Project’s state-level project pages pages, such as the one for Texas.  If you’re unsure of how to set up a category, you can also post in the G2G forum and tag it “categorization” to get help from the Category Project.
  • If your research includes anyone that might be historically significant check carefully for duplicates in any project that might contain them. For example European Aristocracy has almost all Kings and Queens of Europe and their families, all US presidents and Mayflower passengers are already here.  Please check with the relevant Project for naming conventions and other information. Go to your Find drop down menu, then Projects.


Project Updates

Do you have Shaws on your tree? The Shaw Name Study is looking to add every Shaw on WikiTree to the Category:Shaw Name Study. Have Shaws? Add them!

The One Name Study Project passed a great milestone this week as well.  There are now over 200 One Name Studies on WikiTree!  214 as of today to be exact.  The purpose of this project is to provide you with a potentially valuable resource that will help you coordinate with other WikiTree members who are researching the same surname and to provide a space for collaboration. See the one name studies page for the full list of surname studies.

Several new Projects and sub-projects have kicked off recently.  Here are a few of them:

The Hatfields and McCoys
Chilean Roots
Mexican Roots
Puerto Rican Roots
The Great War 1914-1918
United Empire Loyalist

You can view all the Current Projects here.

Community Accomplishments

Top 10 contributors for last month:

WikiTree Club 1000 March 2015

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: Ronel Olivier and Susanna de Bruyn!

New Member Comments

Family History Photo of the Week Winner Anna Kreetta Heikintytèar èOstergêard

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’ve been doing lay genealogical research into my family’s past for over 20-years. I am excited by all the modern tools available to the private “amateur” genealogist.” – Jason
  • “Greetings to my fellow researchers: I am excited to help others fill in all those blank spaces with the names of real people who lived and died and prepare a way for all of us. I am also looking forward to filling in as many names that you have to share with me. I cannot believe how many different cultures are a part of my history. I come from seven different Native American tribes, English, French-Canadian, German, Swedish, et. al. Some direct line ancestors include Pocahontas from Jamestown, Virginia, Peregrine White and the Mayflower, those who fought in the Revolutionary War, both sides of the Civil War and some horse thieves along the way and a couple of really bad people. Together they make up the reality of my progenitors. I’m looking forward to finding our common ancestors.” – John
  • “I love family history and it is my passion. I am a mother and a grandmother who wants to leave a complete family history for them. It is one of life’s puzzles. It has brought new people into my life and I have been a part of bringing families together who have never met.” – Sharon
  • “I am extremely interested in the history of the people, places & events of this wonderful planet. I would very much like to see how we all fit together, connecting or crossing paths along the way. ” – Jason

Anyone can view these 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.

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

The WikiTree Team and Leaders

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