Greetings fellow WikiTreers!

Welcome to the October 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?

Improved Home Page

Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

The main WikiTree home page has been tightened-up so that the bottom section with the Photo of the Week, Collaborative Profile of the Week, and other new features are more noticeable.

For new visitors, the home page will look the same as it used to. But for us, members who are logged-in, the information about joining and some of the extra white space is gone. This way there is more room for the current features.

New Form to Create Project

There is a simple new form for creating a project.

This makes it easy to start what we have been calling “Free-Space Projects.” Some of these projects will go on to become large community collaborations, but every project has to start somewhere. This is where they start.

We’re hoping this form encourages more members to collaborate in creative ways.

Additions to Pull-Down Menus

There are some additions to the pull-down menus at the top of every page for logged-in members:

  • The link to the aforementioned create-a-project form is “New Project” under “Add.”
  • The tool for finding family members who aren’t connected to the global family tree is linked as “Unconnected People” under “Find.”
  • The flowchart for deciding what to do when a member is causing problems or doing damage is linked as “Problems w/ Members” under “Help.”

Plus, the Add, Find, and Help menu items now have pop-up titles that describe the link item in more detail when you hover over them.

New Collection of E-Cards

One of our generous WikiTreers donated a very large collection of vintage postcards and we’ve uploaded them for use as e-cards.

There are cards for just about any occasion.

It’s easy to send one-just go to your drop-down “Find” menu and choose “E-Cards“. That will take you to the categories and you can use any of those. Just use the link on the photo page that says “Send as E-Card”.

You can send family photos as e-cards too. Any photo that’s public can be sent as an e-card.

Volunteer Cards

The WikiTree Multi-Media Project has posted print ready graphics and an example of a “Volunteer Card”. These would be great to print for yourself, to take to reunions, to drop off at your local library, etc. They’re handy any time you are out and about and genealogy comes up in the conversation.

Connection Combat

We’re excited to announce that Nikola Tesla was the winning profile in last month’s Connection Combat.

Each time there is a new winner they are featured as one of our special Connection Finders.   Check your connection with Nikola Telsa here!

Mentor Tips

  • Family History Photo of the Week Winner

    Having trouble reading sources in other languages? If you come across sources in other languages you can always post a question in G2G to get help from one of our fabulous Language Volunteers or you can take a stab at it yourself by using one of our volunteer contributed Language Glossaries.

  • Many ancestors have different ways of spelling their names. When searching for somebody, always try searches with different spelling variations. (You can find related surnames by entering a surname in the “Last Name” box at the top of any WikiTree profile page.)

Community Accomplishments

Top 10 contributors for last month:

WikiTree Club 1000 September 2015

  1. Vincent Piazza (10,009 edits in September)
  2. Bree Ogle (9068)
  3. Michael Sheffield (6277)
  4. Bill Sekel Jr (6215)
  5. Catherine V (5910)
  6. Kirsty Ward (5099)
  7. Doug Lockwood (5097)
  8. C. Mackinnon (4524)
  9. Steven Mix (4384)
  10. Ian McArthur (4294)

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: Leigh MurrinJulie RickettsPatt Roche and Bill Sekel!

Project Updates

Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

WikiTree has many active projects and new ones blossoming on a regular basis.  Here are some recent project updates:

New Member Comments

When a Guest or Family Member volunteers to become a full contributing Wiki Genealogist we ask them to leave a comment telling a little about how and/or why they’d like to volunteer to grow our shared tree. We get some really great responses.  Comments such as:

  • Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

    “I found Wiki Tree by lucky accident and I would love to be a volunteer to help grow the Wiki tree family and contribute what information I have or can find. At the moment its just me. Just about all of the last generation, that I know of, have gone… So I feel the need to gather and record it before they are all gone. Family are very important to me. They are my life’s breath.” –Helen

  • “The older I get, the more intrigued I get with history. Sometimes I think how amazing it is that after all of the obstacles and tragedies the human race has faced, that we continue to prosper. I can’t help but wonder, who were my ancestors, what did they do, how did they do it and what similarities to we have in common. How do my genes make me who I am.” –Nicholas
  • “The history of our personal family connects to family histories around the world. ” –Royalene
  • “It all started when I was a little boy, I found that I could get the adults to talk to me and really open up when I would ask them questions about old pictures that were in the house. I also would hear wonderful stories that my grandparents would tell me of their families and parents and grandparents. What started off as a hobby turned into a passion. The old pictures in the scrapbooks I would see in my great aunts and uncles always fascinated me. Family reunions were my favorite times. I remember being a young historian, standing up in front of everyone at the church reunions and telling the congregation what I had learned. I began to study the field of genealogy through books written by the experts and many visits to the libraries. Genealogy has been a life-long passion, almost a spiritual quest.” –Derek

Anyone can view the latest 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.

Don’t Miss These!

Sourcerer’s Challenge:   Far too many profiles on WikiTree don’t have any sources. This challenge is about correcting that with census data, BMD records/index references, family bible references, military documents, land documents, wills, etc.

Each month we’ll post in G2G to start up the month’s challenge. You come and post the profile you’ve added source(s) to (at least the profile number/name, if not a link to it) as well as what sources you added. At the end of the month we tally for a winner.

We are now actively in our October Challenge, which will run through October 31.  To participate, go to this G2G post.

To see the stats from September’s contest, go here.

Collaborative Profile of the Week:  WikiTree is all about collaboration and every week many members come together to work on the Collaborative Profile of the Week. Every Monday a profile is selected. It’s usually a profile from one of our current projects that is in desperate need of some TLC.

Interested members can then chip in to help make the profile as great as it can be.

Check out last week’s wonderful results on the Anne Bonny, or join in on this week’s efforts with Marie-Catherine de Baillon.

Follow the tag “profile_of_the_week” in G2G if you don’t want to miss these.

Weekend Chat:  Each Friday we start a Weekend Chat  post in G2G. All members are invited  and encouraged to come and post, whether it’s to introduce themselves, share what they’ve been working on, talk about the weather or post tips and suggestions.  This is a great way to get to know some of the awesome members of our community!

Follow the tag “weekend_chat” if you don’t want to miss out on the fun.

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

The WikiTree Team and Leaders

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