Hi WikiTreers,

Welcome to a new installment of “Meet our Members.” It’s time to get to know another awesome member of our community: Meet Campbell.

Campbell Braddock became a WikiTreer in March of 2015.  He is active in several projects including Notables, Profile Improvement and New Zealand and he heads up the Braddock One Name Study.

What surnames you are researching?

I am researching the Braddock surname. I created the Braddock Name Study (BNS) in mid 2015. First the study was called “Connecting All Braddocks” but was later renamed as the “Braddock Name Study”. I was 16 at the time; my goal was to connect all Braddocks and still is. This sounds impossible but I did connect many families together and group them in clans.

At the start of 2017, I created a detailed WikiTree Braddock List on Google Sheets to keep track of all profiles. This is like a big tick sheet and shows if profiles have been Braddock Name Study approved, if there are birth and death locations/dates, if location categories have been added, if they are sourced or not, who the profile managers are, dates profiles were created and so on. This list gives the true number of Braddock profiles on WikiTree with 404-errors and merges taken away.

What locations you are researching?

I am mainly researching in English speaking countries, however, I do have Dutch ancestors.

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

I first created a family tree on paper in June 2011. I was 13 years old when I created this family tree with the help of my father and auntie. Some relationships were incorrect and there were many mistakes. I assure you that they have now been corrected.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

My favorite ancestor is my great-grandfather Jonas Archibald Braddock II, known as Toffee and Archie. He was born on 13 May 1868 in Macclesfield, Cheshire, England and married three times (divorce, widowed then his death). Jonas’ occupation was as confectioner and farmer. He traveled the world and migrated with his family to New Zealand in 1930. Once there,  he bought a farm and held annual sports days. Jonas died aged 91. He is my favorite ancestor because he was a conscientiousness man with the will power to get things done.

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down.

My mother left for Australia when I was 9 years old. I had no contact with that Smith family for many years. My Uncle Smith gave me the phone numbers of my grandparents in November 2016 (first time I have spoken to them), both divorced. Grandfather Smith didn’t want to talk to me but my grandmother helped me break down a brick wall. Grandma has lost some of her memory but she did remember her parents’ nicknames and her grandmother’s maiden name – Newland. I was very lucky to find my grandmother’s cousin on WikiTree. I have now lost contact with my grandmother.

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

Joseph Mallord William Turner, (1775-1851), is one of my favorite artists and it would be great if we were related. The Fishermen at Sea (1796) is my favorite oil painting. It was hard to pick someone for this question, however, Joseph’s paintings are detailed with the emotions that make each painting unique. He’s not the most famous person, but Joseph is going to be on the next Bank of England £20 notes.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

I am an artist and like being creative with designing furniture, posters and websites. I made a large LED Braddock sign and love creating model buildings.

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

I joined WikiTree on 21st March 2015 (over 2 years and loving it).  If I’m not sleeping, eating, working or painting a picture, I am on WikiTree. I average about 13 hours a week if I’m not busy. I have contributed over 12,000 contributions and received 1,000 thank yous.

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

Collaboration is the best, but it wouldn’t work if there wasn’t the Honor Code.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Start out slow, protect your private information and don’t create a profile without a source. Geni is not a source.

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

Keep my research alive, and remember the ones who created you.


 

 

Hi WikiTreers,

Welcome to a new installment of “Meet our Members.” It’s time to get to know another awesome member of our community: Meet Lucy.

Lucy Lavelle has been a member of our community since July of 2013.  She is active in several projects as a Connector, Data Doctor and Sourcerer and she was the winner of both our Source-a-Thon and Clean-a-Thon!

Surnames you are researching?

Kelleher, Lawrence, Cryer, Lavelle, Harington, Markham

Locations you are researching?

A bit of everywhere! Most of my ancestors are from Wales, England and Ireland.

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

In early 2013 I moved from my hometown of Cardiff, Wales to live in Oxfordshire, England. It was the first time I had lived far away from my family and I was terribly homesick so it was a good way to feel closer to them (and a great excuse for phoning my parents every day!). Slightly later I also read a news article about how Prince William and Kate Middleton were 11th cousins, which led to me wondering how related I was to my husband. That thought brought me into the world of collaborative genealogy, and I never looked back. I never did find out how my husband and I were related though!

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

Each ancestor I find becomes a temporary obsession until the next one, but the ancestor that I always seem to go back to is my 12th Great Grandfather John Harington. He invented the first flushing toilet, though only two were ever made. He kept one for himself and had the other installed as a gift to his Godmother, Queen Elizabeth I, though she refused to use it as she said it was too loud! He was temporarily banished from the royal court for showing a piece of saucy Italian poetry that he had translated to respectable young ladies. He was told not to return until he had translated the entire 38736 line poem as a punishment, which he eventually accomplished and presented to the Queen. I feel like he would fit right in with my family!

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down.

I recently discovered a distant aunt that was believed to have died young without marrying had actually married, had several children and lived to be around 80 years old. It was a really lucky find as I stumbled on a document suggesting that she inherited a small manor from her mother, which would not normally have interested me, except it happened to be just 7 miles from where I now live in Oxfordshire. A quick Google found evidence of her ownership of the manor, which then passed to her husband, before passing back to her after his death.

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

I don’t think I can pick just one person, I’m just going to carry on connecting people to the big tree until I’m connected to everybody in history so that I don’t have to decide!

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

I love to read. A few years ago I decided I wanted to read 1000 books before I reached my 30th birthday, I’m now 28 and reading my 959th book, so I’m on track to make it! I also love video games, which is great since my husband is a video game designer and my daughter is obsessed with MineCraft!

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

I’ve been on WikiTree since 2013, and I’m pretty active. It’s rare that I don’t visit WikiTree at some point in my day, it’s one of my favourite places to be!

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

I love WikiTree’s collaborative nature, and I love the amount of emails I get from cousins who have found me via WikiTree. I also love how friendly and helpful the WikiTree community is – almost every conversation I have with WikiTreers feels like a warm hug!

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Don’t be scared! Start with what you know and work out from there.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, we’re all family after all!

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

Don’t give your children common names. It’s really hard to find them in Census records….

I’m kidding, I’d tell them to have adventures, make happy memories and always be kind.


 

 

Hi WikiTreers,

Welcome to a new installment of “Meet our Members.” It’s time to get to know another awesome member of our community: Meet Cindy.

Cindy Lesure has been a member of our community since December of 2014.  She is remarkably friendly and cheerful which serves her well since she participates as a Greeter, Data Doctor and Messenger.

Surnames you are researching?

Lesure, Maust, Nieman, Talkington, Whitecotton, Williams.

Locations you are researching?

Pennsylvania, West Virginia for now.

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

I have been interested for the past 20 years, but never really did anything until AFTER my Mother died and I got this massive amount of paper records from her maternal line of Nieman.  My Aunt Helen had worked with various people through her church, browsing the newspapers & going to all the family reunions and gathering information from folks to create a document that contained about 3500 names.  On New Years Eve 2014 I started entering the information on WikiTree and the rest, they say, is history!  Been an addict to WikiTree ever since.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

Wow that is hard, but I believe it would be my paternal grandmother Jennie Whitecotton Williams who died from childbirth complications in 1916.  The records for her are extremely sketchy and the actual information I have on her profile I am not remotely sure of because there is so little information and there were never any photographs taken of her during her lifetime that I can find.

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down.

The brick wall that was broken down for me by going to G2G Forum and asking the question about my Dad’s brother, Willard ‘Bill’ Williams who went to Pearl Harbor in 1942 for the clean up and never came back.  His siblings all believed he died there because they never heard from him.  Doug Lockwood, WikiTreer hero of mine, found out that Uncle Bill not only did not die way back then, but thrived in Hawaii (who wouldn’t?) and did not die until 1999, seven years after my Dad died.  My Dad never got to know that his brother was alive & enjoying the Hawaiian breezes!  Uncle Bill actually married a Japanese lady and that is all I know…so far.

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

Amelia Earhart and I am not really sure why except she was always a hero of mine growing up.  I always thought it was eerie how she disappeared.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

Hmm, is there life outside genealogy?  Actually, I love gardening, photography, my two cats & my dear husband, but not in that order!  This is sort of outside genealogy, but every day I go to the WikiTree Family News email and post on Facebook who was born that day & share their tree.  My cousins love it!

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

As I said, I started in 2014 and I must go to the website at least once a day!  I do volunteer as a Greeter and Messenger & am a Data Doctor.  It is something I absolutely love!

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

I do love the new tutorial for brand new people and actively encourage new folks to go through it because it is a wonderful tool to get them started!  I also love the new FamilySearch Matches—I used it for the first time last weekend & found 3 cousins I never knew existed and am corresponding with them now!  The only thing I do not like is profile managers who are inactive & seem to feel they ‘own’ the profiles they created & do not want to share.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Biggest tip is go slow (not like I did) and go through the tutorial.  Ask questions & become involved in the G2G Forum.  When I first started I was afraid to ask questions & truly suffered because of it.  The biggest thing about WikiTreers is their willingness to help!

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

Take notes, record the stories your ‘elders’ tell you and be open to all those cousins out there!


 

 

Hi WikiTreers,

Photo drawn by Emma's son

Welcome to a new installment of “Meet our Members.” It’s time to get to know another awesome member of our community: Meet Emma.

Emma MacBeath has been a member of our community since September of 2016.  She is very active as a Greeter, an Adoption Angel and our DNA Project co-leader.

Surnames you are researching: McBeth/MacBeath, Moon, Davis, Starr/Starika—Danielson, West/Adams, French, Durand—Sexton, Lambert, Jeffs, Heskett, Anderson, Marr, Kump and Bowman just to name the first couple of generations

Locations you are researching: Scotland, England, California (Gold Country especially), Norway, French Canada, Slovenia, Gottschee Austria

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

My mother, her sister and my paternal grandparents have researched our family for as long as I can remember. I caught the bug at the age of 12. It was like being a detective for me —looking for clues and solving mysteries. I still find it to be like reading the best mystery novel of all time!

Last year, I also caught the DNA bug and began adding it to my research. I then chose to go professional. It was the biggest “aha” moment of all time when I realized this was the profession I was meant to have. I have been working for clients over the past year and am currently working towards becoming a BCG certified genealogist with an emphasis on DNA.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

My favorite ancestors are the strong women who stood tall and made drastic changes in their lives even though it was not accepted at the time: Maria Emaline who refused to live with her Mormon husband when he took additional wives because she felt multiple wives was not an acceptable practice; Elizabeth Ann who divorced her abusive husband and started a new life with her children; Etta Mae who stayed strong through incredible adversity and lived to an old age. I love reading the stories of the women who faced hardships and won.

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down.

Anna Clarinda Havens (My 3rd great grandmother) was a brick wall for me. I was unable to find out more than her approximate birth and death dates until I met a DNA cousin. This cousin had done extensive research in the New York archives on the Havens family and not only has the line fleshed out, but the sources to back it up. I might not have broken this wall if she hadn’t been a DNA match on Ancestry and if I hadn’t contacted her.

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

Jane Austen. She was an incredible and accomplished woman of her time and we are both authors. I am related to an Elizabeth Bennett though!

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy? Is there life outside of genealogy?

I write novels for children and young adults (have 2 published and working on another right now), love spending time with my family and friends, reading, gardening, and encouraging others in their pursuits.

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

I started in September 2016 and have become increasingly active since then. I became a greeter within 30 days after joining and was hooked. I can’t get enough of Wiki Tree and I can often spend an entire day working on various projects on the Tree.

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

I love the collaboration and meeting like minded genealogists, the fact that we are all trying to connect to one big tree, the many projects meant to help us grow our trees, the fact that all profiles should be accurately sourced and most of all THE SPIFFY BADGES! / I wish more people would teach themselves what correct sources are and then put them throughout their trees. I see dozens of profiles daily with other people’s Ancestry trees listed as the only source.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Look at everything, click on every link and simply play around. Then start adding your tree a few profiles at a time. If you have questions, don’t be shy and ask in G2G. Once you are familiar with WikiTree, volunteer for one of the projects. You will be glad you did.

If you could leave one message for your descendants, what would it be? Keep the family tree research going!


 

 

Hi WikiTreers,

Welcome to a new installment of “Meet our Members.” It’s time to get to know another awesome member of our community: Meet Robert (Bob).

Robert Keniston has been a member of our community since August 2013.  He is quite active in projects such as U.S. History, Database Errors and the Rangers. He has also written over 50 biographies in our Bio Builders challenges and has been a winner in our Sourcerers and Connections challenges.

Surnames you are researching?

Keniston and all the variants, Harrington, Marine.

Locations you are researching?

Massachusetts, and County Galway, Ireland.

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

The genealogy bug bit me in 1977, with the mini series “Roots”. It’s all Alex Haley’s fault.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

My favorite ancestor is my 2nd great-grandfather, Isaac Kennaston. He is the earliest of my ancestors that I have a picture of. It is a family picture taken in 1895. It’s interesting to see similar features in the faces that are the same as current family members.

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down.

I’ve only had one real brick wall, my 3rd great-grandfather, Daniel Kinnaston. He is still a brick wall, but I’ve put a few cracks in it. He was born in Vermont, about 1795. Vermont records are really scarce, unless your family was memorialized in a published genealogy.

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

Actually I’m already related to a noted person in history, Nathan Hale. He was willing to give his life for a principle, and the freedom of future generations.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

I enjoy woodworking, reading, computers, and walks with my wife, Susie. The woodworking keeps me out of trouble, and the walks are great exercise.

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

I joined WikiTree August 22, 2013. I’ve been pretty active right from the beginning. The day after I joined WikiTree, I joined the Profile Improvement Project (PIP).  I’m really involved in it. I’m currently involved in all three challenges that fall within the boundaries of PIP: Sourcerers, Biographers, and Connectors. I’m also a Ranger, Data Doctor, Coordinator for Massachusetts in the US History Project, and I do a little Mentoring.

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

I enjoy the collaboration and assistance that you get when you join WikiTree. I can’t say there is anything I don’t like, but I wish we had more sort options on lists.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

When in doubt or confused, ask for help. It’s out there for everyone. Remember, the only stupid question is one that is not asked.

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

Get records of everything.

To get to know Bob even better, catch him in this Saturday’s (1 April) LiveCast at 3pm EDT.


 

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