Imagine discovering the identity of the mystery person in an old family photo, or finding men who served with your grandfather in the war, or the origin of a family heirloom.
WikiTree can — and will — help you discover wonderful information. To fish for it you just need to throw some lines in the water.
Look for the "cousin bait" fish hook icon on your ancestor profiles:
This presents you with a customized list of easy-to-follow action items.
After starting it, add your relatives to the Trusted List. This way they can contribute and they'll be alerted when the page is changed.
Add whatever burning questions are on your mind to the body of the page. You can also use the Comments and Memories sections.
Be sure to enter as much information as you know. The more you enter, the easier it will be for others to fill in the blanks. For example, you might write:
"I know Gramma ([[Jones-X|Elsie Jones]]) was from Nova Scotia, but does anybody know exactly where her family lived? Was it Halifax? I found this one photo that has 'Halifax, NS, 1901' written on the back and I think it's a Jones family member. But who?".
Keep in mind that the words you enter on a public page will get indexed in Google. Your words are like bait on your fishing expedition.
The more you enter, the more likely that someone out there will be searching for those words. People search for millions of keyword combinations on Google every day. For example, someone might be searching for "Jones family Nova Scotia" or "Elsie Jones Halifax".
You can upload photos to your mysteries page or tag existing photos, e.g. with Space:Jones Family Mysteries in the "People, Places, and Things" section. It's common to have some people identified but include the Mysteries page to help identify others.
Add comments to the photos with specific questions. For example, you might write:
"Was this taken in Halifax? Does anybody know? Some other photos in the box had Halifax written on them and the ships in the background could be the Halifax harbor ...".
After you've started the page, consider being proactive with an e-mail message to your family members. For example, write a message saying something like:
"I found a shoebox with some really neat old photos at Gramma's house and scanned them. I can't figure out who's who in some of these. Could you click to http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Whitten_Family_Mysteries and take a quick look? ..."
Be sure to include the URL (web address) when you send the message. If you're not sure how to do this you can simply click the share-by-email icon at the top of the page and it will automatically be inserted in a message for you.
If you have an interesting old photo but know absolutely nothing about it, add it to WikiTree's general Lost-and-Found Photos page.
Add this to the "People, Places, and Things" section of the photo: Space:Lost-and-Found_Photos (to upload new photos directly to the page, you will need to be on the Trusted List; just send the request and you'll be added).
As with your own family photos, be sure to enter as much information as you do know. Some little tidbit could help the photo find its home. For example, you might write:
"I found this photo in a box of stuff at an estate auction in the 1970s. The auction was in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, but I think the family might have come from Nova Scotia. Some furniture at the auction was made in Halifax and there was another photo in the box that said 'Halifax, NS, 1901' on the back."
This page was last modified 13:42, 1 December 2012. This page has been accessed 2,646 times.