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Chris' WikiTree notes and links

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: February 14, 2013 [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
Profile manager: Chris Orme private message [send private message]
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Why I chose WikiTree

My primary objective of putting my family tree research in the cloud was to enable easy sharing and collaboration with other family members.
Finding a free system was really important as I didn't want to have to ask people to sign up to an annual sub. Also, it needed to have no limit on the number of people or photos/documents that could be added.
I found just two online trees, designed for collaboration, that fitted the bill; WeRelate and WikiTree.
WeRelate is better in many ways (see below) but cannot allow living people to be entered as it has no privacy controls. WikiTree, however, has excellent privacy controls. So, I went for WikiTree as I specifically want to connect up with other living relatives, seeing where they fit in and sharing knowledge of our common heritage.
So far, the endeavour has been a huge success! I have, so far, mangaged to connect up with eight interested relatives, across different branches of my family, who all now have WikiTree accounts.

The Downside

On the downside, WikiTree has no database fields for sources and citations. This has three annoying consequences:
    • Data entry is slower and more tedious than it need be with lots of cutting and pasting that could be avoided with database fields.
    • If a sourse is updated, it needs to be manually updated in every profile that refers to it - if you can remmeber them all!
    • As the source and citation data is held in a text field full of Wiki-tags, you cannot download it in a format understandable by any other genealogy program (it is treated as notes in a GEDCOM file and most systems, not understanding the tags, dump all the information into an error report).
You can read my conversation with the WikiTree founder about this subject here.
You can read also read a helpful comparison of WikiTree and WeRelate here.
I have decided to keep a parallel record in GRAMPS, which adhears to the GEDCOM standard for sources and citations. The double entry is a pain though.
Despite this, I am enjoying using WikiTree and it has been a huge success as a collaboration platform. I hope you enjoy it too.
Chris Orme


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