Chris Whitten

Chris Whitten

Privacy Level: Private with Public Biography and Family Tree (Yellow)
Mr. Chris I. Whitten
Born 1970's.
Brother of [private brother (1960's - unknown)]
Father of [private daughter (2000's - unknown)]
Profile manager: Chris Whitten private message [send private message]
Account confirmed 26 July 2012 | Chris's 46954 contributions | 2072 thank-yous received
12 November 2015
09:04: Nanette (Gahn) Pezzutti posted a message on the page for Chris Whitten. [Thank Nanette for this]
This page has been accessed 53,905 times.
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Categories: WikiTree Team | WikiTree Leaders | DNA Project | Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

Chris is the founder and CEO of this website, WikiTree. Previous to this he created WikiAnswers (aka "FAQ Farm", now, 2001-2007) and Free-Market.Net (1995-2001).

You can e-mail chris@ ( However, if you have questions, please first see How_to_use_WikiTree and the WikiTree Help section. If you don't quickly find your answer there, post on our Genealogist-to-Genealogist (G2G) Forum. If it's a question that needs to be private contact the WikiTree Team at


Chris grew up in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, with his mother Donna and brother Ted. His father Ted and step-mother Vicki were in the nearby town of Ashby.

In 1989 he graduated from Fitchburg High School and started at Lyndon State College in the beautiful Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. After two years in the small business program at Lyndon he transferred to New York University. He graduated from NYU with a degree in economics in 1993.

After college he stayed in New York City and worked as the managing editor of a small mail order book catalog named Laissez Faire Books. Before this was the only source for many unusual books on libertarian philosophy and free-market economics. In 1994, he started experimenting with the Internet to sell books for Laissez Faire. The e-mail list he created there was one of the first of its kind.

In 1995 Chris left his job to create a libertarian community and networking site called Free-Market.Net: The Freedom Network (FMN). This site has been called "the mother of all libertarian websites" for its early work in promoting usage of the Internet among free-market organizations and individuals.

In 1997 he created a non-profit organization in Chicago called The Henry Hazlitt Foundation to be a home for FMN and its sister sites including, and Bureaucrash. The foundation grew to employ five people full-time and more than a dozen people part-time.

In 2000 Chris met Megan McClellan who was finishing her math degree at the University of Chicago.

The next year, Chris left his non-profit work to be more entrepreneurial again. And to pay off his student loans. This led to the creation of FAQ Farm in 2002, which later became WikiAnswers and then WikiAnswers is a collaborative question and answer site where users can ask a question about anything and other users help answer them. The Q&As become permanent resources so that the same question never has to be asked twice.

In 2004 Chris and Megan moved back from Chicago to New York City. The next year, in 2005, Megan was offered a job in London and they took that opportunity to see Europe.

In 2006 Chris and Megan returned from England. They bought a home in northern Westchester County, NY.

Late that year Chris sold his WikiAnswers business. During 2007 he worked with to integrate the site into their company. In both 2007 and 2008 WikiAnswers was the fastest growing site among the largest US websites. It became a top 25 US website with millions of visitors per day.

In 2008 Chris began work on this site, WikiTree, and has been working on it full-time ever since.


  • DNA confirmation of paternal relationship based on 23andMe tests taken by Chris and Ted showing "47.6% DNA shared across 22 segments" according to 23andMe.
  • Confidence of maternal relationship based on eye witness reports from mother and father. :-)

More: Family Tree & Genealogy Tools

Only the Trusted List can access the following:
  • Chris's formal name
  • full middle name (I.)
  • e-mail address
  • exact birthdate
  • birth location
  • personal memories about Chris (1)
  • images (366)
  • private siblings' names
  • private children's names (1)
  • spouse's name and marriage information
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DNA Tested
Chris Whitten's DNA has been tested for genealogical purposes. It may be possible to confirm family relationships by comparing test results with Chris or other carriers of his ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree:
  • Chris Whitten - Family Tree DNA yDNA 67 markers
    Haplogroup R-M269
    Ysearch D3D3Z
    Family Tree DNA kit 124309
Mitochondrial DNA test-takers in the direct maternal line:
  • Chris Whitten - Family Tree DNA mtDNA HVR1
    Haplogroup U5
    Mitosearch D3D3Z
    Family Tree DNA kit 124309
It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Chris:

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Family Tree DNA.

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  • Private Messages: Send a private message to Chris. (Best for comments to Chris that need to be private.)
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On November 12, 2015 at 14:04GMT Nanette Pezzutti wrote:

Dear Chris,

I'm working my way through the book "James Ludden, The Old Planter...." Maybe I'll find your aunt when I get to the most recent generations. That might give you a closer connection to President James Garfield! -NGP

On November 4, 2015 at 20:50GMT Jeannette Saladino wrote:


Want to thank you so very much for the Family List you compiled on WiKiTree; It is phenomenal! It appears (uncertain) that we are 20th cousins. However, I have traced many other ancestors to Thomas Davenport and others we share in the Relationship Finder. Also, my mtDNA Haplogroup is U6a7. I have no doubt that we are connected. I also come up as being the 20th cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. My DNA shows that I have English ancestors. I know I have French, Spanish, Italian, etc. (royal) ancestry; confirmed with Ancestry and 23andMe testing. I intend to peruse your list to see what I can come up with. This is great fun for me. Sincerely, Jeannette

On October 14, 2015 at 12:11GMT Alan Runciman wrote:


I've been notified you've edited a Free Space Profile I am a manager of - "Scotland and Beyond". I don't see what it is despite referring to the changes. Could you clarify & explain please? Thanks Alan Runciman

On September 30, 2015 at 21:35GMT Sally Stovall wrote:

Chris, Thank you for all your hard work.

On September 28, 2015 at 15:15GMT Stephen Lasko wrote:

Hi Chris, thanks for the welcome. I'll be learning, researching & updating for some time! I checked out the pay sites and found them to be outrageous in their cost. Thank you for starting this one!

On September 16, 2015 at 15:13GMT Marshall Satterwhite wrote:

Hello Chris, I should have told you before now that I love the way you wrote and continue to update the wikitree program. I find it performs very well and is friendly for an old guy who is barely able to operate a computer. Your innovation "Relationship to me" shows we are 17th cousins, descending from Thomas Dacre. So, greetings and best wishes to you cousin and thanks for providing this wonderful genealogy site!!

On September 11, 2015 at 02:47GMT Chris Shelley wrote:

Hi Chris, Were your Whitten's from the Petty Harbour area?

On August 31, 2015 at 23:27GMT Q Grant-Lawrence wrote:

Hello Chris,

I've joined the google group for the wikitree apps project. I'm definitely interesting in developing/discovering new tools for wikiTree or genealogy research in general. In any event I'd like to be involved.



On July 19, 2015 at 05:25GMT Lisa Murphy wrote:

Chris and Lisa are 11th cousins once removed

On July 11, 2015 at 16:54GMT Jeremy Corney wrote:

Hi Chris, I've joined the google group for the wikitree apps project. I'm not sure just yet what I'd like to do for the project, or how much time I'll have for it. But something, eventually, I'm sure.

Regards Jeremy.

more comments

Queen Elizabeth II Chris is 21 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 24 degrees from AJ Jacobs, 49 degrees from Lisa Kudrow, 30 degrees from Kurt Vonnegut and 21 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II of the Commonwealth Realms on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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