Chris Whitten

Chris Whitten

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Mr. Chris I. Whitten
Born 1970's.
Brother of [private brother (1960's - unknown)]
Profile manager: Chris Whitten private message [send private message]
Account confirmed 26 July 2012 | Chris's 44237 contributions | 1701 thank-yous received
Last profile change on 30 November 2014
13:39: Lana Anonymous posted a message on the page for Chris Whitten. [Thank Lana for this]
This page has been accessed 44,186 times.
Wiki Genealogist November 2014 Club 100 Attending Global Family Reunion Attending RootsTech 2015 Honor Code Signatory WikiTree Leader DNA Tested G2G6 Pre-1700 GEDCOM Equipped Super Star Community Star Family Star October 2014 Club 100 September  2014 Club 100 August  2014 Club 100 July  2014 Club 100 June 2014 Club 100 May 2014 Club 100 April 2014 Club 100
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Categories: WikiTree Team | WikiTree Leaders | DNA Project | Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

Chris is the founder 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 find your answer there, post on our genealogist-to-genealogist (G2G) Q&A forum or contact the WikiTree team.


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 there he transferred to New York University to study economics. He graduated from NYU in 1993.

After college he stayed in New York City and worked as the managing editor of a mail order book catalog called 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 update 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 newer 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.

In 2001 Chris retired from 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 moved back from Chicago to New York City. Megan was offered a job on Wall Street. 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 and take advantage of the new economies of scale. In both 2007 and 2008 WikiAnswers was the fastest growing site among the largest US websites. It is now a top 25 US website and gets millions of visitors per day.

In 2008 Chris began work on this site, WikiTree.

Only the Trusted List can access the following:

  • Chris's formal name
  • full middle name
  • e-mail address
  • exact birthdate
  • birth location
  • personal memories about Chris (1)
  • images (360)
  • private siblings' names
  • 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: Mitochondrial DNA test-takers in the direct maternal line: It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share significant DNA:

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On November 30, 2014 at 18:39GMT Lana Anonymous wrote:

Hi Chris, I just wanted to say thank you for the "Current" information on the bugs fixes and a more in depth explanation of how the database functions. I appreciate the opportunity to contribute to the WikiTree and understanding the complexities of building this Tree.

Still on a learning curve and am Happy Wikitreeing! !Lana 483

On November 15, 2014 at 16:32GMT Bonnie Berg wrote:

Hi Chris, While I support completely the need for one tree, I am rather frustrated with the need to be a trusted contributor for my grandfather. I have been trying to add him and his ancestors but have not received permission. What happens when the administrator is traveling, sick or dead? I am about to decide my time is better spent on other sites, but I don' want to give up, yet.- Bonnie

On November 1, 2014 at 03:30GMT Pamela Lloyd wrote:

Hi Chris, our mutual cousins Alison and Matt have (more or less unintentionally) led me to the discovery that you and I are 11th cousins 4 times removed. We are both descendants of John Harrington, who was my 10th great-grandfather and your 14th. ~Pamela

P.S. I really like the new relationship finder and the way it shows our many joint ancestors!

On October 31, 2014 at 13:03GMT Alison Andrus wrote:

Hi Chris,

With Thomas Mix as our common ancestor, we are 10th cousins once removed. ;-)

On October 27, 2014 at 18:22GMT Blaine Bettinger wrote:

Thank you Chris! Uploading a GEDCOM is something I should have done ages ago! I am committing to being a better WikiTree user, and to exploring the DNA and relationship generator functions! Blaine

On October 26, 2014 at 19:14GMT Mary Maslayak wrote:

Thanks Chris. I have already met some of my Ukrainian relatives. It is those that are Ukrainians living in Poland that I am trying to find.

On October 25, 2014 at 03:22GMT Robert Hathaway wrote:

Chris is my 8th cousin.

On October 24, 2014 at 04:29GMT Lajla Lindgren wrote:


I look forward to cooperate with you all!

On October 24, 2014 at 02:14GMT Fred Adamson wrote:

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the heads up. I went back and tightened up all my messages, then checked to make sure they were not running "outside the box" when I posted the comment. I think I misunderstood you before. I was having difficulty when I first starting greeting with my messages running past the dotted line box perimeter. You had mentioned that a space at the beginning was a code not to break the line. Evidently, we were talking about different lines. Anyway, thanks again. I do have another do I provide a link for the people I greet to things like G2G or Honor Code, to cite two examples. (Did I give myself away that I have ZERO computer skills?) Thanks Chris...any and all help is greatly appreciated. Fred

On October 16, 2014 at 02:33GMT Robin Kabrich wrote:

Well, it appears that Whitten-1 and Kabrich-1 are cousins!

Chris and Robin are 10th cousins 1 time removed, John Rogers is the common ancestor . . .news to me!

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