Chris Whitten

Chris Whitten

Privacy Level: Private with Public Biography and Family Tree (Yellow)
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Mr. Chris I. Whitten
Born 1970's.
Child of and [private mother]
Profile manager: Chris Whitten private message [send private message]
Account confirmed 26 July 2012 | Chris's 42354 contributions | 1474 thank-yous received
Last profile change on 23 April 2014
00:29: David Wilson posted a message on the page for Chris Whitten. [Thank David for this]
This page has been accessed 39,719 times.

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)
  • siblings' names
  • spouse's name

For access to Chris Whitten's full information you must be a logged-in community member and on Chris's Trusted List.


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Chris Whitten's DNA has been tested for genealogical purposes. Help

In addition, it may be possible to confirm family relationships with Chris by comparing test results with other carriers of his ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA.

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For public comments, here are the options:

  1. Public Bulletin Board: You need to be a community member and logged-in to post bulletin board comments. (Best for comments to or about Chris that can be public. Limit of 10 per day.)
  2. Private Message: You can also send a private message to Chris. (Best for comments to Chris that need to be private.)

Public Bulletin Board

On April 23, 2014 David Wilson wrote:

Thanks for all you do!

David *

On April 6, 2014 Ray Whidden wrote:


I have an Ann Johnson insisting two Abigail Sanborns are the same but shows one to have m. Merrill. I left this message: I see this info comes from Ancestry and don't much trust their user submitted trees. If you have a source citation that shows a marriage between Abigail Sanborn and a Merrill, I'll carefully consider this new info. As it is my previous comment stands [Abigail (Sanborn) Whidden not known to have m. Merrill] as have never seen info linking her to Merrill up until now. Ray CC: Chris Whitten

On March 31, 2014 Mark Anonymous wrote:

Thanks for the fix Chris. This lock can be easily reproduced by adding a grandparent which has no PM to your tree; if the parent has a privacy level of not listed, the grandparent becomes locked to all. If you have troubles replicating this, let me know.

On March 30, 2014 Mark Anonymous wrote:

Hi Chris, Thanks for your comment on G2G! I ran across a glitch in the system and I'm not sure who to take it up with, so why not Chris himself, LOL! When I add deceased grandparents or step parents to my tree, the system switches them from white to yellow privacy levels. Now I can not add myself as a PM or do anything else for that matter. In fact, no one can. I tried to totally disassociate myself and now Crow-968 is totally locked with no way of changing anything on that profile. Help!

On March 23, 2014 David Wilson wrote:

Hello 12th Cousin!

I've started a new fad at the tail of my bio to assist in collaboration.

David *

On March 21, 2014 Paula Ruehling wrote:

Thanks Chris! How embarrassing! Amazing what you miss working on an iPhone. You are the perfect person to ask - should I delete the DAR and SAR records from the top?

On March 20, 2014 Anne Bradshaw wrote:

Thanks, Chris. Great to be here. Taking baby steps but finding my way around.

On March 2, 2014 M. Gaulden wrote:

Hey Chris?



On March 2, 2014 Gordon Lockett wrote:

Thank-you Chris. I donated the two Lockett family bibles I came across to the Library of Virginia, vital records for that time frame were mostly lost in the civil war, both bibles can be viewed on-line at the archives of The Library of Virginia:Lockett Family Bible

On February 27, 2014 Abby Glann wrote:

Thanks for the edits on the GFR project page and logo!

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