Chris Whitten

Chris Whitten

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Mr. Chris I. Whitten
Born 1970's.
Profile manager: Chris Whitten private message [send private message]
Account confirmed 26 July 2012 | Chris's 43424 contributions | 1600 thank-yous received
Last profile change on 27 August 2014
21:56: Brenda Smith posted a message on the page for Chris Whitten. [Thank Brenda for this | 1 thank-you received]
This page has been accessed 42,202 times.
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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.

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DNA Tested
Chris Whitten's DNA has been tested for genealogical purposes. Help 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 August 28, 2014 Brenda Smith wrote:

Hello Chris, Thank you so much for starting WikiTree. I spend hours everyday on here and I love it. As a matter of fact, we're cousins... 11th cousins, twice removed, actually ;)

On August 21, 2014 Caron de Kock wrote:

Hi Chris, Thanks for the warm welcome into the 'family'.

On August 16, 2014 Eric Jelle wrote:

Hi Chris,
  Thanks for your warm welcome.  I don't get over here too much obviously with all that goes on with Genedocs on facebook, but they killed the Genedocs Enhancements profile this past week, lost over 1,180 friends and am rebuilding with a remarkable group page "Genedocs Templates" already has 1200 + folks added in under two days!

On August 13, 2014 Jeanne Scott wrote:

Hi CHris
 I know this is off the subject but:   Do you know what it means when someone states    He is your cousin once removed?  What does once or twice removed mean.  I should probably look on wikianswers but I somehow ended up on this site this am.  That is because in the past you have tried to help me with my missing Bagley ancestor which we have never found.   JeanneBagelyScott

On July 30, 2014 Kayla Gunderson wrote:

Thank you for your warm welcome, Chris! I look forward to becoming more involved with the WikiTree community and uncovering new familial connections. How interesting that your wife has family in Wisconsin, perhaps there is a connection there! Hope all is well. :)

On July 28, 2014 June Butka wrote:

Thank you, Chris. I'm looking forward to sharing my family to WikiTree. Hopefully find some answers to unanswered questions or provide them to others. June

On July 17, 2014 Renee Malloy wrote:

Hello Chris, Nice to meet you. YES, my mother's family was from Fitchburg, Mass. How long have you all lived there? My grandmother was TUTTLE, and COLE. How long have you been searching for your cousins? Thanks for connecting, Renee

On July 17, 2014 Monica Ambs wrote:

Hi Chris Thanks again for the information.

I too am new and am struggling with the site. Although the instructions seems quite clear, they boggle my mind. I am working every day and need time to spend here. Perhaps Sunday. Sigh!

On July 17, 2014 Mary Ann Keith wrote:

Thanks, Chris, but I'm not sure how much help I'm going to be. I'm still struggling (2nd day) and not exactly sure what I'm doing yet!

Mary Ann

On July 10, 2014 Doug Lockwood wrote:

Hello Cousin

This relationship finder is interesting:

Relationship Found: Douglas and Chris are 13th cousins

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