Featured Surnames from June 2010

Today, June 30, WikiTree surpassed 150,000 profiles. Those are individual webpages on the worldwide family tree, contributed by over 23,000 registered WikiTree users. Of course, it's not that each of those 23,000 WikiTreers contributed 6.5 profiles. Thousands have just contributed one or two, and a few, such as WikiTreers Extraordinaire Doug Coldwell, Dee D'Errico and Joanna Tolson, have contributed thousands.

Following up on a feature we started last month, here are some of the most active and interesting surnames for June 2010 contributed by Doug, Dee, Jo and other leading WikiTreers.

Top 10
  1. Burgess (424 new contributions)
  2. Keepes (157)
  3. Walker (146)
  4. Lambert (133)
  5. Stothart (115)
  6. Trefry (109)
  7. Crowder (90)
  8. Wilson (88)
  9. Page (60)
  10. Ryan (53)
  1. Bayani (143)
  2. Rigdon (117)
  3. Bustin (104)
  4. Comia (92)
  5. Tendero (89)
  6. Wolfe (87)
  7. Baltzell (83)
  8. Smith (68)
  9. Layman (66)
  10. Wren (64)
  11. Bosley (60)
  12. Pagano (59)
  13. Doane (55)
  14. Gray (54)
  15. Norman (52)
  16. Dimock (52)
  17. Kieffer (49)
  18. Thompson (49)
  19. Ortega (47)
  20. Young (46)

1. Burgess

Burgess is one of Doug Coldwell's surnames. Last month we made it a runner-up for this feature, but this month it deserves front-and-center attention because of Doug's hundreds of new contributions.

Doug's Burgess line comes from his grandmother, midwife Mary Elizabeth Burgess, who was born in 1865 in the Nova Scotia county that Doug still calls home.

Doug's research indicates that Burgess, pronounced "Burgis", derives from the French name Bourgeois. But Doug's Burgess family didn't come to Canada from France. His ancestor Thomas Burgess was born in England in 1602 and immigrated to Massachusetts. His son moved to Rhode Island, and later descendants moved north to Nova Scotia.

2. Keepes

Dave Keepes discovered WikiTree just last month but has already racked up over 2,000 contributions!

Dave traces his Keepes line back to Petri Kippes. Petri's son Petrus Kippes, aka Peter Keepes, was born in Bavaria and moved to Illinois at the age of 41 in 1833. According to Dave's notes, Peter was "a large man, standing over 6'6'' tall and weighing over 300 pounds, his coffin was a large hollowed-out tree." Really!?! Wow!

Mary Walker

3. Walker

Wonderful WikiTreer Dee D'Errico traces her Walker line through John Walker, born November 24, 1655, in Wigton, Scotland. John's son immigrated to County Down, Ireland, and later on to Chester County, Pennsylvania, in about 1726.

The Walker line is enriched by the presence of Mary Edwards Walker, a pioneer for women's rights and one of the first female doctors in America. She was awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor for her service in the US Civil War.

4. Lambert

Dee, using "The Lamberts of Swain County" by Carl G. Lambert as a primary source, has traced her Lambert family back to the 1700s. Their ancestors came to New Jersey from England and later moved to the Carolinas. Hugh Lambert reportedly had his home in North Carolina burned after the Civil War by "carpet baggers and renegades"!

Wikistar Joanna Tolson includes Genevieve (Lambert) Pitre of St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, in her family tree.

Jamie Swindells traces his Lambert line to the Massachusetts Bay colonist Thomas Lombard (Lombard becomes Lumbard becomes Lumbert becomes Lambert?) who was born in Dorset, England, in 1582.

5. Stothart

Matt Stothart used the gedcom tool to import his ancestry into WikiTree.

Matt's Scottish ancestor was Robert M. Stothart. According to a post on this Stothart message board, "Robert owned lead mines in Missouri, crossed the Atlantic seven times, and burned to death on the steamboat Brandywine on the Mississippi River in 1832."

6. Trefry

Doug Coldwell and Jamie Swindells have collaborated on their common Trefry ancestry.

The Trefrys came to Marblehead, Massachusetts, from England in the late 1600s. His great-grandson, mariner Capt. Joshua Pittman Trefry was granted land in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

7. Crowder

Cindy Reilly and Sue Williams trace their Crowder family back to Bartholmew Crowder who was born in Scotland in 1695 and came to the Virginia colony in the early 1700s. Their Crowder family stayed in the South, moving through the generations to South Carolina to Mississippi to Arkansas. Many of their relatives are buried in the Crowder Springs Cemetery in Choctaw County, Oklahoma.

Early WikiTreer Dannie Crowder's family is from Missouri.

Rilla Wilson

8. Wilson

Dozens of Wilson family lines are represented on WikiTree.

Annette Mayer's nomadic Wilsons include Mary (Wilson) Craig who was born in 1868 in Missouri and died in 1950 in Colorado. Her father William P. Wilson was born in 1841 in Indiana and died in 1910 in Kansas. His father Alexander Wilson was born in 1811 in Kentucky and died in 1883 in Missouri. His father Benjamin Wilson was born in 1788 in Virginia and died in 1854 in Indiana. Restless Wilson souls all!

Bobby Bailey, one of the very first WikiTree contributors, created a page for his great-great-grandmother Aurelia "Rilla" Wilson. She was born into slavery in Texas in 1839. Bobby believes that Rilla may have been of West African descent because she spoke Gullah.

Although she was left homeless and destitute after the father of her six children passed away, Rilla bounced back from her many disadvantages. Her children and grandchildren went on to do great things. For example, there is an elementary school in San Antonio named after Rilla's granddaughter Bella (Holley) Cameron and descendant Wesley Plummer was a trainer for the Tuskegee Airmen.

Rilla Wilson's great-great-great-grandson Omar Wasow is another of the earliest WikiTree users. Omar's resume is jaw-dropping. Among his many achievements and credits: he is a co-founder of BlackPlanet.com, a co-founder of a Brooklyn charter school, an on-air technology analyst for programs including the Today Show, and a doctoral candidate at Harvard University. At Harvard, Omar has worked with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., a man who has done great things to promote African-American genealogy.

9. Page

The Page surname generally traces back to the pages of the Middle Ages, who were on their first step toward knighthood.

New Zealander Imogene Ashton's Page family came to New Zealand from England, where the spelling was Paige.

Joanna Tolson's Pages are Québécois going back to the 1700s.

Matt Stothart's Page ancestry traces back to Alabama and Louisiana.

10. Ryan

Ryan is one of the great Irish surnames.

Mike Markley traces his Ryans to Thomas Ryan who was born in 1795 in Tipperary. His son Thomas Patrick Gleeson Ryan emigrated from Ireland to New York and later to Washington state. Mike, by the way, is a pioneer user of WikiTree's Facebook page. He's used the discussion forum to ask some great questions.

John Ryan, an ancestor of WikiTree contributors Tim Ryan and Chuck Ryan, emigrated from Tipperary to Delaware.

Douglas Simmons' family includes a John G. Ryan who was born in Lawrence County, Illinois, in 1858.

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