Hi WikiTreers,

Welcome to a new installment of “Meet our Members.” It’s time to get to know another awesome member of our community: Meet Dave.

Dave Rutherford joined WikiTree in November 2012 and is one of our newest Leaders! He helps keep vandals away by volunteering as a Ranger and is active in several projects including our Canadian History and United Kingdom projects.  He recently started the Palatine Migration project.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

Lots of names! Between my tree and my wife’s, we have 55 of our 64 3x great grandparents identified. Some of the names include Rutherford, Scott, Fenwick, Wood and Gearveiss from northern England & the Scottish borders; Cornish families Jaco, Pinch and Downing; Palatine lines Boyer, Moyer, Ribble, Teeple, Young and Teeter; plus colonial lines Pherrill, Russell and Tidd. Then there are Samson, McBrayne and Milne from Scotland; Harriott from Sussex and Bush (Bosch) who were originally Dutch.

What are some of the locations you are researching?

Much of my research is centered here in Canada, especially Ontario. Also I’ve found deep roots for both my wife and myself in the Palatine settlers of the Mohawk valley of New York and the Delaware valley of New Jersey. And I’ve done a fair bit of poking around the online records of the UK, especially Lancashire and Cornwall.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

Tough one. I guess I would select my 4x great grandmother Eliza (Jaco) Fenwick. She was a writer and teacher in late 1700’s London. Her novel “Secresy” is still in print and featured in some college curricula. She and her husband were close friends of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft and she was nurse to Mary in her final days. She took Mary’s baby (the future Mary Shelley) home to look after her when Mary died. Eliza also wrote children’s books as well as various fiction and non-fiction works. She ended her working life teaching at King’s College in Upper Canada and caring for four grandchildren, including my great great grandfather.

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down or one you hope to bust through.

How about one of each?

The first ancestor that I researched in any depth was my 4X great grandfather Jacob Russell, a Loyalist in the Revolutionary War who ended up in New Brunswick. I was able to learn a great deal about his life during the war and afterwards, but could find nothing regarding his parentage. He was represented on numerous Ancestry trees, but none that provided any sensible ancestors. It was by connecting with another researcher here on WikiTree, a distant cousin from Virginia, that we finally broke through the brick wall, finding his baptism in Huntington Harbor, New York. We can now trace the line back to Charlestown in 1637.

One of my most frustrating brick walls belongs to Jacob’s son in law, my 3x great grandfather Stephen Pherrill. Stephen married Jacob’s daughter Elizabeth and they moved to Upper Canada, becoming among the first settlers of Scarborough. (Now part of Toronto.) Stephen was reportedly born on the upper St. John River in New Brunswick and his parents supposedly came from Maine. But I have found no trace of his ancestry, and indeed, have not really been able to find much of anyone with his surname. All the Pherrills on WikiTree are his descendants.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

I like reading sci/fi & fantasy, and the occasional murder mystery. As well as history and current affairs. I like tennis and I watch the occasional hockey game. (Ice hockey, of course – is there really any other kind?) I love to cook. And I like to walk a few kilometers every day whenever I can. A few extra hours each day would be nice.

How long have you been on WikiTree and what do you spend the most time doing?

I’ve been on WikiTree since the fall of 2012. I try to spend part of the time helping out the community through my Ranger shifts and work on projects. But a lot of my time is still spent on my tree. I split the time between making improvements to existing profiles and adding connections to new cousins as they contact me. I am online just about every day, but for some reason, my “to do” list never seems to shrink, but rather continues to grow!

What brought you to WikiTree? (In other words, how did you find us?)

Beginner’s luck. I was just looking for a free place to build my family tree, without any clear idea what I was getting into!

WikiTree was smaller then. I actually entered several hundred profiles before I bumped into anyone else, so it took a while before it dawned on me that I was only part of a much greater whole.

What is your favorite thing about WikiTree, or which feature(s) do you like the most?

I guess if I had to sum up my favorite thing about WikiTree, it would be its accessibility.

From the moment that I started, I was impressed with the layout of the profiles: data, family connections, sources, family stories and photographs all accessible on the same page.

But that is only a small part of the picture compared to its accessibility on the web. I have been astonished at the number of folks who have contacted me over the years. And not just distant cousins. I’ve heard from historians, museum curators, professors and old friends of people who I’ve profiled in my tree.

My wife’s great grandmother had a cousin who married a man here in Ontario early in the last century. She left him a widower at a very young age and he went off to war and died in France just before the armistice in 1918. A couple of years ago, I heard from a school teacher in Iwuy France whose class was researching the soldiers buried in their local cemetery. I sent him the information that I could about the man in question, and then a few months ago, I heard from one of the soldier’s family members here in Canada. I put her in touch with the man in France, and now her family is planning a trip in the fall to a ceremony in Iwuy which will commemorate the Canadian soldiers’ sacrifices in the Great War. Making that connection wouldn’t have been possible without WikiTree.

I have heard from people on every continent (except Antarctica of course). I’ve worked with folks from Chengdu, China to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Every day is a new adventure. I don’t know who I will hear from when I turn on my computer!

If you could improve one thing about WikiTree, what would it be?

If we could get rid of some of the limitations, especially the 5000 profile limit. I am constantly having to orphan profiles that I have researched and worked on. I would like to be able to keep tabs on them.

I’m also at the point where if I want to add a following tab, I must make a decision about which one to drop, as we are only allowed to follow twenty at a time. 

What is an example of how WikiTree has helped you with your genealogy or how you’ve helped genealogy with WikiTree?

Oh my! Where to start? WikiTree members have been my education in genealogy from the beginning. I was pretty green when I started. I’m still no expert, but thanks to all the help from others here, I’m finally starting to learn how much I don’t know. The friendliness and willingness to help a newbie that I experienced when I started here is something that I try to emulate.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Take it slow. Read everything the greeters send you. We are a little bit different from other sites and there is a bit of a learning curve. Ignore the impulse to import a big gedcom. Build your tree one profile at a time, adding your sources as you go. And don’t be afraid to ask questions. Not only do you learn stuff, but you meet people that way too.


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Hi WikiTreers,

Welcome to a new installment of “Meet our Members.” It’s time to get to know another awesome member of our community: Meet G.

G. Moore became a WikiTreer in June of 2016.  He is very active in the North Carolina Project, especially in developing out Iredell County.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

I am searching the Moore, Bowman, Gillespie, Cline, Reeves, Gray, Price, Campbell, Mullis, Minnish, Hemrick, Sharpe, Wooten, Young, and Thorpe surnames.

What are some of the locations you are researching?

I am managing the Iredell County, North Carolina One Place Study, where most of my ancestors lived from the mid to late 1700s to current times.  This research requires me to delve into Rowan County, the progenitor of Iredell County and neighboring counties. I have also learned a lot about the history of the Province of North Carolina and Province of Carolina in the process of doing this research.

When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history?

I started researching family history when I lived near Washington, D.C. and spent many hours reading microfilm in the National Archives.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

Perciphull Campbell, Sr. (1767- 1853) is my favorite ancestor.  There is a lot known about him and he was a first generation North Carolinian. The house that he built still stands in Union Grove.   

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down or one you hope to bust through.

I was able to locate or create profiles for 171 members of the Rowan County Regiment from the North Carolina Militia during the Revolutionary War, including almost all the officers.  I found two of my ancestors on different sides of my family at opposite ends of the county in this Regiment that did not connect again until their descendants, my parents, were married 170 years later.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

I play trombone in a local community band and church. When the weather is good I go fly fishing.

How long have you been on WikiTree and what do you spend the most time doing?

I have been on WikiTree since June 2016.   I spend most of my time on the Iredell County One Place Study.  I am adding profiles, connecting to the global tree, and categorizing 378 Revolutionary War Veterans that lived in the county (up to 338 now).  I have found 527 profiles for early settlers in what became Iredell County and lived there in the 1700s. I am in the process of finding or creating profiles for postmasters, sheriffs, and politicians that lived in Iredell County.   

 

What is your favorite thing about WikiTree, or which feature(s) do you like the most?

I find that it gives me a greater sense of history to see the profiles and connect them with other profiles from the same time.   Using categories on profiles has helped me connect them with the Revolutionary War, churches, slavery, Census records, and other historic events.    

If you could improve one thing about WikiTree, what would it be?

It would be nice to make it easier to search locations and time spans for when a person lived in a location.

What is an example of how WikiTree has helped you with your genealogy or how you’ve helped genealogy with WikiTree?

I find the rigor of creating and sourcing profiles is a good test of what I know about an ancestor.  I have also run into many distant cousins working the common ancestors and have connected with several Iredell County researchers through WikiTree.   

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Before you get too far, spend a little time figuring out how to use Wiki formatting, including section headings, lists, and sourcing formats.  Create a style and stick with it. This will make your life much easier. I have been doing Wikis since the beginning of Wikipedia, so it is now second nature to me.  It also helps to create a timeline of events in the location that you are researching. Put it in a space categorized with the location. This helps you keep the changing names of counties and other events straight.


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Hi WikiTreers,

Welcome to a new installment of “Meet our Members.” It’s time to get to know another awesome member of our community: Meet Robin.

Robin Kabrich just passed her five year anniversary as a WikiTreer!  She joined us in April of 2013 and as a veteran herself (she served six years in the U.S. Air Force) is active in our several of our military projects including the US Civil War Project. Robin is also the Project Coordinator for our US Southern Colonies Project (Virginia).

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

Kabrich and the variation Kabrick; Morrison and Harris; Pike, Mitchell, Johnson, Dillingham.

What are some of the locations you are researching?

Virginia, Missouri, New England, especially Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. Kabrichs and Pikes have both spread across the country, so I do touch on most states sooner or later.

When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history?

I was introduced to genealogy fairly young – I was raised in the Mormon church – but I didn’t get “the bug” for a very long time. As a teen and young adult I remember my dad getting information in the mail from relatives, especially my cousin, his nephew. Earlier this century a man contacted me by email to ask about my “grandfather,” Robert Kabrich, who was actually my dad. He got me even more interested in genealogy, and I started dabbling, but I didn’t get really serious about it until 2013, after my mom died at the end of 2012.

My cousin was helping me clear out my mother’s house, and I realized I didn’t know as much about my ancestry on her side of the family as I did on my dad’s. My cousin had all of our great-grandmother’s genealogy notes, and she shared those with me, plus what information she had found using those notes. That’s when I got REALLY serious, and fascinated, about it. I never knew my paternal grandparents or many of my father’s relatives, so this was a way to sort of connect with them. I also was able to verify my great-grandmother’s notes on my mother’s side.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

I’m not sure “favorite” is the right word, but I am fascinated by two paternal great-grandfathers. Isaiah Kabrich lived his whole life in Virginia and was a private in the Confederate Army. Abraham Harris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and he fought for the USA in the Union Army. He wound up resettling to Virginia, where he married his second wife and had a bunch of children. Isaiah also had a large family, and somehow one of Isaiah’s sons and Abraham’s daughters got married and had a family. And those were my paternal grandparents. I’ve always wondered how those two met, and what interactions between the families must have been like considering one was Rebel and the other was a Yankee!

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down or one you hope to bust through.

My great-grandfather Abraham Harris was married before he married my great-grandmother, and finding her identity was very difficult. The only records I could find were the children she bore, and her first name on a census. A couple of years ago, Virginia released birth and death certificates, and there on the death certificate of one of my great-aunts was her mother’s name. That gave me the information I needed to do the research and connect the dots! I always look at the images; there’s so much more information there than you can find on the transcriptions.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

Dogs, reading, computer games.

How long have you been on WikiTree?

Since April 2013.

 

What is your favorite thing about WikiTree, or which feature(s) do you like the most?

I like the commitment to one profile per person, and collaborating on profiles. I see so many family trees with incorrect information that gets passed around; it’s nice to have a place where people are more interested in getting it right.

If you could improve one thing about WikiTree, what would it be?

Communication. Changes are made, but there is no centralized place to find out about the changes. G2G is a good feature, but the posts get too bogged down in minutiae to find changes.

What is an example of how WikiTree has helped you with your genealogy or how you’ve helped genealogy with WikiTree?

I’ve learned the importance of thoroughly checking out sources to make sure the information is accurate, that it fits with other facts, and that it comes from credible sources.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. There are a lot of friendly people who are glad to help.


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