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 Lee has been a member of our community since April of 2013 and is one of our wonderful Leaders. Robin co-leads our  Arborists and US Presidents Projects and heads up our Pre-1500 Certification process.

Surnames you are researching?

Lee, Becker, Swearingen, Fackler, Light, Wallace/Wallis, Manville, English, Wilson, Christie.

Locations you are researching?

Pennsylvania, Ohio and Western Europe.

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

I got started in genealogy trying to make the tie of my Lee Family to the Virginia Lees.  Early on my Aunt had gone to Pennsylvania and Salt Lake City and had done wonderful research on the Lee family.  This was long before computers and she made copies of papers, did meticulous note keeping, and all I wanted to do was to put down on paper for the future generations, and make that connection.  At that point I was hooked.  And, I found out that I am not related…

Also, in trying to find the history of my great grandfather John Frederick Becker, who lost his parents at a very young age, I got interested in how to do research and made some wonderful connections at the Allen County, Ohio, Library.  No one in the family ever knew he was an orphan at 3 until I started doing the research.  We have no idea who raised him.  Also, my Wallace side (maternal) is a mystery, still trying to find my immigrant ancestors.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

Isaac Lee, as he is my Patriot Ancestor and his wife ties me to the Boone and Lincoln family.

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down.

My Swearingen connection was the brick wall that I broke through because of “stories” that my almost 90 year old aunt was able to tell me.  The saying goes that a myth starts with a hint of truth.  By researching some of her stories, I found that while she thought the story was about her great grandfather, it turned out to be the story of the son of our immigrant ancestor.  Also, remembering unique names helped a lot…like America Belle, and Waterman.

If you could pick one person in history to be related to, who would it be and why?

Gosh, I have been so focused on trying to find my connection to a Magna Carta Surety Baron… I guess, I would be happy with any of them.  Like so many people, my immigrant ancestor that connects me is not validated.  My DNA indicates I am 98% European with a heavy dose of Britain, so, sooner or later I hope to figure this out.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

My husband and I both had high tech jobs in Aerospace, so, when we retired; we left the city, bought some land, built a house and have a small vineyard.  It is just a hobby, no more. We love to travel and be active outdoors.  We have a 6 year old Black German Sheppard mix that is our motivation to get out even in the rain and snow this winter.  We live in history rich Gold Country of California.  I love to cook and so I spend a lot of time in my kitchen.

How long have you been on WikiTree and how active are you?

I am coming up on my 4th anniversary with WikiTree, and I am very active.  I love the opportunity to help others discover their roots and I am especially enamored with a couple of members over 80 who are so willing to learn, just to be able to document their history for future generations.

What are some of the features/aspects of WikiTree that you love/don’t love as much?

What I love most about WikiTree is that it is a community, where we share what we know willingly and we gain when others gain. I have done a lot of volunteer work in my life and by far, this is the best environment that I have worked in as a volunteer. I also appreciate all the work that is done by the small team that actually runs WikiTree, and the improvements over the past 4 years…oh my, how wonderful.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

My biggest tips are….. ask questions and start small.  Work on your profile and that of your parents and grandparents to hone your skills and understand WikiTree.  Join a project and find someone where you share an ancestor or just a name, make friends. Be open to the fact that you may have “stories” and not the facts, yet…

If you could leave one message for your descendants, what would it be?

In the busy days, stop and look around you, think about the people that came before you…be thankful their contributions to the world and “leave a mark, do something remarkable, even if it is just writing down your family history.”


You can learn even more about Robin in her LiveCast interview with Mags Gaulden and Julie Ricketts! She talks about the projects she leads, the work she did with NASA and what it’s like living in gold country. 

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  One Response to “Meet our Members: Robin Lee”

  1. Robin is my cousin by marriage. She does awesome work which has helped me immensely. Thanks Robin.

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