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 Charlotte.

Charlotte Shockey has been a member of our community since November of 2014.   She is very active in several projects including our Ambassadors, Connectors and Data Doctors. She participates in the monthly Sourcerers Challenge, the weekly Saturday Sourcing Sprints and was one of the top winners in both our Source-a-Thon and Clean-a-Thon!

Surnames you are researching?

Shockey (Schäcke, Jäggi, Jäcky, Jäcob), Sperry (Spearry, Speary), Schindler, Brewer, Dyess, Bolick (Bolch), Lail (Lael, Lohl, Lale, etc), Brunson, Hyser, Tracewell, Darbyshire, Leach, Gardner, Kiblinger, etc., etc.

Locations you are researching?

Not really sure I’ve studied any one place more than another as long as my family lived there at some point in time.

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

I became interested in genealogy back in 8th grade when part of our Social Studies homework was to find out the origin of our surname and make the coat of arms. For Shockey it came up as English and since I couldn’t find the coat of arms I made my own “a lightning bolt hitting a key”. (Turns out that’s now the branding design for one of my cousin’s cattle.)

I didn’t actually start doing my genealogy until 2001 and found out the reason for not finding the Shockey coat of arms is because the farthest back version of the surname is now Jäcob in Switzerland. Due to moving around, several places in Switzerland then Germany, the dialects made the spellings different but all pronounced the same.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

My favorite ancestor is my 5th Great Grandfather, Isaac Shockey, a counterfeiter and adventurer. Last summer my cousin Sharon found a book that states that his brother Valentine wasn’t the only counterfeiter in the family he was just the leader of the Shockey Gang. Turns out Isaac and his brother, Abraham, were also counterfeiters in the gang. Now I’m on the search to find the plates that were unearthed from Valentine’s fields around the Mason-Dixon border. LOL

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

Years ago I was able to break down a brick wall for my Great Grandfather Orville Thomas Speary thanks to the Social Security application I purchased for him.  I had a feeling for these parents I found but couldn’t be sure until I purchased Orville’s Social Security application. I was so ecstatic when it came in and sure enough it was the parents I was looking at. Bonus, I got to see his signature. I have to say it felt great getting just a step farther up the Speary line. It wasn’t until I did my auDNA test and joined the Sperry group that I found anything farther on the Sperry line and ours seems the only one to have changed spellings.

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

Sonora Webster Carver, a daredevil who learned to ride diving horses during the Great Depression then relearned after she became blind due to an accident while diving. To me she was absolutely amazing, strong, and vivacious in the face of such amazing odds. Who wouldn’t want to be related to someone of that strength and daring.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

Wine, wine, and more wine! LOL. I’m an equal opportunity wine drinker, I’ll try anything at least once to rate it. My wine partner and I love going on the Georgia Wine Highway Week event every Spring. Beware in Virginia of the Peaks of Otter Winery’s “Kiss The Devil”, 30 different hot peppers! I feel like I’m still recovering from that particular tasting of two yrs ago. I’m also trying to learn more about wine to be more knowledgeable. If I can win the lotto I plan to open two wineries. One down here in Georgia producing fruit & vegetable wines under one name. Then open one up in Winchester, VA creating grape varietal wines under another name.

I also love to photograph things around me especially if I get the chance to go to any of the National Parks (stamp me!). I’ve danced for many years: ballet, tap, jazz, character, hip hop… and took a few ballroom classes. Traveling to new locations when funds permit it. Come on lotto! Recent passion is Cricut, now to just get my own heat press!

I absolutely love to read, mostly romances but lately I’ve enjoyed reading biographies such as Carrie Fisher’s Princess Diariest, Lauren Graham’s Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, Anna Kendrick’s Scrappy Little Nobody, Mary Tyler Moore’s After All and looking forward to reading my cousin, Eva Shockey’s Taking Aim.

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

I joined WikiTree on 13 Nov 2014 after my cousin helped me stumble across it one day, so now it’s like my dates are “Before WikiTree” and “After WikiTree”. LOL. Everyday I’m on my laptop I am on WikiTree. I love it! I keep trying to get other friends to join. I enjoy being a Greeter, the first person a new member interacts with. I always hope to give them a positive experience. I also love helping out with all the other projects I’m part of: Profiles, One Name Studies, DNA, Cemeteries, Data Doctor and Connector. Sometimes I don’t know if I have enough time in the day to do it all. LOL. Darn work for getting in the way. ;)

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

I absolutely love the collaborative nature of WikiTree as well as how friendly everyone is. I felt closer to other members after the 72 hours of Source-a-Thon and chatting it up in the hangouts. Almost like we came out the other side of a war closer together.  I’m not a very organized person at home with certain things but I love how organized WikiTree is with all the categories. I also love that I can get a feel for One Name Studies via WikiTree so one day I can join the One Name Study Guild and be a bit more knowledgeable.  Only thing not to love is the occasional WikiTree member who doesn’t want to collaborate.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

My tips for someone just coming to WikiTree is first check out the wonderful tutorial they recently created to help you through the wonderful world of WikiTree found in your confirmation message. I even learned a few things I didn’t know about from it. Second, if you decide to upload a GEDCOM just do your ancestors. This is a lot easier to maintain and then gradually start adding the descendants a person at a time as this will keep you from making too many duplicates to have to remember to merge later. Third, if you add your DNA tests to your profile… PLEASE make sure your profile is at the highest level allowed for living (not Public). Fourth and last, source, source, source! This helps disputes on merges.

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

Please don’t throw away all my hard work! :) LOL. Pack rat isn’t always a bad thing if well organized for future generations. Please continue working on the tree whether it’s ancestors or descendants so future generations will have a great start.

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  One Response to “Meet our Members: Charlotte Shockey”

  1. Charlotte, you are a great researcher, team player, and cousin! I appreciate you very much!!!

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