Eowyn

 

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 Barbara.

Barbara has been a WikiTreer since March of 2013.  She’s constantly working with our DNA tools, is an Adoption Angel, and is active as an Ambassador promoting WikiTree via social media and in presentations to local groups.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

Brady, Armstrong, Jenkins, Shoff, Rogers, Pri(t)chard, McCormick, Hollen, Wakefield, Briley, Greenwell to name a few for me. I research loads of others too.

What are some of the locations you are researching?

Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Ireland, Scotland.

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

My sister, Deborah, blew me away when she returned from summer vacation with a stack of photos. They were all headstones. I’m not sure she took any pictures of the living relatives she met. That was back in the 1970’s. I didn’t really do much until the age of computers. Then I played. Mostly showing people how they could find their family. I did a lot of that for friends. I have “played” at doing genealogy since the early 1990’s. I did an atDNA test in 2012 or 13 (I think). Try as I might, I couldn’t figure it out. Not that I wasn’t trying. I was reading loads of blogs. My bulb was out. I thought if I read it over and over I would “get it.” I got really serious about it when I read Jim Bartlett’s blog Segment-ology. That was less than a year ago. His simple explanations were like he was turning up a dimmer switch for me. He lit a fire. I have become passionate about working with triangulation and segments. I am having a BLAST!

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

My grandmother, Stella Lois Armstrong Prichard. I grew up with her. I wish I had recorded all the family stories. I have some awesome cousins I love too. I would give their names, but they are still living. I always called them Aunt because of our age difference. We inherited a long life gene from our Jenkins line I think. I know one of them came to visit and was over 100.

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

Oh, wow! Great question and I am very excited right now. Hugh Brady b.1709 IR and Hannah McCormick. Descendants of Hugh and Hannah (McCormick) Brady have a Facebook page. We recently started the Brady DNA Project, also on Facebook. Everyone with the Brady surname is invited to join. We are all learning how to do triangulation and study segments together.

In the last week I met a new Brady cousin who I discovered while looking at WikiTree descendants for Hugh Brady. I messaged her and found out we live only 45 minutes from each other and are getting together soon. She joined the Brady DNA Project and I did a GEDmatch triangulation workbook for her. (We are all on GEDmatch and using WikiTree.) Low and behold I found a triangulation for her to another Brady and they share just over 15 cM. This cousin appears to be a missing link to take our line back to Ireland and possibly County Cavan. This is exciting. He joined and I am finding even more links for him. We hope to break through our brick wall to find definitively who Hugh’s father and mother were and verify that Hannah is truly a McCormick. So far, I am very hopeful. There has been loads written on the family over the years, but the source documentation other than “stories” hasn’t been found. We would love to know the name of the ship they arrived on. We think they come in someplace around Delaware but no one has found it yet. I have some information that leads me to believe Hannah’s family was already settled here. Nothing yet that explicitly states who her parents were. We need a marriage license or will. There’s a WikiTree challenge for the G2G forum.

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

Now that’s a tough one. Maybe Nikola Tesla. I would want to try to pick his brain and learn his awesome thought process – where he went in his thinking, how he “saw” in his mind the things that he saw. I would also offer to make duplicates copies of his inventions and disperse them to others for safekeeping.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

Writing. Reading. At one time I really enjoyed gardening. The older you get the more your body rebels. I would say I am pretty lopsided. I am still learning genetic genealogy and putting together a method using triangulation, to simplify methods currently being used, which means I have had to learn more computer skills. Three years ago a 14-year-old showed me the tab on a browser. I about came out of my chair. I had been using a different browser to open a new window when I didn’t want to leave the one that I already had opened.

How long have you been on WikiTree and how active are you?  Are you involved in projects/challenges? Which ones? What do you enjoy about them/what are you working on?

I had to look at my profile page. According to it, March 2013. I wasn’t really all that active except for putting my known family in the tree. I’ve been more active over the last year. I struggle to learn and WikiTree has so many bells and whistles I sometimes go in circles. I try to do my best and continue to learn. I add loads of stuff now. I love the Research tool. THAT is a big help.

I am a WikiTree Ambassador. I started giving talks at some area libraries in the last year and encourage everyone to join. I am very good at sending them links to videos about WikTree. Now so many people are asking for a class on WikiTree, I am going to have to really get to work. I do know if you put your tree up here, you will connect to cousins. I also know it was the best place for the people in the Brady DNA Project to link their branches of our world tree. Thank heaven for some of our really good genealogists, one in particular, Elizabeth Brady, who is doing a lot of pruning. Donna Cuillard has been doing Brady research for years and shares generously on our DNA Project and administrates the Brady Descendants FB page. She and a group of others also work tirelessly on our family reunions on the original Brady homestead near Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.

I recently became an Adoption Angel but have several people I have been working with whose parents are still unknown. I love teaching adoptees how to find their family and do what I can as I can to help.

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

I love the videos. I think we need more and I plan on learning how to help with that. I love watching Mags Gaulden, I usually catch the videos after the fact. I like following the tags, and with attention deficit disorder can get lost for hours. The surnames and DNA lists are a great place to do some GEDmatch one-on-one matches. I found some cousins that way. Some of the instructions confuse me. When you are adding people I wish an alert would pop-up and say, STOP, you might get lucky and have just found a cousin! Look these choices over closely. Maybe a really short video link they could click on that explains how WikiTree works.  I think it would cut down on the instances of needing to do merges later.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Write the people who manage the profiles you link too. THEY ARE USUALLY FAMILY! Do a Youtube video search for WikiTree. Don’t try to do everything all at once. It is a process. HAVE FUN! Be willing to help others and answer their questions—even if you have to look it up to answer them.

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

I love you that’s why I did this for you.


 

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Have you participated in the Question of the Week yet? Every Friday a genealogy-related question is posed to community members in our G2G Forum. You can join in the fun and share a little about yourself and learn about your fellow WikiTreers! Follow the tag “question_of_the_week” to get the new question each week.

Last week we asked “What’s the most unusual name you’ve found in your family tree?”

Here are just a few of the answers we received:

  • I have an ancestor who’s name is Revilo Oliver.  His first name is his last name spelled backwards! ~ Marietta
  • Grace Winifred Jessica Jane TWEEDALE.  Nothing too strange about that?  How about the fact that she lived through the era of the flappers, and called herself Trilby Tweedale, describing herself in the 1939 Register as a ‘mannequin and film actress’?  In fact, Trilby Tweedale features in just about every Connection/Relationship Finder which connects me to somebody.  She’s my ‘gateway ancestor’. ~ Ros
  • I would have to say I had a laughing fit when I discovered a distant ancestor married someone named “Marmaduke Constable”. I thought for sure this would make him easy to trace, but no – apparently Marmaduke Constable was a family name! So many Marmadukes! ~  Kristen
  • The best name I’ve come across is Morris Morris who was born in Morristown, Morris County, New Jersey, USA  on 10 Feb 1877. No word on what his middle name was. ~ Michael
  • My ancestor, Federal Constitution Sprague, was born in October 1790. The recently written document codifying the principles of the new United States must have been very important to his parents. ~ Deanna
  • I actually have a “Harry Potter” in my family tree. ~ Louella

If you have an ancestor with an unusual name, it’s not to late to chime in here!  You can also join in this week’s question: What’s your most memorable genealogical find?

 

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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 Greg.

Greg became a WikiTreer in May of 2015.  He participates in the British Columbia, Canadian History, Categorization, Connectors, Notables, and One Name Studies projects and joins in the Connectors and Sourcerers Challenges.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

Allen, Cutlip, Kelso, McMillan, Nickel, Rucks, Slade, Welch, West, Woods

What are some of the locations you are researching?

British Columbia, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Ohio, England, Scotland

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

When I was a kid, all the descendants of my great-grandparents (or at least all those who could make it) used to get together for a family reunion on New Year’s Day (because no sane person schedules an event on New Year’s Day, and none of us care about football, so nobody was double-booked). My dad traced out all the cousins he could find on his side. Then, a few years ago, I saw A.J.’s TED talk about the Global Family Reunion, and that motivated me to get out my dad’s notes and do something with them.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

He’s not a direct ancestor, but I do have a great granduncle name Horatio Goodes. There aren’t enough relatives in the world named Horatio, and I’m glad that I have one. (I’m a huge fan of C.S. Forester’s Horatio Hornblower books.)

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

I don’t really have any hope that I’ll ever get through it, because my ancestors all seem to have been poor and obscure, and therefore it seems unlikely that there are any records to find, but the brick wall I’d most like to break through is the one behind my third great grandfather William Slade.

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

Thomas Helwys, who co-founded the first Baptist Church, and was the first person known to argue for religious liberty in English. Anybody who is part of a religious minority and isn’t being persecuted for it has him and his followers to thank for it.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

I’m into boats, books (especially history, science, science fiction, and theology), computers, food, music, and travel.

How long have you been on WikiTree and how active are you? Are you involved in projects/challenges? Which ones? What do you enjoy about them/what are you working on?

I joined WikiTree in April 2015. I’m far too overextended for the time I have available, dabbling in the British Columbia, Canadian History, Categorization, Connectors, Notables, and One Name Studies projects. I take part in the Connectors and Sourcerers Challenges most months, and I put up a page to help people categorise immigrant/emigrant ships. Since I’m curious about everything, there isn’t much on WikiTree that I haven’t poked my nose into, at least a little. But I am fighting the temptation to join still more projects, since I’m not really doing justice to those I’ve already joined. I also hang out in G2G and stick my oar in any time something occurs to me. You might call me a dilettante. One thing that I find myself doing in multiple places is taking material which is scattered or haphazard and organising and arranging it. Something in me seems to take pleasure in imposing order on chaos. (Not that you could tell that by looking at my office.)

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

I am always shaking my head at the number of times I encounter people who don’t see the value in a given feature or piece of information, and want to get rid of it. To me, if WikiTree is going to be a place that has something for everyone, then pretty much by definition it has to have things that appeal to some people and not others, since we don’t all share the same tastes.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Read through as much of the documentation as you can find. Ask questions in G2G, because it’s worse to continue not knowing something because you were afraid to ask than it is to ask, even at the risk of sounding like a “newbie”. (We were all newbies once, and there’s nothing wrong with not knowing stuff you haven’t been told.) Go ahead and put things up on the profiles you manage. If you do it “wrong” (however that’s defined), you can always go back and fix it later. An imperfect profile is better than no profile at all. And if somebody criticises you for doing things “wrong”, there are probably a dozen WikiTreers who are positive and encouraging (even while pointing out better ways to do things) for every crank who can’t seem to be happy unless they’re dumping on somebody else. Pay attention to the encouragers, avoid the cranks, and remember that this is supposed to be fun.

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

“Your call is important to us, but all agents are currently busy. Please leave a message at the beep, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.”

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