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 Amy.

Amy Utting became a WikiTreer in May of 2016.  She works diligently to add sources to profiles she manages, and participates in several projects including Irish Roots and the New Zealand Project. Amy recently became one of our newest Mentors.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

Until I have access to the family records I need, I’m avoiding the /UTTING/ side of my family for now, as the furthest ancestor I’ve reached is just a complete source of confusion. I’m currently focusing my attention mostly on the /JERMYN/ family from Suffolk.

(Editor’s Note: Amy has a  list of many of the surnames she is researching on her profile as well as links to her extensive lists of  her notable relations and WikiTree cousins!) 

What are some of the locations you are researching?

I have family on both sides of the Irish Sea, so I’m looking equally into both sides. Cork and Dublin are the predominant areas of Ireland I’m researching, while Suffolk and Norfolk both crop up quite a bit in my research also. 

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

Because of my love of history, I was already intrigued by family stories for many years before I actually began actively researching my family tree. My grandfather passed away in 2014, and because my grandmother had been moved to a different care facility to the one he was in, a lot of her belongings had been left with him, so when he passed the family came together to sort through his things and figure out where it was all going to go. I was the one who got to keep a lot of the books, including a copy of the Kilgour Family Book (published by my second cousin, and fellow WikiTree member Kathryn Mooney). I vaguely remember reading through it, cover to cover, in a single afternoon and I was still highly intrigued after I finished. It all set off from there!

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

This will sound ridiculously sappy, but my great-grandfather, Leonard Utting, was probably my favourite. Charlie (a nickname from his middle name, Charles) was born in Norfolk and served in the British Army during World War I before he emigrated to Wellington, New Zealand, and married his first wife. While he served in the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces during World War II, his wife began an affair with the local storeman, which Charlie discovered upon his return. It was after this event (and subsequent divorce) that Charlie met my great-grandmother, Winifred Taylor, and they lived happily in the years following. I think it’s a lovely story, where my grandfather overcame relationship obstacles and two literal wars and still lived to just over eighty.

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

It would be nice to go further back in the /UTTING/ side of the family, especially as it’s my actual surname. At some point soon I’ll be travelling further north from where I live to meet with my great-aunt and hopefully gain access to all of the research that she’s done, so I have hopes that I’ll be able to break through this particular brick wall soon!

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

I first joined WikiTree in May 2016, though I only dabbled for the first few months until I really figured out what I was doing. I currently spend most of my time hunting down further sources for the information I have on WikiTree.

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

I had made a Prezi powerpoint about one of my ancestors (William Kilgour) for a school project, and as Prezi is public, someone found it and commented that the author of my source (the Kilgour Family Book) was a member of a website called WikiTree, and that the website could possibly help me connect more of my family to me.  

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

The relationship finder, definitely. I have a well-documented love for history, and it’s absolutely fascinating to see which notable people of history I’m related to.

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

I can’t think of anything I’d want to improve! I think it comes down to the fact that, when something runs well, you generally don’t think of things to improve until they either break, or someone improves them first.

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

I’m always thrilled when people point out duplicates of family members or of other profiles I manage, because it’s a lovely feeling when you collaborate with others around you and you’re able to make sure that your information is as correct as it possibly can be.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Try not to grow too confused! It’s honestly pretty easy to get lost when you first start out, especially when it comes to sources, so it’s important to take your time and verify your information, and sort of map it all out in your head before confusing yourself.


 

Happy Wednesday WikiTreers!

Here’s this week’s WikiTree news as well as some of our favorites picks from around the genealogy community.

Happenings Around the Tree:

Happenings Around the Genealogy Community: 

Don’t forget to check  GeneaWebinars and ConferenceKeeper for upcoming genealogy webinars, online meetings, hangouts and events.

Keep calm and source on!

 

 

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 Juha.

Juha Soini became a WikiTreer in September of 2017.  He is active in several of our Scandinavian projects and is Project Coordinator for the Finland Project.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

Hereditary family names did not become common in Finland until late 1800’s and compulsory as late as 1920, with people using patronyms, farm names and soldier names that could change every generation. One of the earliest surnames in my family history is Stålnacke, a widely spread family from the mines in northern Sweden with many intermarriages to early mining families like Servio, Spett (van der Speet) and Thun whom I would love to be able to trace to Wallonia, France/Belgium or maybe The Netherlands as family legend says. There are also some burghers like Grape and Rechardt who are pre-1600 as well as preasts like Bonelius and Curtilius just to mention some pre-1700 family names.

What are some of the locations you are researching?

My family comes mainly from the border area between Sweden and Finland stretching both ways into the northern parts of each country. Sweden and Finland was one country (Sweden) until 1809 when the Swedes ceded Finland to the Russians. There were several parishes that were divided when the new border was drawn, making it hard to find where the records of those parishes were kept. The border area is widely Finnish speaking even today and intermarriages over the border are frequent making it a very interesting area genealogically.

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

My cousin invited me to join MyHeritage in August 2017 and as a (undiagnosed) asperger I dove right into the fascinating world of ancestors. I soon became discouraged by the obvious errors in the MH system and found WikiTree late September 2017. Here I started adding my ancestors one by one until I got swept away by Data Doctoring that led to work on an early Finnish family that originated from Sweden. The lovely leaders of project Sweden then helped me start project Finland and helping people sort out their Finnish family brick walls led to me finding mentoring as another rewarding way of helping people. Needless to say I haven’t done much on my own family lately.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

My great grandfather left his wife and my unborn paternal grandmother to find work in northern Norway and was never heard of again. I was able to trace him as far as US immigration in Ellis Island. The uncertain path then leads to salmon fishing in Alaska and the death as a possibly homeless person in Seattle. I have always loved a good mystery and would like to find confirmation or corrections to my research. 

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

I would love to see extensions to the German, Dutch and Belgian ancestors I have.

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

In my early search for sources to MyHeritage I got more and more hits in WikiTree and seeing the quality of those profiles decided this would be my genealogical home.  

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

Collaboration. Definitely all the helpful members.

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

A multilingual interface. There are lots of good genealogists who don’t speak or understand enough English.

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

All the pages with genealogical resources pointing to where to look next. I have added to the resource pages with Finnish online resources.  

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Start with your own family adding profiles manually to get a feel of how WikiTree works. Make sure to check if your ancestor is on WT already and don’t forget to check out all the great how to and help pages.


 
 

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 William.

William Foster became a WikiTreer in September of 2015.  He is the Project Coordinator for our Virginia Project and actively uses our DNA tools to further his connections to our tree.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

Foster, Hodges, Munday, Brown, Harris, Trigg, Bennett, Thorp, Kovačič, and Gregorčič.

What are some of the locations you are researching?

Because so many of my ancestors came to America through Virginia, it is a location where I’ve been doing a lot of research and recently have taken up the role as the Virginia project coordinator.  I’m also doing a lot of research in Slovenian locations as my mother’s father immigrated from Austria-Hungary (present day Slovenia) in 1803. It is his ancestors where I have the least number of generations going back and thus I spend a lot of time researching this area.

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

I’ve had a minor interest in genealogy since I was a child because my Aunt Katherine was a member of the DAR.  In 2010, my interest grew substantially as I was introduced to Ancestry.com and began actual research. In February 2015, I ordered my first DNA test and since then I’ve ordered dozens of tests covering autosomal, yDNA, and mtDNA.  In December 2017, I visited the church archives in Ljubljana to find documents related to my Slovenian ancestors.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

I generally don’t have a favorite, but if forced to select one, I think it would be Thomas Tharp, b. 1631, since he is the most distant relation that I have DNA confirmation for, although my connection to Thomas has a brick wall for the parents of Joseph Pleasant Thorp, b. 1800.

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

My Foster line was stuck on the parents of George Bismark Foster for many years, but a breakthrough came a few years ago when I located a will that included his wife as Arabella Samples.  At first I thought Samples was a placeholder for an unknown surname, but after further investigation I found it was the actual name and with that I ended up opening up the parents for George.

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

I signed up in March 2015, I spend most of my time trying to extend my tree with both paper trail sources and DNA confirmation.  In support of this, I work on connecting DNA matching relatives into my portion of the tree.

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

I was looking for a free alternative to Ancestry.com that was open. Having had a bunch of Wikipedia experience, I was attracted to WikiTree as another wiki and the DNA features have made it even more valuable to me.  Whenever I find DNA connections, one of the first things I do is try to get them to create a profile on WikiTree and help them connect it up to the rest of the tree along the path to our shared ancestor.

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

The DNA integration with GEDmatch.

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

Eclipse DNA tests from appearing or nest them at a higher indentation level when another test of the same type is closer along the path to the profile where the DNA is appearing.  This way when there are dozens of DNA tests on a profile, I can quickly find the ones I most care about and ignore others like children of test takers.

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

My relating of my ancestors with profiles already built on WikiTree. I can more readily reach many more ancestors and further back in time than if I were working alone.  I also appreciate how my efforts are easily available for others to benefit from, making my research have greater value by its being shared. The DNA confirmation mechanism also allows me to keep track of much data on DNA connections and understand where my tree is most sound with both paper trail and DNA confirmation.  

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Find a mentor that is willing to help you along.  Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by using G2G to ask questions when confused.  Add your ancestors one at a time and document them well as you go along.  Because we are working together, quality profiles beat our quantity of profiles.


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