Greetings fellow WikiTreers! Welcome to the June 2017 edition of News from the Tree, our monthly report on new features and changes around the site, notes on community leaders, tips, etc.

What’s New?

Have you Checked your Weekly Connections in the Connection Finder?

Every week you can find two new connections in our Connection Finder.

Summer Orman

Each Tuesday, we showcase a WikiTreer in a Meet our Members feature on our blog and they also get spotlighted in the Connection Finder for that week.

This week it’s Summer Orman.

Summer has been a WikiTreer since March of 2016 and is one of our newest Leaders. She leads our Volunteer Coordinators and Tennessee projects, co-Leads the Rangers and Slavic Roots projects and is an Ambassador and Data Doctor. You can learn more about her here and check the Finder to see how you are connected!

We also highlight what we call an Example Profile of the Week.

These profiles are top-notch and meet the styles and standards criteria that the community has agreed upon. The notable whose profile is used as an example is also featured in the Connection Finder for that week.

Spotlighted this week is Sir Winston Churchill, (1874-1965) from the World War II Project and United Kingdom Project.  See how you are connected!

And of course you can always see your connection to our standard connection anchors, Queen Elizabeth II and Kevin Bacon.

Follow the tag connection_finder for weekly updates on connections.

New Improvements to Search and Matching

We just released a round of improvements, mostly to our search and matching functions.

1.) Secondary Sort.

As you may know, you are able to sort search results by first name, last name, birth date, death date, or profile manager.

Now you can also do a secondary sort, i.e. order the sorted results by first name, last name, birth date, death date, or profile manager.

For example, if you search for John Smith and you sort by first name, that will put all the Johns apart from those with John as a middle name. You can then order all the Johns by birth date or whatever you prefer.

Secondary sort has also been added to Watchlists (here’s yours) and surname index pages (e.g. Smith).

Note that on surname index pages you have to break out of the default (cached) view to see all the sort options. Then the sort options are on the right.

This feature was requested in G2G by Bob Keniston.

2.) Matching for “Unknown”.

As some advanced WikiTreers have commented on in G2G in the past, our search engine ignored people with the last name “Unknown”. We were afraid that matching Unknowns with each other and with others would provide too many irrelevant results. Now that most profiles have dates this isn’t as much of a danger.

The way we’ve done it now should be an improvement and help catch duplicates that were being missed before.

3.) Improved Handling of Two-Word First Names.

Finally, we should now be doing a better job matching two-word first names. For example, “Marie A”, “Marie A.”, “Marie Anne”, and “Marie-Anne” should now match with each other over other Maries and Annes.

We’ve also been working on improving the matching of two-word last names and last names with periods, hyphens, spaces, etc. Soon we should do a better job matching St. Laurent with St Laurent, St-Laurent, etc.

New “Ancestors” and “Descendants” Buttons

You can now view family trees and descendant lists without leaving a person’s main profile page.

Look for the “Ancestors” button next to the person parents’ names and the “Descendants” button next to their children’s names, e.g. on https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Whitten-20

Note that they will only appear if the person has grandparents or grandchildren. For example, Chris Whitten’s profile has an Ancestors button but not a Descendants button because he doesn’t have grandchildren. A descendant list for him wouldn’t show anything that isn’t on the main profile page.

A little extra feature: putting your cursor over a parent’s name will show the grandparents. Mousing-over a child’s name will show grandchildren.

Question of the Week

Have you participated in the Question of the Week yet? Every Monday 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.

We recently asked “What do you do to honor the veterans in your family tree?”

Here are just a few of the answers we received:

  • For those veterans who passed away that are on my watchlist  I try to make sure they have their categories listed on their WikiTree profiles for what branch of service they were in, awards received and for what war they were involved in. For those relatives still living, I try to let them know of Memorial Day remembrance programs going on in their area by email or on Facebook. Like for where I live, we have a program at our veterans park with guest speakers, music and red roses given out to Gold Star mothers. We also have an honor guard posting the appropriate flags, 21 gun salute and taps. I myself as a veteran have done the invocation prayer and served on the honor guard for these events! ~ Dorothy
  • For Veterans Day, my sister and I (both Veterans) go to free lunch and drag our husbands (not Veterans). We sit there for more than an hour and have fun “catching up.” No one tries to rush us out even though its crowded. My workplace places flags on Veteran’s graves for Memorial Day, but I can’t bend over far enough to do that unfortunately. I like the idea of fixing up profiles for Memorial Day and Veterans Day. I may go to the Long Island National Cemetery and take photos after my lovely co-workers have placed the flags. ~ Lucy
  • Here in Canada, my family honours Rememberance Day, November 11th, with moment of silence on the 11th hour & 11th minute, meditation/reflection and/or prayer (for those of us of a faith). We wear poppies for at least a week ahead of this day. Sadly, we have lost track of our families personal contributions and don’t attend services held. Thru the collaborations of research here on wiki tree, I am hoping bring to a stronger light, the service of all our countrymens (past, present and brothers &sisters over the borders) to my children and hopefully extended family. I already feel closer to my great grandfather having explored some of his personal records from WWI. ~ Kim
  • Here in New Zealand we honour our war veterans on ANZAC Day which is commemorated on April 25th each year.  It honours those New Zealand and Australian troops who died during the battle which began the land phase of the Gallipoli Campaign of the First World War, as well as all NZ army, air-force and navy personnel who have been involved in conflicts since. Personally I updated my “Roll of Honour” which is part of my family website in recognition of the sacrifice those family members made. ~ Lesley
  •  I was just starting out in genealogy and was working on my biological lines and adoptive parents lines. I knew I had two older siblings and started searching and posting on websites, both genealogy and adoptive.  A year and a half later  I received an email that said, “I think you’re looking for me, I’m your big sister” Sure enough it was. ~ Shelly

Who’s New

We’re pleased to announce three new WikiTree Leaders:

Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

Summer Orman has been with us since May 2016.  She says about her interests and hobbies “Spending time with my family is #1. I also love genealogy, DNA studies, history, music, writing, reading, making polymer clay jewelry, painting, sewing, crocheting, knitting, playing violin and piano, and last but most definitely not least… being on WikiTree!”

Mel  Lambert has been WikiTreeing since November of 2015.  Here’s what she loves about WikiTree: “I love the collaboration, shared knowledge and the friendliness of our WikiTree members. I believe we are all interconnected, which is proven by our DNA. WikiTree makes using DNA so much easier than the other sites out there. Oh, and it is FREE, which appeals to the thrifty side in me.”

Debi Hoag joined our site, just before Mel, in October 2015. Her advice for new members is “Start slow and source as you go because it’s so much more fun to be able to move to new research once you’ve got your people in. Have patience, with yourself and others as we all work together to create this one big shared tree. Remember, we’re all cousins and we love our family!”

Tree-Tips

  • Have you explored your Anniversaries page yet? There you can find birthdays, wedding dates, and death date anniversaries from your Watchlist. For non-living ancestors, some members like to honor a special day by sharing the person’s profile or photo on Facebook or another social network. For living family members’, some like to send an e-card.
  • Are you interested in ways to get more involved in the community? We need you!  Look at our Volunteers Needed page to see what opportunities are out there.

Community Accomplishments

Top 10 contributors for last month: WikiTree Club 1000 April 2017

  1. Tanya Jacobberger (12,974 edits in May)
  2. Keith McDonald (8812)
  3. Elizabeth Winter (8478)
  4. Gregory Rose (8464)
  5. NJ Penny (8237)
  6. Stephanie Ahles (8190)
  7. Esmé van der Westhuizen (7020)
  8. Catherine V (6906)
  9. Cindy Lesure (6612)
  10. Michael Sheffield (6541)

Super Star recipients (recognized by a Leader for extraordinary contributions that go far beyond what is normally seen on WikiTree): 

Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication: Russ GuntherB. W. J. Molier and Isabelle Rassinot!

Project Updates

Project Spotlight: The Rangers

pgm.gifOne of the essential groups in our community is the WikiTree Rangers. These are the members who take responsibility for protecting our free, shared tree in one or more hour-long shifts per week.

Rangers serve and protect the community in a vital way simply by being on duty and staying alert. We watch for metaphorical “forest fires” started by:

  1. Vandals intentionally causing damage.
  2. New members accidentally doing harm.
  3. Unexpected technical problems.

Rangering is easy!  You simply check some key activity feeds every 10 minutes or so. If you spot a “forest fire,” you report it.

We need a Ranger on duty 24-7! Would you like to help?

If you would like to participate, click  here to join.

If you have an interest in Croatia, you might want to check out the newly created Croatian Roots Project.

Don’t Miss These!

Challenges/Contests

sourcerer.gifSOURCERERS CHALLENGE:  Far too many profiles on WikiTree don’t have any sources. This challenge is about correcting that with census data, BMD records/index references, family bible references, military documents, land documents, wills, etc. Each month we’ll post in G2G to start up the month’s challenge. To participate, go to this G2G post.

connectors.gifCONNECTORS CHALLENGEThe goal of the Connectors Challenge is to see how many individuals you can connect to our global family tree.  To join in the June Challenge, go here.

photo_of_week.gifFAMILY HISTORY PHOTO OF THE WEEKIf you love old photos or if you have photos in your own family collection that you love, you can share them in our Family History Photo of the Week Facebook group so they are nominated for our Family History Photo of the Week Contest!  See also Criteria for Selection and DisqualificationSee previous winners here.

You might also want to check out our Saturday Sourcing Sprints, Biography Builders Challenge and the new Military Challenge.

WikiTree Calendar

Stay up to date with all the latest challenges, contests, LiveCasts and upcoming events via our Calendar.

Thanks for all you do, WikiTreers. You’re the best.

Sincerely, The WikiTree Team and Leaders

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Greetings fellow WikiTreers! Welcome to the May 2017 edition of News from the Tree, our monthly report on new features and changes around the site, notes on community leaders, tips, etc.

What’s New?

Have you Checked your Weekly Connections in the Connection Finder?

Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

Every week you can find two new connections in our Connection Finder.

Each Monday, we showcase a WikiTreer in a Meet our Members feature on our blog and they also get to be spotlighted in the Connection Finder for that week (starting on Tuesday).

This week it’s Bea Wijma. Bea has been a member of our community since October of 2013 and is one of our wonderful Leaders. She is very active leading several projects including Dutch RootsCape of Good HopeNew Netherland and South African Roots. She participates in the Dutch Roots Challenge and has been instrumental in the development of the Nederlands Portaal. You can learn more about her here and check the Finder to see how you are connected!

We also highlight what we call an Example Profile of the Week.  These profiles are top-notch and meet the styles and standards criteria that the community has agreed upon. The notable whose profile is used as an example is also featured in the Connection Finder for that week.

Spotlighted this week is Dr. Benjamin Spock, born 2 May 1903, in New Haven, Connecticut. Dr. Spock was renowned for his theories on intuitive parenting and his anti-war positions. See how you are connected!

And of course you can always see your connection to Queen Elizabeth II and Kevin Bacon.

Follow the tag connection_finder for weekly updates on connections.

WikiTreers Cleaned House: Over 80,000 Errors Addressed During Clean-A-Thon

Wow, what a great weekend!  Huge thanks to all of you who participated in our Clean-a-Thon. We can definitely call it a success!

Here are some stats from the event:

Top 5 Teams:

  1. A Rose By Any Other Name (Leader: Emma McBeth) – 11,977
  2. Massachusetts 600 (Leader: Bob Keniston) – 7,592
  3. Merry Moppers (Leader: Lucy Lavelle) – 5,468
  4. Virginia Spring Cleaners (Leader: Liz Shifflett) – 5,457
  5. Southern Super Sweepers (Leader: Dorothy Barry) – 5,125

Top 5 Participants:

  1.  Lucy Lavelle - 3,167
  2. Emma McBeth - 3,046
  3. Charlotte Shockey - 2,763
  4. Dorothy Barry - 1,897
  5. Anonymous J. Penny - 1,732
Top 5 Errors Addressed:
  1. 603 – USA too early in birth location – 9,497
  2. 611 – Birth location in lowercase –  4,737
  3. 633 – USA too early in death location – 4,272
  4. 811 – Uncleaned profile after a merge – 4,130
  5. 511 – Unique names (spelling) – 3,894
Almost every team and 22 participants broke 1,000 which is fantastic!
As a result of everyone’s hard work, in 72 hours we addressed 80,757 errors!

New “Ancestors” and “Descendants” Buttons

We’re excited to announce this new feature.

You can now view family trees and descendant lists without leaving a person’s main profile page.

Look for the “Ancestors” button next to the person parents’ names and the “Descendants” button next to their children’s names, e.g. on https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Whitten-20

Note that they will only appear if the person has grandparents or grandchildren. For example, Chris Whitten’s profile has an Ancestors button but not a Descendants button because he doesn’t have grandchildren. A descendant list for him wouldn’t show anything that isn’t on the main profile page.

A little extra feature: putting your cursor over a parent’s name will show the grandparents. Mousing-over a child’s name will show grandchildren.

We are not changing the existing Family Tree and Descendant List pages (e.g. Whitten-Family-Tree-20 and Whitten-Descendants-20). The main content on those pages is the same as what you can now access on the profile page, but it’s useful to have separate URLs.

Change to Open Privacy Level

We’ve been discussing changing our privacy rules for a long time.

We’ve now made a decision and are starting the process of implementing an important change.

The new rule: Profiles of people who were born over 150 years ago or who died over 100 years ago must be Open.

As of today, that applies to profiles of people born before May 1867 or who died before May 1917.

Until now the rule was that profiles of people born over 200 years ago must be Open. We aren’t changing any other privacy rules. See https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Privacy.

For details on how this change will be implemented, see this G2G post.

Are you Related to Any U.S. Presidents? 

There have been a lot of G2G posts lately from people who are curious if and how they are related to any of the U.S. Presidents.  We’ve made it easier for you to check. Just go to our Relationship Finder and you’ll see a list of all the Presidents.  You can quickly click through and see if you are related.

Question of the Week

Have you participated in the Question of the Week yet? Every Monday 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.

We recently asked “What is your most memorable genealogical discovery?”

Here are just a few of the answers we received:

  • My great-grandfather was eight months old when his mother died, or at least that was the story as he knew it. As it turns out, his mother left his father and went on to have three daughters, two of whom became nuns and one who went on to have a descendant on ancestry.com. He was a Methodist minister; wouldn’t he have been surprised to know he had two half-sisters who were nuns? Of course, there is much more to this story and by far it’s one of the most memorable discoveries. ~ Pendy
  • I recently discovered that 6th great-grandparents are the grandparents of General Sam Houston – which makes us 1st cousins 6x’s removed.  Also, descended from the same line – my 7th great-grandparents are the 5th great-grandparents of actor Bill Paxton, making us 6th cousins 2x’s removed.  I’m sure they would both be equally excited to find they are related to me haha ;)  ~ Michelle
  • The first mention of my great great grandmother in the newspapers (and she seems to feature a lot) is when she discovers a baby’s body in Nelson Harbour in 1865. The mother of the child was charged with infanticide and my gg grandmother, who was only about 18 at the time and newly married, had to give evidence at the trial while about 4 months pregnant herself. ~ Fiona
  • Many years ago my sister and I visited the state historical building, which houses the states genealogical collection.  I was newly married and thrilled to have new lines to search. We were discussing where to go with our research when told my sister I thought I would look into the Stephenson line from Kosciusko County Indiana. My sister looked at me oddly and said her husband had Stephenson’s in Kosciusko County, Indiana.  Needless to say, our husbands are related through the Stephenson line. ~ Deena
  •  I was just starting out in genealogy and was working on my biological lines and adoptive parents lines. I knew I had two older siblings and started searching and posting on websites, both genealogy and adoptive.  A year and a half later  I received an email that said, “I think you’re looking for me, I’m your big sister” Sure enough it was. ~ Shelly

Tree-Tips

  • Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

    Remember point IX of our Honor Code:  We are united in a mission to increase the world’s common store of knowledge. We always respect copyrights and privacy, but we keep information as free and open as possible.

  • We often get questions about the costs of joining WikiTree. See here for our pledge to keep WikiTree 100% free!
  • Prioritize your profile updates. From your Watchlist click the fourth header ‘Last Edit’ to sort the list so that the first profile listed is the one that’s gone the longest time without being edited. Check it out – maybe there’s something you can add or improve!

Community Accomplishments

Top 10 contributors for last month: WikiTree Club 1000 April 2017

  1. Gregory Rose (8,406 edits in April)
  2. Esmé van der Westhuizen (8130)
  3. Stephanie Ahles (6739)
  4. NJ Penny (6241)
  5. John Noel (5587)
  6. Michelle Brooks (4959)
  7. Kaye Mansfield (4908)
  8. Charlotte Shockey (4865)
  9. Michael Sheffield (4771)
  10. Bea Wijma (4732)

Super Star recipients (recognized by a Leader for extraordinary contributions that go far beyond what is normally seen on WikiTree): 

Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication: Paul GierszewskiEmma (McBeth) MacBeathHans Hofmann and Lucy (Kelleher) Lavelle!

Project Updates

Project Spotlight: Puritan Great Migration

pgm.gifThe purpose of the Puritan Great Migration Project is to improve profile pages and research of up to 40,000 early New England colonists—both Puritans and non-Puritans—who arrived during the period of the Great Migration generally associated with the Puritans, between 1621 and 1640. PGM project members actively work on the research and improvement of project profiles, following the Project Guidelines and collaborating with fellow PGM team members.

If you would like to participate, click  here to join.

Don’t Miss These!

Challenges/Contests

sourcerer.gifSOURCERERS CHALLENGE:  Far too many profiles on WikiTree don’t have any sources. This challenge is about correcting that with census data, BMD records/index references, family bible references, military documents, land documents, wills, etc. Each month we’ll post in G2G to start up the month’s challenge. To participate, go to this G2G post.

connectors.gifCONNECTORS CHALLENGEThe goal of the Connectors Challenge is to see how many individuals you can connect to our global family tree.  To join in the May Challenge, go here.

photo_of_week.gifFAMILY HISTORY PHOTO OF THE WEEKIf you love old photos or if you have photos in your own family collection that you love, you can share them in our Family History Photo of the Week Facebook group so they are nominated for our Family History Photo of the Week Contest!  See also Criteria for Selection and DisqualificationSee previous winners here.

You might also want to check out our Saturday Sourcing Sprints and the Biography Builders Challenge.

Weekly LiveCasts

Have you watched one of the weekly LiveCasts yet? They’re fun and informative.

WikiTree LiveCasts are weekly live video chats about WikiTree. Join in and chat with MagsJulie and whomever happens to be sitting in with them.

For the most part, LiveCasts will take place every Saturday at 3 p.m. EST.

If you missed last Saturday’s LiveCast with Mags and Emma MacBeath talking about DNA Matching and WikiTree you can still view it and any others you might have missed via the LiveCasts YouTube channel. This coming Saturday, at 3 p.m. EDT join Mags and crew here as they chat about DNA Features on WikiTree.  Special guest WikiTreer and genealogy blogger, Kitty Munson Cooper, will be stopping by to join in the conversation.

If you would like to be featured on a LiveCast shoot Mags or Julie a private message.  To get details on upcoming LiveCasts, go here.

WikiTree Calendar

Stay up to date with all the latest challenges, contests, LiveCasts and upcoming events via our Calendar.

Thanks for all you do, WikiTreers. You’re the best.

Sincerely, The WikiTree Team and Leaders

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Greetings fellow WikiTreers! Welcome to the April 2017 edition of News from the Tree, our monthly report on new features and changes around the site, notes on community leaders, tips, etc.

What’s New?

See your connection to Charles Schulz

Charles Schulz

We’re excited to announce that Charles Schulz was the winning profile in last month’s “Connection Combat.” Thank you to Scott Fulkerson and the other Connectors for adding Schulz’s genealogy in Connection Combat: Cartoon Crusher – Charles Schulz vs Shel Silverstein.

Charles Schulz is best known for his “Peanuts” comic strip with the infamous Charlie Brown and Snoopy.

Each time there is a new winner they are featured in our Connection Finder.  This means you can check your connection with Charles Schulz here.

Follow the tag connection_combat to know when a new competition starts.

Will you Participate in our Spring Clean-a-Thon?

Registration is open for the first annual Spring Clean-a-Thon!

Last October we did a Source-a-Thon and it was great fun. Laura Bozzay came up with the idea for a community clean-up weekend.

Our goal for the Spring Clean-a-Thon is to clear out as many database errors as possible. To make it fun we’re having teams and competing to see who can clear out the most.

It will be going for 72 hours straight, April 22-24. We’re including Monday so that those who are busy on the weekend can still participate.

There will be special t-shirts as prizes and video Hangouts every four hours.  It’s going to be a blast and our Tree will be much improved at the end of it!

For more details, including how to register, see here.

New “How-To” Tutorials

We now have a series of short “How-To” tutorials to help introduce new folks to WikiTree. It’s also a great refresher, even if you’ve been here awhile.

If you’re a Newt (New to WikiTree) or feeling lost in the forest, here’s how to:

  1. Start Climbing Our Tree
  2. Edit a Profile
  3. Join in the Community
  4. Be a Successful WikiTreer
  5. Manage Your Watchlist
  6. Dig a Little Deeper
If you’re a Newg (New to Genealogy) see How to Get Started with Genealogy.

WikiTree X Now Supports MyHeritage

Great news from our friend Justin York!  Version 1.3.0 of WikiTree X has just been released. It adds support for MyHeritage records and trees.

Question of the Week

Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

Have you participated in the Question of the Week yet? Every Monday 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.

We recently asked “If you could pick a different time period to live in, what would it be?”

Here are just a few of the answers we received:

  • If I went back in time and could not return to the present day I would pick the May 8th, 1945. V.E. Day. World War 11 ends in Europe. A day of jubilation and celebration. I wasn’t born until 1957, but I loved hearing stories and seeing family photographs about the 1940s while I was growing up. I loved the music, the movies, the tv shows, the cars and the styles of that era. ~ Duane
  • I’d like to pop in and out of various time periods – but honestly, I have lived in one of the most amazing periods imaginable.  As a kid at our ranch house we had an old oak wall phone that was on a 13-party line.  Our number was 2 shorts and a long….  Now I have a cell phone that does everything but housework.  Phone, email, texting, surfing the net, calculator, timer, alarm clock, stopwatch, camera, and a great flashlight!  When I was in high school I visited the computer room at the University and it took a building to do less than this phone does.  I like now! ~ Lola
  • I’ve always felt that I was born in the wrong era.  I would really prefer to live in the Regency period in England. I would be a bit of a rebel and a definite bluestocking though because I couldn’t conform to all of the societal expectations. I could never make up my mind which part of England  I would live in, but because I would be a bluestocking–who would of course study and record family lines–I could simply travel often (including to Scotland). ~ Emma
  • I would love to go back 120 years, in my present location, and find out where the great Sousa Band would be performing next. Then, I would travel by steam train to that location, stay at a comfy Victorian hotel and await one of the greatest musical experiences of anyone’s lifetime. Having to remain in 1897 on, I would, in addition to being a ‘Sousa groupie’, become active in a wholesome church group and support myself with teaching and handyman skills. That’s quite a dream! ~ Unknown Ewing
  • Being 66% Scandinavian and having blood ties, I think the Viking era would be an awesome time to live in.  The greatest navigators and explorers ever.  Times would be hard but the legacy would last forever. ~ Russell

Tree-Tips

  • Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

    Remember point VIII of our Honor Code (this is a big one!):  We cite sources. Without sources we can’t objectively resolve conflicting information.

  • After trying GEDCompare with your large GEDCOM file, upload a smaller one for your first GEDCOM import. The WikiTree process is different than with other websites and a smaller imported file lets you get a feel for the process without getting overwhelmed.
  • Activity feeds enable you to track changes on WikiTree. There are several different kinds of feeds, such as Changes to a Profile, Family Activity Feed and Thank-You Feed. See the full list of feeds and their descriptions here.
  • If another WikiTreer is making you hot under the collar, remember “DWWA” (Don’t WikiTree While Angry). Stop, Drop, and Roll.
  • Make sure your tags are up to date!  Sometimes there might be new tags you want to follow so you can keep up on discussions or a new surname you want to get updates on.  You can manage your tags here.
  • One tip for being a successful WikiTreer? Always be courteous. Even in the G2G Forum. Even when other people might not be.
  • The Profile of the Week is an example of a great profile. Browse the Example Gallery for others.

Community Accomplishments

Top 10 contributors for last month: WikiTree Club 1000 March 2017

  1. Catherine V (12,241 edits in March)
  2. Stephanie Ahles (11482)
  3. Carrie Quackenbush (7497)
  4. Esmé van der Westhuizen (7293)
  5. Ronnie Halford (7124)
  6. Cynthia Kay (6666)
  7. Michael Sheffield (6046)
  8. Janet Rigby (5794)
  9. Miss Jenny Williams (5442)
  10. Jacques Dufresne (5431)

Super Star recipients (recognized by a Leader for extraordinary contributions that go far beyond what is normally seen on WikiTree): 

Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication: Debi (McGee) HoagJo-Anne (Reid) ZeronDirk le RouxGordon Mac Rae and Mel (Gilbert) Lambert!

What Brought You to WikiTree?

Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

Last week our Forest Elf posed a question in the G2G forum.  She was curious as to how long our members have been here and what brought them to WikiTree.  There were some great responses as to how people stumbled onto our site! Such as:

  • I am working on my fourth year! So my doctorate in Genealogical Collaboration! Wee hooo! What brought me here was my 5th Great Grandfather, Esli Hunt Sr. I was googling the “Hunt 14″ (the 14 children of Dr. Thomas Hunt from Bedford County, Virginia) and found that the number was not 14 as it should be but that Dr. Thomas Hunt of Virginia’s line had been appropriated (assimilated, abducted confused?) into an unrelated Hunt line from Westchester NY. I stumbled into many things at that time: A deeper understanding of Genealogy, What Genealogical Collaboration could do, a Profession and into a whole new family – My WikiTree Family. ~ Mags
  • I joined WikiTree in late summer 2014. My mother and her sister were the family historians and I inherited my mother’s research when she died in 2008 at 100 years and 3 months of age. She was so proud of her French/Acadian heritage. I realized that her type-written, loosely-sourced family charts weren’t going to endure and began looking for an online source that I thought would outlast me and be easy for my cousins and family to use. I don’t know how I landed on WikiTree but I liked it immediately and thought its concept would likely endure the test of time. It is challenging to do right, but is constantly changing as more people comment and make suggestions. ~ Jacqueline
  • I joined on July 3, 2014, so I’m coming up to 3 years. I started collaborating with a distant cousin, Randy Seaver, on our Underhill line back in the early 2000′s and we became great online friends. I stop by his blog now and then and happened to read one he had written about WikiTree and how it worked. I had not heard of it before, so I looked the website over and decided to sign up because I really felt a need to post my research in a more public place where anyone can find it. ~ Alison
  • I joined in 2013.  At the time I was looking for somewhere to ‘tell the story’ so what I have discovered isn’t lost when I fall off the perch.  When I found the features starting to be introduced associated with DNA testing, that was it, I was hooked and I haven’t looked back.  Wikitree keeps coming up with new features and is just getting better and better.  ~ Veronica
  • I joined in August 2015, after stumbling upon an interview with Chris Whitten on the Clue Wagon blog.  Being a member of the Baha’i Faith, I believe in the oneness of humanity, so I was totally down with the goal of building a single family tree.  Also, unlike so many genealogy communities I’ve been part of, we are actually encouraged to collaborate and share information!  What a concept!  I signed right up. ~ Vicky
See more stories and share yours here!

Project Updates

New Projects

Project Spotlight: Notables Project

notables.gifThe goal of the Notables Project is to add and connect notable figures from world history and current events to our global family tree. We use Wikipedia’s standards for notability. Note, though, that many notable people do not yet have a page on Wikipedia. Feel free to ask Project Leaders about whether someone meets the guidelines, or read through them yourself and use your best judgment. Many, many important people are not on WikiTree yet!

If you would like to participate, click  here to join.

If you’re already a member, the Notables project wants to know what you’re working on during the month of April. Share what you’re up to here: https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/369816/april-2017-notables-monthly-g2g.

Don’t Miss These!

Challenges/Contests

sourcerer.gifSOURCERERS CHALLENGE:  Far too many profiles on WikiTree don’t have any sources. This challenge is about correcting that with census data, BMD records/index references, family bible references, military documents, land documents, wills, etc. Each month we’ll post in G2G to start up the month’s challenge. To participate, go to this G2G post.

connectors.gifCONNECTORS CHALLENGEThe goal of the Connectors Challenge is to see how many individuals you can connect to our global family tree.  To join in the April Challenge, go here.

photo_of_week.gifFAMILY HISTORY PHOTO OF THE WEEKIf you love old photos or if you have photos in your own family collection that you love, you can share them in our Family History Photo of the Week Facebook group so they are nominated for our Family History Photo of the Week Contest!  See also Criteria for Selection and DisqualificationSee previous winners here.

Weekly LiveCasts

Have you watched one of the weekly LiveCasts yet? They’re fun and informative.

WikiTree LiveCasts are weekly live video chats about WikiTree. Join in and chat with MagsJulie and whomever happens to be sitting in with them.

For the most part, LiveCasts will take place every Saturday at 3 p.m. EST.

If you missed last Saturday’s LiveCast with The Profile Improvement Project, Bob Keniston and award winning author and editor, the Book Doctor, Bobbie Christmas, you can still view it and any others you might have missed via the LiveCasts YouTube channel. This coming Saturday, at 10 a.m. EDT join Mags and Julie here as they chat with Doug Straiton about the Scottish Project.

If you would like to be featured on a LiveCast shoot Mags or Julie a private message.  To get details on upcoming LiveCasts, go here.

WikiTree Calendar

Stay up to date with all the latest challenges, contests, LiveCasts and upcoming events via our Calendar.

Thanks for all you do, WikiTreers. You’re the best.

Sincerely, The WikiTree Team and Leaders

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Greetings fellow WikiTreers! Welcome to the March 2017 edition of News from the Tree, our monthly report on new features and changes around the site, notes on community leaders, tips, etc.

What’s New?

See your connection to Ben Kingsley

Ben Kingsley

We’re excited to announce that Ben Kingsley was the winning profile in last month’s “Connection Combat.” Thank you to Jamie Nelson and the other Connectors for adding her genealogy in Connection Combat: Bobby Fischer vs. Ben Kinglsey.

Ben Kingsley is an English actor with a career spanning over 40 years, during which he has won an Oscar, Grammy, BAFTA, two Golden Globes and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

Each time there is a new winner they are featured in our Connection Finder.  This means you can check your connection with Ben Kingsley here.

Follow the tag connection_combat to know when a new competition starts.

Question of the Week

Have you participated in the Question of the Week yet? Every Monday 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.

We recently asked “What are some of the most treasured mementos you’ve been able to collect?”

Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

Here are just a few of the answers we received:

  • The Mourning Veil of my Great-great-grandmother and a picture of her wearing it. Each one came from a different branch of the family.  Also a piece of linen woven for the shroud of my great-great-great grandmother from the flax grown on her son-in-laws farm. - Linda Stienstra
  • The item that helped me connect my parents to the Cavanaughs was my mother’s bible that was given to one of my aunts after she passed away. In it was the names of the witnesses and the dates of my parents marriage which triggered the search for the Cavanaugh connection including phone calls to my older brother who confirmed the relationship. That lead to the finding of my father’s own mother’s connection and the eventual connection to the overall WikiTree family tree. - Dorothy Barry
  • One of my most treasured possessions is a very old emerald cut aquamarine birthstone ring that was my maternal grandmother’s.  It is in a beautiful old setting unlike anything I’ve seen in modern jewelry.  I’m not sure where she got it.  My mother had it when my grandmother passed in 1976 and she handed it down to me.  I keep it put up for safe keeping and take it out once in a while to admire it. - Amy W
  • My great grandmother, Ellen Walter was presented with a silver teapot by her local church congregation in Howlong New South Wales. It is beautifully engraved with the following:Mrs Robert Walter
    In Grateful Remembrance of
    Her Loving Devotion to
    St Thomas Church Howlong
    From the Congregation
    March 13th 1925Somehow it ended up with me. I am delighted. - Gillian Thomas

New Team Member: Julie Ricketts

Almost every active member of our community will recognize the name Julie (Fiscus) Ricketts.

She’s been a member since 2011 and has gotten really involved over the last few years. She’s been an essential part of two of our most important projects: the Greeters and the Mentors. You might know her from her posts in G2G, including the Question of the Week. You may have seen her with Mags Gaulden on the new WikiTree LiveCast video chats.

If you don’t know Julie, check out her “Meet Our Members” interview.

As a team member, her first responsibility will be to help the Volunteer Coordinators Project.

We’ve had this project going for a few years and a lot of good people have been involved with it, but we still feel like there’s a lot more we can be doing to introduce members who are willing to volunteer their time and genealogical research abilities to projects and other places where their help is needed. (If you might want to help with Julie with this — volunteer to help coordinate volunteers — e-mail her at Julie@WikiTree.com.)

Julie will also be heading up what we might call “QA” (Quality Assurance) if we were a big corporation. Since we’re not a big corporation we’ll put it in plain language: bug tracking and testing.

Tree-Tips

  • Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

    Remember point VII of our Honor Code: We give credit. Although most genealogy isn’t copyrighted, researchers deserve credit for the work they’ve done.

  • Make sure your tags are up to date!  Sometimes there might be new tags you want to follow so you can keep up on discussions or there’s a new surname you want to get updates on.  You can manage your tags here.
  • One tip for being a successful WikiTreer? Always be courteous. Even in the G2G Forum. Even when other people might not be.

Community Accomplishments

Top 10 contributors for last month: WikiTree Club 1000 February 2017

  1. Catherine V (12,970 edits in February)
  2. Carrie Quackenbush (7883)
  3. Esmé van der Westhuizen (7572)
  4. Stephanie Ahles (7375)
  5. Ronnie Halford (5286)
  6. Michael Maranda (5223)
  7. Gregory Rose (5147)
  8. Donna Hale (5057)
  9. Bobby Robichaud Jr (4519)
  10. Isabelle Rassinot (4426)

Super Star recipients (recognized by a Leader for extraordinary contributions that go far beyond what is normally seen on WikiTree): 

Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication: Susan (Goldmark) LaursenCharlotte ShockeyDonnie Blackstone and David Hughey!

Project Updates

New Projects

  • Austrian Project:  Their aim is to support research and collaboration on profiles of Austrian Heritage or Origin, and to foster connections among researchers with common interests and the development of shared resources to advance these aims.

Project Spotlight: Arborists

arborist.gifWikiTree Arborists are volunteers who have taken on the mission of improving the overall health of our single world WikiTree. In particular, Arborists seek out and merge duplicate profiles.

If you would like to participate, click  here to join.

Don’t Miss These!

Challenges/Contests

sourcerer.gifSOURCERERS CHALLENGE:  Far too many profiles on WikiTree don’t have any sources. This challenge is about correcting that with census data, BMD records/index references, family bible references, military documents, land documents, wills, etc. Each month we’ll post in G2G to start up the month’s challenge. To participate, go to this G2G post.

connectors.gifCONNECTORS CHALLENGEThe goal of the Connectors Challenge is to see how many individuals you can connect to our global family tree.  To join in the March Challenge, go here.

photo_of_week.gifFAMILY HISTORY PHOTO OF THE WEEKIf you love old photos or if you have photos in your own family collection that you love, you can share them in our Family History Photo of the Week Facebook group so they are nominated for our Family History Photo of the Week Contest!  See also Criteria for Selection and DisqualificationSee previous winners here.

Weekly LiveCasts

Have you watched one of the weekly LiveCasts yet? They’re fun and informative.

WikiTree LiveCasts are weekly live video chats about WikiTree. Join in and chat with MagsJulie and whomever happens to be sitting in with them.

For the most part, LiveCasts will take place every Saturday at 3 p.m. EST.

If you missed last Saturday’s LiveCast with Chat with Abby Glann, Team Member and Connectors Project Leader, you can still view it and any others you might have missed via the LiveCasts YouTube channel. This coming Saturday, join Mags and Eowyn here as they chat with Julie Ricketts and Carole Partridge about the Greeters Project.

If you would like to be featured on a LiveCast shoot Mags or Julie a private message.  To get details on upcoming LiveCasts, go here.

WikiTree Calendar

Stay up to date with all the latest challenges, contests, LiveCasts and upcoming events via our Calendar.

Thanks for all you do, WikiTreers. You’re the best.

Sincerely, The WikiTree Team and Leaders

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Hi WikiTreers!

Here are a few things happening around the community this week:

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