Hi WikiTreers!

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

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Did you see the new one-to-one GEDmatch DNA test comparison links?  Here’s what our WikiTreer-in-Chief, Chris Whitten, has to say about them:

Hi WikiTreers,

I’m very excited to announce the following. It’s something I’ve been wanting every time I see a distant cousin’s DNA test connected to one of my ancestor’s profiles (which is becoming more and more common — 3.3 million of our profiles have them).

You will now see “[compare]” links next to GEDmatch kit IDs on profiles and DNA Ancestor Confirmation Aid pages such as Roberts-7085/899.

For your own Ancestor Confirmation Aid page, click here and then select the “DNA Confirmation” button.

If you select or enter two GEDmatch IDs you can go directly to a one-to-one comparison on GEDmatch with one click. (This also works for Ysearch and Mitosearch IDs. This capability isn’t new, but we integrated the user interface for it.)

For more info, see Help:DNA_Comparison.

This is another step forward in our growing relationship with GEDmatch. And there’s more on the way. John Olson, John Hayward, and Curtis Rogers are constantly improving GEDmatch’s capabilities and we’re working together to utilize their advanced genetic genealogy tools for our mission to grow an accurate single family tree.

In particular, GEDmatch is in the process of restructuring and improving their Multi-Kit analysis. And they’re working on integrating the new Genesis kit IDs into their main database. When these changes are done, GEDmatch will enable WikiTree members to select more than just two kits at a time for comparison. This will be a major advance for triangulation, and for genetic genealogy in general, I’d say.

Onward and upward,

Chris

P.S. As with many of our DNA features, this would not have happened without Peter Roberts. It’s to his credit, from start to finish. The last pieces fell into place at the FTDNA conference down in Houston. Peter, Mags Gaulden, and a whole contingent of other WikiTreers were evangelizing for the importance of the single family tree in genetic genealogy. Face-to-face interactions in the small community of advanced genetic genealogists really make a difference. Peter’s discussions with John Olson there got the last pieces into place for these comparison links.

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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 January 2017 edition of News from the Tree, our monthly report on new features and changes around the site, notes on community leaders, tips, etc. Are you ready for the New Year?

What’s New?

See your connection to Rosa Parks

We’re excited to announce that Rosa Parks was the winning profile in last month’s “Connection Combat.” Thank you to Doug Lockwood and the other Connectors for adding his genealogy as part of this month’s Connection Combat: Martin Luther King Jr. vs Rosa Parks.

Rosa Parks  was an African-American civil rights activist, whom the United States Congress called “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement.” She is best known for her refusal to surrender her seat to a white passenger on a public bus in Montgomery, Alabama, which spurred on a citywide boycott and helped launch nationwide efforts to end segregation of public facilities.

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

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

Changes to Surname Index Pages

We just released a round of changes to surname index pages. For example:

https://www.wikitree.com/genealogy/ADAMS
https://www.wikitree.com/genealogy/SMITH

The initial impetus for the changes was to make WikiTree more mobile-friendly, but you’ll notice that a lot of things have been changed regardless of how you’re viewing the page.

The first thing you may notice is that it’s now a list rather than a table with columns for name, birth date, etc. This conforms the appearance with search results. Some members probably prefer the table format, so that is still an option.

In addition to improving things for mobile users, a list enabled us to create a second column for the extras, e.g. the images, tagged G2G questions, and free-space profiles. By having them on the right there’s less clutter on top.

We’re also utilizing the right column to provide a detailed list of the options for resorting and viewing other surname-related pages.

If you want to know more about the technical “whys” for these changes, see this G2G post.

View Error Reports by Surname

Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

You can get error reports for surnames that interest you.

For example:

A WikiTreer is never bored, right?!

These are now linked from:

  1. Your personalized Surname Navigation Page. Click “Surnames” on the “My WikiTree” pull-down menu.
  2. The surname pull-down menu on surname index pages and other surname-related pages. It’s linked as “Error Report” like with the one on profile-related pages.
  3. The member quick links and the detailed sidebar links on surname index pages.

Automatic Suggestions for Place Names

We just implemented a long-awaited feature: automatic suggestions for place names. This is currently only available when editing profiles. When it seems to be working pretty well there we’ll add it elsewhere.

This utilizes FamilySearch Place Names database (thank you, FamilySearch!) and includes a cool research feature. You will see a little pin icon next to suggestions. If you click the pin you’ll go to FamilySearch place names research tool, e.g. https://familysearch.org/research/places/place/10564035.

WikiTree+ Merge Comparison Reports

On merge comparison pages and Browse Matches (Find > Pending Merges on the pull-down menu)  you’ll now see links that say “see the comparison report on WikiTree+”.

These lead you to pages like this http://wikitree.sdms.si/function/WTWebDuplicates/Compare.htm?UserID1=2533386&UserID2=8767375

These reports may be overwhelming for the average member, but they might be very useful for Arborists and other advanced members.

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! Just follow the tag “question_of_the_week” to get the new question each week.

We recently asked “If you had a time machine, where and when would you go?

Here are just a few of the answers we received:

  • “Back to 1921 to prevent the fire that destroyed the 1890 census. ” - Doug Lockwood
  • “I don’t know that I would want to go back. If I did I would not be searching as ardently as I am. I really like figuring out where people go in my family. And as exasperating as it is, it is a journey like no other. Exciting yet disappointing, exhilarating yet crushing. So no I think I would have to pass the time machine to someone else.” - Elsie Dietamann
  • “I wish I could go back in time and find out what happened to one of my Rev War New Hampshire patriots — he served as a teenager, then left for Nova Scotia, and then returned.  Grandmother never said more than, “This family has the right to wear Nova Scotia plaid!”  But she left a chart behind, and the rest is history.” - Janine Barber
  • “I’d want to go back to my ancestor who first set foot on the North American continent, Dirck Volckertszen, and visit in a couple of time periods. First, I’d like to visit him before he took the journey (maybe around 1628) and find out what motivated him to go to the new world, who his parents and grandparents were, brothers and sisters, and find out all about his past.Then, I’d want to skip ahead through the journey to when he set foot in New Amsterdam around 1632 and watch a few moments in his life that were recorded – rumor has it he was a hard drinking man, a bit of a gambler, and had a terrible temper. He paid his debts, both good and bad. Took a fence post to an unruly landlord who dragged his wife out of their rented house by her hair. I wonder if I might like the guy.” - Scott Fulkerson

Who’s New

We’re thrilled to announce two new WikiTree Leaders!

Ronel (van Heerden) OlivierRonel Olivier: Ronel been with us since November 2014.  She is quite actively involved in many projects including our Dutch Cape Colony Project and South African Roots Project. In her own words here’s what she aspires to: “My goals are to help build a global tree with as many South African profiles as possible. Giving each and every profile a place in the sun, to commemorate there joy and sorrows. Adding as many private sources to WikiTree as possible for future generations.”

Susan (Coetsee) de BruynSusan de Bruyn: Susan joined us in February 2014.  She, too, is very engaged in our Dutch Cape Colony and South African Roots Projects.  The comment posted when she was awarded a Super Star shows why she’s a valued member of our community: “Susanna is meticulous in the sheer amount of primary validation of profiles she does every week – not only searching for the primary baptismal, marriage or death records or the transcriptions thereof, but also citing the sources properly. She’s not shy to state her own conclusions and choices based on persistent actual hard research.”

Tree-Tips

  • Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

    Do you have an issue, concern or problem with another member? If so, start here: http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Problems_with_Members.

  • We respect privacy. We privacy-protect anything we think our family members might not want public. If that’s not enough for someone, we delete their personal information. To learn more about our privacy settings, see this help page.

Community Accomplishments

Top 10 contributors for last month: WikiTree Club 1000 December 2016

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:Loretta Leger!

Project Updates

New Projects

One Name Studies

Project Spotlight – Greeters

greeter.gifThe mission of the Greeters Project is to welcome new Guests and confirm Volunteers for full membership. We also answer questions from our guests and new members and make sure they get the help they need to have a successful start on Wikitree.

Are you friendly? Do you like to make others feel welcome? If you would like to participate, click  here to join.

Don’t Miss These!

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. Last month Carol Keeling was the winner, connecting 13 new branches to our tree!  To join in the December 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.

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

Sincerely, The WikiTree Team and Leaders

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Hi WikiTreers!

Did you have a good weekend? Find any cool ancestors? Break any brick walls? New places to search for records? Now that it’s Monday and time to get back to the grind, here’s a few things you might have missed last week to help get you going:

From WikiTree:

  • Every weekend our notables Project Leader Bob Fields shares significant events that happened on those days in history.  Catch up with his October 10th and October 11th posts.
  • It’s never too late to join in our Weekend Chat! This is a great way to get to know other WikiTreers and to share about yourself.
  • Our October newsletter with reports on new features and changes around the site, notes on community leaders, tips, etc.
  • Last week’s Mashup (5 October 2015).

Blogger Bits:

Genealogy News:

Records Sites and Helps:

Contests:

Other Helpful and Interesting Links:

Family History Photo of the Week Nominee: Milton R. Holloway with twin calves

 

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