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 Carol.

Carol Keeling became a WikiTreer in August of 2015.  She’s active in many ways including in our England Project as a helper for Sussex County.  Carol also works hard as a Connector and Data Doctor.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

My maiden name was Winton, so that has to go top of the list, closely followed by Whitbread, Woodhams, Alger and Anthoney. On my husband’s side there is Keeling (of course!), then Rolfe, Bossley, Shovlar and Higginbottom. I’ve picked some of the unusual ones to list, but I have plenty more common surnames that could be added.

 What are some of the locations you are researching?

Both my parents were born in London, England. But I have ancestors from the counties of Sussex, Kent, Devon and Bedfordshire.

The Keelings were from Lincolnshire, (and probably Staffordshire, if I could only get back that far). There are also connections to Kent, Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Suffolk. So quite a wide variety.

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

In 1979, Gordon Honeycombe presented a 5 part series on BBC, based on the research he had done into his own family. I was hooked, it totally fascinated me, and I started to enlist the help of family members  right away.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

This is a tough one to answer, but I’m going to choose my great grandmother Sarah Ann Winton. She was widowed in her early 40′s with 5 young children to support. (I use the term ‘widowed’ loosely here, as she was never married to the father of her children). She kept the family together and took in lodgers as a source of income. Her guests were mainly theatrical people, who were appearing in the local theatres of Deptford and New Cross (in South London). One of my most prized possessions is her visitors comments book, which contains not only names and dates, but also the touring company they were appearing with. I have a couple of photos of her, she looks quite a determined person, and I’ve always felt that she was quite inspirational.

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

I have far too many brick walls that are waiting to be broken down, so will write about one that I’ve solved.

George David King and his wife Elizabeth, had their first child Mary King, born in Marden in Kent in 1837. Although they had two subsequent children, I was unable to identify their birth registrations, so Elizabeth’s maiden name was unknown. When the GRO launched their website (I think in 2016), it gave the ages at death from 1837-1866, and mother’s maiden name for all births 1837-1911.

I checked the age at death for George and Elizabeth’s youngest child Ann King, who had died in 1848. It showed age 4, which came as a complete surprise. She had been baptised just a short while before her death, so I’d assumed that she was an infant. I was able to locate her birth registration in Medway district (of Kent) in 1844, which showed her mother’s maiden name to be Pearce. I already knew that Elizabeth had been born in Marden, so a quick check of the parish registers confirmed that Elizabeth Pearce had been baptised in Marden in 1805. I’ve since confirmed this with a couple of DNA matches, so am confident it’s correct. Elizabeth’s surname had been shown as unknown in my tree for over 20 years.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

During the winter months we live in Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands, so I spend a lot of time walking along the coastal promenade, and sitting in my garden in the sunshine reading. I love a good thriller and have several favourite authors who write genealogical mysteries. (Would recommend Steve Robinson and Nathan Dylan Goodwin, for anyone based in England). We also enjoy dining out with our friends and neighbours.

Our summers are spent in England. I love to be out of doors, walking and often shopping. And I have a garden in each location that keeps me busy as well. I also enjoy travelling; last year we went to China, and the year before we visited Canada.

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

I joined WikiTree in August 2015, and have probably been logged on nearly every day since then!

My time is split between connecting and correcting ‘suggestions’ as a data doctor, and both of these tasks involve sourcing as well. I’m a member of the England Project, and a helper for the county of Sussex, so I’ve been concentrating my efforts recently on that county. Using WikiTree+, it is now easy to identify what needs working on in specific locations. I also check all G2G posts that are tagged ‘connectors’, and try and help if I can.

During my first few months on WikiTree I uploaded a lot of my tree using Gedcom. I’ve set myself a target this year to revisit as many of these profiles as I can, to clean them up, add to them and check all of their sources. So far this year, I’ve found two branches on WikiTree that I can link onto my tree, which is an added bonus.

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

I was very disillusioned with Ancestry, and started to look at other options searching the internet. I found a lot of recommendations for WikiTree, so here I am. I particularly liked the emphasis placed on sourcing, and found the website easy to navigate.

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

Every morning when I log on, I ask myself ‘what shall I do today?’. There are so many options, but never any compulsion to hurry and get something done. So my favourite thing has to be the happy and relaxed atmosphere that WikiTree has, it’s like a welcoming friend, always there when you need it, but not intrusive when you have other things to do. You can spend as much or little time as you have, and still feel you are making progress. And I’m always eager to get back to it after a holiday away.

My favourite feature is the profile design. All the important information that you need is top left, and if you need to read more then the biography is available as you scroll down.

I’ve enjoyed taking part in both the Source-a-Thon and Clean-a-Thon weekends. They’ve encouraged me to become more involved, working as a team, and will eagerly await the next one.

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

Another tough question. In my role as a connector, I’ve liaised with many people who, after uploading a Gedcom file, have then realised that their tree doesn’t all connect together (whether as a result of missing people, or often skipped people that are already on WikiTree). I’m saddened that we often lose these people and have had comments like ‘It was all such a mess, that I just left it’. I know the mentors do an excellent job, but it’s very hard admitting to someone else that you need help. Maybe we can devise a way of reaching out to anyone in this situation, without them feeling inadequate.

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

Having started to build my tree over 35 years ago, uploading my research to WikiTree has encouraged me to revisit each and every person on it, to check and add sources and include other family members. Needless to say I’ve found several errors, brought to light mainly by the abundant sources now on-line. As I work through each profile, I feel more confident that it is proven to be correct, and will be freely available for any other researchers to use.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Take it slowly, manually add quite a few ancestors before contemplating a Gedcom upload. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Send a message to anyone that you find already on WikiTree that you are related to, so begin to make friendships. Check and correct any suggestions on your profiles every week. Try and read some posts on G2G every day, just to see what others are working on and maybe struggling with.


 

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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 Michelle.

Michelle Ladner joined WikiTree back in October of 2012.  Among other things, she participates in our Louisiana Families Project and as a Greeter and an Arborist. Michelle especially enjoys helping other WikiTreers as one of our Mentors.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

A few of the names I am researching are Saucier, Ladner, Roth, Conerly, Cuevas, Necaise, DeLherbe, Wiese, and many, many more.

What are some of the locations you are researching?

Louisiana, The Mississippi Gulf Coast, which was once Colonial Louisiana, The Carolinas, and Quebec, to name a few.

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

I have always been interested in family history. My family was the pioneer family in Colonial Louisiana and came from Canada with D’Iberville in 1699. My maiden name of Saucier nearly fills an entire phonebook.  My heritage was spoon fed me from birth. My grandfather knew his history back to the early 1700′s and could tell stories about his great grandfather and beyond, handed down to him and then to me. I like to call his tales, Pioneers, Pirates, and Prohibition. Every summer we took a trip to my great Aunt’s in Alabama, where she would appease my questions of who was who with her own research, over one hundred handwritten pages of names from France, to Canada and finally to the Mississippi Coast. One summer she gave me the pages to take home for my personal perusal. I copied those names by hand and then typed them out on an old manual typewriter before mailing the original back to her. I was one happy 10 year old!

My people were few and far between in Colonial times and had to marry the daughters of the few other settlers along with having children on the side with Choctaw women. Therefore they married their own cousins because of the scarcity of available prospects. Because of this, I am related to nearly every pioneering family on the Gulf Coast. This means I am related to nearly every person I meet, including my own husband, who is my 5th cousin.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

Gabrielle Savary, who was a Pelican Girl. She came from France along with twenty other girls to marry and help settle the Gulf Coast. Much like the Filles du Roi, who one of which, was to be her future mother in law, Marguerite Gaillard Duplessis.  Gabrielle was one of the last of the Pelican Girls to be married, she married Jean Baptiste Saucier. She took her time in choosing a husband and didn’t choose a soldier, but one of the few men who came on their own as an adventurer and pioneer. After his untimely death, she moved to New Orleans and there raised her family as a laundress and one of the first vendors of what is now known as the French Market.

She applied to the government for permission to move her family to Haiti where she felt they may have more opportunities. It was turned down because it was said they needed her and her sons in the colony. They instead gave her a stipend to help her which enabled her to send her youngest son to be educated in France.  Her sons went on to create a vast trade route along the Mississippi River helping to found such towns as Kaskaskia, Illinois. One son was a map maker and traveled the unexplored areas making maps for the King of France. Her descendants are spread throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, Illinois and Missouri. I can not imagine coming across the ocean to a land of Indians, swamps, and uninhabited wilderness, surviving three husbands, bearing 7 children, and managing to leave a grand legacy behind.

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

My maternal grandmother’s family are German and French from New Orleans, having come from Germany and France in the 1850s. She knew who her grandparents were and where they came from but not much beyond that. I obtained the baptismal record for her grandmother whose father was Phillipe Buhr. Using his name I began to search for any newspaper articles with his name. I came across an old newspaper written in German with the birth announcement of a daughter. But just two years after the birth one more article that I could not decipher. I posted on forums asking for a German speaker to interpret it for me. I received an answer back telling me that I may not wish to know what it said. I of course said please tell me no matter how bad it is.

He sent me the transcription saying  that Phillip Buhr was sadly found drowned in a canal in New Orleans. It was felt that he took his own life or was drunk and fell in the canal. His benevolent lodge was holding his funeral as the family were paupers. In it was also listed his birth place, enabling me to trace back to Germany and find his Christening record and the names of his parents. This cleared up the question my grandmother always had as to why her great grandmother remarried and had a huge family.

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

Eleanor of Aquitaine. I am drawn to strong women in history.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

Traveling to historic places. History is my passion. Also reading, blogging and cooking.

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

I started out with WikiTree in 2012. I spend a lot of time going back through my tree and trying to add to the biographies and  enhance the profiles, as well as making sure I have sources for each. I am a Mentor so I also spend a great deal of time connecting with others who may need help or direction here at WikiTree.

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

I came across WikiTree in its infancy. I believe it was through one of Thomas MacEntee’s web articles. At the time I was frustrated with other sites and WikiTree was an answer to my prayers.

What is your favorite thing about WikiTree, or which feature(s) do you like the most? If you could improve one thing about WikiTree, what would it be?

It was a relief to me to find a site that allowed collaboration and at the time of my joining they were not as tough on sourcing but it was in the honor code. I really liked that they required sourcing and still do. People don’t realize how important sourcing is. I’m not sure I would change anything about WikiTree at all.

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

WikiTree has helped me connect with many distant branches of my tree that I may never have found or been able to collaborate with. Thanks to Allan Thomas for the many times you have helped me out with our mutual family. Through WikiTree I was able to connect with a researcher who helped me find records in France to expand my DeLherbe family, which I had previously spent many years researching to no avail. I have enjoyed working on the many projects, and being a Mentor inspires me everyday to be a better genealogist.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, use G2G. Above all cite sources.


 

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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 Kitty.

Kitty Cooper became a WikiTreer in June of 2013. She is a blogger, genetic genealogist, genealogist, programmer, retired web designer, speaker, mother, grandmother, gardener, dog lover, cat lover, and World Champion Bridge player.  She loves working with our DNA features.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

Munson (Monsen), Skjold, Wold (Norway to USA)

Thannhauser, Langermann, Reiner, Wittman (Bavaria to USA)

What are some of the locations you are researching?

Southern Norway – Hordaland, Vest and Oest Agder, Telemark and Buskerud

Bavaria in Germany, Munich, Floss, Eslarn

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

I was always interested in family history and would ask my parents for stories about my ancestors but I did not get serious about it until 1997 when (quote from my blog) “a beloved Aunt died with too many of her stories unrecorded. What happened was that I remet a second cousin who was a genealogist at her funeral. He showed me many charts of our ancestry. I had always loved listening to family stories from the older generation but now I felt that I had to preserve them. So I started a family history web site for my family with the pictures and stories that I collected.”

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

Anna Knutsdatter Aamot because I have her eyes …

“About Anne it is told when she moved to Tørjevollen, she had walked all the way from Rollag. Not only that, but she had been walking and knitting” as quoted on her profile.

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

I could never find the records for my great grandmother Maren Wold back in Norway. She was supposedly from Drammen, a city in the county of Buskerud. I searched through every church record in Buskerud that the LDS library had on film. Then one day I got an email from a Mike Wold who had found my family history site. He said I think my great-great-grandad was your great grandma’s brother. Here is the research and here are pictures of their parents (one of whom is Anna Knutsdatter Aamot). It turned out they had lived just over the border from Buskerud in the town of Skougar, which was in another county, Vestfold. Once I knew that, the records were very findable and I even visited the ruins of their home  in 2015 having made contact with my 4th cousins nearby (found with DNA).

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

Leonardo da Vinci, a true Renaissance person.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

My grandchildren, my dog, my husband, DNA blogging, gardening, bridge, crocheting, knitting, web design, programming, technology and I enjoy giving DNA presentations.

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

It looks like my first badge was June of 2013 so about 5 years ago. Mainly I add my extended family lines as I find new ones with DNA.

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

I was googling for one world collaborative trees I think or maybe someone told me. Anyway I joined three of them and use them all, trying not to play favorites. Each has something I like.

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

The DNA features. The link from GEDmatch to WikiTree. The fact that you do not have to log in to see trees.

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

Improve the navigation, only five top menu items each with far too may drop downs! Yuch.Make another level so each five had just five and they had up to five more.

Make it prettier and more compact responsive design.

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

I blog about WikiTree a lot and have popularized it among DNA lovers. I mention it in just about every presentation I give. When I make contact with a new DNA relative, I send them a link to my pretty WikiTree tree (usually either Dad’s or Mom’s since I generally know which side they are on since my dad was tested and they are different ethnicities).

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Don’t add a whole GEDcom, that can be overwhelming. Do just one small family line at a time or use WikiTree-X to copy over a person at a time. Always add sources.

You can read more of Kitty’s excellent DNA blog here:http://blog.kittycooper.com.  


 

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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 Kristina.

Kristina Wheeler joined WikiTree in August 0f 2017.  She is deep into developing her ancestors’ profiles as well as participating in our Black Sheep Project.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

Wheeler, Bewley, Martin, Hargis, Rogers, Roberts, Crook, Storm

What are some of the locations you are researching?

Four  primary locations are DeKalb, Tennessee, Cushing and Custer Oklahoma , and Cumberland Kentucky.

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

In 1984 when I was 12 we did up a handwritten sheet on the family with the notes like  “Boy Winn ½ Indian outlaw and travelled there in a covered wagon.” We headed out as gypsies for a few years in a converted school bus. During this time we spent a bit visiting locations tied to the family.  We stopped in this little town in Dixon Springs, Tennessee, to research Dempsey Parker from whom we had a letter from 1867.

The people in the small town looked at my hippie father as if he was next in line for a shotgun, until he started rattling off names and how we were related.  Next thing, we were invited for dinner and being shown records in the church.

A few years later when I was 21, I was given, for a while, a rather large 4 inch thick blue book on my mom’s Disbrow side and it said we were related to Jane Cromwell – however things didn’t add up to me in reading it.

The internet had been launched and between these I started digging and got lost in the people. I still haven’t found an answer about Jane Cromwell, nor does it matter to me, as I found the humanity in my family – that they paid $4 a month for rent, that they measured their land by “the old oak tree”, died in the Civil War and the wife had to sell the farm and so many more stories.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

Matlock Roberts and Zilpha (supposed last name of Bane, but highly in doubt based on DNA right now ) – I inherited an original sketch of her from 1830 and a photograph of the matching one of him.

It became my pet line, and not being able to get very far with proof of his parents for years drove me crazy (still keep working on it, but think I’ve successfully proven who they were now and  two new sibling lines tracked that I have 5 cm of DNA in common with someone on each line). I’ve been looking for proof of a family story that seemed to have been on several lines – that around 1900 several of the siblings packed up in the middle of the night and left the area and that James Henry killed a man.

This combined with kids showing as children of Milton under the census, yet the widow of his brother Matlock Jr claiming them on her Civil War pension. And the criss crosses in those family lines and families intermingling, and the few chuckles along the way like the daughter who inherited a cow. Nothing has been simple in this family for the over 1,500 descendants I’ve tracked to date and with each person another story.

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

I have several one being I have a strange DNA name showing up related to the last name Cullom which is apparently somehow linked to my Roberts line.  My only guess right now is that it’s related to Zilpha and working on trying to figure out how it fits. But it’s my 3rd closest DNA match on family tree DNA which is throwing me for a loop.

The paperwork brick wall is Sarah Emma Martin.

I made a trip to Oklahoma in November to find further clues. I have her obituary now and it states Philadelphia, but as far as names of her parents I still have none.  The ones I’ve seen in other trees make no sense as if I follow that one it later shows that Sarah was living with her parents still in 1870 and my Sarah and Phillip had married in 1863.  To date I don’t have a marriage record for them, and family lore knows not much about them.

I recently obtained her homestead papers, and they hold no further clues, neither do the books in Cushing that mention the family.  I have a potential for 5 families in Philadelphia to investigate after I finish transcribing her homestead record and the remainder of the information I picked up in Oklahoma as they may give clues that relate once it’s added to her profile.

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

That’s hard – A toss up between Douglas Adams of Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. I will be building out his profile in the near future, he was a Jesuit priest that believed in evolution and was a key player in finding a missing link to man kind’s evolution.

Through the times of life we as humans have survived genocide, terrorism, war and so many inconceivable horrors, yet we overcome those.  He was an amazing beautiful soul torn between his beliefs on both ends of the spectrum and his writings.  He fought against the church to be published, yet found balance. In looking at our families and their stories I find this quote very applicable:

“In the final analysis, the questions of why bad things happen to good people transmutes itself into some very different questions, no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it happened.” As “The profoundly ‘atomic’ character of the universe is visible in everyday experience, in raindrops and grains of sand, in the hosts of the living, and the multitude of stars; even in the ashes of the dead”

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

4x4ing, camping at 6,000 feet in elevation, travelling to foreign countries like Romania and seeing abandoned structures that are thousands of years old, and of course the writing and photography that come with it.

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

I found WikiTree in August, and am apparently addicted.  I spend about 2 hours a day on transit so use that time to fix the location errors on the Data Doctor reports.

When I have a short time on a computer I work on building out quick sketches of who they were and basic documentation to support it, but what I truly love and lose track of time doing is fully building out their work-in-progress profiles such as Dempsey Parker or the traumas like Quincy Rogers. You get to combine your research with that of other researchers to build a true solid story that is continuously a work-in-progress.

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

I had put genealogy on hold for a decade, and then randomly decided to do a DNA test.  Previously I had an issue and lost a year’s worth of work and this time was looking for a cloud back up for moving forward, and a software that wouldn’t get “outdated”. I wasn’t happy with Ancestry for that either as you are too much an island and it’s too restrictive in its functionality.

I did a google search on a few things and found WikiTree –  which encompassed what I had wanted to do a decade ago and had tried but just didn’t have the resources to do.

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

Finding a family member that is already in there and linking to them, especially siblings higher up it’s like – OMG I didn’t imagine this person was related!  Also, how the site suggests duplicates when there might be a match which helps you put a light on going ohhhhhh wait  – something Ancestry.com can’t even start to suggest.

Lastly,  when I have research on a non-related person, or a story that needs to be told, I have a place to put that now, even if they aren’t yet “in my tree”.

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

Ability to search by find a grave number (when looking for family that may exist but that I don’t want to add at this time), link me to other mtDNA matches and  limit the suggested locations by the years set in the birth/death fields (would make phone updating easier).

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

It’s helped me connect and talk to people I never would have to obtain permission to share photos on WikiTree. It’s also reconnected me with a few other researchers I haven’t talked to in years. They are avid researchers that I’ve brought over to the wikiside so we can all work on the same profile instead of 3 of us having our own files.

Also I now truly understand we are connected when, for example,  I get a note from someone that I’m connected to by being 22nd cousins.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Don’t upload a gedcom, simply enter each person one by one.  That way you don’t have to clean up things, but you get to “enjoy” drawing them out as people and spending the time telling the world about who they were, not just facts and figures.

And be patient, the learning curve is huge, but the power once you learn to harness it is amazing.  You will feel like you know nothing even though you may have done research for years, but it is the most amazing place to “relearn” how to do genealogy.

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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 David.

David Douglass became a WikiTreer in May of 2015.  He participates in several projects but especially enjoys being Project Coordinator of the Magna Carta Project and working on profiles for the Southern Pioneers project.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

Aldridge, Chisholm, Clay, Douglas, Johnson Johnston, Jordan, Mowbray, Randolph,Worden

What are some of the locations you are researching?

England, Scotland (UK), Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina,Tennessee, Texas

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

Among my family members growing up, family history was something no one seemed particularly interested in except for a great aunt who would on the infrequent occasions I saw her would remind me she could be a DAR member, if only she really wanted to.  That did sound important! The only other family member that showed an interest in family history was my dad’s father. And so what was to become a lifelong interest in family history and genealogy was sparked early on by weekend visits and chats with my grandfather Douglas. We would sometimes speculate about where our family came from and he would often talk about his childhood growing up in a rural town in North Texas, a conversation that was often spiced with colorful “Texas Sayings” and grammar you had to be a “native” Texan to fully appreciate or understand.

But it was only when my first daughter, Savannah. was born that I began to seriously think about tracing and documenting our family roots, Then my second daughter Abigail came along in 1989 and I jumped into genealogy headlong. I started research with my father’s line, the Douglases. It was fun and I enjoyed the research but being new to genealogy I wasn’t making a great deal of progress, Then, I  got lucky one day and I found a book in my public library titled Historic Sumner County, Tennessee, written by a Nashville lawyer named J Guy Cisco, in 1909. There, in that  little volume I found my family tree beginning with my earliest known (at that time) Douglas ancestor, Col Edward Douglas, a Scottish immigrant.  After more than 20 years of research, he is still my brick wall.  But I keep on digging and one of these days I will find his parents and make the connection to his Scottish ancestry.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

Col Edward Douglas (1713 – 1795) is my favorite ancestor.  He is my 6th great grandfather and the progenitor of my Douglas line.  He is also my brick wall and both a challenge and inspiration to me to keep digging for answers.

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

I haven’t broken through that brick wall as yet but I am getting closer.  Through YDNA matching I have discovered another Douglas line that is genetically closely connected that may prove to be the key to discovering Col Edward Douglases’ Scottish ancestors.

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

Sir Winston Churchill, the son of an English politician and an American socialite whose unbreakable spirit, courage and resolve as Prime Minister, led Britain to victory during WWII.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

Music, my father was a musician and vocalist, I play guitar but feel more at home behind a mixing console. And film making, I’m an independent film maker. My latest project is a documentary on a Texas classical concert pianist that has been battling Parkinson’s disease since 1999.

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

I’ve been a WikiTree member since May 2015.  I used to spend most of my time researching my own family lines and helping others where I could. Now days, I’m involved in the Magna Carta Project, Rangers, Integrators, DNA Project, Scottish Clans, Southern Colonies, Southern Pioneers, and European Aristocrats.  I have to admit though that Magna Carta takes the majority of my WikiTree time.  I am a Project Administrator in the Magna Carta Project working with Membership and Recruiting.  If you know of any hard workers with an interest in Magna Carta connections send them my way.  Pre-1700 certification is required but a desire to get into some serious research is equally  important.  My other favorite project is Southern Pioneers where I help develop and improve the profiles of our pioneering southern ancestors.  I really enjoy researching those Southern Pioneer lines.  I also give time weekly to the Rangers Project.

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

I had been a member of another genealogical community that just didn’t seem to put much emphasis on accuracy and doing quality work.  So when I found WikiTree online with its collaborative, one profile for each ancestor approach to genealogy I joined.  In my opinion WikiTree’s collaborative tree and G2G forum are big factors in what makes WikiTree the best online genealogy community.  The fact that it is free to members was a drawing point for me as well.  I know some of the other communities have trial subscriptions but how can you beat free?

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

I love the profile layout, it allows a lot of information to be displayed in an attractive, easy to read and edit form. And Wiki markup language is very user friendly and easy to learn even for beginners.

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

Perhaps add more video tutorials to YouTube on important aspects of WikiTree use, such as Wiki markup language tips, finding sources and DNA user tips or help topics.

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

Honestly, WikiTree has made me a better genealogist. When I first started as a new member I made all kind of mistakes including the worst of all, creating lots of profiles without sources and creating duplicate profiles.  A very knowledgeable leader/mentor gently turned me around and once I started doing things the WikiTree way I found that my profiles looked better, were more accurate and my research skills improved because a mentor cared enough to help me.  I can not say enough good about WikiTree mentors.  It’s a difficult job, but one of the most important jobs in WikiTree.  They are there to help you do your best!

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Don’t be shy. Get help if you need it.  There are so many helpful, knowledgeable members that are as close as a quick post in the G2G forum or you can contact a mentor. It’s two of your best resources on WikiTree.


 

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