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

Print Friendly
 

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

Print Friendly
 

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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Greetings fellow WikiTreers! Welcome to the February 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 Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand

We’re excited to announce that Ayn Rand was the winning profile in last month’s “Connection Combat.” Thank you to Doug Lockwood and the other Connectors for adding her genealogy in Connection Combat: Ayn Rand vs. James Joyce.

Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist and philosopher. She is known for her two best-selling novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and for developing a philosophical system she called Objectivism.

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

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

New Connection Finder Features

You may have noticed some new faces in our Connection Finder starting last month.

We’ve made a few changes to it so we can incorporate two new fun connections each week.

To make room, we removed A.J. Jacobs for now.  Also, we used to have both the current Connection Combat winner and the previous one. Now there is only the current winner.

The two new faces each week:

First, the WikiTreer who is featured in our Meet our Members blog post each week. (If you would like to be featured, feel free to contact Eowyn!)

Second, the Example Profile of the Week.  If you haven’t seen it yet, we now have an Examples Gallery to highlight some of the best profiles on WikiTree.  These come from the Collaborative Profiles of the Week that we’ve been doing for the last two years as well as winning profiles from Connection Combat and Notable Knockouts.

This week you can see how you are connected to this week’s featured member, Kitty Smith, and the featured profile from the LDS ProjectLucy (Mack) Smith.

Profiles Now Indicate Half-Siblings

When looking at a profile, you can now easily see which siblings are full and which are half.  Also, if you mouse-over the word “half”, you can see specifics about why the other person is a half-sibling. (e.g. “X has a father but Y has no father” or “X and Y both have fathers but they are different.”)

Example:

10,000,000+ Profiles Connected

As pointed out last week by WikiTreer Ellen Smith, WikiTree now has over 10,000,000 profiles that are connected to each other.  That means that 10 million of the 13 million people on WikiTree are connected within 100 degrees of each other. Help us connect the other three million!

Research Note Boxes

Example of Research Note Boxes on a Profile

The community has been working hard to determine what sort of templates we should have and how they should look and be used. Most recently, we finalized what we’re calling Research Note Boxes.

Research Note Boxes highlight important information about the current state of genealogical research related to the person or WikiTree-specific work that needs to be done on the profile.

They are for information that’s deemed so important that anyone who sees the profile should see the research note, even if the viewing user is not a WikiTree member.  These include things like Unsourced, Estimated Date and Uncertain Existence.

Learn more about the specifics of Research Notes Boxes here.

Send an E-Card!

If there’s a living person in your birthday feed,  there are now easy links at the bottom of the message for sending an e-card.  It’s a great way to remember your family member on their special day!

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.  This Saturday will be a special LiveCast coming to you from RootsTech in Salt Lake City, Utah!  Mags and Julie will be chatting with Kitty Smith and Peter Roberts about DNA and WikiTree.

If you missed last Saturday’s LiveCast with Chat with Aleš Trtnik, Database Errors Project Leader (WikiTree Plus) and WikiTree Team Member, you can still view it and any others you might have missed via the LiveCasts YouTube channel.

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.

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

We recently asked What one (or more) genealogy-related statement would you like added to your obituary?

Here are just a few of the fun answers we received:

  • “I am sorry if I got your information wrong on WikiTree but you didn’t leave me much to go on!!!” - Dorothy Barry
  • “To Future Genealogists: This obituary meets guidelines set forth by the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG). Dates, locations and family connections have all been verified through primary source documentation.” - Alison Andrus
  • “He didn’t have much Census, but he loved his genealogy. He will now go and find a grave.” - John Noel
  • “He’s gone to check his profiles in person.” - Chris Hampson
  • Here lieth Ros,
    Genealogist, because
    Though Heaven-bound
    Where angels sound
    Her sources say she was - Ros Haywood

Meet Our Members

We featured some of our great leaders last month in our Meet our Members spotlight! If you haven’t had a chance to get to know them a little better, now you can.

Julie Ricketts: Julie has been a member of our community since 2011. She is co-leader of the Greeters project and active in the G2G forum as a Moderator.

Michael Stills: Michael has been a member for several years now! If you’re active in our forum, you’ve likely seen his friendly, helpful, encouraging posts there.  He might be our best cheerleader.

Ronel Olivier: Ronel has been a member since November 2014. She’s made so many fantastic contributions, particularly to our Dutch Cape Colony and South African Roots Projects.

Tree-Tips

  • Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

    Remember point VI of our Honor Code: We respect copyrights. We don’t knowingly copy information that’s owned by someone else. If we ourselves want to preserve a copyright, we’re clear about what’s copyrighted so others don’t accidentally copy it.  If you aren’t sure about a copyright on something, you can post to our G2G forum.  Our members are great about helping figure out whether something should be used and how.

  • Do you wonder when you should communicate before making a change? Be bold or be polite? Here’s a great help page with some of the ins and outs of Communication Before Editing.
  • Have you changed your e-email address? Be sure to update it on your WikiTree profile. Here’s other helpful information about email and WikiTree.

Community Accomplishments

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

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: Karen BrubakerCindy (Williams) Lesure and Jamie Nelson!

Project Updates

New Projects

  • British Home Children Project. This is a project about the British home children who were sent to from Britain from the mid 19th and mid 20th century to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa It is a sub-project of the UK Project, the Canadian History project. “From the late 1860s right up to 1948, over 100,000 children of all ages were emigrated (from Britian) right across Canada to be used as indentured farm workers and domestics. Believed by Canadians to be orphans, only two percent truly were. These children were sent to Canada by over 50 organizations including the well-known and still working charities: Barnardo’s, The Salvation Army and Quarrier’s, to name a few.”- British Home Children in Canada Mags

One Name Studies

Project Spotlight – LDS

lds.gifThe LDS Project focuses on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, including Mormon founders, LDS Pioneers, the Mormon Battalion, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and prominent members past and present.

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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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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