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

What’s New?

Have you Checked your Weekly Connections in the Connection Finder?

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

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

This week it’s Alison Andrus.

Alison Andrus

Alison currently leads the US History Project, an umbrella for many smaller projects. (Is there a project for your state yet?) In her blog interview, Alison writes “I have met the most wonderful, caring and kind people on WikiTree you will ever want to meet. They are so generous with their time and talents, I have learned so much and feel so humbled.”

See how you are connected to Alison.

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 English author Virginia Woolf (1882-1941).  See how you are connected.

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

Follow the tag connection_finder for weekly updates on connections.

Relationship Finder Quick Links

Here’s a fun thing. Check out your new Relationship Finder Quick Links.

There’s a link at the bottom of the Relationship Finder (as well as from “Relationships” in your profile pull-down menu, your Family Tree & Tools page, and anyone else’s Quick Links page such as the one for Chris.)

This page enables you to go down the list and click to see if you’re related to the US presidents, Magna Carta Surety Barons, or Mayflower passengers. There’s also a section for checking whether you’re related to your spouse or if your parents are related to each other. 🙂

For the Magna Carta and Mayflower sections we tried to remove those who don’t have connections to living descendants or who would have been redundant because their children are also on the list. If you notice someone that should be included or excluded, please post here.

Do you have suggestions for other sections we should add? If so, share them here.

New Source Requirement When Creating Profiles

We just implemented a new change regarding sources. If you want to create a profile without including a source you’re now asked to select a source substitute like this:

[ ]Personal recollection of events witnessed by [[Whitten-1|Chris Whitten]] as remembered 11 Jul 2017.

[ ] Unsourced family tree handed down to [[Whitten-1|Chris Whitten]].

[ ] Source will be added by [[Whitten-1|Chris Whitten]] by 12 Jul 2017.

The first option only appears if the birth or death date is after 1917. The second option only appears if the dates are after 1700. The third option will include the {{Unsourced}} template as well as recording that text in the profile.

Question of the Week

Have you participated in the Question of the Week yet? Every Friday 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 “How do you use social media to promote your family tree?”

Here are just a few of the answers we received:

  • On Facebook I’ve been honoring my ancestors on their birthdays and anniversaries by writing a bio and including pictures of them or their gravestones or of some document that mentions them. The first year I did parents thru 2nd greats. The second was for 3rd greats plus aunts, uncles, great aunts and great uncles with no living descendants. This year it is 4th greats. Next year I may do famous and infamous ancestors and other relatives. I get to share my work and my cousins get to learn some about their ancestors. ~ Mary
  • Yes, I do use Facebook for genealogy, I have found over 200 2-3rd  cousins which helped tremendously.  We even met in person. It’s a great way to expend your genealogy and knowing your family. Once we started to talk about sickness and illness facts they were more interested. Some are not too interested but gave me the information needed.  ~ Lise
  • I use my blog, where I have a widget for WikiTree, as well as Facebook for connecting with relatives. When I have brick walls, it has been really great to write about my research and ask for any information anyone could add via my blog. I have received a gold mine of information and help from distant relatives in this way. Plus making lasting relationships with those who are serious family researchers like myself ~ Michelle
  • In addition to belonging to an embarrassing number of Facebook Genealogy  groups and my genealogy blog, I also started my own local Facebook genealogy chat group just so I could talk more about genealogy! ~ Emma

Who’s New

We’re excited to announce Sarah Rojas as our newest Leader!  She’s been WikiTree-ing since May of 2014 and is active as a Sourcerer, Connector and Data Doctor.

Her grandmother, Bennie Callis, was an avid researcher of her genealogy, which eventually got Sarah hooked after going through the books and documents she had.

Learn more about Sarah soon in a Meet Our Members feature!

Meet Our Members

Every week we post an interview with one of our members so you can get to know them a little better.  In case you missed it, here are our July features!

  • Jacqueline Girouard became a WikiTreer in September 2014 and as her profile says, she’s had something productive to do every day since.  Jackie is one of our wonderful Leaders, co-leading both the Acadian and Louisiana projects, as well as participating as a SourcererArborist and Data Doctor.  Do you have Acadian ancestors? So does she!

Tree Tips

  • Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

    Remember point IV of our Honor Code: We know misunderstandings are inevitable. We try to minimize them by being courteous to everyone, even those who don’t act accordingly.  Collaboration can be hard but treating each other with respect and kindness can go along way to smoothing over the bumps in the road.

  • Have you noticed all the different badges you can receive on WikiTree? Here’s a list of the types and how they are earned and awarded.
  • New to WikiTree? Get started by creating a few profiles for your relatives. Start at your profile. Click a link such as [mother?] or [father?] on your profile or your profile’s edit page. If you need more help, see Help:Adding Family.
  • WikiTree has seven privacy levels. See Help:Privacy for a full explanation of each one. The privacy level determines what those who are not on the Trusted List can see and do.

Community Accomplishments

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

  1. Cindy Lesure (8,667 edits in July)
  2. Kaye Mansfield (8312)
  3. NJ Penny (7707)
  4. Carrie Quackenbush (7577)
  5. Gregory Rose (7260)
  6. Michael Sheffield (6947)
  7. Esmé van der Westhuizen (6490)
  8. Stephanie Ahles (6485)
  9. Susan McNamee (6068)
  10. Austin Pérez (5997)

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: Eva EkebladSusie MacLeod and Cheryl (Aldrich) Skordahl!

Congratulations to last month’s challenge winners:

Project Updates

Project Spotlight: Ambassadors

pgm.gifWikiTree has pledged to stay 100% free, so we need to keep costs low. Since we don’t have a big ad budget, our community depends on word of mouth. We grow when our members tell other genealogists, their family, and friends what we do.

Ambassadors are some of our awesome volunteers who are active on various social media channels and/or bloggers who are dedicated to helping share the WikiTree love.  If you are active on social media and/or have a blog, this might be the project for you!

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

New Projects

  • North Dakota: Do you have any research interests in what is now the state of North Dakota? This project focuses on creating and improving profiles for anyone who lived in this area at any time. There is also a suggested list of other ways you can help on the project page.
  • Hughey One Name Study:  Do you have Hugheys in your tree? Get involved with this new One Name Study!
  • Washingon State: This project is a sub-project of the U. S. History Project which works to create and improve profiles for those individuals who lived in the state of Washington. There is a list of things you can do to help on the project page.
  • Davis One Name Study:  Got Davis’?  Collaborate with other WikiTreers in this one name study.

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.  To join in the August 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 Weekend ChatSaturday Sourcing SprintsBiography Builders Challenge and the new Surname Spotlight Challenge.

WikiTree Calendar

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

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

Sincerely, The WikiTree Team and Leaders

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Hi WikiTreers!

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

  • Michael Stills is recruiting members who have given or are interested in giving live presentations on WikiTree at their local library, genealogical society, etc.
  • Dean Anderson is recruiting members who have an interest in black sheep, spies and traitors in particular.
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Hi WikiTreers!

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

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The Titanic Project and the Collaborative Profile of the Week Present

Thomson Beattie (1875-1912)

Thomson Beattie was a Canadian and a victim of the Titanic Disaster.

  1. What did he do with his life?
  2. Why was he aboard the Titanic?
  3. How did he die?
  4. Can we connect him to the Global Tree?

Can you add to Thomson’s profile? Post an answer and let us know what you’d like to work on/add. This prevents duplication of effort and it keeps the question on the front page of G2G.

The Titanic Project

In the early hours of the morning of April 15, 1912, the Titanic slipped beneath the waves during her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York. Of the 2,223 passengers and crew of the Titanic, only 706 survived the sinking. To many, these are mere numbers, but family historians understand that each had a name – a history that linked them to true humanity. These people were real. They lived, they breathed, and they lived (or died) through a great tragedy; a tragedy that Eva Hart,  who was seven years old when she boarded the ship, and who lost her father in the sinking, regarded as senseless because, with a little foresight, nobody should have died. Imagine how much larger the family tree would be if they all survived.

Regardless, the Titanic did sink, and from the tragedy, we were told stories of great self-sacrifice and heroism. The richest man aboard the ship, John Jacob Astor, helped his pregnant wife aboard a life-boat. When offered access to the same boat, he refused and instead offered his place to two third class children he saw nearby. Margaret “Molly” Brown encouraged the women in her lifeboat to row to keep warm. Ida Straus gave her maid her fur coat saying she wouldn’t need it as she chose to stay on the ship with her husband, saying, “We have lived together for many years. Where you go, I go.”

While these stories may be famous, when given the chance to look at the other 2,221 passengers on the ship, many other rich stories abound which are far less unknown… As in the case of William Edward Minahan  who left his own legacy in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. As a local newspaper wrote, “Those who knew him best are confident that even if Dr. Minahan had been given the opportunity to escape in the lifeboats from the Titanic he would have preferred to remain on the liner himself rather than take the place of some one else who might be saved. It is easy to picture him walking about among the frenzied people who were facing their doom as the giant liner sank lower and lower, striving to give the same aid and comfort that characterized his work here.” What a legacy.

Several volunteers are currently in the process of indexing those associated with the Titanic, and we could use any willing volunteers. There are many tasks available – writing biographical sketches, connecting passengers to the main tree, tagging profiles already on Wikitree, etc. If you are interested in joining this project, please visit The Titanic Project.

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The Cymru Welsh Royals and Aristocrats 742-1535
and the Collaborative Profile of the Week Present

Henry VII, King of England.

Here at WikiTree Henry VII, King of Engand (c1457-1509) was born, married, and made elaborate plans for his tomb.

  1. What else did he do?
  2. Did his reign have any lasting effects?
  3. His profile should have a sourced list of children. Would someone add one?
  4. Most of the profiles for his children have material and sources, but a few could use a little help: Son Edmund Tudor needs a source; son Roland needs a gedcom cleanup and a source, and daughter Katherineneeds a source.
  5. There are several images at Wikimedia Commons that can be added and perhaps worked into the biography. Make sure to give them proper provenance.

Not pre-1500 certified? Want to show us what you can do? Write a paragraph or more about Henry, with inline citations. Put it here in an answer. We’ll add it to the biography. (putting your name in the “Explain your changes”)

What would you like to contribute to this week’s profile? Please post an answer here first. This prevents duplication of effort and it keeps the question on the front page of G2G.

The Cymru Welsh Royals and Aristocrats 742-1535 Project

The Cymru Welsh Royals and Aristocrats 742-1535 Project is a sub-project of the United Kingdom Project. It includes royals, aristocrats and nobles in Wales from the birth of Charlemagne in 742 until the end of the 1535. What happened in 1535 that made it a significant date.  In that year that the first Laws in Wales Act was passed. The legal system of England was extended to Wales, and the norms of English administration were introduced, including the imposition of English as the language of governance. You can read about theseActs on Wikipedia.

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