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Greetings fellow WikiTreers! Welcome to the October 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?

Source-a-Thon 2017 was a Huge Success!

Wow, WikiTreers, what a great weekend we had for the Source-a-Thon!  The community really came together with 480 participants on 26 teams sourcing over 53,000 profiles.

Here are the top 10 teams:

  • Team Roses – 11,433
  • Kiwi Crew – 6,062
  • Team Virginia – 4,255
  • Legacy Heirs – 2,975
  • Team GB Gen – 2,789
  • Forget-Me-Nots – 2,784
  • Team Tornadoes – 2,743
  • Team New York – 1,922
  • Flying Dutchmen – 1,710
  • Southern Super Sweepers – 1,597
And the top individuals:
  • Lucy Lavelle – 1,780
  • Morgan Mulligan – 1,495
  • Deb Durham – 1,445
  • NJ J Penny – 1,242
  • Emma MacBeath – 1,177
  • Charlotte Shockey – 1,138
  • Susan McNamee – 1,009
  • Charlene Newport – 816
  • Abby Glann – 770
  • Kirsty Ward – 759

You can see more team and user stats here: http://wikitree.sdms.si/function/WTChallengesScores/Scores.htm?code=SourceaThon2017&Type=0

Thanks so much to everyone who participated!  WikiTreers ROCK!!!

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 Karen Tobo.

Karen Tobo

Karen has been a member for six years and has made 100,000+ contributions. She’s an active Connector who helps make the world a smaller place by growing out family connections for strangers until they meet on our global family tree (77.5% of WikiTree’s 15 million profiles are now connected within 100 degrees). Karen writes: “Making new connections is my favorite thing to do on WikiTree! I enjoy seeing how we all relate.”  Check your connection.

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 Queen Isabella I (1451-1504), sponsor of Christopher Columbus’s 1492 voyage, from the European Royals and Aristocrats Project..  See how you are connected.

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

Follow the tag connection_finder for weekly updates on connections.

Eva Ekeblad is Our Newest Leader

A big congratulations to Eva Ekeblad, our newest WikiTree Leader!  She’s been with WikiTree since February 0f 2016 and has been doing genealogy since 2011.  The ancestors of my paternal grandfather back to the 1600s all came from a quite limited area in Västergötland, centered in the southern part of Viste hundred. They were self-owned farmers, or farmers on contract to a manor. The ancestors of my maternal grandparents came from the iron making districts in Bergslagen or from the farming country around lakes Mälaren and Hjälmaren.

She will be helping Lena Svensson lead the Sweden project. Thank you, Eva, for being such a valuable contributor to our community.

Have you tried GEDCOMpare 2.0?

As recently announced we are no longer doing traditional GEDCOM imports.

“Importing your tree” never really made sense here, where we share one tree. Working with the old system was like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. We forced you to compare everyone in your GEDCOM with potential matches on WikiTree, skip everyone who appeared to be a duplicate, and import the rest as new people, all in one painful step. And that was just the first step. If you didn’t go on to edit and improve the profiles that were created through the import you would be leaving messes for others to clean up later.

Now we have something that fits more comfortably with the way collaboration works here. It’s a dynamic process. It still begins with automatically-suggested matches. But as you compare them and explore existing WikiTree profiles, you can update those profiles and add relatives one person at a time using your GEDCOM data and your good judgment as a Wiki Genealogist.

This system is live, but it’s not perfect. Early testers are helping us figure out what needs to be improved.

If you’d like to be among these early testers, upload your GEDCOM.

To be clear, you will be creating and editing live profiles, and things won’t work quite as well now as they will in a few weeks. If you don’t want to be on the “bleeding edge” you should wait. Or feel free to use it, but don’t edit many profiles with it. (GEDCOMpare can still be used just as a search tool.)

Here are known issues: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:GEDCOMpare_Improvements

If you use the new system and have something to report that isn’t described on the GEDCOMpare help page or the GEDCOMpare Improvements page, reply here or post a new message using the tag GEDCOMpare.

Over Three Million WikiTree Profiles Have DNA Test Connections!

We are now calculating and displaying a new statistic on the home page: The number of profiles on WikiTree with DNA test connections.

Today that number is 3, 147,339.

This is awesome! It’s a number that really says something impressive about our commitment and progress toward growing an accurate shared family tree — a tree with relationships that can be confirmed with DNA.

What exactly is a DNA test connection? It’s where we post a notice on a WikiTree profile that says there is a DNA test that might be useful for confirming or rejecting relationships to that person. For Y-chromosome tests it means the test-taker is on the same paternal line. For mitochondrial tests it means the test-taker is on the same maternal line. For autosomal tests (the most popular these days, e.g. AncestryDNAFamily Tree DNA Family Finder, 23andMe) it means that the test-taker is within eight degrees and is therefore likely to share significant segments of DNA.

The bottom line: A DNA test connection is an opportunity to try to scientifically prove what’s been established through traditional genealogy.

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 “Who were you named after?”

Here are just a few of the answers we received:

  • I had conflicting stories from my parents. Mom said I was named after I nun she knew, but dad said I was named for Natalie Wood. I have always gone with dad’s pick. ;-) . ~ Natalie
  • I was named after a character in a theatre production!  My father was an usher and my mother came to see Oklahoma! so often she grew fond of the main character …They were breaking with tradition. In my family we have lots of name patterns. I found seven Joshua Pitman Trefry so far, and several other Joshua P. It makes for some interesting family tree puzzles. ~ Laurie
  • My brother was 5 years old when I was born, and Roy Rogers was a big deal in this young life.  He got to give me my middle name, so I was named Kitty Dale Cooper after Dale Evans.  I am lucky he didn’t go for Trigger or Bullet.  :-) ~ Kitty
  • My first name, Lena, isn’t really from anybody, even if my mom’s cousin has the same name. My second and third however are from my grandmothers, Maria from my father’s mother and Viola after my mother’s mother. Those names were not their first names either. Viola is kind of special to me since my mom, sister and daughter also have that name, so therefore I have tattooed five violets from my neck to my left upper arm. ~ Lena
  • I was named after Queen Victoria and Robert E. Lee.  My father had an affinity for both of those folks.  In an odd coincidence, “Lee” turns out to be a common middle name in my extended family: my 3x-great-grandfather’s half-brother William Lee Smith and at least three of his children.  We suspect that it may possibly have been my 4x-great-grandmother Elizabeth‘s maiden name. ~ Vicky

Meet Our Members

Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

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 August features!

Tree-Tips

  • 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.
  • When creating a profile, you will have noticed the box for entering a source. Sources are required on WikiTree. Try adding an additional source for one of the profiles you created. If you don’t have one handy, select “Research” from the pull-down menu in the upper-right corner of the profile that starts with the profile’s WikiTree ID, e.g. Franklin-1. Login to the RootsSearch tool and use it to search FamilySearch.org or a dozen other sites.
  • In the upper-right corner of every WikiTree page you will see pull-down menus with links for navigating the site. Spend some time exploring these menus. Just about everything on WikiTree can be accessed through them.
  • G2G, our Genealogist-to-Genealogist Forum, is the heart of our community. Take a trip there now to see what people are talking about, and if you’re ready to meet people, post a note to introduce yourself.
  • Venture out of your own branches! See the Volunteers Needed page for a list of ways that your energy and expertise (no matter the level) are needed right now. There is never a shortage of things to do on WikiTree.

Community Accomplishments

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

  1. K Bloom (9,436 new edits in September)
  2. Esmé van der Westhuizen (8414)
  3. Ronnie Halford (7956)
  4. Gregory Rose (7935)
  5. Kaye Mansfield (7797)
  6. NJ Penny (7498)
  7. Carrie Quackenbush (6871)
  8. Elizabeth Winter (6817)
  9. Paula Cullen (6345)
  10. Lilia Zwerewa Hordyczuk (5947)

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: Barry AshfieldLinda BarnettTess (Mapley) Cameron and Lynette Jester!

Project Updates

Project Spotlight: The Acadians Project

pgm.gifThe Acadians Project goal is to grow and source one family tree of French immigrants who settled in Acadia in the 1600s. Their descendants are concentrated in today’s Canadian Maritime Provinces, New England, and Louisiana (Cajuns).  They strive to have all Acadian descendants linked to their growing list of Acadian First Families.

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

Project News

Don’t Miss These!

Challenges/Contests

SOURCERERS 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.

SURNAME SPOTLIGHT CHALLENGEOur Surname Spotlights focus on 4 surnames each month. Pick one surname to work on during the month. In addition we have a theme for the month, sourcing, connection, error correction, or biography building. To join in the Oktoberfest Challenge, go here.

You might also want to check out our Weekend ChatSaturday Sourcing SprintsBiography Builders Challenge, Data Doctors Challenge and the Surname Spotlight Challenge.

WikiTree Calendar

Stay up to date with all the latest challenges, contests,  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 September 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 Registered for the 2017 Source-a-Thon?

Registration is open for the Source-a-Thon!

It will be going for 72 hours straight, September 30 – October 2, to kick off Family History Month. We’re including Monday so that those who are busy on the weekend can still participate.

Last year we had 616 participants and sourced over 22,000 profiles! Can you help us beat that this year?

If you can participate by sourcing Unsourced Profiles during any of those hours, tell us in an answer in this G2G post and we’ll get you registered. (Participation instructions will come when the Source-a-Thon begins. It’s something any Wiki Genealogist can do.)

After you post, a WikiTree Leader will give you the Source-a-Thon badge and a “race number”. A number is required in order to be eligible for the $4,600+ in door prizes being donated from around the genealogy community.

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 Philip Smith.

Sam Houston

Philip became a WikiTreer in April of 2013.  At one time he was one of our wonderful Leaders but stepped away from his leadership role to have more time to work on his own profiles. He is active with the Arborists, and in the Categorization and Louisiana projects.  Philip has almost 200,000 contributions! Check your connection.

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 the namesake of Houston, Texas, Sam Houston(1793-1863) from the Texas Project.  See how you are connected.

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

Follow the tag connection_finder for weekly updates on connections.

GEDCOM Upload Process Transition

As some of you know, we have been working on a completely new system for handling GEDCOMs. We’re excited to announce that it’s finally ready to release.

Under the new system you won’t create a bunch of new profiles all at once through a traditional GEDCOM import. Instead you’ll be able to create and edit individual profiles in a dynamic process using your GEDCOM data.

Those of you who are familiar with WikiTree X will recognize the basic framework. WikiTree X, created by Justin York, enables you to create new profiles and edit existing ones using data from other genealogy websites such as FamilySearch, Ancestry, Find-A-Grave, etc. Once you’re comfortable with it, WikiTree X is a really powerful tool. It’s much easier than manually entering or copy-and-pasting information from those other sites.

Aleš Trtnik had the idea to do this with GEDCOMs, i.e. treat a GEDCOM like data on an external site. That’s what the new system does. Your GEDCOM file will be like a resource for you to use as you contribute to WikiTree, if and where the file has valuable information and sources that aren’t already on WikiTree.

Today, Wednesday, September 6, we’ll stop processing files under the old system and tomorrow we start up the new system.

WikiTree Error Reports are Now “Suggestions”

The “Error Report” links in the pull-down menus now say “Suggestions” instead.

The reports aren’t different than they were yesterday. But thanks to Aleš‘s brilliance, hard work, and the way he collaborates with the community to improve his WikiTree+ reports, they’re very different than they were last year. They have evolved quite a bit.

Originally, they mostly reported straightforward errors. Death date before birth date, a parent’s death date before a child’s birth date, etc. Now there is so much more, e.g. the comparisons with Find-A-Grave and WikiData profiles. A lot of what’s in these reports now aren’t errors. They’re suggestions for things a Wiki Genealogist should look at.

Have you Seen the New Gallery of Members?

Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

Have you seen the new Member Gallery?

It’s a compilation of our Members of the Week, i.e. the feature where Eowyn does a blog interview, then the member is an anchor person in the Connection Finder and gets highlighted on the home page alongside the Profile of the Week.

We like the idea of doing more to spotlight individual WikiTreers. Prospective members and Newts should know that we’re a community of people like them. Real genealogists who are friendly and collaborative.

If you think you might like to be interviewed and appear in the Connection Finder, you can e-mail her (eowyn@).

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 “Have any of your ancsestors been victims of natural or man-made distasters?”

Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

Here are just a few of the answers we received:

  • The saddest story I’ve encountered while researching my local cemetery may be that of Rosa Mall.  She first married Christ Bruegger, who was killed in the Vulcan Mine Explosion of 1896 in New Castle, Colorado (one of the explosions which caused the coal seam to burn to this day).  She was left with one son, Chris.  She married Patrick Fahey, who died of a heart attack in 1912, leaving her with five small children.  I figured out last month that one of her daughters married a cousin of mine.  While pursuing that lead, I discovered that her son Chris died in 1934 in a car crash.  I figure that by the time I track down why she came to the US from Switzerland and what happened to each of her children, I’ll have encountered enough tragedy to write a book. Here is more about the Vulcan Mine explosion that killed Christ Bruegger. ~ J. 
  • My parents; my brother and myself as children!!  Remembering the Flood of 1955 that destroyed parts of Farmington, Putnam, Norwalk, Waterbury, and Winsted, Connecticut. An estimated 14 inches of rain fell during a 36-hour period beginning Aug. 18. On Aug. 19, 1955; and again in Oct 15, 1955 when the rivers crested and overflowed into the streets of Georgetown, Wilton and Norwalk, Connecticut which was my hometown. ~ Dorothy
  • My 3rd great grandfather Thomas Moulton and his wife Sarah Denton were part of the Willie Handcart Company which came across the plains to Utah in 1856. They were the only family which did not lose a member in that tragic trek. They brought their eight children ranging in age from 19 to under 1 year, the youngest having been born aboard the ship Thornton on the Irish Sea. Many lost their lives on the journey; however, none of those who arrived in Salt Lake City ever regretted having made the trip. ~ Eugene
  • I had several relatives who were affected by flooding in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania caused by Hurricane Agnes in June 1972.  My grandparents were rescued from their home before the water rose to 4-1/2 feet on the first floor of their home.  More than 2,700 graves were washed away in nearby Forty Fort Cemetery, including my 2nd cousin Linda Thomas and my 1st cousin once removed John Smith. ~ Star

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 August features!

  • Sarah Rojas became a  WikiTreer in May of 2014 and is our newest Leader.  She is co-leading our Arborist project and helps in the G2G as an Integrator/Moderator. Learn about who her favorite ancestor is here.

Tree-Tips

  • Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

    Remember point V of our Honor Code: 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.

  • The “Find Matches” tool will compare the profiles in your Watchlist to the rest of WikiTree in order to search for potential duplicates. Remember that our goal at WikiTree is to have one profile per person. It’s important to identify and merge duplicates. See the Matching and Merging FAQ for more about this important topic.
  • “Unconnected” means that a person is not connected to the “big tree.” See Unconnected for more about what this means, and about some of the fun activities on WikiTree where we work together to connect people. Viewing the unconnected profiles on your Watchlist can be a way to prioritize profiles you might want to work on. Everyone will connect eventually.
  • Your followed tags will help keep you informed about new members and what’s going around WikiTree that’s related to your particular interests. You might want to add a couple tags that keep you in touch with the community as a whole. ANNOUNCEMENTS will alert you to new features and changes on WikiTree. We use WIKITREE_LOVE to share good things.

Community Accomplishments

Top 10 contributors for last month: WikiTree Club 1000 July 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: Robynne Lozier!

Project Updates

Project Spotlight: Black Sheep

pgm.gifThe Black Sheep Project is a top level project that includes 7 sub-projects:

Their mission is to highlight the profiles of notable people on WikiTree who would be considered “black sheep”, and support those that have family members they wish to be included in the project. They describe Black Sheep as those that were outcasts, outlaws or just plain outlandish!

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

Project News

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

What’s New?

Have you Checked your Weekly Connections in the Connection Finder?

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

Summer Orman

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

This week it’s Summer Orman.

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

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

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

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

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

Follow the tag connection_finder for weekly updates on connections.

New Improvements to Search and Matching

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

1.) Secondary Sort.

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

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

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

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

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

This feature was requested in G2G by Bob Keniston.

2.) Matching for “Unknown”.

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

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

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

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

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

New “Ancestors” and “Descendants” Buttons

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

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

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

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

Question of the Week

Have you participated in the Question of the Week yet? Every Monday a genealogy-related question is posed to community members in our G2G Forum. You can join in the fun and share a little about yourself and learn about your fellow WikiTreers! Follow the tag “question_of_the_week” to get the new question each week.

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

Here are just a few of the answers we received:

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

Who’s New

We’re pleased to announce three new WikiTree Leaders:

Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

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

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

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

Tree-Tips

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

Community Accomplishments

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

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

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

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

Project Updates

Project Spotlight: The Rangers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t Miss These!

Challenges/Contests

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

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

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

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

WikiTree Calendar

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

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

Sincerely, The WikiTree Team and Leaders

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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 Charlotte.

Charlotte Shockey has been a member of our community since November of 2014.   She is very active in several projects including our Ambassadors, Connectors and Data Doctors. She participates in the monthly Sourcerers Challenge, the weekly Saturday Sourcing Sprints and was one of the top winners in both our Source-a-Thon and Clean-a-Thon!

Surnames you are researching?

Shockey (Schäcke, Jäggi, Jäcky, Jäcob), Sperry (Spearry, Speary), Schindler, Brewer, Dyess, Bolick (Bolch), Lail (Lael, Lohl, Lale, etc), Brunson, Hyser, Tracewell, Darbyshire, Leach, Gardner, Kiblinger, etc., etc.

Locations you are researching?

Not really sure I’ve studied any one place more than another as long as my family lived there at some point in time.

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

I became interested in genealogy back in 8th grade when part of our Social Studies homework was to find out the origin of our surname and make the coat of arms. For Shockey it came up as English and since I couldn’t find the coat of arms I made my own “a lightning bolt hitting a key”. (Turns out that’s now the branding design for one of my cousin’s cattle.)

I didn’t actually start doing my genealogy until 2001 and found out the reason for not finding the Shockey coat of arms is because the farthest back version of the surname is now Jäcob in Switzerland. Due to moving around, several places in Switzerland then Germany, the dialects made the spellings different but all pronounced the same.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

My favorite ancestor is my 5th Great Grandfather, Isaac Shockey, a counterfeiter and adventurer. Last summer my cousin Sharon found a book that states that his brother Valentine wasn’t the only counterfeiter in the family he was just the leader of the Shockey Gang. Turns out Isaac and his brother, Abraham, were also counterfeiters in the gang. Now I’m on the search to find the plates that were unearthed from Valentine’s fields around the Mason-Dixon border. LOL

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down.

Years ago I was able to break down a brick wall for my Great Grandfather Orville Thomas Speary thanks to the Social Security application I purchased for him.  I had a feeling for these parents I found but couldn’t be sure until I purchased Orville’s Social Security application. I was so ecstatic when it came in and sure enough it was the parents I was looking at. Bonus, I got to see his signature. I have to say it felt great getting just a step farther up the Speary line. It wasn’t until I did my auDNA test and joined the Sperry group that I found anything farther on the Sperry line and ours seems the only one to have changed spellings.

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

Sonora Webster Carver, a daredevil who learned to ride diving horses during the Great Depression then relearned after she became blind due to an accident while diving. To me she was absolutely amazing, strong, and vivacious in the face of such amazing odds. Who wouldn’t want to be related to someone of that strength and daring.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

Wine, wine, and more wine! LOL. I’m an equal opportunity wine drinker, I’ll try anything at least once to rate it. My wine partner and I love going on the Georgia Wine Highway Week event every Spring. Beware in Virginia of the Peaks of Otter Winery’s “Kiss The Devil”, 30 different hot peppers! I feel like I’m still recovering from that particular tasting of two yrs ago. I’m also trying to learn more about wine to be more knowledgeable. If I can win the lotto I plan to open two wineries. One down here in Georgia producing fruit & vegetable wines under one name. Then open one up in Winchester, VA creating grape varietal wines under another name.

I also love to photograph things around me especially if I get the chance to go to any of the National Parks (stamp me!). I’ve danced for many years: ballet, tap, jazz, character, hip hop… and took a few ballroom classes. Traveling to new locations when funds permit it. Come on lotto! Recent passion is Cricut, now to just get my own heat press!

I absolutely love to read, mostly romances but lately I’ve enjoyed reading biographies such as Carrie Fisher’s Princess Diariest, Lauren Graham’s Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, Anna Kendrick’s Scrappy Little Nobody, Mary Tyler Moore’s After All and looking forward to reading my cousin, Eva Shockey’s Taking Aim.

How long have you been on WikiTree and how active are you?

I joined WikiTree on 13 Nov 2014 after my cousin helped me stumble across it one day, so now it’s like my dates are “Before WikiTree” and “After WikiTree”. LOL. Everyday I’m on my laptop I am on WikiTree. I love it! I keep trying to get other friends to join. I enjoy being a Greeter, the first person a new member interacts with. I always hope to give them a positive experience. I also love helping out with all the other projects I’m part of: Profiles, One Name Studies, DNA, Cemeteries, Data Doctor and Connector. Sometimes I don’t know if I have enough time in the day to do it all. LOL. Darn work for getting in the way. ;)

What are some of the features/aspects of WikiTree that you love/don’t love as much?

I absolutely love the collaborative nature of WikiTree as well as how friendly everyone is. I felt closer to other members after the 72 hours of Source-a-Thon and chatting it up in the hangouts. Almost like we came out the other side of a war closer together.  I’m not a very organized person at home with certain things but I love how organized WikiTree is with all the categories. I also love that I can get a feel for One Name Studies via WikiTree so one day I can join the One Name Study Guild and be a bit more knowledgeable.  Only thing not to love is the occasional WikiTree member who doesn’t want to collaborate.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

My tips for someone just coming to WikiTree is first check out the wonderful tutorial they recently created to help you through the wonderful world of WikiTree found in your confirmation message. I even learned a few things I didn’t know about from it. Second, if you decide to upload a GEDCOM just do your ancestors. This is a lot easier to maintain and then gradually start adding the descendants a person at a time as this will keep you from making too many duplicates to have to remember to merge later. Third, if you add your DNA tests to your profile… PLEASE make sure your profile is at the highest level allowed for living (not Public). Fourth and last, source, source, source! This helps disputes on merges.

If you could leave one message for your descendants, what would it be?

Please don’t throw away all my hard work! :) LOL. Pack rat isn’t always a bad thing if well organized for future generations. Please continue working on the tree whether it’s ancestors or descendants so future generations will have a great start.

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