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 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 http://gulfcoastlagniappe.blogspot.com, 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!

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 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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Greetings fellow WikiTreers! Welcome to the July 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 Jacqueline Girouard.

Jackie Girouard

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. You can learn more about her here and check the Connection 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 legendary hero of the American Revolution, Paul Revere, from the 1776 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.

FamilySearch Connections app can now update WikiTree profiles

Our friend Justin York, from FamilySearch, made this announcement earlier this month:

“We just updated the FamilySearch Connections App to add ‘Update WikiTree’ links to existing matches. When that link is clicked, the Merge:Edit page that WikiTree X uses will be opened with the data from the FamilySearch profile so that you can merge it into the matched WikiTree profile. A source citation pointing to the FamilySearch profile will also be added. The app also loads match information a little faster now.”

See https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:FamilySearch_Connections for more information about the app.

Help Pages are Now Searchable

Our help pages are now searchable. There’s a search form on every help page, e.g. How to Use WikiTree or Tutorial #1: Start Climbing Our Tree. Or you could click 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! Follow the tag “question_of_the_week” to get the new question each week.

We recently asked “Do you have any inventors in your family tree?”

Here are just a few of the answers we received:

  • My father, J.B. Gunn discovered the Gunn Effect and invented the Gunn Diode which is a “miniature” microwave generator (the kind used for Radar, not for cooking).  If you have ever got a speeding ticket from a handheld Radar gun, you can blame my father. It is (or at least was) also used in some Radar detectors. ~ Janet
  • Michael Werk, invented several methods to reduce fat into soap and candles and started a very successful company in Cincinnati.  He eventually sold his business to local competitor, Procter & Gamble.  ~ JT
  • My father designed a tent that could be erected in a few minutes. He then made it using a small hand turned sewing machine, canva and four miles of thread. We holidayed in the tent for years. We children would get an ice cream if we could erect the tent, assemble our stretchers and roll out our bedrolls in under 10 minutes. Ice creams were a daily treat when we were on the move! ~ Susan
  • My brother invented an ergonomic fishing pole. He loves to fish and the normal fishing pole was causing pain and discomfort in his wrist and elbow. So he designed a fishing pole with and angled handle that keeps your wrist in alignment and relieves the pressure on the elbow. He made them himself, found a company to make them, and he sold them at fishing shows. A company eventually bought his product and I think the patent but they have not produced them. A real shame because there are a lot of fishermen who would benefit from this rod. I have one and it is great. ~ Thomas
  • My 1st cousin 5x removed Joshua Pusey is the inventor of the match. Joshua was a patent lawyer in Philadelphia.  A tinkerer at heart, his most famous invention is the Flexible Match which he patented in 1892. A few years later he sold his patent to the Diamond Match Company. ~ Marilyn

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 June features!

  • Mel Lambert became a WikiTreer in November 2015 and is one of our newest Leaders. She is active in our Military and WarMentorand DNA projects and also participates in the Sourcerers challenges.  Check out her interview to see how she became interested in her family history.

Tree-Tips

  • Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

    Remember point II of our Honor Code:  We care about accuracy. We’re always aiming to improve upon our worldwide family tree and fix mistakes.   If this is something you enjoy you might want to check out our Data Doctors Project and the Data Doctor Challenges.

  • If you find yourself in the middle of a conflict, you can get help. Walk through the Help:Problems with Members process. This is a step-by-step guide to help you assess the situation and make the best decision on how to handle it. You can always find a link to it on the Help pull-down menu in the upper-right of any page.
  • The heart of our community is G2G, our Genealogist-to-Genealogist Forum. Browse around a little bit. If you haven’t already, introduce yourself.
  • 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 April 2017

  1. Keith McDonald (16,609 edits in June)
  2. Elizabeth Winter (11412)
  3. Aleš Trtnik (8470)
  4. Carrie Quackenbush (7357)
  5. NJ Penny (7216)
  6. Gregory Rose (7011)
  7. Cindy Lesure (6870)
  8. Stephanie Ahles (6380)
  9. Shirley Dalton (6030)
  10. K Bloom (5875)

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: Eddie KingSarah (Callis) Rojas and Sarah (Murtaugh) Heiney!

Congratulations to last month’s challenge winners:

Project Updates

Project Spotlight: Volunteer Coordinators

pgm.gifOne of the essential groups in our community is the Volunteer Coordinators. They help new members understand how to become more involved with the WikiTree community and get connected with Projects relevant to their interests

A Volunteer Coordinator …

  • … is a member who joined WikiTree more than 3 months ago.
  • … is familiar with active projects and their leaders and coordinators.
  • … has a solid understanding of how WikiTree works.
  • … is friendly and has good communication skills.
  • … gives accurate and helpful answers to questions in G2G.
  • … is always courteous to other members.

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

New Projects

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

What’s New?

Have you Checked your Weekly Connections in the Connection Finder?

Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

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

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

This week it’s Bea Wijma. Bea has been a member of our community since October of 2013 and is one of our wonderful Leaders. She is very active leading several projects including Dutch RootsCape of Good HopeNew Netherland and South African Roots. She participates in the Dutch Roots Challenge and has been instrumental in the development of the Nederlands Portaal. You can learn more about her here and check the Finder to see how you are connected!

We also highlight what we call an Example Profile of the Week.  These profiles are top-notch and meet the styles and standards criteria that the community has agreed upon. The notable whose profile is used as an example is also featured in the Connection Finder for that week.

Spotlighted this week is Dr. Benjamin Spock, born 2 May 1903, in New Haven, Connecticut. Dr. Spock was renowned for his theories on intuitive parenting and his anti-war positions. See how you are connected!

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

Follow the tag connection_finder for weekly updates on connections.

WikiTreers Cleaned House: Over 80,000 Errors Addressed During Clean-A-Thon

Wow, what a great weekend!  Huge thanks to all of you who participated in our Clean-a-Thon. We can definitely call it a success!

Here are some stats from the event:

Top 5 Teams:

  1. A Rose By Any Other Name (Leader: Emma McBeth) – 11,977
  2. Massachusetts 600 (Leader: Bob Keniston) – 7,592
  3. Merry Moppers (Leader: Lucy Lavelle) – 5,468
  4. Virginia Spring Cleaners (Leader: Liz Shifflett) – 5,457
  5. Southern Super Sweepers (Leader: Dorothy Barry) – 5,125

Top 5 Participants:

  1.  Lucy Lavelle - 3,167
  2. Emma McBeth - 3,046
  3. Charlotte Shockey - 2,763
  4. Dorothy Barry - 1,897
  5. Anonymous J. Penny - 1,732
Top 5 Errors Addressed:
  1. 603 – USA too early in birth location – 9,497
  2. 611 – Birth location in lowercase –  4,737
  3. 633 – USA too early in death location – 4,272
  4. 811 – Uncleaned profile after a merge – 4,130
  5. 511 – Unique names (spelling) – 3,894
Almost every team and 22 participants broke 1,000 which is fantastic!
As a result of everyone’s hard work, in 72 hours we addressed 80,757 errors!

New “Ancestors” and “Descendants” Buttons

We’re excited to announce this new feature.

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

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

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

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

We are not changing the existing Family Tree and Descendant List pages (e.g. Whitten-Family-Tree-20 and Whitten-Descendants-20). The main content on those pages is the same as what you can now access on the profile page, but it’s useful to have separate URLs.

Change to Open Privacy Level

We’ve been discussing changing our privacy rules for a long time.

We’ve now made a decision and are starting the process of implementing an important change.

The new rule: Profiles of people who were born over 150 years ago or who died over 100 years ago must be Open.

As of today, that applies to profiles of people born before May 1867 or who died before May 1917.

Until now the rule was that profiles of people born over 200 years ago must be Open. We aren’t changing any other privacy rules. See https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Privacy.

For details on how this change will be implemented, see this G2G post.

Are you Related to Any U.S. Presidents? 

There have been a lot of G2G posts lately from people who are curious if and how they are related to any of the U.S. Presidents.  We’ve made it easier for you to check. Just go to our Relationship Finder and you’ll see a list of all the Presidents.  You can quickly click through and see if you are related.

Question of the Week

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

We recently asked “What is your most memorable genealogical discovery?”

Here are just a few of the answers we received:

  • My great-grandfather was eight months old when his mother died, or at least that was the story as he knew it. As it turns out, his mother left his father and went on to have three daughters, two of whom became nuns and one who went on to have a descendant on ancestry.com. He was a Methodist minister; wouldn’t he have been surprised to know he had two half-sisters who were nuns? Of course, there is much more to this story and by far it’s one of the most memorable discoveries. ~ Pendy
  • I recently discovered that 6th great-grandparents are the grandparents of General Sam Houston – which makes us 1st cousins 6x’s removed.  Also, descended from the same line – my 7th great-grandparents are the 5th great-grandparents of actor Bill Paxton, making us 6th cousins 2x’s removed.  I’m sure they would both be equally excited to find they are related to me haha ;)  ~ Michelle
  • The first mention of my great great grandmother in the newspapers (and she seems to feature a lot) is when she discovers a baby’s body in Nelson Harbour in 1865. The mother of the child was charged with infanticide and my gg grandmother, who was only about 18 at the time and newly married, had to give evidence at the trial while about 4 months pregnant herself. ~ Fiona
  • Many years ago my sister and I visited the state historical building, which houses the states genealogical collection.  I was newly married and thrilled to have new lines to search. We were discussing where to go with our research when told my sister I thought I would look into the Stephenson line from Kosciusko County Indiana. My sister looked at me oddly and said her husband had Stephenson’s in Kosciusko County, Indiana.  Needless to say, our husbands are related through the Stephenson line. ~ Deena
  •  I was just starting out in genealogy and was working on my biological lines and adoptive parents lines. I knew I had two older siblings and started searching and posting on websites, both genealogy and adoptive.  A year and a half later  I received an email that said, “I think you’re looking for me, I’m your big sister” Sure enough it was. ~ Shelly

Tree-Tips

  • Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

    Remember point IX of our Honor Code:  We are united in a mission to increase the world’s common store of knowledge. We always respect copyrights and privacy, but we keep information as free and open as possible.

  • We often get questions about the costs of joining WikiTree. See here for our pledge to keep WikiTree 100% free!
  • Prioritize your profile updates. From your Watchlist click the fourth header ‘Last Edit’ to sort the list so that the first profile listed is the one that’s gone the longest time without being edited. Check it out – maybe there’s something you can add or improve!

Community Accomplishments

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

  1. Gregory Rose (8,406 edits in April)
  2. Esmé van der Westhuizen (8130)
  3. Stephanie Ahles (6739)
  4. NJ Penny (6241)
  5. John Noel (5587)
  6. Michelle Brooks (4959)
  7. Kaye Mansfield (4908)
  8. Charlotte Shockey (4865)
  9. Michael Sheffield (4771)
  10. Bea Wijma (4732)

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

Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication: Paul GierszewskiEmma (McBeth) MacBeathHans Hofmann and Lucy (Kelleher) Lavelle!

Project Updates

Project Spotlight: Puritan Great Migration

pgm.gifThe purpose of the Puritan Great Migration Project is to improve profile pages and research of up to 40,000 early New England colonists—both Puritans and non-Puritans—who arrived during the period of the Great Migration generally associated with the Puritans, between 1621 and 1640. PGM project members actively work on the research and improvement of project profiles, following the Project Guidelines and collaborating with fellow PGM team members.

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

Don’t Miss These!

Challenges/Contests

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

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

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

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

Weekly LiveCasts

Have you watched one of the weekly LiveCasts yet? They’re fun and informative.

WikiTree LiveCasts are weekly live video chats about WikiTree. Join in and chat with MagsJulie and whomever happens to be sitting in with them.

For the most part, LiveCasts will take place every Saturday at 3 p.m. EST.

If you missed last Saturday’s LiveCast with Mags and Emma MacBeath talking about DNA Matching and WikiTree you can still view it and any others you might have missed via the LiveCasts YouTube channel. This coming Saturday, at 3 p.m. EDT join Mags and crew here as they chat about DNA Features on WikiTree.  Special guest WikiTreer and genealogy blogger, Kitty Munson Cooper, will be stopping by to join in the conversation.

If you would like to be featured on a LiveCast shoot Mags or Julie a private message.  To get details on upcoming LiveCasts, go here.

WikiTree Calendar

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

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

Sincerely, The WikiTree Team and Leaders

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Greetings fellow WikiTreers! Welcome to the 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

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