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 Abby:

Abby is a WikiTree Team Member.  She’s our Leader Liaison and Project Manager. Communication and coordination are constant challenges in a rapidly-growing, decentralized community. Abby’s role on WikiTree is to help Project Coordinators and Leaders communicate and coordinate with each other, and with the WikiTree Team.

Surnames you are researching: Stevens, Glann, McWilliams, Kleinhampl, Zeithaml, McQuiston, Carper, Brooks/Brock, Papke

Locations you are researching: Bohemia, and the rest of my relatives fall into the Northern/Western Europe realm

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

I have always been interested, but it really took off when I signed up for a introductory genealogy class while attending Simpson College, my freshman year. One of my closest friends was attending with me and together we visited cemeteries, the state historical library, and surfed the net as we tracked down ancestors. We were excited to find we are 14th cousins, through our link to the Canfield/Camfield family of Colonial America. From there, I was hooked. I have definitely grown and am now far better at researching and documenting my work. I wish I had done a better at documenting back in those early days. I look at some of that work and ask myself where in the world I came up with that!

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

Edward Kleinhampl

I feel so connected to all of them, especially now that I am really starting to focus on their story more than their facts. I recently broke down a brick wall for my third great grandparents after some old family photos gave me a clue. I guess my favorites rotate. My Grandma Pat (Brown) loved her Great Grandpa Michael Brock/Brooks, and I recently have found some new clues to help push is line of the family back further, including just a couple days ago figuring out his wife’s parents, my third great grandmother, Louisa Papke. The photos from that part of my family are so neat-they did everything together and had these huge family gatherings regularly, were outdoors types, much like my own family. I feel like I have a connection with my Brooks grandparents and their children in a special way that is different than other ancestors, though, seriously, I love them all.

 Tell us about the brick wall you most want to tear down.

My grandmother’s father’s line would be great. With other lines, I think it’s just me not finding the records I need. With her paternal line, though, I’ve got a bit of a scoundrel (Frank Kleinhampl) and cannot trace him back to Czechoslovakia because he gives different answers to questions about his birth and family every time he’s asked…in all five marriages. If I could just figure out who he really was, the records available in that region would get me back quite a way! I started an one name study to work on trying to figure him out, but haven’t been able to devote as much time to it as I’d like. At this point, though, I do think most, if not all, Kleinhampls are related. My other big wall is my third great grandparents on my dad’s paternal line. Benjamin George Brown, from Yorkshire, England, is proving difficult, not surprisingly :-)

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

I am related to some really cool people already-maybe JRR Tolkien. He is one of my favorite authors. Otherwise, I am pretty happy with my ancestors!

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

I run a small fiber farm, raising sheep and goats whose fleece I turn into yarn. I love to spin fleece into yarn, and I love to create items from that yarn. I also am a voracious reader, I love to garden, and cook. My family spends as much time camping, hiking, fishing, and foraging as we possibly can in the warmer months. Trout fishing in Northern Iowa is what made my husband fall in love with me :)

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

I have been here since August 2011. I started out fast, then had to back off for a bit as my internet didn’t cooperate, then later I worked fundraising for my best friend’s son’s kidney transplant. Now, I am on every single day, and spend most evenings for a couple hours cleaning up my profiles, adding new/better sources and working on team responsibilties.

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

I love collaboration. It is the reason I sought out WikiTree. When I joined, there weren’t too many options for uploading a gedcom that you could connect to others. I had published my own website for awhile with the tree, but I really do believe in one tree, that everyone is connected, and that is what WikiTree is all about, so it was a perfect match.

As far as don’t love so much, there are days when the collaboration takes more patience, and those days are just learning days, making me become a better person. I also think I would enjoy something like facebook, where you could have an update regularly on your page, like “oy, my sheep are out so if I don’t finish that merge request right away, sorry!” or “yeah, rockin’ the 1880 US Census tonight.” I like to talk, if you hadn’t noticed.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Take it one step at a time-though once you get the hang of it, it is an easy site to work with, it takes time to learn it all and really find all the different awesome aspects of the site. Get involved in a project, which is what I did (I was asked to join the European Aristocracy project when they saw I had uploaded profiles that fell into their area of expertise) and you will get to see some of the different uses of the site, like category usage, and you will be working side by side with others of similar interests, so you can make friends who can help show the ropes. And, most important, if you don’t know something, ask! Whether it is just another WikiTreer, or G2G, or you search out a Leader, no question is unimportant, can make your journey on WikiTree all that much more smooth.

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

I worked really hard on making sure our heritage was not lost, as did generations before me. I was blessed enough to inherit their work and expand on it. Please, one of you, don’t let that stop. You’ll be happy you didn’t.


 

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  5 Responses to “Meet our Members ~ Abby Glann”

  1. Loved learning more about you Abby! And if I can put in a plug for her yarn-work! I’ve got an awesome headwrap I bought on her website.

  2. I am so glad to see your profile. It has given me new enthusiasm around trying to figure out WikiTree. You sound so delightful and your gifts and energy come through to make me feel connected, something I believe in very much. Thank you for all you do to collaborate and bring us all together.

  3. Hi Abby
    So nice to get to know you better.
    Thanks for all you do. You are an inspiration to all at WikiTree
    Have an awesome week
    Ronel

  4. Hey cousin Abby! I too would wish to be related to a famous author and love to talk a lot. We must be related ;-)
    I think your fiber farm is awesome!

  5. What a varied and interesting profile. By the way, it seems you and I have two points of convergence, outboard motors (Evinrude) and the surname Brown (my mother’s maiden name). Thanks for all the work you do for WikiTree.

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