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 Aleš.

Aleš Trtnik joined WikiTree in June of 2015. In October 2016 he became an Independent Project Developer for the WikiTree Team. He also leads the Data Doctors Project and works closely with the Categorization and Templates projects (in addition to all the other awesome things he does).

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

I am mainly interested in my and my wife’s ancestors, so my daughter will have extended heritage if she will ever want to know about it. The last names are Trtnik, Stupica, Kauković and Mešić.

What are some of the locations you are researching?

Mainly Slovenia. Slovenia is so small that it is hard to divide it in multiple location studies. As a region I would say Ljubljana and surrounding areas and Divača in the coastal region. My wife’s ancestors are from north-western Bosnia.

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

That would be around 7 years ago when I was on a book fair in Ljubljana. While watching over my daughter playing, there was a speech about how to research the ancestors and how to document it. The answer was on PAPER and I said to myself that there must be some computerised way of doing it. After I got home, I started to look for some heritage programs and online sites and started to build my tree. Later on I wrote my own software, since there were none that I liked. And later I moved to WikiTree.

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down or one you hope to bust through.

I don’t see my dead ends as Brick Walls. In Slovenia there is not much unknown. You just visit the local cemetery and there are many generations of your ancestors. More problematic are church records, since they are not available online. One has to go to an archive and search through the books. And I don’t want to do that at the moment. So my brick walls are waiting on archives to be available online.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?


How long have you been on WikiTree and what do you spend the most time doing? If you’re involved in a project(s), tell us about how you participate in it.

I joined WikiTree in 2015, imported part of my tree and continue to build on that. My tree was mostly unsourced and made from my mother’s and wife’s memories. I am sad that I didn’t start this 20 years sooner, when my grandparents were alive. They would have a lot to tell. Now I am on WikiTree 5-15 hours per day, and even when I am asleep my computers are usually doing something connected to WikiTree.

I run the Data Doctors project and offer extensive support to Categorisation and Template projects and to the Team and any other project that needs my help. I also oversee EditBOT’s operations.

For Data Doctors I run suggestion reports each week. On Sunday afternoon (my time) weekly dump of WikiTree database is finished. Then I start a few tasks to download and import the data, extract needed information from biographies, recalculate relatives tree, check for updates from WikiData and FindAGrave, and all other things needed. That is usually done in 6-8 hours. If I am still up when all of this is done, I start suggestions recalculation. Otherwise I start it in the morning. It takes another 6-8 hours to do that. I check the results if all suggestions are in expected numbers and if not, I investigate what went wrong. This is usually finished in the afternoon and when all suggestions are done, I start creation of the reports. It takes another few hours for them to finish. That includes the weekly challenge report. In the evening it is usually done and I post the results and update WikiTree+. Then I start creation of customised suggestion reports, Unconnected reports, Unsourced reports, All Template totals and finally the totals for the stats charts on WT+. This is usually finished on Tuesday.

I also do some daily processing of WikiTree data. That includes all Categories, Templates, Projects, Space pages and Help pages. This process is now mostly automated and takes 2-3 hours. For Categories I prepare suggestion reports each day and the Categorisation project is correcting them. I also prepare usage tables for CategoryInfoBoxes, prepare navigation for multilingual categories defined by Aka template, prepare data for WikiTree for multilingual categories and for TopLevel categories, that WikiTree uses in active operations. I also prepare some usage reports for categories. After the import, also EditBOT does some automated updates, like correcting the case or separators in usage of categories. Also all previous renames are redone if needed. For Templates I do some reports and EditBOT corrects case errors and performs defined redirects. I also prepare Template Definitions for Chrome Extension I am developing. Some reports are also done for Space pages and Project pages. For all projects with Project account, I also prepare report on template usage and managed profiles. And also all Help pages are checked for changes and translated to Dutch and French according to the translation system I prepared on WT+.

Then I also do some other things requested in G2G or Google Groups that I follow or if they are requested by email.

What brought you to WikiTree?

No annual fees.

What is your favorite thing about WikiTree, or which feature(s) do you like the most?

I can’t really say. I know almost everything about it and I can’t really pick one thing. Well I can. It is WikiTree+.

If you could improve one thing about WikiTree, what would it be?

Complete redesign of Database and make things more computer readable. It is sad, that there are so many limitations on Locations, Dates, Names, Events. There is really too much discussions about it in G2G, which is a sign, that it could be done better. You can write it all in the Bio, but then you can’t make a map or timeline from that data.

What is an example of how WikiTree has helped you with your genealogy or how you’ve helped genealogy with WikiTree?

We recently met with my schoolmates from primary school. Yes it was the first time after 35 years.  When the organisers tried to contact us all, my childhood picture on WikiTree did the trick. They remember how I looked 35 years ago.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Sources and be bold. Someone from the community will let you know if you are doing things wrong.

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  5 Responses to “Meet our Members: Aleš Trtnik”

  1. Wow, Ales: You are awesome! Thank you for all of the work and thought you put into Wikitree. I am impressed.

  2. One of the nice things about WT is that we get to know others who are actively involved. People are more than just names and dates.

    Ales is one of the many special members who go the extra mile to help us all. Learning more about him and his own genealogical activity adds to his involvement with all of us.

    I wish all mangers would at least write a little about their own genealogical interests to share with us.

  3. Great work Aleš! Thanks. Very interesting story.

    Beautiful Slovenia is on our list of places to visit.We are friends with a family who live in and around Boskovice, CZ whom we have visited.

  4. Top stuff Aleš as alway its a pleasure working with you in categories

    danny in Australia

  5. Wonderful article, Eowyn! It was great to read more about Aleš. We owe him so much for all he contribute to WikiTree! I was so happy to read that WikiTree brought about a reunion with his schoolmates.

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