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 Amy.

Amy Gilpin has been a WikiTreer since December of 2018. She’s involved in many projects, particularly as Project Coordinator for the Irish Roots Project and a Team Leader in the Global Cemeteries and Categorization Projects.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

I’m currently researching my family lines: Crawford, McKay, Francis, Pretty, Park, Burns, Pellow and others.

For my husband’s lines:  Gilpin, Closs, Felske, Paul, Hudson, Molyneaux, and Legary, just to name a few.

What are some of the locations you are researching?

I am currently researching the early settlement history of Lanark County; the Pontiac Region of Quebec; County Armagh, Ireland; and the Highlands of Scotland, in particular Sutherland, Scotland.

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

I’ve been interested in whom is related to who, for as long as I can remember. My late mother helped create the McKay Family Tree of Lanark County (I think I was about 8 when she started). It’s a three-volume set, and I still have the original, typed copies in 3” binders. So, whether it was a natural tendency or something I learned from her… here I am, many years later, continuing what she started. Some (like my husband) might call it an obsession.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

I’m not sure I can pick just one! I’d say David Crawford, who was born in Ayrshire, Scotland in 1812. He’s a bit of a mystery still, but I’m fascinated with his story and the courage he had to pack up his family and bring them to a new land, here in Canada. Until recently, he was my brick wall.

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

My husband’s brick wall has been his 3x Great Grandfather, Henry Gilpin. Since joining WikiTree, I’ve been able to track him to his birthplace in Ireland and have found numerous potential relatives. I’ve been researching this family off and on for the last 16 years without much success, so this is huge for me.

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

Well, I would have to say William Wallace, because… well, who wouldn’t! One story I remember being told as a child was that his mother was a Crawford. That triggered my love of Irish and Scottish history. Now, if I could ever prove I was related to the Picts….

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

First, is spending time with my family. I love to paint, I’m an avid reader of historical fiction, have attempted to write a few short stories of my own, and I’ve been known to binge watch fantasy/sci-fi shows on occasion.

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’ve been on WikiTree for just over four months, so I guess that still makes me a newbie. I joined in December 2018 and got involved right away.

Projects I’m Involved In: Irish RootsProject Coordinator; Global CemeteriesTeam Leader and team member; CategorizationTeam Leader; Rangers – Team member; and Ontario Project – Liaison for Categorization.

I am also involved in two One Name Studies (Crawford and Gilpin); a One Place Study – Lanark County; and the Scotland Project.

What brought you to WikiTree? (In other words, how did you find us?)

I found WikiTree by happy accident. I was researching my husband’s family and did a Google search. Usually this would bring up any number of other sites, but this time, I found a profile for one of his ancestors on WikiTree. I did some browsing and liked what I saw.

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

My favourite thing about WikiTree is the people. I work with an amazing group of people here on a regular basis. They are friendly, encouraging and helpful and it’s unlike any other genealogy site I’ve ever participated in. As for features, I’d have to say my favourites are the Connection Finder and Relationship Finder… quite often on Saturday mornings, my son and I will look to see which famous people we’re related to. The best ones yet: Elvis… and Jesse James!

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

Having been a member of the Categorization Project for a while now, I think the changes that are being made will help improve WikiTree as a whole. I’m of the opinion that a lack of defined ‘Purpose’ is causing unnecessary issues, so that’s one thing I’d like to see. A clear, defined Purpose for Categories.

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

WikiTree has helped me in many ways, most importantly, by providing a place where I can share my extensive knowledge of Lanark County with others, where I can share my skills and abilities with Projects that keep WikiTree running smoothly, and by providing me with a place to learn about the areas where my family’s ancestors came from. I’m of the opinion that it’s the people here that make WikiTree work so well.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Ask questions. Read the Help Pages. Go to G2G and read through the questions and answers.  If you aren’t sure about something, ask. There are plenty of people here who are willing to help!

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  8 Responses to “Meet our Members: Amy Gilpin”

  1. So nice to read more about you, Amy! It’s been a pleasure working with you these past few months, and you are a real asset to WikiTree!

  2. Congratulations on Member of the Week. Well deserved recognition.

  3. On one of the Wikitree news, it said 22 degrees from Amy Gilpin. Does that mean we are related” I’m not sure I understand what ‘degrees’ refers to. 19 degrees from Henry 8th – I could do without!

  4. I have only been on Wikitree a month but you have provided me with the missing link on the paternal side of my family that I have been trying to find for over 5 years on ancestry. I knew my last name had been changed because once I got to St Albans, VT and tried to trace them in Canada there wasn’t anyone with that name. The more I read about French names I found that they always mentioned the province where they came from after their actual last name. I went into Google search for the French province dit Delpe and up popped several stories of people that lived there and immigrated to Canada. I instantly signed up for Wikitree letting them know that my DNA was on ancestry and within 2 days they confirmed that I was probably related to a young man who immigrated in 1665 as a soldier and stayed when the troops went back to France. It turned out that my last actually would have been Pariseau dit Delpe but church records in Canada during that time are almost impossible to read. Wikitree also told me that they had records that someone with the last name of Delphia immigrated to St Albans, VT in about 1840 and with that help I found my family history and a lot of confusion of how to tell my 50 first cousins that are last name isn’t what we were lead to believe. Thank you Wikitree for helping me.

  5. Amy Gilpin: The Eli Chance listed that married Elizabeth Allen was not my direct ancestor. He was first cousin of my Eli Chance, b. 1788, died 1863 in Hardin County, Texas, who married Elizabeth Cagle in 1814 in Amite County, MS. The Eli listed was son of Vincent Chance and Sarah Taylor and grandson of Philemon Chance. My Eli was son of Philemon Chance.


    Thomas Spivey

  6. Hi Sherry! Thanks for commenting 🙂 Being 22 degrees from each other doesn’t mean that we’re related, but it does mean that our families are connected somehow. There is a possibility we’re related though. You would have to check the genealogical connection.

  7. I need to contact Amy Gilpin. I do not see a place to do that. I have a question about a profile that has her name listed on it. Please have her contact me.

  8. Hi Barbara, as there are a few active members with the same name, I’m not sure who I should be contacting. You are welcome to visit my profile and click the ‘send private message’ beside my name.

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