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 Bobbie.

Bobbie Hall became a WikiTreer in 2011. She is one of our newest Project Leaders and is active in our Mayflower, PGM and Scotland projects.

What are some of the surnames you are researching? 

Madison, Wright, Anderson, Fish, Sternberg, Hall, Nisbet, Campbell, McCallum

What are some of the locations you are researching? 

New England: primarily Massachusetts & Vermont; Scotland: primarily Ayrshire, Lanarkshire and Argyl.

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

I had a “spinster” great aunt that we visited when I was a child. The photographs she had were fascinating, all those old gorgeous studio shots of family groups. I had to know who they were. Then, later, when I realized that a certain form of cancer ran rampant through my mother’s family, I made it a priority to see who was affected. Turns out that it’s now called Lynch Syndrome. I’ve worked hard at contacting as many distant family members as possible to advise them of their possible genetic issue, which has probably saved a life or two. 

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

Barbara (Small) (Burgess) (Phinney) Sawtelle. I come from a long line of “tough old birds,” and she exemplifies how women of her time had to just get on with life, struggling with supporting 9 children from two deceased husbands, moving from one state to another with her children. Life was so much more difficult for women in the 1800s.

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

I have yet to break the wall on my paternal Madison line. I have checked every possible record in the towns and counties he lived in, chased down every descendant, made a few stabs at randomly researching people of the right name and approximate age in hopes of finding his origins beyond that tantalizing word “Scotland.” Next will be to delve into DNA research, which I have always avoided, preferring the old ways of researching.

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

Donald Lines Jacobus: to be related to a genealogical genius would be great fun.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

Travel, needlework, hiking, swimming.

How long have you been on WikiTree and what do you spend the most time doing?

Though my profile shows, through some interim glitch, that I started in 2016, my first serious work on WikiTree began in September 2013. 

I’m involved with three projects currently: Mayflower, Puritan Great Migration (PGM), and Scotland. I’m trying to assist on all three in any way I can. I’ve done a lot of my own research in these areas, so I hope to help others in their ancestor hunt.

What brought you to WikiTree?

The search for a site that provided collaboration and source citation as main focus points. When genealogists work together, there are great benefits for all. We learn from each other and have others to lean on when we encounter difficulties in our research. 

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

I love G2G, it’s where all of us can find solutions.

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

I still stumble trying to find things in the Help pages, but that’s my problem, not WikiTree’s.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Be patient with yourself, and with your fellow WikiTreers. Building your tree is time consuming if it’s done right (sources, sources, sources), but very rewarding to see it published online. Learn a new thing every day, and it will all come together eventually. When in doubt, ask! There are lots of people available to help: G2G, Mentors, and fellow researchers who share your ancestry.

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  6 Responses to “Meet our Members: Bobbie Hall”

  1. Hi Bobbie,
    We have Phinney in our line, through McNeil and Stronach in Nova Scotia

  2. Congratulations, Bobby! You have always been so helpful you deserve to be recognized. I am happy we share family ties.

  3. Hi Bobbie, We share the same ancestral grandparents John Dresser Jr. (c 1640-c 1724) & his wife Martha. It is exciting to see someone highlighted that I am connected to. Wow, that is so fun that you are a descendant of some of the passengers on the Mayflower! Your cousin, Suzie (Poore) Hayhurst

  4. Hi, Bobbie.

    I see that you and I are 23 degrees away (via Elizabeth Scarborough and Eli Boyett). Am I infer from your interest in the Mayflower project that you have Pilgrim roots? And that by this extension of the family tree, that I therefore have some nano-connection?

    That would be awesome!

    Best Wishes,


  5. What do you call’ « unsourced “ ?

  6. Hi Pelatan: “Unsourced” to me means any statement or piece of data that doesn’t have a corresponding document to support it. Sources can be a recent “memory” of a close relative who ”’actually witnessed the event,”’ a printed birth announcement sent out by the parents, an obituary published in a newspaper, a funeral card kept in a scrap book, a document such as a birth, marriage or death record, a will or probate file, a photo of a gravestone placed about the time of death. Failing those types of documents, then an article in a genealogical or historical publication which provides sources (as above), or a published genealogy which provides such sources.
    Hope that’s helpful!

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