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 Brad.

Brad Cunningham became a WikiTreer in March of 2019. He participates in several England Project teams and sourcing is one of his favorite activities.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

Well, there are so many, but I guess if I had to name a few, I’ve been looking into Clark, Worth, Hussey, Swain lately.  They are all early settlers of Nantucket & Massachusetts Bay.  Then I’m always working on DeBeck & Dow who were early settlers in New Brunswick & Nova Scotia, after the War of 1812 (United Empire Loyalists).  I’ve been spending a lot of time lately researching my maternal side of the family.  My mother’s maiden name was JULEFF.  I’ve just started a One Name Study for Jolliffe/Juleff, so if anyone has any family members with this name please add the Category:Jolliffe One Name Study to their profile.  Or if anyone has some experience with ONS, any help is always appreciated!

What are some of the locations you are researching?

I’m a member of the Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset Teams, so I spend at least 2/3 of my time helping out where I can.  I also have ancestors from Norfolk & Ireland; however Ireland is a lot trickier than the rest.

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

I had an aunt (who recently passed away) who got me started in the maternal side.  I also used to belong to My Heritage & started creating a tree with them until I realized that by connecting through others, I was adding unsourced relatives, but oh did I ever have a huge tree.  

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why? 

My favorite ancestor is the one I newly discover.

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

I have been stuck for over a year on some of my Irish ancestors, but I can’t say that they are brick walls, only today.  Tomorrow is another “kick at the can”.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy? 

Cooking, Hiking, Vintage Trailer Rallies, Fishing, Reading.

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

I have been with WikiTree for just over a year now.  I spend a lot of time on the Dorset, Somerset, & Cornwall teams in the England Project; sourcing is something I enjoy doing.  Of course, I also love taking part in the various challenges; Source a Thon & Clean a Thon. I think I would like to try Connect a Thon next.

What brought you to WikiTree?

I used to use other sites to build my tree, but there is always a huge issue with unsourced profiles being added to your tree. Through research I found WikiTree & realized that there is a better way to do things.  I have learned so much since I have been a part of this “family”.  I can’t wait to learn more.  Everyday a new door opens. 

What is your favorite thing about WikiTree?

I have to say that I believe one of the best things about WikiTree is the Orphans Trail. I just hope that one day it will be something that everyone who joins WikiTree will take to start their journey.

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

I truly don’t think there is anything that I would want to change at this point, but you never know what I will say in another year. LOL

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

The “family” & community spirit of WikiTree has helped me the most. Whenever I have a problem or a roadblock, someone is always there to lend a hand. I have had members drop what they are doing just to help out. It encourages me to do the same & I do just that as much as I can. I also hope that my sourcing has helped out new people that have uploaded a profile or two without any sources. I hope that by adding one or two sources, it has encouraged them to dig further.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree? 

ORPHANS TRAIL!!  Just do it!


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