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 Debi.

Debi Hoag became a WikiTreer in October 2015 and is one of our newest Leaders. She leads our Messengers Project, is active as a Greeter, Ranger, and Connector, and participates in our Sourcerers Challenge.

Surnames and locations you are researching?

  • McGee in 1860 South Carolina > 1940 North Carolina
  • Helms and Baucom in North Carolina pre-1850 to present
  • Driggers and Brown in Florida pre-1850 to present
  • Campbell in South Carolina pre-1860 and Madison, Hillsborough, Polk, and Pinellas Counties of Florida to present
  • Meares in the Bahamas pre-1850,  Key West 1838-1860, and  Pinellas Counties of Florida to present
  • Fore in Mississippi pre-1900, Florida post-1900
  • Harding, Cundiff, and Carroll in Virginia
  • Hogg in Canada in pre 1890  New York,  New Jersey (named changed to Hoag c 1920-1930),  Scotland,  Canada, US migration pattern
  • Coop, Hess, and Lloyd in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, England, Wales, Germany,  US migration pattern

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

The Civil War Oath of Allegiance and Release of Prisoner of War document of my maternal grandmother showed me around 1982. It was for my 2x great-grandfather, Alvis Baucom.  I dabbled about with pen and paper research but couldn’t settle on a good way to relate to what I was finding. In the late 1980s when computers started being widely available for home use and the internet was becoming a “thing”, things really clicked. The first piece of software I bought was a genealogy program; the first website I visited was the AOL genealogy section. I was hooked.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

I honestly don’t have a favorite. There are some that I am more curious about but I love looking for little details on each and every one.

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down.

I’ve never reached a wall yet, either through being inordinately lucky or from knowing that I’ve not finished the research yet. I have furthest back ancestors, of course, but not because I know there aren’t records. Those are sitting there waiting for me to have time for further research.

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

I’m already related to all of them by virtue of being human. That’s enough for me.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

I love to travel and really enjoy photography, both landscape and street scenes.

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

I started at WikiTree in October 2015 and have been on most days since. I’m a member of several functional projects (Greeters, Messengers, and Rangers) and like to participate in the Sourcerers challenges as well as a few others. I usually concentrate on orphaned profiles when working challenges. My thought is that if we can at least prove they existed and belong with the people they are linked to, someone else might discover and adopt them.

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

I really like being part of a community where we can discuss things in a civil manner and agree to disagree when we need to.

I love that there’s a way for us to work together to record all our findings, both accurate and inaccurate, so that the most complete depiction of a person can be developed.

I don’t love the Find A Person search, finding it often either too broad or too narrow. Being able to narrow by place would be incredibly helpful. I can see the potential for that feature increasing as we work to standardize place names. I’m really looking forward to the possibility.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Start slow and source as you go because it’s so much more fun to be able to move to new research once you’ve got your people in. Don’t be shy about asking questions in G2G or in the comments page of other profiles. Remember that asking a question in a comment on your own page won’t get seen unless someone visits your profile. Have patience, with yourself and others, as we all work together to create this one big shared tree. Remember, we’re all cousins and we love our family!

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

I don’t have descendants, that’s why my research is all coming to WikiTree. I have no idea who will want it but I hope that someday someone will find it and know that I wanted them to know their family.


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  4 Responses to “Meet our Members: Debi Hoag”

  1. I infer from your tree, above, that Hoag is by marriage. By chance a descendant of David G. Hoag, MIT’s Technical Director of guidance system for Polaris submarine-launched ballistic missiles and of the guidance and navigation system for Apollo spacecraft?

    • K,

      Not that I know of. My husband’s Hoag family is from New York and New Jersey. The family surname was Hogg through the 1920s and the morphed in to Hoag.


  2. Hello Ms Debi,
    So I have 2 numbers I need to merge into one but the spelling algorithm doesn’t see the match between Benjamin Bean and Bejamin Been. I am certain because of dates, locations, etc., that these are the same person with two versions of the name. Is there a way to fix it?

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