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 Herbert.

Herbert Tardy became a WikiTreer in June of 2017.  He loves helping members and answering questions in G2G as well as working on Unsourced profiles.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?  

My own people are Tardy (originally Tardito), Rodrigue, Barrett, Stanley, Stacey, O’Connor, Bourgeois, and Cassidy.  These days, I research anyone, any time, anywhere, as long as there are on-line records in a language I can read.

What are some of the locations you are researching?  

I’ve never been a location-based researcher, except to the extent that my ancestors came from Louisiana, Acadia, the Carolinas, and Appalachian South.  Otherwise, I’ll go anywhere for any reason or no reason.

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

I was curious about my family’s history from childhood, but never knew anything beyond my grandparents.  Ten or fifteen years ago my mother surprised me with a handwritten tree she worked out from memory. It only added one more generation plus part of the next, but of course it meant a lot to me.  Not long after, I joined Ancestry and became an addict.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?  

If I have to choose one, it would be my great-great-grandfather Michael John Barrett.  He was an Irish immigrant, prisoner of war, New Orleans politico, saloon keeper, and Fenian. He owned a bar on Algiers Point, directly opposite the French Quarter.  Legend has it the bar disappeared when the river changed course. Now there’s a ferry terminal at the site. My cousin, a Barrett expert sadly not on WikiTree, has collected newspaper articles about Michael and his brother-in-law Dennis Kirby engaging in fisticuffs with the police, and other ‘riotous’ behavior.  How can you not love a colorful ancestor like that?

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

Of course, the first one is always special.  I had to leave my Ancestry comfort zone to find the probate papers of my 5x great grandfather, Elisha Nelson at the wonderful Greenville County, South Carolina website.  It felt like striking gold. Those records have since become available on Ancestry and FamilySearch, which makes me a little sad.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

By day, I have a small tax consulting practice.  When not doing that or genealogy, I play fingerstyle acoustic guitar, regularly commit origami, brew an occasional batch of ale, and maintain a small collection of carnivorous plants.  Other hobbies come and go without notice.

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 June 2017, and spend most of my time either answering questions on G2G or chasing rabbits through the Unsourced list.  I like working on ‘nobodies.’ I think they are every bit as important as celebrities, and they have the advantage of freedom from conflict and drama.  As one of my favorite fictional detectives, Harry Bosch, says, “Everybody counts, or nobody counts.”

Being an independent kind of person, I avoid joining anything organized, including projects.  I think of myself as a free-range WikiTreer at large, doing the usual WikiTree things – sourcing, connecting, improving, etc – but only in a lower-case way.

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

I stumbled on WikiTree while googling for a brick-wall ancestor.  After years of frustration with the nonsense and wishful thinking in Ancestry trees, the single shared tree concept had an irresistible appeal.

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

I love the ideal of a single, documented, accurate tree, perhaps someday the global ‘reference’ tree, the first place anyone goes to find genealogical information.  One tree to rule them all! We have a long way to go, but a lot of people diligently working toward that end. And of course I love the camaraderie of working and sharing ideas with the terrific people I’ve met here.  

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

I would raise the standard for minimum input on new profiles.  We already require at least one source, and I think we should expand that to require at least one location (even if only a country) [in addition to] at least one estimated date.  Mark it all ‘uncertain’ if necessary, but if you can’t commit to those basic facts, you are not ready to create the profile.

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

WikiTree has improved my genealogical skills beyond imagining, and there’s always much more to learn.  We have the benefit of learning from some true giants here. Whenever I work on a profile, I’m aware of the giants looking over my shoulder and try to live up to that.  I pick up something new every day on G2G, and try to pay it forward.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Take your time.  There is a lot to learn and you don’t have to do it all at once.  In fact, you don’t have to do all of it ever, because collaboration means there are dozens of people to do the parts you don’t do.  Focus your skills where they will have the most impact for you and for WikiTree. Don’t do a GEDCOM import right away, because that’s actually one of the more difficult WikiTree activities.  Save yourself enormous frustration and learn the ropes by building some profiles and connections manually before leaping into file imports. Keep it simple, especially at first. Learn to make a solid profile with accurate dates and locations and proper source citations.  Inline referencing, categories, stickers, and pretty biographies can wait. Mastering the fundamentals will serve you and WikiTree much better in the long run. Jump onto G2G and read all the good advice, and don’t hesitate to ask! We love to help. Be nice to the people giving high-quality advice for free.  


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  4 Responses to “Meet our Members: Herbert Tardy”

  1. Hello Herbert,i have TARDIE/TARDIF as my Grandfather on mother’s side,they came from Canada by way of France,i also have BARLETT in my tree,you might want to check and see your ancestor surname spelling and see if we may be connected.

  2. Dear Herbert, Re: your page on John Manners (Amwell NJ in America, from Yorkshire) I believe he may be a grandson of Oswald and Mary Manners of Carlton, Helmsley Yorkshire Eng. I have a copy of Oswald’s will of 1655 because he is my ancestor. His daughter, Elizabeth Manners Bowlby (noted in the will) had several male siblings, John, Thomas Stephen and another. She was born about 1631, moved with Bryan Bowlby to Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire in the 1660s and her son Thomas, who married Martha Barker (whose father Samuel got land in NJ from William Penn) moved with his son John M Bowlby and other sons to Hunterdon Co NJ in the 1700s.

    Because John Manners (who married a Stout) also lived in Hunterdon County NJ — and I believe on or near a William Penn land grant, I suspect this Manners is related to my Elizabeth Manners Bowlby, that he came to this county because he had relatives living there already.

    I cannot find Oswald’s parents records so far or any proof that he was related to the Earls of Rutland (famous Manners of Helmsley, Nottingham etc). Interestingly, his wife Mary (named confirmed by his will) is listed as a Manners before marrying Oswald, with her parents as Thomas and Isabel Manners. I have found a Thomas Manners, grandson of Sir Thomas, warden of Sherwood Forest etc, who had a daughter Mary. But no confirmation that this is Oswald’s Mary.

    Do you know if there are Baptism records in the UK that predate the 1600s and if so where to find these records?

  3. Greetings Herbert,
    My name is Paula Ann, was last weeks Meet Our Members. It’s a pleasure to meet you & welcome to the club!

  4. Great article – enjoyed reading it, especially your colorful New Orleans ancestor.

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