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 Kay.

Kay Sands became a WikiTreer in July of 2017.  She loves working on improving profiles as a Data Doctor and Sourcerer  as well as in our Mayflower Project.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

I am currently investigating Rood/Rude, Woodworth, and Standish. I am also look at other ancestors including Burk, Cornish, Moats, Reed, Salsbury, Sands, Sanford, Scranton, Spinning, Stoner, and Whiton/Whiting. Others who may get future attention include Ayer, Benedict, Bradbury, Greene, Hanks, Hubbell, Pettibone, and Torrey. Occassionally I get distracted by my husband’s Knight, Dameron, and Jeter families.

What are some of the locations you are researching?

At present, I am researching in New York State, mostly between 1800 and 1860. This of course leads to New England, mostly Connecticut. I have discovered that most of my ancestors moved from New England to New York State in the early 1800s, and many descendants remained in New York.

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

My family never talked about ancestors. I was always intrigued by a gravestone for Samuel Sands with a SAR marker in the old abandoned cemetery across the road from the cemetery with my grandfather and his father. Researching this family has led to many others.

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

I knew nothing about my great grandmother other than having several of her silver forks engraved with her maiden name – Jane Whiting. There were many Whitings in and around Onondaga County, New York so it felt like looking for a needle in a haystack. Then I discovered her name in a probate notice, along with about 40 others. By constructing the family tree for each of these names, it became obvious that the heirs of her uncle Joel Cornish, who himself had no children, included his nieces and nephews and their children. I still have several brick walls; Eunice Salsbury is particularly difficult.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

I enjoy reading, watching basketball (I played in college), studying maps and planning travel, and traveling/glamping in the RV. I am an amateur radio operator, but not very active. Naturally, studying maps ties back to genealogy, and some of the RV travels have included genealogy research.

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

I joined WikiTree in July 2017 and divide my time between adding or improving ancestor’s profiles, sourcing random profiles, and watching the G2G feed. Lately, when I select a random profile, I try to find one that lacks dates and locations to improve.

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

I was searching for sources for some 40 individuals named in a probate notice. I found not only some great sources, but also several of those individuals as well as a terribly conflated ancestor. As I have continued to research, I have found many ancestors who already have WikiTree profiles.

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

WikiTree is a unique combination of a single tree based on a collaborative effort incorporating a variety of sources, irrespective of the repository.

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

Refine the definition of a source (the identification of where you obtained information), perhaps to include the first answer of the Pre-1700 Self-Certification and ensure that anyone who signs the Honor Code is aware of this definition. (Did I make you look?)

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 to better understand and locate various sources and their evaluation. I hope that I have also helped others with the same.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Start with profiles for your parents and grandparents. Be sure to look for existing profiles for them or their siblings. Make sure that your sources enable you, or someone else, to find the specific item that you are referring to. Now, take the time to review both the Help and the Style Guide for WikiTree. Remember that genealogy research is not necessarily quickly accomplished, and there is no hurry.


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  2 Responses to “Meet our Members: Kay Sands”

  1. I don’t know how to get involved in Wiki Tree. I still find it difficult to add sources. The software is not easy. I have records that goes to John Hopkins but I don’t think he is the one from the Mayflower but I’m still trying to enter family into the tree correctly. I’m amazed with people that have advanced so much and work in this beyond their own tree. You are one of those people!!!

  2. I am a descendant of the South Georgia Sands who moved from New York to North Carolina then further South. I recognize the name Samuel. I would like to do further Sands research.

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