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 Kitty.  She’s one of our wonderful WikiTree Leaders. Kitty is co-leader of the  DNA and 1776 Projects and active in the Saturday Sourcing Sprints challenge.

Name:  Kitty Cooper-1 Smith

Surnames you are researching:  Cooper, Carroll, Moore, Hicks, Kieef, Perkins, Edwards, Smith, Siegfried, Bunnell, Pennepacker, Hayden, Day, White, Powell, Johnson, Hollis, Clary, Cargill, Thomas, Jones, etc. http://www.wikitree.com/treewidget/Cooper-1/10 and http://www.wikitree.com/treewidget/Smith-44906/10

Locations you are researching:  Stratford Upon Avon, New England, Tennessee, Texas, California

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

My mother was our family historian.  In the 1950s & 60s, I spent many more afternoon picnics in old, quaint little cemeteries than I ever did at the local park.  We would go looking for old family gravestones and information. When mom passed in 2000, I thought I would post her research on the internet (Rootsweb).  From there, I expanded her research with the help of internet books and information.  Then came yDNA tests and I got totally wrapped up in finding family men to yDNA test for my research.  Then I became an administrator for a couple of FamilyTreeDNA projects, and finally today, I am completely enthralled with WikiTree and sourcing the unsupported profiles I encounter.  I know a profile will never be complete or finished, but I try to leave them in better shape than when I found them.  Kind of like that forest camping mantra, “Leave a campsite better than you found it.”

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

This week it is Christopher Smith-27264, my newest discovered immigrant ancestor discussed in the following brick wall section.

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

This is a very recent, huge WikiTree discovery. Collaboration makes all the difference!  http://www.wikitree.com/g2g/143749/b-i-n-g-o-one-brick-wall-comes-tumbling-down

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

Captain John Smyth-536, of Jamestown, Pocahontas Powhatan-3 and New England exploration fame.  Captain John is pretty much the holy grail of Smith family research.  Everyone wants to be related to him, but he had no children that we know of, so it is pretty hard to prove his family descendants. He remains the unreachable star in the Smith universe.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

There is something other than genealogy?  I am a member of the DAR, but that is just genealogy in a different package.  I like traveling, but it usually involves genealogy research in some new library.  I love WikiTree and DNA research, but that is just genealogy, so I guess I don’t have any interests outside of genealogy.

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

I don’t know.  Seven years?  I am very active on WikiTree, after all, I have no outside interests apart from genealogy (how sad is that!?!)

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

I love:

  • the Honor Code and refer to it often.
  • the flexible approach to the development and improvement of the profiles.
  • finding sources for forgotten, unsupported profiles.
  • successful collaboration.
  • meeting WikiTreers at RootsTech in Salt Lake City.

Don’t love as much?  “Regrets, . . . I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention.”

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Thank you for any donations of your time, energy and research to the profiles on our one world family tree. Start small and work slowly.  Start with your own profile.  Then create your parents and add sources to their profiles.  Then create your grandparents and add sources to their profiles.  Work on profiles from about 1700 to today.  Leave the ancient profiles alone until you understand the collaborative nature of WikiTree.  When you do add a pre-1700 profile, make sure you are not creating a duplicate with a different spelling of the surname.  And have fun!  Welcome to the WikiTree!

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

I can’t even imagine what my descendants might face.  Maybe, “Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today, because if you enjoy it today you can do it again tomorrow.”  James Michener

Update: Since this originally posted in May 18, 2015, my husband and I have moved to Sun City Mesquite, Nevada, a wonderful retirement community.  I started our new Ancestor Hunters Genealogy Club and we have almost 50 members!  Our first meeting was last Saturday and it was all about WikiTree.com!  I know we will get some new WikiTree Volunteers from this group.

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  One Response to “Meet our Members: Kitty (Cooper) Smith”

  1. Enjoyed your posts on WIKITREE. !!Also like your fur babies!!! Thank you for sharing!

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