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 Leanne.

Leanne has been a member since June of 2014.  She’s an enthusiastic member of our DNA Project and loves participating as a Sourcerer and in our Data Doctor Challenges.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

Kirkland, Weeks, Easton, McGarry, Prowse, Lockhart, Beckwith, Morris, Taylor. There many other names that I’m always interested in, but those are the ones that I’m actively working on.

What are some of the locations you are researching?

Most of my ancestors settled in New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island, Canada, with English or Scottish roots. They arrived either directly from the British Isles or via New England. I’ve traced most of my lines back to when they settled in Canada and am working on connecting them to their countries of origin.

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

When I was a kid, in the mid-1970s, my family was contacted by a distant cousin living in Hawaii who was researching the descendants of my 3g grandfather, James Willis, who had migrated from Wiltshire, England to Prince Edward Island in 1840. When he completed the work, in 1980, we received a 180-page, typewritten, photocopied, spiral-bound manuscript. I pored through it, fascinated by the stories of my ancestors and seeing where all of their descendants were currently living. Almost 30 years later, I came upon it again while going through a box of photos and documents at my mother’s, and decided to start researching my other lines. I got hooked and haven’t stopped.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

I’d have to say Mary (Flintoff) Richardson, my 6th great grandmother. She got married at age 29 and 9 years later, in 1774, she and her husband, with two children in tow and pregnant with a third, left Yorkshire aboard “The Providence” and began a new life in Nova Scotia. Her third child, my 5th great grandfather, was born on the trip. They named him Joseph Providence Richardson, after the ship that they sailed on.

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

I’ve been fortunate to get to my 3rd great grandparents on all of my lines, but I’m stuck there on about half of them – I hope one day to break through all of those brick walls. One I was able to break through was my 2nd great grandmother, Ellen Easton. I could find nothing on her parents, but after seeing several references to a connection to Lemuel J. Tweedie, former Premier and Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick, I began researching his family and discovered that Ellen was his half-sister, from his mother’s first marriage and thus was able to determine Ellen’s parents’ names. Sadly, it wasn’t so much a smashing through a brick wall as a pushing it back one generation, as now I’m stuck on her parents!

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

There are interests outside of genealogy? Does DNA count?

How long have you been on WikiTree and how active are you?  Are you involved in projects/challenges? Which ones? What do you enjoy about them/what are you working on?

I’ve been on WikiTree for about 3 years. I go through waves of activity. When I’m not obsessing over DNA matches, I do enjoy working on improving profiles, by adding sources or doing Data Doctor challenges.

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

There is so much I love about WikiTree! I love the focus on collaboration, accuracy, and sources, but most importantly, I love that WikiTree is such good cousin bait. I have had many people contact me about the profiles that I manage, often to provide me with additional information. I’ve connected with many distant cousins through WikiTree.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Go beyond names and dates, and add narrative information to your profiles – as much or as little as you have. If you have research questions or there’s disputed information, add that too. Someone else just may have the information that you’re missing!


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  3 Responses to “Meet Our Members: Leanne Cooper”

  1. apparently we are not only separated by 22 degrees, but, are also 19th cousins 5 times removed :D…



  2. Hi Leanne;

    It is strange how you find so many people you had no idea to whom you are connected. There is 20 degrees separation between you and I through my Grandmother, Grace Jenuine, (Davis-8414). Her Daughter, Katy Jenuine Jordan is my mother..


  3. We seem to be connected too. Says 19 degrees through my mom’s side of the family. Will have to connect you to my tree to see the exact connection.

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