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 Louise.

Louise Halpin became a WikiTreer in December of 2017.  She loves participating in the sourcing challenges and is currently working on building out the families of two presidents as part of our US Presidents Project. Louise is also joining in our 52 Ancestors and 52 Photos challenges.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

Salvatore, Guida, Scarborough, Kirk, West, Hunt, Leader, Kornbau, Eisensmith, Halpin, Parthemore, the list goes on….

What are some of the locations you are researching?

Pennsylvania, Italy, Germany, Ireland.

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

In grade school we did a project on our family trees. I loved the name Scarborough, must have been the Simon & Garfunkel song “Are you going to Scarborough Fair”.

My maternal aunt used to publish a monthly Hunt Family Newsletter. I loved reading them and there were two cousins who always added some family history tidbits.

It’s only been the last 10 years that I seriously started looking. I fell in love with the “Who Do You Think You Are” TV series on TLC so I joined Ancestry on May 31, 2010.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

Henry Howland , my 11x’s gg grandfather. Just for taking the risk to come to America and to continue keeping his Quaker faith. He left for religious freedom, and in coming to America, he still had to fight for his religious beliefs.

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

My husband’s family, “Halpin” – who was the first Halpin to come to America? I found the Owen Halpin that married Mary Parthemore, my husband’s 1st great grandparents. My husband’s family thought this was the first Halpin to come to America. The Parthemore family was easy and I found the book “Genealogy of the Parthemore Family, 1744-1885″ by E. Winfield Scott Parthemore B. 1852” (I love this book!). So on to finding the next Halpin. It happened over a two week period as I was stumbling onto some newspaper articles on Owen Halpin.

Owen and Mary left two sons with her parents in Pennsylvania and they headed to Niagara Falls, New York. While there they had another son and a daughter. Mary died not long after the birth of her daughter leaving Owen with two infants. He ended up living in Las Vegas in the early 1900’s as it was being built but what happened to his two infant children? I started to find articles on his life and death in Nevada and one of them mentioned a sister in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. That was new information, so I started a search for that sister in Lebanon. It was his sister Catherine Gleason that led me to find Owen’s mother, Mary Burke and father, Owen Halpin , the first of the Halpin family members to come to America from Cork, Ireland. And his two infant children were taken in by his mother and her 2nd husband.  

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

WikiTree, although not a person, but connecting all humanity as one family.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

My grandchildren, unfortunately they live in Tennessee. I try to visit as often as possible. I love playing fantasy football with my husband in a league that has a couple of husband and wives playing against each other. I’m quite competitive and this year was the third time I’ve won the championship in our league. I love talking about politics. I love reading. I play the piano for my ears only. I sketch with pencil or charcoal. I love gardening. Traveling used to be a passion but once I fell down our stairs and became disabled it’s not as easy to do. Biggest goal is to go to Disney World with my two grandchildren and then a trip to Europe to go to the places where family was from with my family.

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 on December 16, 2017. So I’ve been part of WikiTree for just a little over a year. I am on WikiTree almost every day entering family. I won’t upload a gedcom because I know when I first started on Ancestry I know I made a mess. This way I am cleaning up my Ancestry Family Tree as well as adding to the WikiTree family tree.

I have been sourcing every month and participate in most of the Saturday Sourcing Sprints. I’ll never win because I can’t just enter one source for someone. I feel I have to add every source I’ve found. I participated in the 2018 Source-a-Thon. I am part of the US Presidents Project. I currently am working on the family of Chester Arthur and Rutherford Hayes. For 2019 I am going to attempt to do the 52 Ancestors and 52 Photos. I have to watch that I don’t take on too much because I do have around 12,000 family members from both my husband’s tree and my family tree to get entered.

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

Ever since I started doing genealogy online and doing searches for family members several times WikiTree would come up in my searches. I know a couple of times I took a look but it looked too complicated so I just moved on. Then last December I checked it out more in depth and fell in love with the concept of one person, one family, one tree, one world!

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

I like the family feeling that WikiTree gives me. Everyone is so helpful. And for such a large group of people all with their own opinions we always find a way to make it work. I also like the relationship finder.

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

Finding a way to prevent duplicating a person being added to the tree. Even if it requires more fields needing to be filled out and with all the unique spellings of last names there should still be a way to make sure the person being entered does not already exist. Each profile must have dates and places before moving on.

Find a way to archive the G2G feed. I’ve often responded to something and then realize it was from a year or two years ago. But there is so much in the older feeds that help so still have easy access to them. I don’t think a feed should be active for more than 6 months.

I wish that we could have something similar to an instant messenger feature so we can chat with other members as we are working on a profile. For all I know there is already something like that and I just haven’t found it yet.

A really bare bones basic basic introductory classes on how to use DNA on WikiTree.

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

Being only a family genealogist I have learned so much about sourcing and how important it is. WikiTree has also helped with my possessiveness. I’ll be adding family and finally find people already entered. Even though I was excited about one person, one tree, it was kind of hard to not say hey that’s my family or my husband’s family and that profile belongs to me. Now I wish more people on WikiTree would make their trees public except obviously the living.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Just dive in. Go ahead and enter your first profile. Ask questions, so many are willing to help. I know I have learned so much and have so much more to learn. Look at other profiles, check the G2G feeds, use the help pages, and/or try a challenge or two. I still at times feel overwhelmed but I keep plugging away. Sometimes I need to do something first before I understand what or how to do something properly. Most important, make sure you are having fun!


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  4 Responses to “Meet our Members: Louise Halpin”

  1. I have cousins in New Jersey by the name of Halpin. If you are interested, I will send any info they may have.
    Thank you.

  2. Hi Louise,
    Your interview is awesome. I especially love the “one person, one family, one tree, one world”.
    Through relationship finder we are 14th cousins once removed!
    I joined Wikitree Sept 1st, 2017 just before Hurricane Irma. We are just now completing our Irma repairs with painting to be done. I have just turned 70 and need sourcing help and would appreciate any additions you could add. Connection to me adds lots of deep EuroAristo and early Canada roots which I hope will help you too with your research!
    Your cousin. Angela Boyer Cortner
    Boyer-3525

  3. Dear Louise:

    I, too, was struck by your comment “one person, one family, one tree, one world”. That sounds very similar to what members of the Baha’i Faith believe.

    Good luck with your genealogy!
    Valerie Smith

  4. Dear Louise,

    Nice profile! Hi, I’m Paula Ann, WikiTree ID: [Hawkins-9192], nice to meet you.

    – Poem for you –
    A little of this, a little of that,
    WikiTree is where it’s at.

    As the leaves of our global tree softly sway in the breeze,
    It’s time to meet our member of the week, her name is Louise.

    Written by: Paula Ann aka: paulamirada2

    Have a wonderful day!
    Paula Ann

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