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 Margaret.

Margaret Haining became a WikiTreer in August of 2018.  She’s very active as a Data Doctor and volunteers as a Project Coordinator in both the Australia and Categorization projects.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

On my side I’m still researching Lloyds in Worcestershire, England, particularly the extended family of my great-grandmother, around the Knightwick area, also the Anlezarks from Lancashire, England. On my husband’s side, I’m still researching Hainings from around Dumfries in Scotland.

What are some of the locations you are researching?

I have quite a bit of information on the early history of the Shoalhaven area, on the South Coast of New South Wales, where I have quite a few early settlers as ancestors.

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

My mother did a lot of research on her family back in the pre-internet days, and obtained many BDM certificates. After her death I inherited all her research, and started to put it into some sort of order, and fill in the gaps. My daughter also was required to do an assignment at school on her ancestors, and this led us to start investigating my husband’s side of the family. I soon became hooked on the “puzzle solving” aspect of family history, and progressively found more and more, as time permitted with running a business.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

Definitely a hard question, but it would have to be one of my female ancestors, their lives were so different to mine. I’d probably choose my great-grandmother, Harriet Lloyd, who at the age of 24, with her younger sister, emigrated to Sydney in 1891, from Worcestershire, to live with their brother and his family in Sydney. My memories of her date from about her early 90’s until she died at 105. I have the photo album she brought with her with family photos taken at photographic studios in Worcester, (although many are un-named), as well as the Bible and reference from the parish minister that she brought with her to Australia. Growing up, I thought it was wonderful knowing someone who came here on a ship with sails (as well as steam).

My favourite male ancestor would have to be my great-great-grandfather, Charles Roberts, who was sentenced to be hanged for highway robbery, in Bristol, England, but fortunately for his descendants, it was commuted to transportation for life.

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

I’d like to be able to find birth information for my great-grandfather, Francis Gale, who we believe was born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, and information on his parents Benjamin and Jane, whose information is very sketchy.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

Now retired, I like to focus on my health and fitness, walking and exercise most days, and researching and reading on staying healthy, so far it seems to be working! To relax, I have from childhood been both an avid reader, and doer of jigsaw puzzles, the largest being 13,200 pieces, depicting an ancient map of the world. I have 7 grandsons ranging from 4 weeks old to 22 years old to keep up with.

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 August 2018. I have a lot of previous research in paper form, and I’m gradually adding the profiles via a Gedcom, but adding them one family at a time. As I add them I find the online sources to match my notes and printed certificates etc. I joined the Data Doctors and Categorization Projects, and have learnt a lot about templates, stickers, categories, and profile data, etc by correcting suggestions and reading the associated pages and G2G questions. I work mainly on Australian profiles on the DD suggestions, and am working on adding content to empty Australian categories, at the moment mainly Australian place name categories, as well as fixing any other category errors I come across. I am also the Membership coordinator for the Categorization project, helping to get new members joined up to help with the maintenance of our category tree.

I joined the Australia Project earlier in the year, and with the Project re-structuring into a team based format, as the new Membership coordinator, I’m hoping to assist in moving the Project forward. At the moment we are doing a checkin to find out the interests of active members, and getting the teams organised. It’s an exciting time for the Australia Project, and I hope I’ll be able to help with the new direction. I’ll be team leader of the Categories team, so I hope we’ll be able to get some work done on improving the Australian categories.

Working on Data Doctor suggestions and Categories fits with my sense of orderliness and structure, which I was accustomed to in my working life as an accountant, maybe I’m just a little bit OCD!

What brought you to WikiTree?

I came across the WikiTree profile of my Great-great grandfather, James Watt, in a Google search, and found some of his family also here. I contacted the profile manager, and found we were 3rd cousins, grew up in the same area, although not at the same time. I liked what I saw of WikiTree and joined up.

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

Definitely the collaboration aspect of WikiTree, and the sense of being part of a team. So often, especially working on other sites, family history seems a bit lonely, like being in your own little “bubble”, but here on WikiTree, you have access to all sorts of profiles across the world, and can “talk’ to as many or as few people as you choose, from all over the world, all on a similar journey.

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

More education for people on adding sources. It seems to be the part that people most frequently misunderstand or just ignore, and the most vital part of genealogy. But I don’t know how that would be achieved, we already have help pages doing that, but it seems the area that needs so much attention.

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

Definitely made me more aware of having verifiable sources, not just “grandma’s handwritten family tree”, and learning to write more than just the bare facts. It’s introduced me to new ancestors and different ways that different people research family history.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions on G2G, I must have asked many “dumb” questions when I started and everyone who answered was very patient and helpful. I also learnt heaps by trawling through the questions already there, and the help pages. I like learning something new every day, most days I’m not disappointed! And don’t forget to add the sources!

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  7 Responses to “Meet our Members: Margaret Haining”

  1. Congrats Margaret, top stuff on being selected this weeks WIKItree Member of the Week, You are a great ambassador for us Aussie WIKITreers

    • Thanks for the kind words Danny, it’s good to be able to fly the Aussie flag occasionally! Looking at our connection, I saw you were directly connected to ancestors of Kath Cobcroft, did you know you and Kath were 4th cousins?

  2. Lovely to get to know you, Margaret. We’d love to have you in the England Project some time with all those amazing ancestors. Susie 🙂

  3. Margaret,
    Congratulations! I am a Haining descendant of those who went to New Brunswick from Dumfries in 1820 and I have quite a bit of information about the family. I’ll have to check and see what you have on wikitree. I don’t believe I’ve ever searched for Haining’s on wikitree.


    • Thanks Diane, as yet I don’t have any of the Haining line on WikiTree, I’m getting there slowly! Our line I have back to John Haining and Janet Teining, married 1792 in Terregles, near Dumfries.

  4. Well done Margaret, Haining was my Mums maiden name, Jean Rosemary.

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