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 Patricia.

Patricia Ferdig became a WikiTreer in May of 2018.  She enjoys adding extended family profiles and sourcing them.  She’s also recently become active as a Cemeterist in our Global Cemeteries Project

What are some of the surnames you are researching? 

The names I actively research include Gray, Ferdig, Wiley, Cross, Edwards, Starke, McEwen, Barber, Arterberry, Kinder, Hampton, and Crites.

What are some of the locations you are researching? 

Most of my research is within the United States where I am located, as this makes it the easiest to research. My focus is mainly on Texas, Missouri, Iowa, and Massachusetts. Beyond the United States, I’ve done some research in both English and Czech records, but the language barrier in the Czech records makes this slow-moving work at times. 

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

My father was in his late 50s when I was born so growing up I had limited access to the older relatives that most young children grow up with. Many of my uncles and aunts had passed away before I was born, as had my grandparents. Because of this, after my own father had passed I realized there were few links to these past relatives and I set out to discover what I could on my own. 

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

Marcius Denison Raymond is my favorite ancestor for writing a family genealogy that outlines seven generations of my direct paternal line. 

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

My current, and decades-standing brick wall is my 7th great grandfather, John Gray. There is some indirect information about him serving in the British Navy and being a pensioner after being wounded, so I’m hoping that at some point I’ll have the resources to follow this lead in the British archives. 

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

Outside of genealogy I enjoy being outdoors with my family, going to concerts when time allows, freelance writing, and knitting. 

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 have been on WikiTree just over a year and most of my time is spent adding extended family profiles and sourcing profiles. Sometimes I just select a random error list and work on it or find a side project that interests me. I often get side-tracked with building a biography and sourcing a profile I take an interest in. Currently, I’m working on adding profiles, biographies, and sourcing the casualties from Arrow Air Flight 1285 and have created a free-space page for this. I’ve also recently joined the Cemeterists and enjoy tromping through cemeteries for pictures, then researching and writing up a history of the cemetery. 

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

I can’t recall exactly what brought me to WikiTree, but my first contributions were for the Gray family. I’d suspect that I was searching the internet for more information on this line when I came to WikiTree. The community and ability to passively or actively research with thousands of people around the world is what kept me here. 

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

My favorite thing about WikiTree is the community here! You can be entirely independent here and only contribute once or twice or you can join dozens of projects and help every day. 

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

I’ve often wished the search page were in a different order. I use the “Search for Any Text” feature most frequently and it was difficult to find in the beginning. I also wish it didn’t open a tab just to display the search results. 

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

WikiTree has made me a better and more complete researcher. I have discovered what genealogically defined means and how that can help in my research efforts. I have also found the confidence to begin writing biographies and histories with my improved research skills and techniques.  

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Do what you can, where you can – even if it isn’t perfect. Be prepared to learn and be prepared to ask for help. 

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