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 Paula.

Paula Franklin became a WikiTreer in July 2011.  She is active in our Global Cemeteries Project, Categorization Project, and the Data Doctors Project.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

Brewer, Trotter, Trevena, Mattox, Flynn, Emert, Roberts, Henderson, Crider, Addison, Price, McMurray to name a few. 

What are some of the locations you are researching?

So far most of my research has been confined to the United States. I think I may have someone in about every state.

I really need some free resources for Cornwall, England, and the western coast of Scotland though. The only names outside of the US that I know for sure so far is Trevena and Martin who married in Cornwall before coming to the United States.

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

When I was a young girl my aunt used to tell us about our family history. She was the historian in my Dad’s family. I really enjoyed listening to her tales. After I had my first child, I laid my eyes on a really, nice family tree chart, a large one that could be framed and put up on the wall. I wanted that chart very much and it was then that I started on the genealogy trail, that would have been back in the mid 1960’s. Back then it was all writing letters and waiting for answers or documents to appear in my mailbox. I would get so excited when I received a reply or a document.

Then in the late 1990’s a cousin called me up and asked me if I wanted his research on my Mom’s family and in exchange for helping him plan and execute a family reunion which was the first he or I ever remembered on that family, he not only gave me his research but a program to input and run it on. Unfortunately, he did not explain about sourcing so I had to learn that the hard way.

 Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

My Dad will always be my favorite. He left me way too early. He would have enjoyed hearing all that I have found out about his family. His family was the original one that I started working on, looking for the final resting place of one of his uncles. I found it too, finally. I have a second favorite one that I don’t know too much about but it is my Dad’s great-grandmother, Leah. My youngest granddaughter is named after her.

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

My brick wall is my 3rd great-grandfather, Joseph Henderson. He was born in the mid 1790’s somewhere. My first record of him was in 1825 when he married Mahala McMurray in Newton County, Georgia. I have record of his wife and four children in the 1850 Murray County, Georgia census and Mahala was then married to a Wade Harris with another child, Eliza Harris.  I have no idea where Joseph came from or who his people were.

I also have no idea who Mahala’s family is other than I suspect that Solomon McMurray, also in the 1850 Murray County, Georgia census, and Malana McMurray Snow of Newton County may possibly be her siblings.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

I don’t think I have any interests outside of genealogy. I was going to say photography but most all of my photographs have been made at cemeteries.

How long have you been on WikiTree and what do you spend the most time doing?

I joined WikiTree way back in 2011 but at the time it seemed so hard to figure out and I just did not have the time to put into it.  Then in late 2018 I got back on it and it seemed different from when I first joined, there was more interaction with other members for one and more help with extending the family tree.

At this time I work on the Global Cemeteries Project, Categorization Project, and the Data Doctors Projects.

On the Cemeteries I am trying to get some of the thousands of photos that I have online and profiles made for them. And on the Data Doctors I am working mostly along with everyone else to correct and update the suggestion list we receive each week.  

Also I am working on empty categories and removing separator lines from categories and putting the CIB (Category Info Box) on Cemetery Categories.

 

What is your favorite thing about WikiTree?

I like the fact that it is a shared tree and that anyone can work on making it better. Also that sourcing is so easy with RootsSearch.

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

As I said earlier, when I started out in genealogy on the computer no one explained sourcing to me but with WikiTree I am now getting sources on the ancestors in my tree. I even found an Uncle’s death certificate a few days ago that I probably would not have found without WikiTree to help me focus on what and where I needed to search.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

If it looks scary and hard, watch the videos explaining errors and how to fix them, ask questions of your mentor, ask questions in G2G and most of all remember, it is not your tree or my tree, but our tree, and each and every one of us has a vested interest in improving and sourcing it. We will be happy to help you.


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