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 Hawkins joined WikiTree in June of 2018.  She’s active in several projects including the Australia and Military and War projects and she participates in challenges with the Integrators and Data Doctors.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

Clark, Reinke, Engler, Frerichs, Neider, Matthews, Mullins, Riggs, McCubbin, Watson, Cobb, Hildebrandt, DeVries, & McMillan.

What are some of the locations you are researching?

I’m pretty much all over the globe when researching locations. Mostly United States: Arkansas, California, Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas, Wisconsin. Other countries include: Germany, Ireland, Italy, United Kingdom, France.

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

On 07 December 1989, I read an article in the Los Angeles Times newspaper, “Shaking Your Family Tree, Building Your Genealogy Library” by: Myra V. Gormley. I clipped it out of the newspaper and saved it in a clear sheet protector, started acquiring my forms and bought more sheet protectors and a heavy duty D ring binder. As time went by, I had moved, divorced, and bought a new car! I’ve remained friends with my ex-mother-in-law and a few years ago she gave me her Family History Group Records with photographs. July of this year I found WikiTree. I’ve remained with WikiTree because of the name. Wiki is well respected in the virtual world – good to know.

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

There are two, #1 : Frank Oscar Clark, male – born 02 December 1882, Muntag County, Texas, passed away 16 June 1960, Orange, Orange County, California. Married Jennie May (or Mae) Matthews 18 April 1907. #2 : Johanna Wilhelm August Reinke, male – born 12 May 1890, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, passed away 09 November 1949. Married Matilda Amelia Engler 02 July 1913.

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

I believe we’re all related in one way or another, but if I could pick one person, oh brother, that’s a hard one. Hero of Alexandria. If only the man had realized what he had with his invention, the Aeolipile—a primordial steam engine capable of making a metal ball spin—the industrial revolution might have started in 50 CE instead of 1750 CE! Alas, he thought it merely a toy and besides, with slaves around to do all the menial labor, what did you need steam engines for?

Of course, Hero—probably one of the finest minds in the Roman Empire—also developed other useful items, including a force pump , the first syringe, a fountain capable of operating off hydrostatic electricity, a windmill operated organ, and even the first coin operated vending machine—all during a pre-industrial age—making him something of an early Thomas Edison. Too bad he didn’t take his inventions a little more seriously or develop them further; if he had, we might live in a very different world today.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

What? There are other interests outside genealogy? *tender smiles* Interests and hobbies: Cycling, collecting George Brett (Kansas City Royals third baseman) sports/baseball rare-hard-to-find oddball cards, secret collection of milk caps aka: Pogs with slammers, quilting, wedding gown/formal wear model, and listening to Hans Zimmer. Current favorite piece: The Dark Knight Melody.

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’ve been on WikiTree about five months. I spend most of my time trying to figure out how to correctly add/post photographs. Thanks to those who have been so helpful by emailing me and letting me know they can’t see my post pic. I promise I’ll get it down soon. I’m getting familiar with some of the WikiTree projects and sub-projects. Those who are new to WikiTree, you’ll find me participating in the weekly challenges, this is how I learn and have fun at the same time. I also like to add COLOR to all my posts, comments, and answers.

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

I found WikiTree through Google search and stayed because it’s honest, positive, free, and it’s never ending challenges to correct.

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

The ability to earn virtual badges in a great feature.

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

It’s a well put together site however, it does need to be updated. Perhaps, new coding where the yellow box doesn’t pop up when adding locations telling you that you don’t have to follow the suggestions. Also, the drop down suggestions for the locations get in the way of saving (have to click out first). It’s helpful to verify your city, county, state, province, etc. to see correct spelling.

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

WikiTree helped me connect with a long lost cousin. Thank you. How I have helped? I surely hope so (if not, please bring to my attention).

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Those who are just starting out on WikiTree, save &/or bookmark WikiTree on your desktop with an icon &/or other devices, please remember United States didn’t become a country till after 04 July 1776 (you’ll need to know when adding birth, death, marriage dates), participate in challenges &/or perhaps join project(s).

Last but not least, be consistent and follow basic principles when citing sources. Thanks for allowing me to share.

Seasons Greetings!

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