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 Wendy.

Wendy Sullivan joined WikiTree in September of 2015 and became a WikiTree Leader in April of this year.  She is involved in many aspects of our site but especially as a Greeter and with the England and Spain projects.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

I began researching my Mum’s side of the family first. Robinson and Foreman. Ladies first of course 😉 I managed to hit the 1650’s before a distant cousin contacted me and we began working on my great Aunt (her great great Aunt) and her husband, which of course is another story entirely. From there I began working on the Ling and Sturgeon side, my Dad’s parents (having forgotten where I had reached on Mum’s side). At one point I thought I had found thousands of ancestors already on WikiTree but sadly not, as I had the wrong record for my Grandfather. Can you imagine how stupid I felt? (Don’t answer that, just imagine). I am still expanding these branches and hoping to find connections.

What are some of the locations you are researching?

I am researching the Suffolk County in England in general, as that is my home County, and anywhere else that happens to intersect with my branches. I have also just started a One Place Study for the village of Kedington. This is where my paternal Grandfather was born. I never knew either of my Grandfathers, but as I lived, from the age of 3, in the house that he owned, I was and still am intrigued to know more about him, and what made him move from Kedington to Ipswich.

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

I suffered a spinal injury in 2010 which eventually has curtailed my more active pastimes. By the time late 2014 arrived I decided to find a more relaxing and interesting hobby, or at least that is what was intended. Maybe knitting would have been more relaxing! Anyway I started off at Genes Reunited. Didn’t find that overly user friendly so moved over to Ancestry. After about 6 months there, I found WikiTree and signed up. I went back to Ancestry and began another tree, because I felt so much of a novice I did not want to mess WikiTree up, especially as so many people were putting so much time into it. I came back after 6 months and haven’t looked back since ☺

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

I have a lot of quirky and eccentric ancestors, (eccentric in their time that is, because they would be now anyway!), but I only “know” them from records, so I would have to say, other than my dear parents, my maternal Grandmother Ada Alice (Foreman) Robinson. (1884-1962). For most of her life there was one war or another that would have affected her in some way. The two biggest of course were WWI and WWII. She was one of eight children and born during Queen Victoria’s reign. She gave life to twelve children in twenty five years, caring for eight of them during WWI. My grandfather passed away when their youngest child was just eleven, so she was left on her own to bring up their children. She passed away when I was eight, but I remember such wonderful times with her. She shared her love of nature with me through our walks. She was a strong woman, who lived through many hard times, but the warmth of her smile, softness of her voice and tender touch will always remain with me.

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

Remember that cousin I mentioned earlier? Well, we hit the strangest of brick walls that gave us both a migraine and despite all efforts is still standing strong and needing more dynamite to knock it down! We can find records, which by all accounts, do relate to the person that is our brick wall, but they have different names on, so most likely would be first and middle names, but then he disappears totally, no birth/baptism records, no death records. We may have to visit every church in Suffolk to see if we can find him, unless the record office has more microfiches still undusted.

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

I originally signed up in 16th September, 2015 but didn’t sign the honor code until 3rd March, 2016. I was recently honored to be asked to become a WikiTree Leader, so now the majority of my time is co leading the England Project. I am also helping to get the Spain Project up and running. There are so many wonderful people involved in these projects, who are giving so much of their time to make the projects special. I am very privileged to work alongside them all!! I am also working towards my pre-1500 certification, so I can help to keep our tree accurate and healthy.

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

I found WikiTree through dear old Google. I was searching for an ancestor and one of the links was WikiTree. Good job he was the wrong ancestor or I might not have found WikiTree for a long while, and my branches would have so many errors!!

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

My favorite thing about WikitTree is the community. From the first Human greeting (the greeters are totally awesome at what they do), to G2G where discussions take place that are helpful and the majority are friendly, and then onto the projects where people get support for their awkward profiles, and can get advice and opinions from people who have first hand knowledge of that country, through the project.

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

I would like to see the Help pages revamped. One or two seem to run you around in circles and in my opinion some are a little ambiguous and need some clarification.

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

Without a doubt, WikiTree has helped me with my genealogy by making me use my brain! I now have branches that are more accurate and have sources which I have found for myself. I think and hope that I have helped others in some way with finding sources for their profiles and helping them break down their brick walls, with accurate information.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Follow the “New member how to” pages from the link you are given when you first join. They have been written by members who have experienced already what you are about to, and these will help you get started in the right way.

One profile a time, create it, source it, write it, and then move on.  ☺

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, no question is silly if you learn by the answer!

Try not to be offended if someone says you are wrong. Collaboration is the key, and the typed word can often be misunderstood. We all make mistakes so talk it though nicely. ☺

Join a project when you feel comfortable. The support you get from them is often needed and you will in time be able to support others, which is what makes WikiTree so special!!

Most of all enjoy what you are doing. For the majority of people Genealogy is a hobby and a labour of love, so if you are not enjoying your day, come back tomorrow. ☺


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  One Response to “Meet our Members: Wendy Sullivan”

  1. Hello wendy. I was born in Suffolk in 1946 in Framingham I have just started my family tree and looking for rosier family from wicked sleith my mother was Ivy Mary pears ruffles can I get any help please

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