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 William.

William Foster became a WikiTreer in September of 2015.  He is the Project Coordinator for our Virginia Project and actively uses our DNA tools to further his connections to our tree.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

Foster, Hodges, Munday, Brown, Harris, Trigg, Bennett, Thorp, Kovačič, and Gregorčič.

What are some of the locations you are researching?

Because so many of my ancestors came to America through Virginia, it is a location where I’ve been doing a lot of research and recently have taken up the role as the Virginia project coordinator.  I’m also doing a lot of research in Slovenian locations as my mother’s father immigrated from Austria-Hungary (present day Slovenia) in 1803. It is his ancestors where I have the least number of generations going back and thus I spend a lot of time researching this area.

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

I’ve had a minor interest in genealogy since I was a child because my Aunt Katherine was a member of the DAR.  In 2010, my interest grew substantially as I was introduced to Ancestry.com and began actual research. In February 2015, I ordered my first DNA test and since then I’ve ordered dozens of tests covering autosomal, yDNA, and mtDNA.  In December 2017, I visited the church archives in Ljubljana to find documents related to my Slovenian ancestors.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

I generally don’t have a favorite, but if forced to select one, I think it would be Thomas Tharp, b. 1631, since he is the most distant relation that I have DNA confirmation for, although my connection to Thomas has a brick wall for the parents of Joseph Pleasant Thorp, b. 1800.

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

My Foster line was stuck on the parents of George Bismark Foster for many years, but a breakthrough came a few years ago when I located a will that included his wife as Arabella Samples.  At first I thought Samples was a placeholder for an unknown surname, but after further investigation I found it was the actual name and with that I ended up opening up the parents for George.

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

I signed up in March 2015, I spend most of my time trying to extend my tree with both paper trail sources and DNA confirmation.  In support of this, I work on connecting DNA matching relatives into my portion of the tree.

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

I was looking for a free alternative to Ancestry.com that was open. Having had a bunch of Wikipedia experience, I was attracted to WikiTree as another wiki and the DNA features have made it even more valuable to me.  Whenever I find DNA connections, one of the first things I do is try to get them to create a profile on WikiTree and help them connect it up to the rest of the tree along the path to our shared ancestor.

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

The DNA integration with GEDmatch.

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

Eclipse DNA tests from appearing or nest them at a higher indentation level when another test of the same type is closer along the path to the profile where the DNA is appearing.  This way when there are dozens of DNA tests on a profile, I can quickly find the ones I most care about and ignore others like children of test takers.

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

My relating of my ancestors with profiles already built on WikiTree. I can more readily reach many more ancestors and further back in time than if I were working alone.  I also appreciate how my efforts are easily available for others to benefit from, making my research have greater value by its being shared. The DNA confirmation mechanism also allows me to keep track of much data on DNA connections and understand where my tree is most sound with both paper trail and DNA confirmation.  

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Find a mentor that is willing to help you along.  Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by using G2G to ask questions when confused.  Add your ancestors one at a time and document them well as you go along.  Because we are working together, quality profiles beat our quantity of profiles.


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  6 Responses to “Meet our Members: William Foster”

  1. Hey William Foster Jr.,

    Let me know if you can help me connect my ancestor, Kimme Manning Foster (b 1743 Craven Co NC d 1816 Wilkes Co GA), he married Prudence Sanderson in 1767 Craven Co NC. Looking to extend his tree. joel mize (Mize-425)

  2. Hello,just saw the family connections with Victoria and Hamilton thru my Pitt family mother’s side. Pretty cool. Have done all the dna y111 testing,full mit,ancestry, and family finder. Have uploaded all to wikitree
    Phil 13596
    Looking for parents of John Harrison born c1760 Virginia
    Brunswick county.

  3. Hello William,
    I am Marian Alexander Sharp (Alexander-7715). I see that you not only have an ancestors of Foster, but also a surname of Hodge. My DNA was done by 23andme and uploaded to Wikitree, Myhertiage and Gedmatch #694349. I’m researching my GG grandfather, Maize R. Foster, on my mother’s side. Hoping to find a DNA connection to his parents (possibly James and Rebecca Foster) but not positive. My grandparents were James Thomas Foster and Elizabeth Isbell Singleton Athey. Isabell’s mother was a Hodge.

  4. William , WIKITREE says we are 18 degrees apart ,
    alohamac@xtra.co.nz

  5. https://www.wikitree.com/index.php?title=Special:Relationship&action=calculate&person1_name=Foster-86&person2_name=Mulford-178

    Edmund Carew (1464-1513) is my 14th-great-grandfather, of which I am quite confident, though there is still doubt (unreasonable, I think) among some researchers about the Mulford-Molford-Southcott relationship, which I am certain DNA sciebce, as it improves by leaps and bounds, will resolve eventually, so I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on Mr. Foster’s fine work in that regard.

  6. We are 11th cousin’s we share a 10th great grandmother. Dorcas (Isham) Hoskins

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