Greetings fellow WikiTreers! Welcome to the October 2017 edition of News from the Tree, our monthly report on new features and changes around the site, notes on community leaders, tips, etc.

What’s New?

Source-a-Thon 2017 was a Huge Success!

Wow, WikiTreers, what a great weekend we had for the Source-a-Thon!  The community really came together with 480 participants on 26 teams sourcing over 53,000 profiles.

Here are the top 10 teams:

  • Team Roses – 11,433
  • Kiwi Crew – 6,062
  • Team Virginia – 4,255
  • Legacy Heirs – 2,975
  • Team GB Gen – 2,789
  • Forget-Me-Nots – 2,784
  • Team Tornadoes – 2,743
  • Team New York – 1,922
  • Flying Dutchmen – 1,710
  • Southern Super Sweepers – 1,597
And the top individuals:
  • Lucy Lavelle – 1,780
  • Morgan Mulligan – 1,495
  • Deb Durham – 1,445
  • NJ J Penny – 1,242
  • Emma MacBeath – 1,177
  • Charlotte Shockey – 1,138
  • Susan McNamee – 1,009
  • Charlene Newport – 816
  • Abby Glann – 770
  • Kirsty Ward – 759

You can see more team and user stats here:

Thanks so much to everyone who participated!  WikiTreers ROCK!!!

Have you Checked your Weekly Connections in the Connection Finder?

Every week you can find two new connections in our Connection Finder.

Each Tuesday, we showcase a WikiTreer in a Meet our Members feature on our blog and they also get spotlighted in the Connection Finder for that week.

This week it’s Karen Tobo.

Karen Tobo

Karen has been a member for six years and has made 100,000+ contributions. She’s an active Connector who helps make the world a smaller place by growing out family connections for strangers until they meet on our global family tree (77.5% of WikiTree’s 15 million profiles are now connected within 100 degrees). Karen writes: “Making new connections is my favorite thing to do on WikiTree! I enjoy seeing how we all relate.”  Check your connection.

We also highlight what we call an Example Profile of the Week. These profiles are top-notch and meet the styles and standards criteria that the community has agreed upon. The notable whose profile is used as an example is also featured in the Connection Finder for that week.

Spotlighted this week is Queen Isabella I (1451-1504), sponsor of Christopher Columbus’s 1492 voyage, from the European Royals and Aristocrats Project..  See how you are connected.

And of course you can always see your connection to our standard connection anchors, Queen Elizabeth II and Kevin Bacon.

Follow the tag connection_finder for weekly updates on connections.

Eva Ekeblad is Our Newest Leader

A big congratulations to Eva Ekeblad, our newest WikiTree Leader!  She’s been with WikiTree since February 0f 2016 and has been doing genealogy since 2011.  The ancestors of my paternal grandfather back to the 1600s all came from a quite limited area in Västergötland, centered in the southern part of Viste hundred. They were self-owned farmers, or farmers on contract to a manor. The ancestors of my maternal grandparents came from the iron making districts in Bergslagen or from the farming country around lakes Mälaren and Hjälmaren.

She will be helping Lena Svensson lead the Sweden project. Thank you, Eva, for being such a valuable contributor to our community.

Have you tried GEDCOMpare 2.0?

As recently announced we are no longer doing traditional GEDCOM imports.

“Importing your tree” never really made sense here, where we share one tree. Working with the old system was like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. We forced you to compare everyone in your GEDCOM with potential matches on WikiTree, skip everyone who appeared to be a duplicate, and import the rest as new people, all in one painful step. And that was just the first step. If you didn’t go on to edit and improve the profiles that were created through the import you would be leaving messes for others to clean up later.

Now we have something that fits more comfortably with the way collaboration works here. It’s a dynamic process. It still begins with automatically-suggested matches. But as you compare them and explore existing WikiTree profiles, you can update those profiles and add relatives one person at a time using your GEDCOM data and your good judgment as a Wiki Genealogist.

This system is live, but it’s not perfect. Early testers are helping us figure out what needs to be improved.

If you’d like to be among these early testers, upload your GEDCOM.

To be clear, you will be creating and editing live profiles, and things won’t work quite as well now as they will in a few weeks. If you don’t want to be on the “bleeding edge” you should wait. Or feel free to use it, but don’t edit many profiles with it. (GEDCOMpare can still be used just as a search tool.)

Here are known issues:

If you use the new system and have something to report that isn’t described on the GEDCOMpare help page or the GEDCOMpare Improvements page, reply here or post a new message using the tag GEDCOMpare.

Over Three Million WikiTree Profiles Have DNA Test Connections!

We are now calculating and displaying a new statistic on the home page: The number of profiles on WikiTree with DNA test connections.

Today that number is 3, 147,339.

This is awesome! It’s a number that really says something impressive about our commitment and progress toward growing an accurate shared family tree — a tree with relationships that can be confirmed with DNA.

What exactly is a DNA test connection? It’s where we post a notice on a WikiTree profile that says there is a DNA test that might be useful for confirming or rejecting relationships to that person. For Y-chromosome tests it means the test-taker is on the same paternal line. For mitochondrial tests it means the test-taker is on the same maternal line. For autosomal tests (the most popular these days, e.g. AncestryDNAFamily Tree DNA Family Finder, 23andMe) it means that the test-taker is within eight degrees and is therefore likely to share significant segments of DNA.

The bottom line: A DNA test connection is an opportunity to try to scientifically prove what’s been established through traditional genealogy.

Question of the Week

Have you participated in the Question of the Week yet? Every Friday a genealogy-related question is posed to community members in our G2G Forum. You can join in the fun and share a little about yourself and learn about your fellow WikiTreers! Follow the tag “question_of_the_week” to get the new question each week.

We recently asked “Who were you named after?”

Here are just a few of the answers we received:

  • I had conflicting stories from my parents. Mom said I was named after I nun she knew, but dad said I was named for Natalie Wood. I have always gone with dad’s pick. ;-). ~ Natalie
  • I was named after a character in a theatre production!  My father was an usher and my mother came to see Oklahoma! so often she grew fond of the main character …They were breaking with tradition. In my family we have lots of name patterns. I found seven Joshua Pitman Trefry so far, and several other Joshua P. It makes for some interesting family tree puzzles. ~ Laurie
  • My brother was 5 years old when I was born, and Roy Rogers was a big deal in this young life.  He got to give me my middle name, so I was named Kitty Dale Cooper after Dale Evans.  I am lucky he didn’t go for Trigger or Bullet.  🙂 ~ Kitty
  • My first name, Lena, isn’t really from anybody, even if my mom’s cousin has the same name. My second and third however are from my grandmothers, Maria from my father’s mother and Viola after my mother’s mother. Those names were not their first names either. Viola is kind of special to me since my mom, sister and daughter also have that name, so therefore I have tattooed five violets from my neck to my left upper arm. ~ Lena
  • I was named after Queen Victoria and Robert E. Lee.  My father had an affinity for both of those folks.  In an odd coincidence, “Lee” turns out to be a common middle name in my extended family: my 3x-great-grandfather’s half-brother William Lee Smith and at least three of his children.  We suspect that it may possibly have been my 4x-great-grandmother Elizabeth‘s maiden name. ~ Vicky

Meet Our Members

Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

Every week we post an interview with one of our members so you can get to know them a little better.  In case you missed it, here are our August features!


  • Remember point VI of our Honor Code: We respect copyrights. We don’t knowingly copy information that’s owned by someone else. If we ourselves want to preserve a copyright, we’re clear about what’s copyrighted so others don’t accidentally copy it.
  • When creating a profile, you will have noticed the box for entering a source. Sources are required on WikiTree. Try adding an additional source for one of the profiles you created. If you don’t have one handy, select “Research” from the pull-down menu in the upper-right corner of the profile that starts with the profile’s WikiTree ID, e.g. Franklin-1. Login to the RootsSearch tool and use it to search or a dozen other sites.
  • In the upper-right corner of every WikiTree page you will see pull-down menus with links for navigating the site. Spend some time exploring these menus. Just about everything on WikiTree can be accessed through them.
  • G2G, our Genealogist-to-Genealogist Forum, is the heart of our community. Take a trip there now to see what people are talking about, and if you’re ready to meet people, post a note to introduce yourself.
  • Venture out of your own branches! See the Volunteers Needed page for a list of ways that your energy and expertise (no matter the level) are needed right now. There is never a shortage of things to do on WikiTree.

Community Accomplishments

Top 10 contributors for last month: WikiTree Club 1000 July 2017

  1. K Bloom (9,436 new edits in September)
  2. Esmé van der Westhuizen (8414)
  3. Ronnie Halford (7956)
  4. Gregory Rose (7935)
  5. Kaye Mansfield (7797)
  6. NJ Penny (7498)
  7. Carrie Quackenbush (6871)
  8. Elizabeth Winter (6817)
  9. Paula Cullen (6345)
  10. Lilia Zwerewa Hordyczuk (5947)

Super Star recipients (recognized by a Leader for extraordinary contributions that go far beyond what is normally seen on WikiTree): 

Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication: Barry AshfieldLinda BarnettTess (Mapley) Cameron and Lynette Jester!

Project Updates

Project Spotlight: The Acadians Project

pgm.gifThe Acadians Project goal is to grow and source one family tree of French immigrants who settled in Acadia in the 1600s. Their descendants are concentrated in today’s Canadian Maritime Provinces, New England, and Louisiana (Cajuns).  They strive to have all Acadian descendants linked to their growing list of Acadian First Families.

If you would like to participate, click here to join.

Project News

Don’t Miss These!


SOURCERERS CHALLENGE:  Far too many profiles on WikiTree don’t have any sources. This challenge is about correcting that with census data, BMD records/index references, family bible references, military documents, land documents, wills, etc. Each month we’ll post in G2G to start up the month’s challenge. To participate, go to this G2G post.

SURNAME SPOTLIGHT CHALLENGEOur Surname Spotlights focus on 4 surnames each month. Pick one surname to work on during the month. In addition we have a theme for the month, sourcing, connection, error correction, or biography building. To join in the Oktoberfest Challenge, go here.

You might also want to check out our Weekend ChatSaturday Sourcing SprintsBiography Builders Challenge, Data Doctors Challenge and the Surname Spotlight Challenge.

WikiTree Calendar

Stay up to date with all the latest challenges, contests,  and upcoming events via our Calendar.

Thanks for all you do, WikiTreers. You’re the best.

Sincerely, The WikiTree Team and Leaders

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