Greetings fellow WikiTreers!

Welcome to the December 2015 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?

Connection Combat: What’s your connection?

We’re excited to announce that Kurt Vonnegut was the winning profile in last month’s Connection Combat.

Each time there is a new winner they are featured as one of our special Connection Finders.  Check your connection with Kurt Vonnegut here!

You can also still check your connection with the previous month’s winner, Lisa Kudrow.

Free-Space Profile Tags

How we use tags — both in the G2G forum and all around WikiTree — continues to evolve and improve. As some of you know, we’re now in the middle of implementing a plan to use them to help connect Wiki Genealogists who are interested in the same topics.

Recently the forms for adding free-space profiles and creating free-space projects got face lifts.

More significantly, for example, check out the free-space project page for the Michel Richard Interest Group. Note how the “RICHARD” and “ACADIA” tags are highlighted.








If you look under the “Collaboration” section in the right column you’ll now see a button for posting here in G2G. This takes you to the Ask-a-Question form with the proper WikiTree ID and tags automatically filled-in. Posting means all these things happen:

  • The G2G question will appear on the Michel Richard Interest Group project page.
  • Members on the Trusted List of the project page will see the G2G question in their activity feeds.
  • Members following the surname Richard or the tag Acadia will see the G2G question in their daily e-mail update.
  • The Richard and Acadia genealogy index pages will link to the G2G question. (We’ll be making better use of genealogy index pages for non-surnames soon.)

Who’s New?

We’re delighted that Liz Shifflett has come out of “retirement” to resume her role as a WikiTree Leader.  She’s currently leading or co-leading our Louisiana Families and Magna Carta projects.

We also have a blog feature called “Meet Our Members” where you can get to know some of our members a little better in their featured posts.  You can find all our Member feature posts here and learn more about someone who might be new to you!

Mentor Tips

  • If you’ve taken a DNA test for genealogy don’t forget to indicate it here. WikiTree will automatically connect it to profiles where it can be used by advanced genetic genealogists for confirming relationships.
  • Our community makes big decisions together, such as what sort of relationship indicators would be most appropriate on profiles or how we can use tags more efficiently on profiles and free-space pages to help community members find others with similar interests or surnames. Follow the G2G tag “announcements” to make sure you hear about them.
  • Have you noticed the great resources being linked in location categories? See here to learn more.
  • Remember Point II of our Honor Code: We care about accuracy. We’re always aiming to improve upon our worldwide family tree and fix mistakes.

Community Accomplishments

Top 10 contributors for last month:

WikiTree Club 1000 November 2015

  1. Catherine V (12677 edits in November)
  2. Guy Constantineau (8556)
  3. Kirsty Ward (7171)
  4. Vincent Piazza (6238)
  5. Bree Ogle (5497)
  6. Magnus Sälgö (5486)
  7. Drew Teague (5257)
  8. Wayne Burnie (4473)
  9. Susan Tye (4337)
  10. Philip Smith (4257)

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: Gail (Baker) WilliamsLudwig KraayenbrinkRobert KenistonDave RutherfordMagnus SälgöLaurie CruthersScott Fulkerson and Jacqueline Girouard!

Project Updates

Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

Check out the latest in our ever-expanding projects!

We’re also starting a project called Adoption Angels.

WikiTree Adoption Angels are volunteers who have taken on the mission of helping adoptees look for and connect with their biological families. With our global family tree and our DNA features, WikiTree can be an invaluable asset for assisting adoptees in their search.

Angels can also help adoptees get settled into WikiTree. Even how to set up their own profile can be difficult! Angels can help smooth the way.

This is a brand new project so if you’d like to get in on it and help grow it from its beginnings please contact project Leader, Eowyn Langholf.

New Member Comments

When a Guest or Family Member volunteers to become a full contributing Wiki Genealogist we ask them to leave a comment telling a little about how and/or why they’d like to volunteer to grow our shared tree. We get some really great responses.  Comments such as:

  • “My hope is that I can contribute positively to the mission of building a tree we can trust. I am not a professional genealogist, and I enjoy working with those who are. Over time, I have accumulated a family DNA collection. It includes autosomal tests for my husband, myself, our 3 daughters, & 3 grandchildren. 2 son-in-laws, parents of one son-in-law, one grandson-in-law, my husband’s half-sister, my mother’s sister, her husband, & their 2 children, a paternal first cousin & 3 paternal first cousins once removed; it also includes Y-DNA testing for my husband & my paternal first cousin, plus full mtDNA tests for my husband & me. I’m still learning about what all of that data tells us. Good thing I’m retired & interested in the subject.” – Barb
  • “I love researching my family name, something I just can’t get bored of. I’m a fun loving person, who enjoy life to the fullest. My family is really important to me and I always find it interesting doing research about my family surname and If I get this opportunity to be apart of your community is fantastic! I would like to share my family history and contribute my efforts to continue connecting families and make this world one happy family. It feels amazing knowing there are people with the same interests as you. Being apart of your community would really give me that confidence to continue this amazing journey so far.” – Heinrich
  • “I have been researching genealogy since 1960. Getting sources for my genealogy is at the very heart of prudence for any ancestor or descendant. Moreover, giving credit for sources are important and following copy write is paramount to me. Lastly, I am a willing person who has helped others with their ancestors.” – Jan
  • “Open Source humanity with respect for each for the benefit of all. There are some projects on earth that could be super important for our future. This is one of those, in as much as, that it can show how we are all connected. Our descendants could have all this information to find out about a little bit of themselves in someone else. It also shows that in the end – border, nations, fences are just barriers that we create out of fear of the unknown. ” – Carlos
  • “Recently I’ve been connecting with cousins on social media and trying to build a family tree and, coincidentally, have some of my relatives. So what I’d like to do now is co-ordinate all our disparate efforts to not only combine our individual findings but also to reach out more globally and to see if our branch of the family – and extended families – can interconnect with other families.” – James

Anyone can view the latest comments on the Volunteer Feed.

If you have a few minutes to spare they are fun to read through and a great way to find people with interests similar to your own or researching the same surnames/locations. When you see a comment that resonates for you, click the thank-you link or post a comment to make them feel welcome to WikiTree.

Don’t Miss These!

Sourcerer’s 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. You come and post the profile you’ve added source(s) to (at least the profile number/name, if not a link to it) as well as what sources you added. At the end of the month we tally for a winner.

We are now actively in our December Challenge, which will run through December 31.  To participate, go to this G2G post.

To see the stats from November’s contest, go here.

Collaborative Profile of the Week:  WikiTree is all about collaboration and every week many members come together to work on the Collaborative Profile of the Week. Every Monday a profile is selected. It’s usually a profile from one of our current projects that is in desperate need of some TLC.

Interested members can then chip in to help make the profile as great as it can be.

Check out last week’s wonderful results on the Ferdinandus Bol, or join in on this week’s efforts with Dr. Pierre Louis Chastain.

Follow the tag “profile_of_the_week” in G2G if you don’t want to miss these.

Weekend Chat:  Each Friday we start a Weekend Chat  post in G2G. All members are invited  and encouraged to come and post, whether it’s to introduce themselves, share what they’ve been working on, talk about the weather or post tips and suggestions.  This is a great way to get to know some of the awesome members of our community!

Follow the tag “weekend_chat” if you don’t want to miss out on the fun.

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

The WikiTree Team and Leaders

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