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 Liz.

Liz Shifflett has been a member of our community since May of 2012 and is one of our wonderful Leaders.  She is very active in leading and co-leading several projects including our Louisiana Categories ProjectLouisiana Families ProjectMatchBot Monitors Project and Virginia Project. She oversees our weekly Saturday Sourcing Sprints and helps keep our Calendar up to date.

Surnames you are researching?

Tons! Genealogy and AADD is an exciting combination :D

I’ve worked on a lot of interesting Virginia names, such as Byrd, Lightfoot, Epes, & Stith, because seeing “Buckner Stith” in a vital record is too good to not go see if he has a profile where I can share what I found (only to find that Buckner Stith is not as unusual a name as I thought it would be, sucking me down a rabbit hole into a warren of Drurys, Stiths, Buckners and more).

The first trail I worked on for the Magna Carta project was for Maj. Robert Peyton, who I got involved with because I was trying to identify which Valentine Peyton was the father of my ancestor Robert Peyton, since all indications were it was Capt. Valentine Peyton d. 1751 but the Peyton Society of Virginia said it wasn’t (still working on that issue, but I’m finding exciting information in the Stafford County Order Book that was returned a few years ago to the Library of Virginia from New Jersey, where it wound up after “the Late Unpleasantness” as my grandmother called the War Between the States). But I digress. Back to surnames…

I work on my brick walls. (There’s always another one behind the one that comes down!) I have them collected under a personal category: My Brick Wall (Noland-165). Most recently the surnames McDonald/McDaniel (maternal) & Kilian (paternal).

I work on the early Virginia Harris families repeatedly, trying to straighten them out enough to figure out which is “my” Thomas from among the four (at least) contemporary Thomas Harrises in the same area. “My” in quotes because even though I’m looking for my lineal ancestor Thomas Harris, I know he’s not just mine. I will say that great things start happening when you post all you know about your brick wall, including any siblings & families of their wives and their siblings’ wives. And if profiles for them exist, check them out for new sources & also work on making connections. I’ve been working on early Virginia families for so long that I’m beginning to see the interlocking weave of marriages among families that made the cloth of Virginia colonial society. It also resulted in special challenges like two marriages between Robert Bolling and Ann Stith – 100+ years apart, the one Robert a descendant of the other. (That took a while to sort out, let me tell you! And it still isn’t fully resolved.) And adjacent families with children whose names are reverse of each other (although the habit of using the mother’s maiden name as a given name can help identify family lines… except they all do it and intermarry and every generation names their children after their siblings too). There I go digressing again. Where was I?

Oh – I was getting to a point! By working on your extended family lines, you exponentially increase the chance that cousins may find you with information about shared lineal ancestors you’d never had known about otherwise. I’ve had amazing breakthroughs via WikiTree’s private message and bulletin board system from both cousins & completely unrelated strangers offering information (and pictures!!). Working with fellow WikiTree members & new-found cousins on developing profiles, finding sources, and being good stewards for our ancestors’ profiles is incredibly rewarding. “WikiTree Love” is a real thing!!

How long have you been on WikiTree and how active are you?

I was totally addicted the moment I found WikiTree in May 2012, which was a month after my mom died, so it was a balm to immerse myself in my family tree, scrawny as it was (think Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree). How active. Hmmm…. too active? Put it this way, my New Year’s resolutions since 2013 have included “cut back on time spent in WikiTree”! Haven’t been successful with that one yet. And not that long ago I realized I was forgetting to check on some of my projects, so I created a “my projects table”. Check it out at the bottom of my profile page (there’s a link to it at the top.) And below the table are other tags I’d like to follow in addition to the 20 I do follow. Go ahead and look around. I’ll wait <grin>.

<Jeapardy! music>

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Be nice, be careful, be open-minded, be happy & have fun!


 

 

Hi WikiTreers,

Bea and her family

Welcome to a new installment of “Meet our Members.” It’s time to get to know another awesome member of our community: Meet Bea.

Bea Wijma has been a member of our community since October of 2013 and is one of our wonderful Leaders.   She is very active leading several projects including Dutch Roots, Cape of Good Hope, New Netherland and South African Roots. She participates in the Dutch Roots Challenge and has been instrumental in the development of the Nederlands Portaal.

Surnames you are researching:  

Timmerman, Scholte, Wijma, Tabak, Hunnersen, Schievink, Nicolai, Eilander, Brands, Hiller, Elzinga, Huisman, van Wijngaarden, Aalders, van der Giezen, Pomper and loads of others + a lot of patronymics of course.

Locations you are researching:

Depending on what we’re working on, I think almost all countries across the world. ;)

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

My uncle, when his wife passed away, started with genealogy and had done a lot of research.  He  remarried and in 2012 he was thinking of an easy and not too expensive way to print a family book so we all could have one. I told him perhaps it was easier if  he created a family website or something and put it all there – this way we all could have access and it would never be lost. My uncle, who was not so familiar with the internet and computers, knew I loved the family stories and history, and he asked if perhaps I could take over everything and this  ’hobby’ and make sure it would be available online for all of us and our descendants. So that’s how it all started.

We started at My Heritage, but after awhile I noticed everyone was working on what looked to be so many of almost the same family trees and wished we all could just combine forces and create just one Tree by working together. One day I bumped into WikiTree and there it was – my wish came true. Here it was – working together with people from all over the world and just one profile for every person that ever lived and one World wide family Tree, so I immediately joined and never left !

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

Hard to pick one and don’t really have one, but if I had to choose, I’d pick my grandfather, Marten Scholte.  He managed to stay positive and raise a wonderful loving family, which for sure wasn’t always easy …

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down.

After many years finally and thanks to WikiTree (!) our family brick wall came down. It’s hard to imagine looking back but this was a brick wall for all genealogists researching the Scholte family for many many years. It finally was resolved and we got reconnected with a whole – and for many years ‘lost’ (emigrated to the USA) –  branch of our family. We all had two different profiles for what we thought were two different people, one who emigrated to the USA and no one knew if or who he married and one who married in the Netherlands. His wife died young and there was no trace of him or the child after her death. It turned out  it was in fact pretty easy. These men were one and the same and he just married his cousin.  She died very young, and after a few years, he remarried and emigrated with the children (there were two children of the first marriage, we all only knew one) to the United States.  It was really awesome to get to know and solve this brick wall with my cousin Ronald from the USA. We probably never would have met without WikiTree !

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

Wessel Schenck. He was one of the largest share-holders in the East India Company and I would love to know all about this family and if perhaps they were related to the Schenck families that went to New Netherland.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

My family, of course, and we have a summerhouse in the woods where we spend a lot of time.  I love the outdoors and to hike, bike, swim, draw, paint, gardening and work puzzles.

How long have you been on WikiTree and how active are you?

On 18 October 2013 I joined WikiTree and have been hooked ever since. I’m a WikiTree addict so pretty active. ‘Wicked Tree ‘ is how my family members sometimes (joking) name it, so that says it all eh.

What are some of the features/aspects of WikiTree that you love/don’t love as much?

+ One Worldwide Tree – just one profile for every person who ever lived, the Honor code, working together with so many wonderful people from all over the world, the projects, relationship and connection finders, dynamic tree, G2G, challenges, most things I really love.

-  Not a big fan of Gedcoms – my own was not much fun and of course because of the duplicates that, no matter how hard we try, are just not always are recognized as duplicates because standardized names are corrected.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

*WikiTree is very different from other genealogy sites, so first take some time to learn how everything works around here. Read everything there is to read and learn How to use WikiTree or try one of our language portals or pages, if you are having trouble reading  or understanding English, like the Nederlands Portaal] (for Dutch members) or the South African Roots Help page (in Afrikaans).

*Only add profiles if you have sources for them and if you’re certain there is no profile for this person or this family yet. Join or contact (or both ;) ) projects because they can also show you if and where profiles for families you are interested in are present .

* Add profiles manually and sources immediately, to make sure they all are accurate and looking good right from the start. (this will prevent you will feel like you’re running around in circles for years ;) )

If you could leave one message for your descendants, what would it be?

Life is short, time is fast, no replay, no rewind , so enjoy every moment as it comes ..


 

 

Hi WikiTreers,

Carole's family at Coba in 2013

Welcome to a new installment of “Meet our Members.” It’s time to get to know another awesome member of our community: Meet Carole.

Carole Partridge has been a member of our community since September of 2013 and is one of our Leaders.  She co-leads our Greeters Project is quite active in many other projects such as MentoringDatabase Errors and the Arborists. She is also involved in our Sourcerers challenges.

Surnames you are researching?

Bedell, Brainerd, Crews, Crone, Glazier, Gregory, Hakes, Hughson, Partridge, Sanders, Savell.

Locations you are researching?

Dutchess, Rensselaer, Washington, Broome, and Suffolk Counties in New York; The Connecticut Valley of Massachusetts; Smith and Tyler Counties in Texas.

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

I think my interest in genealogy came from a love of solving puzzles combined with an appreciation of good stories.

Vague family lore was always a part of my life growing up, but aside from the story of “Bull” Smith on Long Island, I never knew who the stories referred to. I heard tales about an Irish furniture-maker who stowed away on a ship to come to America, and also heard about a Confederate soldier in a POW camp during the Civil War, where conditions were so bad that he only survived by eating insects like grasshoppers. (I can now guess who those men may have been.)

As an adult, I dabbled in genealogy off and on, and even got “semi-serious” for a while in 2005 and 2006. But when I reached the point where I needed to begin traveling and/or sending off for information, I didn’t have the time or the money. I finally got serious in 2013, when my kids were almost through college, and my job demands had lessened. Now I’ve thrown myself into it, attempting to make up for lost time.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

That’s a very difficult question! I’ll say my paternal grandmother, because she was quite an unusual person for her time, and I was lucky enough to get to know her. She started college at Vassar around 1910, but had to withdraw when her father died; her uncle said that women “were like cattle”, and didn’t need to be educated. She then worked her way through Columbia University, became a teacher, and didn’t marry until she was 34. She and my grandfather had three children, and had been married almost 60 years when he died. She was very proud that she had met Eleanor Roosevelt.

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down.

I don’t know that I’ve broken any down yet. Last year, my deceased great-grandmother actually erected a new one for me in an audiotape from 1963. She blew away all the traditional genealogies for her father, by saying that his maternal grandmother was a completely different person than we thought.

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

Anyone who already has a complete, well-sourced genealogy. I’d love to have at least one family line proven!

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

Reading, knitting, gardening, hiking, travel, visiting friends and family.

How long have you been on WikiTree and how active are you?

3 1/2 years. I’m very active as co-leader of the Greeters Project, and not active enough in adding my branches to the Big Tree. I’m also a Mentor, Arborist, and Puritan Great Migration project member.

What are some of the features/aspects of WikiTree that you love/don’t love as much?

Love: The Honor Code. It’s the reason I joined. I dream of one giant tree that will eventually incorporate the latest research on every ancestor we know of.

Don’t love: Spending time cleaning up GEDCOM imports rather than researching and documenting ancestors and their families.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

1. Learn how to format source citations as soon as possible. (Don’t wait three months to learn how to use a ref tag, like I did!) Otherwise, take it slow to begin with. You’ll want to run all over the place, but it’s better to be methodical.

2. Not specific to WikiTree: Do whatever you can to interview older relatives, preferably with a digital recorder. David Rencher says that living memory is the greatest existing repository of genealogical information.

If you could leave one message for your descendants, what would it be?

Don’t throw away all those papers!

 You can see more of Carole in the Greeters Project LiveCast.


 

 

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 Robin.

Robin Lee has been a member of our community since April of 2013 and is one of our wonderful Leaders. Robin co-leads our  Arborists and US Presidents Projects and heads up our Pre-1500 Certification process.

Surnames you are researching?

Lee, Becker, Swearingen, Fackler, Light, Wallace/Wallis, Manville, English, Wilson, Christie.

Locations you are researching?

Pennsylvania, Ohio and Western Europe.

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

I got started in genealogy trying to make the tie of my Lee Family to the Virginia Lees.  Early on my Aunt had gone to Pennsylvania and Salt Lake City and had done wonderful research on the Lee family.  This was long before computers and she made copies of papers, did meticulous note keeping, and all I wanted to do was to put down on paper for the future generations, and make that connection.  At that point I was hooked.  And, I found out that I am not related…

Also, in trying to find the history of my great grandfather John Frederick Becker, who lost his parents at a very young age, I got interested in how to do research and made some wonderful connections at the Allen County, Ohio, Library.  No one in the family ever knew he was an orphan at 3 until I started doing the research.  We have no idea who raised him.  Also, my Wallace side (maternal) is a mystery, still trying to find my immigrant ancestors.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

Isaac Lee, as he is my Patriot Ancestor and his wife ties me to the Boone and Lincoln family.

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down.

My Swearingen connection was the brick wall that I broke through because of “stories” that my almost 90 year old aunt was able to tell me.  The saying goes that a myth starts with a hint of truth.  By researching some of her stories, I found that while she thought the story was about her great grandfather, it turned out to be the story of the son of our immigrant ancestor.  Also, remembering unique names helped a lot…like America Belle, and Waterman.

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

Gosh, I have been so focused on trying to find my connection to a Magna Carta Surety Baron… I guess, I would be happy with any of them.  Like so many people, my immigrant ancestor that connects me is not validated.  My DNA indicates I am 98% European with a heavy dose of Britain, so, sooner or later I hope to figure this out.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

My husband and I both had high tech jobs in Aerospace, so, when we retired; we left the city, bought some land, built a house and have a small vineyard.  It is just a hobby, no more. We love to travel and be active outdoors.  We have a 6 year old Black German Sheppard mix that is our motivation to get out even in the rain and snow this winter.  We live in history rich Gold Country of California.  I love to cook and so I spend a lot of time in my kitchen.

How long have you been on WikiTree and how active are you?

I am coming up on my 4th anniversary with WikiTree, and I am very active.  I love the opportunity to help others discover their roots and I am especially enamored with a couple of members over 80 who are so willing to learn, just to be able to document their history for future generations.

What are some of the features/aspects of WikiTree that you love/don’t love as much?

What I love most about WikiTree is that it is a community, where we share what we know willingly and we gain when others gain. I have done a lot of volunteer work in my life and by far, this is the best environment that I have worked in as a volunteer. I also appreciate all the work that is done by the small team that actually runs WikiTree, and the improvements over the past 4 years…oh my, how wonderful.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

My biggest tips are….. ask questions and start small.  Work on your profile and that of your parents and grandparents to hone your skills and understand WikiTree.  Join a project and find someone where you share an ancestor or just a name, make friends. Be open to the fact that you may have “stories” and not the facts, yet…

If you could leave one message for your descendants, what would it be?

In the busy days, stop and look around you, think about the people that came before you…be thankful their contributions to the world and “leave a mark, do something remarkable, even if it is just writing down your family history.”

——

You can learn even more about Robin in her LiveCast interview with Mags Gaulden and Julie Ricketts! She talks about the projects she leads, the work she did with NASA and what it’s like living in gold country. 

 

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 Kitty.  She’s one of our wonderful WikiTree Leaders. Kitty is co-leader of the  DNA and 1776 Projects and active in the Saturday Sourcing Sprints challenge.

Name:  Kitty Cooper-1 Smith

Surnames you are researching:  Cooper, Carroll, Moore, Hicks, Kieef, Perkins, Edwards, Smith, Siegfried, Bunnell, Pennepacker, Hayden, Day, White, Powell, Johnson, Hollis, Clary, Cargill, Thomas, Jones, etc. http://www.wikitree.com/treewidget/Cooper-1/10 and http://www.wikitree.com/treewidget/Smith-44906/10

Locations you are researching:  Stratford Upon Avon, New England, Tennessee, Texas, California

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

My mother was our family historian.  In the 1950s & 60s, I spent many more afternoon picnics in old, quaint little cemeteries than I ever did at the local park.  We would go looking for old family gravestones and information. When mom passed in 2000, I thought I would post her research on the internet (Rootsweb).  From there, I expanded her research with the help of internet books and information.  Then came yDNA tests and I got totally wrapped up in finding family men to yDNA test for my research.  Then I became an administrator for a couple of FamilyTreeDNA projects, and finally today, I am completely enthralled with WikiTree and sourcing the unsupported profiles I encounter.  I know a profile will never be complete or finished, but I try to leave them in better shape than when I found them.  Kind of like that forest camping mantra, “Leave a campsite better than you found it.”

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

This week it is Christopher Smith-27264, my newest discovered immigrant ancestor discussed in the following brick wall section.

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down.

This is a very recent, huge WikiTree discovery. Collaboration makes all the difference!  http://www.wikitree.com/g2g/143749/b-i-n-g-o-one-brick-wall-comes-tumbling-down

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

Captain John Smyth-536, of Jamestown, Pocahontas Powhatan-3 and New England exploration fame.  Captain John is pretty much the holy grail of Smith family research.  Everyone wants to be related to him, but he had no children that we know of, so it is pretty hard to prove his family descendants. He remains the unreachable star in the Smith universe.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

There is something other than genealogy?  I am a member of the DAR, but that is just genealogy in a different package.  I like traveling, but it usually involves genealogy research in some new library.  I love WikiTree and DNA research, but that is just genealogy, so I guess I don’t have any interests outside of genealogy.

How long have you been on WikiTree and how active are you? 

I don’t know.  Seven years?  I am very active on WikiTree, after all, I have no outside interests apart from genealogy (how sad is that!?!)

What are some of the features/aspects of WikiTree that you love/don’t love as much? 

I love:

  • the Honor Code and refer to it often.
  • the flexible approach to the development and improvement of the profiles.
  • finding sources for forgotten, unsupported profiles.
  • successful collaboration.
  • meeting WikiTreers at RootsTech in Salt Lake City.

Don’t love as much?  ”Regrets, . . . I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention.”

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Thank you for any donations of your time, energy and research to the profiles on our one world family tree. Start small and work slowly.  Start with your own profile.  Then create your parents and add sources to their profiles.  Then create your grandparents and add sources to their profiles.  Work on profiles from about 1700 to today.  Leave the ancient profiles alone until you understand the collaborative nature of WikiTree.  When you do add a pre-1700 profile, make sure you are not creating a duplicate with a different spelling of the surname.  And have fun!  Welcome to the WikiTree!

If you could leave one message for your descendants, what would it be?

I can’t even imagine what my descendants might face.  Maybe, “Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today, because if you enjoy it today you can do it again tomorrow.”  James Michener

Update: Since this originally posted in May 18, 2015, my husband and I have moved to Sun City Mesquite, Nevada, a wonderful retirement community.  I started our new Ancestor Hunters Genealogy Club and we have almost 50 members!  Our first meeting was last Saturday and it was all about WikiTree.com!  I know we will get some new WikiTree Volunteers from this group.

© 2017 WikiTree Blog Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha