Greetings fellow WikiTreers! Welcome to the June 2016 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?

What’s your connection to Dracula author Bram Stoker?

Bram Stoker

We’re excited to announce that Bram Stoker was the winning profile in last month’s “Connection Combat.”

Bram Stoker is best known as the author of the novel Dracula.

Each time there is a new winner they are featured in our Connection Finder.  This means you can check your connection with Bram Stoker here.

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

Follow the tag connection_combat to know when a new battle starts!

Pre-1500 Profiles are Flourishing

Since January 12, when we initiated the pre-1500 certification for members to be able to work on profiles of individuals born prior to 1500, we’ve been able to award 179 Pre-1500 Certified badges!

As more badges are awarded to experienced WikiTreers we’re seeing the profiles from that era start to flourish as the best sources are being used to accurately confirm those ancestral lines.

If you have an interest in pre-1500 profiles you can find the requirements for the badge and the request form here.

We know that the participation of advanced genealogists like you is critically important to WikiTree’s mission, and we know that you’re being generous by wanting to help.

Even if you aren’t experienced with pre-1500 genealogy, but are an experienced WikiTreer,  you can still request the badge if you feel you can help with basic editing, categorization, images, etc.

Menu Changes

Last week we released a bunch of changes to the pull-down menus at the tops of pages.

We want to mention one change in particular: On person-related pages, the pull-down menu that starts with the person’s WikiTree ID — see the home page for the one that starts with your ID — now includes an “Error Report” link.

Clicking this takes you to a page on a website run by the amazing Aleš TrtnikHere’s an example, Whitten-1.

Aleš has been doing independent data-crunching on our database to find likely errors. The new Database Errors Project has grown up around his work. Check out your error report — it’s highly recommended.

There are also now mouse-over titles that add explanation when you hold your cursor over a menu item without clicking.

To see the list of all the removals, additions and other changes, read this G2G post.

Who’s New?

Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

We’re delighted to introduce you to our newest Leader – Jayme Arrington.  She’s been a WikiTreer since November 2014.

She’s an active member of many of our projects, such as the Magna Carta, and a regular participant in our Connection Combat contests.  She loves to make connections and is really good at doing them!  Jayme has Italian, Irish, German and French Canadian roots.

Tree-Tips

  • Don’t forget that sources are an essential part of maintaining the integrity of our Tree. That’s why it is a key point in our Honor Code: “We cite sources. Without sources we can’t objectively resolve conflicting information.
  • Did you know we have cool widgets that you can to your website and blog?  Get more details in our Widget FAQ.

Community Accomplishments

Top 10 contributors for last month: WikiTree Club 1000 May 2016

  1. Michelle McQueen (9,193 edits in May)
  2. Esmé van der Westhuizen (8433)
  3. Kirsty Ward (8362)
  4. Bea Wijma (7859)
  5. Michael Sheffield (7717)
  6. Joe Cochoit MD (7162)
  7. Gregory Rose (6818)
  8. Coltrane Milholen (6310)
  9. Vincent Piazza (6043)
  10. K Bloom (5593)

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: John VickeryAleš TrtnikDavid Douglass and Danielle Liard!

Project Updates

Thanks to you, WikiTreers, we have new projects popping up all time! Here are the newest ones as well as two new One Name Studies you might want to check out.

New Projects

One Name Studies

Question of the Week

Have you participated in the Question of the Week yet? Every Monday 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! Just follow the tag “question_of_the_week” to get the new question each week.  This week’s is “What’s on your genealogical bucket list?

Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

Last week we asked “Have you stumbled upon any strange deaths of your ancestors?“  Here are just a few of the strange answers we got:

  • The old expression “wrong place, wrong time” really holds true for my husband’s Great Uncle Hascue who died at the age of 26 years old.  His 1927 death certificate reads: “Cause of death -Bullet thru head (he was dead when I saw him)”.  Well, apparently the Commonwealth of Virginia didn’t like that ’cause’ so they requested to know if his death was “Accidental, Homicidal or Suicidal”.  The reply: ”Accidental Shooting – a man shot at Roy Payne and the bullet went through both Roy Payne and Hascue Parsons – who was actually asleep behind Roy Payne at the time of the shooting and was an innocent bystander.” – Deborah
  • The person I was researching was a 19th century cricketer (fast bowler) and it relates to a death caused by him early in his career, not actually his own death. The batsman got knocked on the head by the ball and died a couple of days later. The fast bowler was found not to be at fault but was badly affected by the incident and changed the pace of his delivery thereafter. He went on to be very successful as a cricketer but died of tuberculosis in his 50′s. - Gillian
  • “The worst wind storm in years swept through Chillicothe, Ohio, on the night of July 5, 1913.  At 9:30 p. m., Charles E. Watt, 56 years old, who lived on Sugar Street, was electrocuted while walking home.  The wind storm knocked a heavy limb from a sugar tree onto the electric wires.  This caused a light pole and its wires to fall, putting out all the electricity and street lights in that part of town.  The wires fell across the traction trolley’s third rail.  Charles Watt stepped off the curb and into the hot wires.  He died instantly, as all of the heavy voltage from the streetlights and the traction trolley coursed through his body.  His body was badly burned and could not be taken from the street until the power at both the light plant and the traction supply station were turned off.  When found, Charles Watt still had his cigar clamped in his mouth, an umbrella in one hand and had his glasses on.” (Scioto Gazette, Chillicothe OH, Monday, 7 July 1913.) – Vic

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 June 2016 Challenge, which will run through June 30th.  To participate, go to this G2G post. To see the stats from May’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 William Bonner, or join in on this week’s efforts with Josiah E. Franklin from the U.S. Cemeteries Project. 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.

Sincerely, The WikiTree Team and Leaders

 

Greetings fellow WikiTreers! Welcome to the May 2016 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?

What’s your connection to “Singin’ In The Rain” star Gene Kelly?

Image Credit: Wikipedia

We’re excited to announce that Gene Kelly was the winning profile in last month’s “Connection Combat.”

Gene Kelly, brilliant actor, singer and dancer, was perhaps best known for his epic number “Singin’ In the Rain”.  He has Irish, Canadian and German roots.

Each time there is a new winner they are featured in our Connection Finder.  This means you can check your connection with Gene Kelly here.

You can also still check your connection with the previous month’s winner, Maureen O’Hara.

Follow the tag connection_combat to know when a new battle starts!

Are You Friendly? Do You Like to Help Others?

We are now recruiting for Volunteer Coordinators!

So what does a Volunteer Coordinator do?  They help steer members toward projects that they may be interested in. Whenever possible, they aim to make personal introductions between project leaders and new volunteers.

They monitor the Pre-1700 badge awards, and suggest related projects for the newly certified. (Project participation is required for Pre-1700 certification).  They also browse tags of new volunteers, and suggest projects which might interest them.

Do you like being friendly and helpful?  Would you like to help ensure every member has the chance to participate in a project that interests them?

If this sounds like something you might like to do, visit our project page or contact Summer Orman for more details.  We are giving this project an overhaul and really need new people to help out!

New Way to Find Date and Gender Errors

One of our innovative WikiTreers, Aleš Trtnik, created an excellent tool that allows you to find date and gender errors.

You can search from a particular WikiTree ID back 10 generations, or a particular surname or location.

See: http://www.sdms.si:92/wikitree/ShowErrors.htm

Example:

_________________________________________________

Who’s New?

While they aren’t new to WikiTree, we featured two terrific WikiTreers in our Meet our Members segments. They’re fun reads and a great chance to get to know:

Keith

Keith Hathaway: He’s one of our wonderful WikiTree Leaders and co-leads our Integrators project among other things. You might have noticed him in our G2G forum - he’s one of the most friendly, welcoming members we have! Did you know he is also a martial-arts Master? Learn more about him here.

Karen

Karen Tobo:  Karen got active on WikiTree in June 2014. She quickly discovered the G2G Forum and Connection Combat, became a leader, and got to meet several staff members and leaders when they inspired her to attend RootsTech, her first genealogy conference, in 2015 and again in 2016.

She’s currently leading our Puerto Rican Roots project, serving as a greeter twice a week and averaging over 1,000 contributions per month.  Get to know Karen better here.
_________________________________________________

Tree-Tips

  • Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

    Remember to always give credit.  It’s part of our Honor Code: We give credit. Although most genealogy isn’t copyrighted, researchers deserve credit for the work they’ve done.

  • Do you wonder when you should communicate before making a change? Be bold or be polite?  Here’s a great help page with some of the ins and outs of communication before editing.

Community Accomplishments

Top 10 contributors for last month: WikiTree Club 1000 April 2016

  1. Gregory Rose (12197)
  2. Michelle McQueen (11812)
  3. Kirsty Ward (11233)
  4. Esmé van der Westhuizen (8804)
  5. Vincent Piazza (5971)
  6. Alison Andrus (5576)
  7. Andrea Pack (5309)
  8. Randall Williamson (5298)
  9. Elizabeth Winter (5213)
  10. Kathleen Chaffee (4751)

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: Nan LambertMichael MarandaJohn NoelJohn Vickery and Aleš Trtnik!


Project Updates

Several new projects were started up this month. Do any of these pique your interest? If so, make contact and get involved!

Question of the Week

Family History Photo of the Week Winner

We’ve started a new trend on WikiTree where every Monday 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! Just follow the tag “question_of_the_week” to get the new question each week.  This week’s is “Going back in time, what burning question would you ask which ancestor?

Our initial question was “What first got you interested in genealogy?” .  Here are just a few of the terrific answers we got:

  • Grandmother (Goode) Vickery. Since my earliest memories always told my sister & I that were were related to Magna Carta surety barons, Signers of D Of I, Kings & Queens. I always doubted her & thought she was just blowing smoke. She was right.” – John Vickery
  • “My cousin’s daughter was getting married and wanted to use a family ring as her wedding ring. It was inscribed but the initials didn’t mean anything to anyone in the family. After a great deal of searching, I found the ring’s former owner, the second wife of a great-uncle. By then, I was hooked and have become the family historian. The young couple now have a little girl who will no doubt wear the ring one day and know quite a bit more about her family than her grandmother and I did four years ago.” – Laurie Cruthers
  • “Meeting my grandparents. I was ‘amazed’ that my parents had parents… and when I found out that they had parents, I was even more amazed. I started asking a myriad of questions and never stopped.” – Luci Goodman
  • “My  mother would tell me about my gg/grandmother, and her daughter, my g/grandmother, both of whom married men with the same, not very common, surname. I thought there had to be a story to that.  There was, I pieced it together, and in the process came down with genealogyitis.” – Nan Lambert

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 May 2016 Challenge, which will run through May 31st.  To participate, go to this G2G post. To see the stats from April’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 José de la Carrera y Verdugo, or join in on this week’s efforts with Diana Dill from the Bermuda Project. 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.

Sincerely, The WikiTree Team and Leaders

 

Greetings fellow WikiTreers! Welcome to the April 2016 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?

What’s your connection to Maureen O’Hara?

Maureen O'Hara (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

We’re excited to announce that Maureen O’Hara was the winning profile in last month’s “Connection Combat.”

O’Hara was an Irish-American actress, a famous redhead known for playing fiercely passionate but sensible heroines, usually in westerns and adventure films.  She often starred alongside John Wayne.

Each time there is a new winner they are featured in our Connection Finder.  This means you can check your connection with Maureen O’Hara here.

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

Follow the tag connection_combat to know when a new battle starts!

Do you have any second or third cousins who have taken DNA tests?

Have any of your second or third cousins taken DNA tests for genealogy?

If your close cousins are on WikiTree you’ll know if they’ve taken a DNA test because it will appear on your profile.

With third cousins or closer, it’s easy to get started using the “Confirmed with DNA” relationship status indicators  – potentially back to your great-great-grandparents.

Here are the newly-rewritten instructions: http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/DNA_Confirmation.

And a personal example to follow: http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/DNA_Confirmation_Example.

Small changes on edit-person pages

We just made a small round of improvements to the edit-person page, i.e. the page for editing a person’s profile.

  • Most noticeably, there are colored backgrounds indicating the gender for siblings, spouses, and children in the Edit Family column.
  • The siblings, spouses, and children are numbered. This was a recent suggestion here.
  • The family members’ names use the standard versions found elsewhere (see Name Displays on a person’s pull-down menu for an explanation). This means that the name of a public person will now display in its longer form, e.g. with formal first name and middle name instead of preferred first name.
  • There are now direct links to go to family members’ edit pages. It’s this icon link next to their names: 
  • There are some more informative mouse-over titles. In particular, the colored privacy dots are explained a little better when you hover over them with your cursor.

Just small things that hopefully make editing a smidge easier.

Compact Family Trees now include DNA-Confirmed Indicators

Compact Family Trees now include “Confirmed with DNA” indicators.

For example, see Peter Roberts’ Compact Tree. Yours is accessible from your Tree and Tools page or from the “Compact Tree” link on pull-down menus that start with your ID.

Look for the little DNA checkmarks .

When it appears by a father or mother, this indicates that their relationship to the child has been marked as Confirmed with DNA, hopefully using the high standards described on the DNA Confirmation page. You’ll know whether it’s reliable by checking for a source on the child’s profile that describes how the paternal or maternal confirmation was made.

This little improvement is significant because many of us show our Compact Family Tree to DNA test matches. That is, when someone matches us through AncestryDNA, Family Finder, or 23andMe, we send them the Compact Tree URL to ask if they recognize any names or places.

The Compact Tree is great for this because it shows about the same number of generations as are meaningful for autosomal DNA and it includes the most names and places in the smallest amount of space. (Easy for scanning; not great for most genealogical purposes where you want to easily understand relationships, see missing people, etc.)

Who’s New?

Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

We’re pleased to welcome two new WikiTree Leaders this month:

Jacqueline Girouard: Jackie has been a wonderful WikiTreer since November 2014.  She’s active in many projects including our Acadian Project and Louisiana Families Project.  She definitely has Acadian Roots: her father is descended from the pioneering Acadian couple Francois Girouard and Jeanne Aucoin while her mother descends from Acadian pioneers Jehan Theriot and Perrine Rau and also Louisiana French pioneers from France and Alsace-Lorraine on her mother’s side. Jackie also participates as an Arbortist and a Ranger and is active in our G2G forum.

Scott Fulkerson: Scott has also been with us since November.  He’s jumping right in with both feet and taking on leadership of our Notables Project!  Along those lines, Scott is also very active as a Connector and does great work connecting the profiles of notable individuals to our worldwide family tree.  He participates every month in our Connection Combat and is often the winner, including this last month where he was the first to connect Maureen O’Hara to the tree.

Tree-Tips

  • 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.
  • Activity feeds enable you to track changes on WikiTree. There are several different kinds of feeds, such as Changes to a Profile, Family Activity Feed and Thank-You Feed. See the full list of feeds and their descriptions here.
  • After trying GEDCompare with your large GEDCOM file upload a smaller one for your first GEDCOM import. The WikiTree process is different than with other websites and a smaller file lets you get a feel for the process without getting overwhelmed.
  • Prioritize your profile updates. From your Watchlist click the fourth header ‘Last Edit’ to sort the list so that the first profile listed is the one that’s gone the longest time without being edited. Check it out! Maybe there’s something you can add or improve!

Community Accomplishments

Top 10 contributors for last month: WikiTree Club 1000 March 2016

  1. Kirsty Ward (15,956 edits in March)
  2. Esmé van der Westhuizen (15151)
  3. Terry Johnson (7232)
  4. Ian McArthur (6291)
  5. Greg Rose (5827)
  6. Vincent Piazza (5269)
  7. Coltrane Milholen (5212)
  8. Lance Martin (5058)
  9. Bea Wijma (4670)
  10. Steve Selbrede (4365

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: Jerry BarabooValerie Willis and Robin (Felch) Craig!

Project Updates

Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

Many new projects were started last month!  See if any of these spark your interest:

Two One Name Studes were also implemented:
  • Deuchar Name Study has just started and already has a great space page started. Do you have any Deuchars in your tree? Sandra Green is the coordinator if you’d like to join in!

You can view the full list of One Name Studies here.  Also check out all our current projects and see where you can get involved!

Don’t Miss These!

Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

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 April 1 Challenge, which will run through April 30th.  To participate, go to this G2G post. To see the stats from March’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 José de la Carrera y Verdugo, or join in on this week’s efforts with Jean-Baptiste McLoughlin from the Immigrant Pioneers project. 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.

Sincerely, The WikiTree Team and Leaders

 

Greetings fellow WikiTreers! Welcome to the March 2016 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 to Alex Haley?

Alex Haley (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

We’re excited to announce that Alex Haley, best known for the book Roots: The Saga of an American Family  and TV mini-series that aired to a record-breaking 130 million viewers, was the winning profile in last month’s Connection Combat.

Haley had a great influence on increasing awareness of African-American history and inspired many to develop interest in genealogy and family history.

Each time there is a new winner they are featured as one of our special Connection Finders.  This means you can check your connection with Alex Haley  here.

You can also still check your connection with the previous month’s winner, Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker).

Special:Adoptions and Special:Unconnected Now Include Birth Locations

The form for browsing orphaned profiles that need a manager to take care of them (Special:Adoptions) and the form for browsing profiles that need someone to help connect them to the “big tree” (Special:Unconnected) now include birth location.

This was requested by many of you since location is very relevant for deciding whether you can help.

Check them out:

New Links on Your Watchlist

We made some changes to the navigation links on Watchlists. (Here is yours.)

There’s now a row of buttons for:

  • Activity
  • Anniversaries
  • Find Matches
  • FS Matches
  • Images
  • Pending Merges
  • Unconnected
  • Unsourced

The last one in particular is new. It takes you to http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Category:Unsourced_Profiles with “limit to Watchlist” pre-selected.

Add Links to Your Comments on Followed Tags and Surnames

When you explain your interest in a surname or tag to other members you can now link a WikiTree profile or external website in your comment. This comment is what appears on the index of members for that topic, and on your profile.

For example, on a surname tag you might link to the profile of your brick wall ancestor. It’s done with the same “wiki markup”-style of links that we use on profiles and other types of comments. See Adding Links and Editing Tips.

Go to Special:Following to add or edit tags and comments on them.

Would You Like to Help People Connect?

Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

While we have some projects that are focused on connecting individuals to the worldwide family tree, we’ve got a great volunteer role to help connect members with other members.

As you have probably noticed, we’ve added tags to members’ profiles where you can now list surnames and topics you are interested in and comment more specifically on what your interests include.  We’re super excited about this new feature. It’s a great step towards getting members to be able to communicate and collaborate better.

However, the ability to coordinate with tags only works if you know which tags to use. New members don’t know which projects are out there. They don’t usually know that there are active and friendly WikiTreers who share their interests.

Do you like helping people connect with other like-minded people? If so, then becoming a Volunteer Coordinator might be the project for you!

A Volunteer Coordinator helps members make connections with other members. They watch our New Volunteer Feed and direct people to other tags they may be interested in, as well as help with tag corrections. They also make personal introductions between project Leaders and members and suggest places to look for others who may have similar interests, like our growing One Name and One Place Studies, and communicating in our G2G forum.

If this sounds like the right fit for you contact Erin Breen or Eowyn Langholf and ask to join!

Tree-Tips

  • Remember point V of our Honor Code: We respect privacy. We privacy-protect anything we think our family members might not want public. If that’s not enough for someone, we delete their personal information.

Community Accomplishments

Top 10 contributors for last month: WikiTree Club 1000 February 2016

  1. Kirsty Ward (11,540 edits in February)
  2. Esmé van der Westhuizen (10426)
  3. Greg Rose (7876)
  4. Terry Johnson (7503)
  5. Keith McDonald (6348)
  6. Vincent Piazza (5971)
  7. Catherine V (5942)
  8. Steve Selbrede (5451)
  9. Elizabeth Winter (5007)
  10. Guy Constantineau (4904)

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: Alta (Bannink) BekkerSandy Edwards and Dorothy Barry

Project Updates:

There are two new Roots projects that might catch your interest:

Many new surname studies, some focusing on specific areas, others with global ambitions, have recently been started. Check out the One Name Studies category for the current studies in progress to see if your family can add to one.

The Dutch Roots Project is having its very first contest! See details here for the challenge – the winner will get a spiffy badge.

Your auDNA/FamilyFinder DNA Test

by Kitty Smith, DNA Project Leader

Family History Photo of the Week Nominee

Are you making cousin connections from your FamilyFinder or auDNA test? Is your DNA test investment paying off? I have been working to find my cousin connections with my FamilyFinder matches on FTDNA. It is going well. Here is my method, in practical application:

1. I look at the family tree posted by one of my matches on their FTDNA account page. (This is why it is so important to upload your family tree to your FTDNA account!) I look for any familiar surnames and locations. (For example: Smiths in the northern U.S. states, but not in the south. Coopers in the south, but not in the north.)

2. Once I find a familiar surname, I go to WikiTree.com and start adding the branch from the earliest listed ancestor on the FTDNA family tree. I proceed up the direct ancestral line as displayed on the FTDNA page with a Source of “Private tree on FTDNA”. When I get to living or recently deceased profiles, I make them Anonymous Surname with a privacy setting of “Private with Public Family Tree”. (I make their birthyear “blank for extra privacy” and deathyear “blank because living”; and I mark the gender.)

3. Once I have their direct line in the WikiTree, I go back to the earliest ancestor and work the other way to try and connect the line to the WikiTree trunk. Sometimes I get lucky and my branch connects nicely with the new twig and I can easily see our common auDNA ancestor.

4. Then I email my match and send them links to the various important WikiTree pages (their Anonymous profile, family tree, and our relationship page) and offer to let them take over their Anonymous profile. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t, but they always seem to appreciate my efforts to make the connection and that their FamilyFinder investment is paying off.

Without the WikiTree cousin connections, I would never be able to narrow these relationships. It is the interconnectivity of the family tree branches on FTDNA with the full tree on WikiTree, that enables me to find my common auDNA ancestors that are shared with my matches.

Anyway, it is pretty cool. And several of my connections seem to go back more generations than I expected.

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 March Challenge, which will run through March 31st.  To participate, go to this G2G post. To see the stats from February’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 Daniel Weber, or join in on this week’s efforts with Oliver Roy Christensen from the European Cemeteries project. 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.

Sincerely, The WikiTree Team and Leaders

 

Greetings fellow WikiTreers!

Welcome to the February 2016 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 to Luke Skywalker?

Mark Hamill (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

We’re excited to announce that Mark Hamill, best known for his role as Luke Skywalker, 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 Luke Skywalker here.

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

Helping With Pre-1500 Profiles

We’ve introduced restrictions on who can add and edit profiles of people born before 1500.

Adding restrictions like these has been discussed for years in our community. There will be downsides to limiting who can contribute, but overall we’re confident that we have made the right decision for the future of WikiTree. We’re not just trying to grow a big tree here. We’re trying to grow a genealogically correct tree. (For the most recent background discussion, see ”Should the cut-off date for more-protected profiles be the year 1000? 1200? 1500?“)

To edit early profiles, you will need the “Pre-1500 Certified” badge.

To request it, go to http://www.wikitree.com/contact/cert/.

Pre-1500 badge

Browse All Unconnected People

Last year we created Special:Unconnected to enable you to see the people on your Watchlist who aren’t connected to the “big tree” by blood or marriage. “Unconnected” means a person isn’t connected within 100 degrees of any of the anchor people on http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Special:Connection.

It’s not exactly the same as saying the person doesn’t have a fleshed-out genealogy, but it’s a close approximation to it. There are very few unconnected people with solid family trees.

Making connections for strangers is a true “RAOGK” (Random Act Of Genealogical Kindness — to use the term coined for a classic website of that name).

So, if you’ve got a connector’s spirit, here is your grand rabbit hole: http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Special:Unconnected

You can browse all connected people with a given surname, e.g. Smith. Or you can browse by birth date, to work on the earliest first, or to work on the people from a certain time period, e.g. the 1500s or the 1700s.

You can limit to Open profiles and/or orphaned profiles.

Tree-Tips

  • Photo of the Week Nominee

    Remember point IV of the Honor Code: We know misunderstandings are inevitable. We try to minimize them by being courteous to everyone, even those who don’t act accordingly. This can be hard to do at times and we encourage members to take a step back and not WikiTree while angry.  Because we understanding communicating isn’t always easy, we have a process for when you are having difficulties with another member. See: http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Problems_with_Members for guidance.

  • Our G2G (genealogist-to-genealogist) forum is outstanding for members seeking help and offering help. Inquire about a technical issue, post an offer, ask for help with a brick wall, or just say hello in the Tree House. Check out the G2G About page to learn about tagging and other information about using this forum.  It’s all about communication!

WikiTree @ RootsTech 2016

RootsTech is a global family history event where people of all ages learn to discover and share their family stories and connections through technology. It is held in Salt Lake City, Utah and this year took place from 3 Feb – 6 Feb.

We were fortunate to have several team members and leaders come together, some even getting to meet for the first time including Chris Whitten,  Eowyn Langholf,  Kitty Smith,  Karen Tobo,  Peter Roberts,  Michael Stills,  Mags Gaulden,  Lisa Franklin,  Julie Ricketts and Michelle Hartley.

Many wonderful people who stopped by our booth (they couldn’t resist the orange!) and we had a lot of fun chatting with them about the benefits of WikiTree.

Chris, our WikiTreer-in-Chief, had a great interview with Kirsty Gray, chair of The Surname Society.  Links to watch it are available here.

You can check out all the photos in our WikiTree @ RootsTech 2016 Facebook album but here are a few of our favorites:

Karen and Visitor

Michael and Peter

Elf and Bear

Mags and Julie

Mags, Karen, Kitty, Peter, Michael, Lisa, Chris, Michelle, Eowyn, Julie

Community Accomplishments

Top 10 contributors for last month:

WikiTree Club 1000 January 2016

  1. Greg Rose (11,917 edits in January)
  2. Keith McDonald (11005)
  3. Esmé van der Westhuizen (10925)
  4. Catherine V (9023)
  5. Kirsty Ward (6517)
  6. Mr Grant Garber (6504)
  7. Terry Johnson (5896)
  8. Debra Downs (5474)
  9. Carrie Quackenbush (5006)
  10. Anon X (4848)

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: Cathryn (Hallett) HondrosJack DayKenneth SheltonBetty (Morgan) FoxJulia (Balzarano) RyanCarol (Winton) KeelingKeith McDonaldRoland BakerJayme (Mullins) ArringtonJoop van BelzenDeborah (Réaume) Collier  and Gilly Wood.

Project Updates

Photo of the Week Nominee

We have several new projects that recently started up:

You can also join our Notables project in their contest to see how many of this year’s Academy Award nominees they can get connected and write biographies for before the ceremony on February 28. Join the fun here!

If you love a mystery, be sure to join in the Unknowns Project February Challenge.  The goal is to identify and source at least one profile that has Unknown (or a variant) as the Last Name at Birth. Too many invisible people are wandering around the WikiTree family tree. They live in a kind of limbo; we don’t know who they are or where they came from. Can you help us remember these forgotten people?

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:

  • “I became interested in family trees listening to the Sunday dinner conversations around my grandmother’s table. Counting me, there were four (4) generations in regular attendance. I learned so much, especially to expect great change during my lifetime, as I listened to men and women born within a decade of the end of the Civil War.” –  Kent
  • “Mr. Alex Haley, wrote a Novel in 1976 called Roots: ” The Saga Of An American Family” That was made into a film that aired on TV in 1977. I can still remember sitting in front of my small 19″ black and white portable TV set. Watching this film and found myself wanting to know more about my own family’s genealogy. This was primarily the beginning of a love for knowledge of wanting to know ” Who am I, and Where did my family come from? ” - Linda
  • “Eager to sift beyond all the myths, inconsistencies, and half-truths perpetuated generation after generation via oral histories on both sides of my family – I want facts! I want to know exactly who “my” people were, and I’m interested to see how I am connected to the world community at large. I’m very excited to begin this quest and look forward to collaborate with others to assemble the fragmented picture of my family.. ” - Jess
  • “I am a novice at this, although through some of my research, I have found some very difficult to follow branches on my tree that I think my ancestors didn’t want anyone know about. Of course, finding this out made me more inquisitive than ever. Anyway, I learned that no one is perfect, but it all is interesting, funny, entertaining and I may even say ADDICTING!!” - Naomi

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 February Challenge, which will run through February 29th.  To participate, go to this G2G post.

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

Simón Bolívar (Image Credit: WikiTree)

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 Mahatma Gandhi, or join in on this week’s efforts with Simón Bolívar from the Latin American Roots project.

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.

Sincerely,
The WikiTree Team and Leaders

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