Posted with permission from Summer Orman

When I first started with WikiTree, I didn’t realize just how different it was from the other sites like AncestryFamily Search, etc. I was tagged by Rangers (activity monitors) within a few days of joining, for creating unsourced profiles, and profiles of people born before 1700. I was referred for a mentor and locked out of those profiles. I was angry.

At the time, I didn’t realize that what I was doing was harmful or incorrect, even after signing the Honor Code and all, because who actually requires an honor code to use a public site? Right? (note-this is sarcasm-don’t get feathers ruffled, keep reading). How DARE these people tell me I can’t do what I want on this free public site?!?

Enter my mentor Robin (yes Robin I’m naming you!), who took me under her wing, showed me the ropes, guided me, gave me constructive criticism and feedback, helped me see my mistakes and how to fix them, but most importantly, did it all with a positive attitude and kind approach.

I learned that WikiTree is definitely unique and special. There’s a method to the madness after all! Holy cannoli!

Now, I’m a little more experienced, participating in quite a few projects, leading one of my own (shameless plug time) (The O’Neill Dynasty), and I’ve recently joined the mentor team myself! Talk about a 180, huh?

That said, I still make mistakes. I found a whole bunch of them yesterday and spent hours correcting them. I didn’t even get to them all, but I’m working on it. I’m still correcting mistakes from the beginning too. I am human and imperfect. Just like everyone else. I choose to learn from my mistakes, fix them, move on, and learn some more. I’m learning every single day.

The point of this sleep-deprived, need-coffee-STAT, Sunday morning monologue slash confession, is to let other people out there know that your contributions here are valuable. Mistakes are inevitable. Fix them and move on. Don’t dwell on them, learn from them. I’ve seen a lot of complaints in the G2G discussion forum about situations like mine. To those I say this:Try to take the approach of “they aren’t criticizing me personally, they just want what’s best for WikiTree.” Our Honor Code is so important. It’s what distinguishes our community from the others; it sets us apart and shows how much we care about the mission.

And that, folks, is why I love WikiTree. We are special. We care about getting it done, and getting it done accurately. I’m proud to be part of something so special. How about you? What are you a part of?

Hi!  I’m Summer O. I’m 36 years old.  I’m known as Mommy to the 3 most awesome children and the 2 cutest and most spoiled dogs in the world. I am a devoted wife to the best Technical Sergeant in the US Air Force.  I work full-time as a stay at home mommy. Things I love to do in my spare time:  spend time with my family (dogs included), watch my hummingbirds, drink coffee on the porch, read, write, take pictures of anything and everything, sleep, eat, crochet, knit, daydream, work on WikiTree, and get lost in genealogy research. Thanks for stopping by!


On all the other websites
despite the countless trees
they made me feel alone
and asked for many fees

They offered lots of hints
but never gave a clue
that all of us are cousins
including me and you

They kept me isolated
and said i was unique
for only fifty dollars
I could have a peek…

I knew that it was wrong
and not a place for me
I didn’t know what else to do
’till I found WikiTree

WikiTree is different
they don’t charge any fee
giving everything we need
and all of it is free

The Honor Code is special
in guiding how we act
in bringing us together
as signers of the pact

Nobody is nicer
than here at WikiTree
always sharing positives
and generosity

I learned we’re all related
we share the same big tree
we truly find our family
in this community.

Poem by WikiTree Leader Keith Hathaway


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