It's time to meet another one of our Wonderful WikiTreers! This week's member is Alicia Taylor.
Alicia became a Wiki Genealogist in October of 2018. She's one of our Data Doctors and is active in the Global Cemeteries and Profile Improvement projects.
What are some of the surnames you are researching?
Bonner, Inglett, Harding, Johnson, Henderson, Robinson, Taylor, Price
What are some of the locations you are researching?
Pensacola, Florida. Utah, Missouri, California, Alabama, Georgia
When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history?
I was adopted in a step-parent adoption and never really knew much about my father’s side of the family. I became interested in “where I came from” as a child. It branched into a full-fledged genealogy interest in my 20’s. I never was able to learn much about my father’s side of the family (turns out his own father was supposedly an orphan), but I never lost interest in figuring out how the whole world is connected.
Who's your favorite ancestor and why?
So, far, I have two favorite ancestors – and they are my adopted father’s father and my maternal grandfather. I knew them both and they made an impact on my life. Their struggles with alcohol taught me what I didn’t want to be, but they were both fascinating men who led full lives – and they each had a lot of good in them, too – and that is the part of them I want to emulate.
Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down or one you hope to bust through.
Well, I would really like to know more about my biological paternal grandfather’s history, Orville Bonner. He said he didn’t know who his parents were, but I found their names on his Alabama marriage license. He grew up in Father Flanagan's home for boys (which later became Boys Town) and left the orphanage at age 16. However, I’m not sure how to verify that – and am wondering if I could find the records, would they state who his parents were or why they ended up there?
If you could pick one person in history to be related to, who would it be and why?
I would love to be related to Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) or Einstein. They both mastered quick-witted replies and had talent to spare.
What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?
Video Gaming, Reading, Cats
How long have you been on WikiTree and what do you spend the most time doing?
I have been on WikiTree a little over a year. I’m involved with the Cemeteries project. I recently started photographing headstones in our local cemeteries. Additionally, when I am working on a profile, I add the cemetery category. I am also involved with the Profile Improvement project. For this, anytime I work on a profile I manage, I try to leave it beautiful. I have a long way to go because of the many orphaned profiles I adopted and the multitude that need GEDCOM clean-up, but I do put my heart and soul into telling my relatives' stories to the best of my ability. I also do a little here and there with the Data Doctors, especially during our events. But, I also use the suggestions to keep the profiles I manage clean of wiki-errors. To me, these three projects work together beautifully.
What is an example of how WikiTree has helped you with your genealogy or how you’ve helped genealogy with WikiTree?
On other sites, the whole purpose is to attach a record. Sometimes, that goes so quickly, you never really get to know your ancestor. On WikiTree, I’ve learned to really tell their story – where they lived, what they did, who they were – and I learned all this from the Profile Improvement Project.
Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?
Please make sure that your relative isn’t already on the tree before adding them. And, I wish more people understood this isn’t THEIR tree, it’s OUR tree. Yes. She may be your 2nd great-grandmother, but she was mine, too. WikiTree is a collaborative effort.