Meet our Members: Terri Swift

+13 votes

Hi everyone.

500px-Meet_our_Members_Photos-10.jpgIt's time to meet another one of our Wonderful WikiTreers! Meet Terri Swift.

Terri became a Wiki Genealogist in January of 2019. She is active in our Magna Carta, Medieval and Germany projects.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

Clawson, Coats, Heuser, Seipp, McMullen, Matthes, Bainbridge, Buswell, Wright.

What are some of the locations you are researching?

United States (Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina,) England (Yorkshire and Northamptonshire,) and Germany (Hessen-Darmstadt).

When and how did you get interested in genealogy?

In the late 80s my father bought a genealogy kit and started filling it out. I saw it, picked it up where he left off, and got hooked. I worked in downtown San Diego and would sneak off to the Family History Library on my lunch breaks. That was fun.

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

Anna Elise Seipp Matthes Keltz is one of my favorites. She emigrated with her husband, Phillip Matthes and her son, Georg from Ober Hörgern Germany to New York on the Cimbria in 1881. The couple ended up in Kentucky where they had relatives that arrived there before them. They had two more children, Anna and William in Louisville.

Phillip died in 1893 in July. Less than a month later their son Georg succumbed to typhoid fever. Anna and her daughter, Anna, survived. In 1894 Anna remarried, her new husband was Fred Keltz. Anna helped bring up Fred’s children, John, Lula and Harry. Unfortunately, in 1913 Fred died from typhoid fever too.

Anna lived until 1941, dying in Elyria, Ohio in her daughter, Anna’s, house. My mother was 3 years old and doesn’t remember her, although she heard a lot about her growing up. Anna had a hard life. In one census she told the census taker that she had 4 children and only two survived. Both her husbands died early, leaving her alone. 

Anna is my favorite ancestor because for years she was my brick wall! But one day I was looking for her and I found her marriage certificate to Fred Keltz and the document told me that her maiden name was Seipp and that was it, I found her, her family in the United States and her family in Germany.

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

Frida Kahlo. She was one tough woman.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy? 

I like to sew, knit, crochet, cross stitch and make junk journals and cards from scratch. I like to read and I like to listen to audiobooks. I rotate my hobbies, depending on the season and my current interests.

[Interview continues in comments.]

WikiTree profile: Terri Swift
in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (2.0m points)

How long have you been on WikiTree and what do you spend the most time doing?

I’ve only been a member of WikiTree since January 2019. I found it and something about WikiTree drew me in. I think it was the idea of one tree. I have been most active on the Magna Carta team. I have helped review lines from Gateway Ancestors to the Surety Barons and along the way I was able to earn my Pre-1500 badge. I’m also a team leader for the 5-Star Team on the Germany Project and I just joined the Medieval Project. I’m a part of the Quaker team but haven’t been very active there.

What brought you to WikiTree?

I had just returned to genealogy after years of not having time to work on my pedigree. My kids were all grown up and I was working part time, so I had time again! So I did a search for free genealogy sites on Google, found WikiTree, and I’ve been here since.

What is your favorite thing about WikiTree?

The camaraderie. I have made some very good friends here.

If you could improve one thing about WikiTree, what would it be?

WikiTree is very hard to get around, especially when one first starts here. I would like the site to be easier to use.

What is an example of how WikiTree has helped you with your genealogy?

I have learned so much about sourcing and being accurate! I’ve also learned to be suspicious about anything that isn't sourced.  Plus, I’ve learned a lot about British 17th Century history via the Magna Carta team.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Ask questions. You will eventually figure out how to move around the site and find things.

Hi Teri my name is Bobbi Schotts and it says we are genetically connected somehow also I wanted to know if you could help me with one Anderson relative I am looking for the mother and father and I cannot find the mother and father anywhere they told me through WikiLeaks that some of you people volunteer and you would be willing to help me so I contacted you and my Anderson relative their name is Isabella Anderson born in Mecklenburg North Carolina in a placeMentioned name sugar creek she was born in 1720 and died in 1812 she married a Robeson I hope you can help me if not I wonder who I should talk to

Sure, I'll help you. Unfortunately my PC quit talking to my router today so it's in the shop. My eyes went let me look at the tiny writing on my phone too long. Why don't you email me at and we can discuss this.


6 Answers

+7 votes

Woohoo Terri! Can I just say that as the 5-star profile improvement team for the Germany project she has created a strong team who have already improved and are improving multiple profiles! Her work is amazing. I am so glad that Terri is member of the week.

Congratulations Terri! You deserve the spotlight. Thank you for all you do on wikitree, especially for the Germany project wink

by Kylie Haese G2G6 Mach 7 (79.0k points)
Thank you, Kylie. :)  I enjoy working with you!
+6 votes
Thanks for hosting the Germany Project Team
by David Hughey G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
Thanks, David!
+3 votes
I am pleased to see Terri get this attention, so more members will get acquainted with this good genealogist.

She and I have interacted because we are almost-cousins: We are not related by blood, but because of marriages between her Clawson cousins and my Clark cousins we are only 14 steps apart in Connection Finder (on multiple connection paths).
by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
Wow, Ellen,  thank you! 14 degrees is pretty darn close.  I'll have to look at that.
+2 votes
Terri is a great asset to the Magna Carta Project and is an absolute pleasure to work with. I'm so happy she is featured in Meet Our Members as she deserves recognition for all her hard work. Love ya Terri!
by Traci Thiessen G2G6 Pilot (273k points)
Thank you,  Traci! That means a lot. :)

+2 votes
Great interview & Great to get to know you better.. and to find out we're connected in 20 degrees :D

Cheers, Liz
by Liz Shifflett G2G6 Pilot (539k points)
We are? That's cool!

I love the Magna Carta project and learned so much there!
+2 votes

What I want to know is, how does one "would sneak off to the Family History Library on my lunch breaks"? I would get absorbed in my research and not get back to work in the afternoon!!!

by Wendy Scott G2G6 Mach 2 (23.8k points)
The job I had at the time had me driving around San Diego County. No one kept tabs on me so I'd disappear for an hour or two. I don't think that anyone caught on. :)

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