Meet our Members: John Rosser

+15 votes

Hi everyone!

It's time to meet another one of our Wonderful WikiTreers! This week's member is John Rosser.

John became a Wiki Genealogist in May of 2014. He is active in a variety of our projects and enjoys participating in our big annual marathon events and other challenges.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?


What are some of the locations you are researching?

Australia: New South Wales; Victoria; South Australia

Wales: Glamorgan (Swansea); 

England: Cornwall; Devon; Kent; Lancashire; Middlesex; Somerset; Suffolk

Scotland: Aberdeenshire; Argylshire; Lanarkshire; Midlothian; Wigtownshire

Ireland: Co. Kerry; Co. Tipperary; Co. Limerick; Co. Laois; Co. Waterford

Canda: Ontario (Toronto); Quebec (Montreal);

When and how did you get interested in genealogy?

A school project captured my imagination at 9 years old; later my parents organised a large family reunion. I was fascinated by all the stories that were being shared... about 15 years ago I began researching in my own right because I realised there were still so many questions that my parents hadn’t found answers for and most of my grandparents had passed on.

Who's your favorite ancestor and why?

They’ve all taught me something...I don’t know enough yet to choose a favourite.

Tell us about a brick wall you hope to bust through.

One day I hope to discover the date and circumstances of William Henry Lloyd's arrival in South Australia.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

I’m a bit of generalist, so I dabble in a lot of things including reading, playing guitar, birdwatching, camping, hiking, Scouting.

[Interview continues in comments.]

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 joined WikiTree six years ago and have been working steadily on my personal branches ever since. Over time I have joined various Projects including Profile ImprovementBio BuildersData DoctorsSourcerersCategorizationConnectors and the Jackson One Name Study, which all help me to learn the culture and technical aspects of WikiTree. 

I am also a member of the Australia Project (since most of my activities in the previously mentioned projects fall within its scope) and enjoy participating in Thons’ with the Wizards of Aus’. More recently, I have been assisting with developing categories, space pages and other resources to support the project, particularly for the Earl Grey’s Famine Orphan Scheme 1848-1850 topic, of which I am also Team Leader.

What brought you to WikiTree?

I was lured by ‘cousin-bait’! Curiosity prompted me to put my name in a Google search (an eye-opener we should all do from time to time!). This led me to try searching for my 2x great-grandfather (Richard Walters Rosser) and near the top of the list was the link to his WikiTree profile, which had been started by a distant cousin - thanks again John Haberecht!

What is your favorite thing about WikiTree?

There are so many things to love about WikiTree - here’s my top three:

  1. I love that we’re all working together towards building one accurate, well-sourced tree and that we’re pooling our individual talents to help each other do it faster and better than any of us could do it on our own.

  2. WikiTree has the best balance between collaboration and privacy: it’s not a choice between ‘sharing everything’ or ‘sharing nothing’.

  3. It is FREE - both for me to contribute and for others to view it.

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

While I appreciate the flexibility offered by the way we record and cite our sources on WikiTree, I feel that it is inefficient when it comes to citing the same source on multiple profiles.

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

WikiTree helps me grow as a genealogist in several ways:

  • WikiTree’s Help pages are a great place to learn (whether you’re a newbie or expert).

  • Collaborating with other experienced members (directly or through the G2G forum inspires me to be more focused in expressing my research questions, and more thorough in documenting the answers.

  • Participating in several of WikiTree’s projects and challenges has exposed me to a wide variety of techniques, strategies and resources that I might not have discovered.

  • I have learnt to ‘go slow in order to go faster’, by entering each person one-by-one (instead of uploading large gedcom files) - this forces me to ‘look again...and then again’ at what I think I know about the person and to ensure that this is supported by good evidence. The additional sources that I have found through this process have helped me break through several brick walls and also to ‘put some leaves on the twigs’ (the details beyond mere names, dates and locations).

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

  • Be adventurous (have a go) - help is only a question away!

  • Be patient (with yourself and others) - there is much to learn and we’re all always learning.

  • Have fun!

Congratulation John, great interview. Thank you for your much appreciated support for and contributions to the Australia Project.

7 Answers

+9 votes
Nice to meet you and I'm glad you joined wikitree
by David Hughey G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
+5 votes

Congratulations John on being recognized as member of the week.

I see one of the surnames you are researching is Gray (Mary Gray, your 4th GGM born 1812 in Scotland). My mother’s maiden name is Gray. Ancestry’s latest revised DNA estimate shows me as 32% Scottish. Perhaps one day we’ll discover a common ancestor. 

by Tommy Buch G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
+8 votes
Congratulation John, great interview. Thank you for your much appreciated support for and contributions to the Australia Project.
by Margaret Haining G2G6 Pilot (102k points)
+5 votes
Congratulations John and thanks for all you do in the Australia Project!
by Veronica Williams G2G6 Pilot (162k points)
+4 votes
Great interview John, Thanks for sharing with us all.

Also thanks for all your fabulous work on WikiTree, especially with the Earl Grey Orphan Scheme.
by Gillian Thomas G2G6 Pilot (198k points)
+4 votes
Congratulations! Glad you are with us John!  Sounds like your research is a value to us all. Thanks for letting us get to know you better.
by Loretta Morrison G2G6 Pilot (158k points)
The name John Rosser jumped out at me as that was my great great grandfathers name. My American patriot who fought in the revolutionary war thus my membership in the DAR, Daughters of the American Revolution.
+4 votes
Thank you for sharing about yourself. Thank you for all you do in the Australia Project
by Rosalie Neve G2G6 Pilot (140k points)

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