Meet our Members: Gene Ellison

+22 votes

Hi everyone!

500px-Meet_our_Members_Photos-17.jpgIt's time to meet another one of our Wonderful WikiTreers. This week's member is Gene Ellison.

Gene has been a Wiki Genealogist since May of 2017. He is a great contributor to profiles of enslaved persons and also coordinates the Ellison Name Study.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?  

What are some of the locations you are researching? 

  • Georgia - Banks, Fulton, Richmond, Muskogee, Douglas, and Harris Counties 

  • South Carolina - Sumter, and Newberry Counties

When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history?

  • My interest in genealogy began around 1981… Just graduated from High School and heading off to college… I knew who I was, however I did not know who I was!  Beyond self awareness I had no roots to really identify with.

Who's your favorite ancestor and why?

  • Walter Eugene Ellison of course. Long story,  so I will keep it short because it bring feelings up that I am still dealing with at my age… This man was there for me and taught me the things that allowed me to survive and excel in the world today.

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down or one you hope to bust through.

  • The 1850s brick wall for the Ellison surname is one I am trying to crack… Some of my relatives who were well documented appear to be the linchpin to that wall, however since their parents were not incorporated into the flow of the times other than enslavement the connections are hard to form the tools to break down that wall… 

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

  • Marcus Garvey! The man was a political activist… I love to hear what he spoke and stood for! I believe in what he believed in and would hear my father speak highly of the teachings.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

  • Family Time, World Travel, Dog Training, and all Sports.

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

What brought you to WikiTree?

  • Internet search on one of my ancestors. Then I realized it was a free service with actual support from genealogists that only wanted to help with no fee.   

What is your favorite thing about WikiTree?

  • G2G and everyone's willingness to help.

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

  • GUI (Graphical User Interface). The look and input functionality.

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

  • It allows me to collaborate with more experienced genealogists as well as the ability to give back to others starting out on their quest. 

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

  • Ask questions and don't be afraid to make mistakes. 

  • Mistakes can be corrected with a bit of effort.

WikiTree profile: Gene Ellison
in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (2.0m points)
Gene does some amazing work on profiles! Check out this profile he created for Quincy Lewis Latimer, patent draftsman.

5 Answers

+11 votes
Best answer
Hi Gene! I read your interview with interest. It seems unusual to me that you had such an early interest in genealogy. I hope that was helpful for you. I was older and thus had less people to interrog - er - question about what they remember. Thank you for doing the interview and for being a Wonderful WikiTreer!
by Lucy Selvaggio-Diaz G2G6 Pilot (677k points)
selected by Gene Ellison
Lucy I was always looking to find out who I was...   I have an unusual need for KNOWLEDGE and that was the driving point to find out who I was...
+11 votes
Thank you so much for sharing your story for all of us, Gene. I love hearing how people get into genealogy and to learn a little bit more about their lives.
by Emma MacBeath G2G Astronaut (1.0m points)
You are more than welcome Emma!  Thank you for reaching out!
+9 votes

Loved it when Gene says in response to finding WikiTree "...Internet search on one of my ancestors. Then I realized it was a free service with actual support from genealogists that only wanted to help with no fee. "

Great interview smiley

by Maggie N. G2G Astronaut (1.0m points)
Yeah, that's why I like it so much, also! And the connection finder is always fun.
Maggie & Alison you guys got that right!  I'm lucky I found this wonderful community! Outstanding people with like minded views on genealogy...
+6 votes
Hi, Gene,

Nice to become acquainted with you. I can imagine it must be very difficult to find intact records for blacks in the south before the civil war. I had a lot of ancestors fighting to free your ancestors. One of my great-grand fathers was a forager with General Sherman's army on his march through the south. His brother and 3 cousins that enlisted with him were killed.

You must have some interesting ancestors way back, with the little bits of Maasai and Mongolian in your DNA. My brother's wife is black, and her family came from the south. If I ever (with her permission of course) get to research her family history, I will know who to go to for tips!
by Alison Gardner G2G6 Mach 7 (70.5k points)
Nice to meet you as well Allison...
+5 votes


 It is awesome to learn more about you. Thank you very much for sharing your story. 

Gene and Carol Lynn are 6th cousins once removed

Gene Ellison and Carol Lynn Napora are both descendants of Edward Harper.

by Carol Lynn Napora G2G6 Mach 2 (28.8k points)
Hello Cousin Carol!

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