Meet our Members: Rob Pavey

+33 votes

Hi everyone!

Meet_our_Members_Photos-59.jpgIt's time to get to know another one of our wonderful WikiTreers. This week's member is Rob Pavey.

Rob became a Wiki Genealogist in June of 2020. He is a member of our England Project. He also created the AGC browser extension that helps reformat a profile that was created by GEDCOM upload and the WikiTree Sourcer extension that helps a user search for sources and cite them.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

I have researched most branches of my family but some names I have dived into more than others: Pavey (originating in East Devon), Smeed (Kent), Dickens (river pilots in Pill) and Brain (Warwickshire/Staffordshire).

What are some of the locations you are researching?

Yarcombe, Devon and the surrounding area of the Blackdown Hills. This is where my paternal Pavey line comes from. I have visited the area and found the gravestone of my 4th great-grandparents. If I did a OPS it would probably for Yarcombe.  Also Pill in Somerset which has a fascinating history - my ancestors were river pilots guiding ships up the Avon to Bristol.

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

My cousin John Partington was into it for a long time and wrote some family history booklets. I started seriously on Ancestry in 2016 when I broke my ankle and was sitting on the sofa a lot! I enjoy the puzzle solving part and get little dopamine hits each time I find a new source or connection.

Who's your favorite ancestor and why?

William Henry Pavey my 2nd great grandfather. He was born in the Plymouth area and his whole family upped sticks and moved to London in the 1850s. I wrote a blog post about him and that was what got me into writing detailed biographies with maps. He tried his hand at a lot of trades and he and his wife raised 12 children to adulthood with no childhood deaths. Having done a y-DNA test as well as Ancestry DNA I am beginning the suspect that his father of record was not his biological father. So there could be future mysteries to investigate.

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

Elizabeth Ann Smeed my 2nd great-grandmother. She was one of my early challenges on Ancestry. Most trees had the wrong parents for her.  It turned out that her mother Mary Ann Smeed was not married but when Elizabeth got married she listed her father as William Smeed - which confused everyone. Of course I haven’t been able to persuade other people on Ancestry to correct their trees. I wrote a blog post about this research here:

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

A difficult question - there are so many to choose from! I think I would like to be related to a famous scientist like Charles Darwin. 

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

I like to be outdoors and enjoy birding. I recently started volunteering at a wetlands restoration project. I am a software engineer and have started apply my knowledge of that to genealogy by writing browser extensions to use with WikiTree.

(interview continues in comments)

WikiTree profile: Rob Pavey
in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.8m points)

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

I signed the honor code in June 2020 and joined the England Project shortly after. I went through the England Orphan Trail 1 and 2 and I am now a Trailblazer for that.

I spend a lot of time working on browser extensions to make myself and other WikiTreers more productive (WikiTree AGC and WikiTree Sourcer).

I am still working my own relatives in WikiTree - I still have some to bring over from my Ancestry tree which has about 4000 people.

What brought you to WikiTree?

I wanted to write long profiles (like the one of William Henry Pavey). I had been doing some on a blog but it was hard to organize relationships in that format. I looked at FamilySearch and Geni but liked the look and flexibility of the WikiTree profiles more.

What is your favorite thing about WikiTree, or which feature(s) do you like the most?

The ability to write long detailed profiles and the collaboration/projects. Being a member of the England project has motivated me to keep going. I enjoy the Discord chat channels.

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

When I first started using WikiTree there were two things I wanted:

1. To be able to import my tree from Ancestry easily (which was why I developed the WikiTree AGC extension).

2. For WikiTree to be as easy to use as Ancestry. I.e. to be able to find and add sources in a few clicks with no typing (which is why I am developing in the WikiTree Sourcer extension).

One thing I would like to change would be the way it displays images on the right of a profile even though they are embedded within the biography already. I would like to be able to turn that off for a profile.

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

I learned a lot doing the England Orphan Trail about new places to find sources, transcribing wills etc. It helps a lot to have mentors and people to chat with. Otherwise you don’t know what you don’t know!

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Join a project and get involved with the community, WikiTree has a great community and so many people willing to help you learn.

7 Answers

+10 votes
Congratulations, Rob, being nominated as Wonderful WikiTreer of the week.

It's nice to get to know a little more about you. And I can fully agree with your tip for new members.
by Dieter Lewerenz G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
+11 votes
If you haven't tried both of his apps mentioned, you don't know what you are missing!!  Both are fantastic additions to wikitree to improve the look of Gedcom imported profils and to help in sourcing all profiles very easily.

Thanks Eowyn for giving everyone the opportunity to know a little more about Rob and 'why' he created those great apps.
by Linda Peterson G2G6 Pilot (533k points)
+9 votes
Congratulations, Rob!

You have done wonders for our community, and it is nice to get to know you.
by Kathy Evans G2G6 Mach 1 (10.5k points)
+3 votes
Congratulations, Rob, and thank you for all you do for our tree.  It's great to hear about your coding work.  I'll check out the app.  I looked at three decks for your ancestor, but it only returned this one
by Mark Weinheimer G2G6 Pilot (410k points)
+4 votes
Dopamine hit!  Ha Ha.

Great to get to know you more Rob.  I also am an outdoors kind of guy and also volunteer with a local Bog Society and with a local bird migratory restoration project.

Keep up the grat work Rob!  Still loving the Sourcerer extention.
by Brad Cunningham G2G6 Mach 3 (39.7k points)
+4 votes

Awsome work Rob! I have just used your  WikiTree Sourcer. That is a fantastic addition to WikiTree.

I'm also very impressed with your William Henry Pavey profile.

Thank you, your contributions are much appreciated.

by Michele Gregg G2G1 (1.4k points)
+3 votes
Top work all round Rob! Absolutely love your apps, and your contribution to the England Project is much appreciated.

by Jo Fitz-Henry G2G6 Pilot (101k points)

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