If you could pick one person in history to be related to, who would it be and why?
Christopher Columbus because of his urge to explore and discover. I’m a “restless” soul myself and love to discover and travel and there is not really one place that I would call home. I feel comfortable almost everywhere, as long as I have my loved ones around me and nature, the option to breathe freely.
What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?
Spending time with my own family, especially outdoors. In August 2020 I became a mother for the first time and I hope to teach my son to love the outdoors as much as we do. I also love to read. Already at a young age I would read a lot and everything, even the back of a milk carton. These days I go for easy books, Young Fantasy etc.. I’m not really into “heavy” books. I like to keep it airy. And in the quiet hours of the evening I like to binge watch. All kinds of series and topics have my interest, currently I’m (trying to) watching “The Last Kingdom”, and wonder if I might have some Viking ancestors as well.
How long have you been on WikiTree and what do you spend the most time doing?
I joined WikiTree in October 2015. Most of the time I spend on correcting my own Gedcom profiles. How naive I was when I uploaded that one. Taking me a lot of time. Lately I’ve started to add new ancestors. Working my way generation through generation. At the moment I’m working on my 7th generation.
From the beginning I joined the Netherlands Project (formerly known as the Dutch Roots Project), after all, this is where my roots are. Recently I became a coordinator within the Netherlands Project. I’m going to coordinate the transition for all project documentation. But I’m sure I’ll end up doing more than just that.
What brought you to WikiTree?
I’m not sure, but I believe I was looking for a good way of keeping track of my family tree. So I assume Google was my best friend here.
What is your favorite thing about WikiTree?
The collaboration. Others are so friendly and willing to help you. We all are here with the same goal. To grow and improve our tree. I love the Fanchart especially as this gives me a quick overview, per generation, telling me where to continue my research. And it’s wonderful to see more and more empty spaces being filled. The connection finder and featuring members is also great, I’m curious to see if I have any relatives on WikiTree, somebody with a shared interest, as within my direct family there is nobody to share this with.
I also like to participate in the Marathons and Challenges. It’s a good opportunity to get to know your team a bit better, to stay motivated to keep working on WikiTree.
If you could improve one thing about WikiTree, what would it be?
Navigating through all the documentation. As a newbie I found it really hard to find guidance on how to do certain things, which rules or styles to adhere to. That is one of the reasons I took on the role of project coordinator. To help develop, restructure and organize the available information.
What is an example of how WikiTree has helped you with your genealogy?
Tips in researching methods, help deciphering old handwritings, suggestions on where to continue a search.
I was once contacted by somebody that found a profile I created on WikiTree, Bartus Hollander. We are third cousins three times removed. He was looking for more information on Bartus and his family. A friend of his was directly related to Bartus and his mother was hoping to find some living descendants and was curious to find out more about her uncle. This question led me on a quest and I found out about “my” first resistance fighter. Sadly he passed away in GrossRosen (currently Poland) as POW, but I was also able to find a living descendant and they got re-connected. Bartus his profile is also one of my profiles that gives me great pride. I was able to tell a story and not just state facts.
Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?
Check if there is a project for the area you are working on or interested in. They can help you get started and provide you with the correct guidelines for WikiTree and the project.