What brought you to WikiTree and why did you start getting involved?
I joined in June 2020 to download my Ancestry tree and to better record my research. Fortunately for me, Joan Whitaker from the England Project suggested at an early stage that I join the Orphan Trail team, which was a real eye-opener, introducing me to a range of resources I never knew existed and showing me how to record research findings in a systematic way. Since then, I’ve particularly enjoyed participating in the ‘Thons’.
What do you spend the most time doing on WikiTree?
I need to work on the profiles of some of my ancestors; but keep getting distracted by other interesting challenges I come across. (Connect-a-Thons and tidying up profiles afterwards; sourcing and developing unsourced profiles that I stumble across; and more recently getting my head around the statistics and reports I come across.)
Which project are you most involved in?
A couple of weeks ago, I became team leader of the Lancashire team. I’ve being looking at various statistics and reports to try to figure out what they mean and to see how I can best make a positive impact.
What inspires you to contribute so much of yourself to WikiTree's mission?
I like the idea that we are all connected. Most people have a degree of interest in their roots; and documenting accessible, interesting information about the lives of people who have lived before us is a way of bringing us all closer together.
What is your favorite feature or function on WikiTree?
Probably the Connection Finder – you see how most of us are already connected; and with so many profiles still to add, it is clear that the connections over time will shorten.
Also, I should mention Rob Pavey’s AGC app to convert a GEDcom into something intelligible; and his WikiTree Sourcer app has made citations and biography writing considerably easier. I’m not sure I would have stuck with it were it not for these tools.
What feature or function would you most like to see added or improved?
I still find the search facility on the Help section difficult to navigate. I go round in circles sometimes trying to find information or a process I know I have read about somewhere – but finding exactly where it is can be a torturous process.
Do you have any tips for someone who wants to get more involved in our community?
For English profiles, join the Orphan Trail and get the support of a group of people who are keen to enable you become a better genealogist. (Other countries seem to have their equivalent teams, so sign up) …. and ask questions – virtually everyone I’ve had contact with in WikiTree wants to help and support.
What could we do to inspire more people to participate in our mission?
I’m always encouraged whenever I google someone’s name and the top entry is a WikiTree profile as a result of a well-written biography. If we continue to add well-written profiles to the tree, I hope that people looking for information about their ancestors might be brought in to WikiTree, seeing the benefit of being part of an ongoing collaborative project.