"Weekend Chat" - All Members are Invited! (5 June 2015)

+26 votes
This is an ongoing "Chat" post that can be added to throughout the weekend.  All members of WikiTree are encouraged to join in, especially first-timers!
Say Hello and introduce yourself... where are you from and what are your interests?
Leaders, Mentors, Greeters, Pilots - What tips can you share with us today?
What improvements can we make?
What do you enjoy most about WikiTree?
Do you have any stories to share about famous or notorius ancestors?
What projects are you involved in, and how are they going?
What's the weather been like in your neck-of-the-woods?
... anything that you want to talk about!
Post answers here, comment on answers, up-vote things you like or agree with and have fun!  To receive notice when future Chats are posted, add Weekend_Chat to the list of Tags you follow.  You can edit your list by clicking on "My Feed" on G2G, then click to "add or edit".  Seperate words with and underscore.
in The Tree House by Keith Hathaway G2G6 Pilot (606k points)
I'm Grant, and I live in Dundee, Scotland.
I only joined Wikitree in February 2015, but, well, wish I'd joined earlier! It really is a fascinating website, and also a terrific project - and with very helpful people.

And I've already noticed some research that's been done on various ancestors of mine by other researchers, which is extremely interesting.
My main research area is exploring a branch of the Millar (sometimes spelt MIller) family, who lived/live in Perthshire, Dundee and Angus in the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Am trying to find the 'white sheep' of that branch, really.
But I'm also researching some other Scottish families (the main surnames being Hutton, Morris, MacKenzie (sometimes wrongly spelt as McKenzie...grr!), Caw, Murray, Valentine and Nathaniel) who lived in Dundee, Perthshire, the Black Isle, Fife and Angus for the same period of time.
My career background in genealogy is that I worked on the ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk website for three years.
Hello Grant, Glad to have you here.  The responce time is very slow on this chat because Robert is at the Global Family Reunion and I can only spend a little time on here, in spurts, due to my personal mini reunion this weekend. but we still value you and your contributions.  My Grandfather, Aulay Macauley Smith was born in Glascow Scotland back in 1903 so I have a connection to Scotland as well.
Hello Dale,
Thanks for the warm welcome - it's good to be here.
Oh, no need to apologise. I'm not online all the time, either - and it is the weekend, after all. And I'm still finding my way around the wikitree website and learning how it all works - still a lot to learn.
Aulay is a fine name - so he was one of your relatives who 'belongs to Glasgow', as the song goes.
Grant, there is a lot to learn on WikiTree, and it is changing almost every day so take your time.  If you need help feel free to post a question on G2G and someone will usually get back to you in short order.   And yes my maternal grandfather came over to North America as a child and lived in Quebec for a short time before settling in the Cleveland, Ohio area and it is he who 'belongs to Glascow'.
Aye, there's loads to learn! It's a very powerful website.
Thanks for the tip about posting questions. I didn't know about that feature until now, so might well do that in the future. Robert's my mentor and has been very helpful. But if I have any further questions, think I'll just post them directly on to G2G.
At the moment I'm waiting to hear back about an 'unresponsive manager', so it looks like I might well be adopting some profiles in the near future.
Yes, Scots emigrating to Canada was a massive part of the Scottish Diaspora.
Hello Grant

I have a couple of James Millar Watson's one born in 1916 born in Glasgow and the other c1895, possibly I will discover that Millar is a maiden name the further I go back. Maybe we will evenetually connect.
Hello Anna,
Thanks for the comment.
Funnily enough, I do have some Watsons in my family tree, from Dundee in the 19th Century. One was a lightship attendant, another was a librarian and the librarian's son worked in the jute mills.
Yes, middle names are quite often maiden names - I guess you probably already know about Scottish naming conventions:
My side of the family mainly hail from Perthshire and Dundee - but there are a fair few who went AWOL, so, who knows, they might well have gone to Glasgow from Perthshire. So maybe down the line, perhaps we'll connect. I'd certainly like to find these missing ancestors.

17 Answers

+12 votes

Hello from Northeast Ohio.  I will try to check in as much as possible this weekend however I doubt that I will be spending much time on WikiTree due to haveing a mini Family reunion this weekend.  My daughter and her family are going to be visiting from North Carolina and we have a lot of activities planned starting with a Cleveland Indians game tonight, camping and a possible trip to an amusement park tomorrow, they are participating in either a 5K or a half marathon on Sunday, and on Monday a trip to a Flea market and cheese factory stores, yes plural as we have 2 in Geauga County, Ohio.  So have fun and good luck.

by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.5m points)
edited by Dale Byers
Thanks Dale.  Have fun with the family.  Sounds like you'll be busy enough!
As a tip, when attending any family function always ask questions when dealing with the older generations as they can be great sources for the information that you may need to find in the future.
Hi Dale,  I just read your bio on your profile.  We have much in common.  I was born in Painesville, Lake County East Hospital, and was raised in Mentor.  Long years ago, but my mom and dad are buried in Mentor Municipal Cemetery.  Long family history there.  

The cheese factory in Middlefield.  I still remember that horrible smell, but Burton Sugar Maple festival was always a favorite.
Kitty the cheese factory in middlefield has changed big time, no more tours and no more Amish cheese, but the Amish have opened another one and they have a glass wall that is open to the production floor so that you can watch them make cheese from the store,  The Maple Festival has always been in Chardon but the sugar house is open year round in Burton so I can understand the confusion and my son who lives in Ashtabula county started makein syrup this year and he is very good at it.
+14 votes

Hello everyone,

First a shout-out to Dale for doing such an excellent job hosting the Chat last weekend!

Today we are getting packed for the Global Family Reunion.  My wife, two sons, and I will start driving to New York a little after midnight to make it there in the morning.  We haven't gone anywhere in quite a while so we're pretty excited.  I'll have a small gift from Vermont for anyone who mentions seeing this post :)

I'm very anxious to get to the reunion!

by Keith Hathaway G2G6 Pilot (606k points)
Good Luck at the GFR this weekend.  I wish I could be there but the scheduling just did not work out.  I will try to help with this as much as possible this weedend but I fear my time on here will be limited to early mornings at best.
Looking forward to seeing you and your family, Master Keith!

I'll mention this post if your gift is maple sugar candy. ;-)
Maple candies and maple lolly-pops :)
+12 votes
by Keith Hathaway G2G6 Pilot (606k points)
edited by Keith Hathaway
+12 votes


I'm from Maidenhead, England (just outside of London). I've been an active member of WIkiTree for a few months now. My background is computer programming, so once my tree got quite big, I started to code a couple of bots to make managing my profiles easier, and I've just launched a couple of them on a new site:


I've been blown away by the generosity and friendliness of the community here in helping each other out, so I'm quite excited to be able to give a little something back. Do try it out and let me know what you think -- it only takes a couple of clicks to sign up as it uses the WikiTree API to log you in/register you.

Found my first famous relative last weekend, Stuart Townend, who happens to be one of my favourite Christian singers and a very talented songwriter. Has anyone outside of the UK heard of him?

I've also just bought a DNA test today, so very excited for that to arrive in the post!!

by Jonathan Wainwright G2G4 (4.7k points)
Hello Jonathan, good to hear from you. I'm in South Africa, in Kwazulu-Natal, just up the road from where the Comrades Marathon ended this year- Pietermaritzburg

Blessings  and it's cold today. I love Stuart Townend's songs!.g

Going to check out your site.


I've forgotten my wiki password and don't know where I wrote it down!

Can't get onto your site, Jonathan. Will try later.

Hi Wendy,

Thanks so much for your reply. Sorry to hear about the cold weather.

Seems that Stuart Townend songs aren't the only thing we have in common either! I see we are both connected to the Global Family Tree through the same person in France. My wife's great-grandmother was born near the Cape of Good Hope and her grandfather was born in Kroonstad.

If you can't find your password, you can always request a new password for WikiTree on the login page, here:

I'm glad I'm getting a new computer next week--it took about 30 seconds for this comment window to open up and be responsive! At any rate, I went ahead and created an account on your forotree site based on your comment here Jonathan--but I'm not sure what the bots are going to do for me.  Can you explain what jobs they do?


Thank you,


I've seen the Bot going like crazy this morning... it works great!
Why have I not heard of forotree.com before?

Mystery solved as I was blinking twice when I saw BOT FORO TREE aka  http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/ForoTree-1  editing profiles on the Pre-1700's activity feed this morning.

Looks like very interesting programming......does BOT FORO TREE do dishes and feed cats ?

I would like to try it out but if it does not work or agree with my style of working, can I delete my BOT account ?
Richard, check out the Have You Seen? forum on ForoTree.com to see which bots are available and how to activate them:


Maggie, there is also a suggestions forum -- anything is possible!!:

Maggie, yes you can turn individual bots on and off at any time.
Awesome work Jon!

Jonathan, looks really interesting.  I would like to try out  also.  I signed up.  Should questions/comments go under G2G or under the suggestions forum.  I will read up on your help screens as soon as I have a little time.

Thanks for posting this.

Hi Sandy,

If the questions are very specific to ForoTree, then it is probably best to post them on the ForoTree site. That being said, I'm happy for anyone to post questions/comments either here or in the ForoTree forums, as I appreciate not everyone wants to sign up for my site.

I am very much against the use of the ForoTree bots on wikitree.  I feel that having an automated system making changes to profiles, especially sources will only degrade the credability of WikiTree.  And before you comment yes I signed up and I have spot checked the changes made by the bots that are running before I made this statement.  I also have cancelled my membership with ForoTree.
+11 votes
My name is Karen Brubaker and I was raised in Newport Beach, California. I came to Italy in 1969 to study and married the translater. Still here and I love it; but I do miss my family in the USA and the waves of the ocean. I have been a member of Ancestry.com for years, since my cousin showed me her tree. We are related to the kings and queens of England and naturally to those of Europe and western Asia since they always married other kings and queens. Also many of my ancestors came on the Mayflower. The ancestors on my father's side (Peter Brubaker, imprisoned in 1637, was famous) came from the Zurich Canton in Switzerland in the 1700s which is 3 hours away from where I now live! The circle is complete! History has never been more interesting while finding out why everybody migrated.
by Karen Brubaker G2G6 (7.1k points)
Thank you for sharing that Karen, those are some interesting ancestors to follow!
+10 votes
Hello from Canada! I live on the East Coast of this wonderful country, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. My ancestors moved to Manitoba from England and Scotland, and I think they must have arrived in Spring or Fall. If they'd come in the summer, the heat and mosquitoes would have sent them packing, and if they'd arrived in winter, the bitter cold would have sent them right back to the Old Country. The climate where I live now is moderate - not as hot as the Prairies in summer, and nowhere near as cold in the winter! Today its +16°C, sunny, with just a bit of wind. I'm enjoying Wikitree - I've found so many relatives here! Its such a joy to open my e-mailbox and see an "I think we might be related" email! Scandals: I think one of my second cousins from England, who went to Australia in 1914, may have run off with the downstairs maid! It seems likely, but I'm still working to prove or disprove it! I'm getting ready for a reunion in Halifax in a few short weeks with a bunch of retired Servicewomen who performed with me on the Canadian Armed Forces Tattoo in 1967, as Highland dancers.
by Linda Hockley G2G6 Mach 1 (12.4k points)
edited by Linda Hockley
Linda We have not forgotten you but both Robert and I are very busy with reunions this weekend so our responce time is very slow.  That being said thank you for your post and good luck with your "Scandal"
+11 votes
Thanks Dale and Robert.  Great job in hosting this group.  Have a great time.

Hi Everyone and Welcome to all the New Folks.

Tips and Tricks:

Take a look at Gail's great write up under G2G.  This may help to solve some of your source coding.

by Sandy Edwards G2G6 Mach 7 (73.2k points)
Hi Sandy, thank you for posting that link here.  It's quite a write up!
Just look at what happens when I try to help someone with a problem with sources in their biography.  I guess I will have to start using "Dale's System" myself now.
The mental image conjured up by the thought of dragging poor Dale, kicking and screaming, into actually using the MIRACLE HE HATH WROUGHT, has me laugihing so hard that my eyes are teraing!
+9 votes

I'm from St. Petrsburg, Russia. I just have joined the site. I've been looking for tools to collect my family data and to collaborate with relatives on our common history. This site looks very promising.

Does anybody know, how long it may take to approve a gedcom upload? Looks like I'm waiting for some action of another member ...

Are there any plans on going multilingual? I'm afraid not all of my relatives are good in English.
by Victor Фокин G2G Crew (470 points)
Hi Victor... Welcome!

I have known a few people who are from Russia (I live in a small corner of the United States).  One was a DJ at a club I worked at and he used to teach me basic russian and laugh when I used it to greet people.  I can still say the equivelants of "hello", "show me your ID", "close the door", "open the door", and "close your mouth".  He taught me a few other things to say to his friends that made them jokingly punch him in the arm and scoff.  He was funny.  There is also a family in my martial-arts school who are still citizens of Russia and travel there often, I'm not sure what city.  Their last name is Suvorov.

WikiTree has a language project and members who volunteer to do translations... some people write the biographies in the language of the profiled person... there is talk of adding or adjusting name fields someday to accomadate other naming conventions... that's all I know about the possibillity of multilingual.  Hopefully someone who knows more will chime in.

Nice to have met you!

Welcome Виктор!

There are ongoing discussions on how best to do things bilingually in the future. For now my best recommendations would be to enter your data in cyrillic, your name in the latinized form in the Other Last Name field. That will read Виктор Фокин aka Viktor Fokin. You can enter your biographic information in Russian with a synopsis in English (or the whole bio in English if you prefer). We do want to use the languages and scripts of the original places, but using English and Latin script as lingua franca for everybody else to understand your information.

Welcome to Wikitree!  About the GEDCOM....normally it takes just an overnight.  But you happened to coincidentally be asking this on a day that the person that verifies the GEDCOMS is most likely on her way to the Global Family Reunion in New York City this weekend.  So I wouldn't be surprised if the GEDCOMS takes until Monday or even Tuesday to go through..  I don't know this for sure but I think this is the case.  So please hang in there, it's a special occasion for the Wikitree staff and I'm sure the GEDCOM will be ready once the person gets back to the western US and home.
Thanks for the info!
+11 votes

I'm Greta, I'm from Massachusetts, and I've been on Wikitree for...wow, about three years now! How time flies.

The profile I have that's most interesting belongs neither to my ancestor nor to someone famous, but I like it all the same. That profile would be the one of [[Bailey-7637 | Dr. Annie Keeler Bailey]], my first cousin four times removed. She was a doctor when women weren't supposed to be, possibly a lesbian, and definitely a person with some extremely bizarre religious and superstitious ideas (she wrote, for example, an entire book about prophecies and believed Judgment Day was coming in 1901.)

The weather here is finally nice, after being cold (below 50 degrees Fahrenheit) for several days.
by G Gaffin G2G3 (3.9k points)
Dr. Annie sounds like a better TV show than "Dr. Quin Medicine Woman".  Working on a profile like that must be fun.  Thank you for sharing G :)
+11 votes
I hope everyone going to the GFR has a great time. I can't make it, but I am going to see Billy Joel tomorrow night with my wife.

Speaking of my wife Linda, I think she may have ghosts in her family. Many of you may have heard of the Myrtles Plantation in Louisiana that is supposedly quite haunted. Well, I just connected her Woodruff lineage to them. They are 5th cousins.

She is aquiring quite the all star cast of Halloween stories in her family.....Myrtles Plantation, the Jersey Devil & accusations of witchcraft in Salem, Mass.
by Doug Lockwood G2G Astronaut (2.4m points)
edited by Doug Lockwood
Hi Doug, thank you for supporting the Chat.  Would you like to host it next week?  You put up the post on Friday morning and I invite people all day... it would be great!

My wife and I were in an empty bar talking back when we first married and were oblivious to our surroundings... the place filled up around us and turned into a full blown kareoke gathering.  When the girl running the thing came around, I agreed to be on the list and take a turn singing.  But, the guy who got up right before me did "The Piano Man" like he was on American Idol.  He brought his own harmonica and whaled on that... he was arguably better than Billy Joel.  I bailed out and skipped my turn :)
+8 votes

My interesting and gratifying accomplishment for the last week was adding Waldo Chamberlain Sprague's Genealogies Of the Families of Braintree, Mass. 1640 to 1850 to my personal genealogical collection. This is a massive work that was published on CD-ROM about 15 years ago by the New England Historical Genealogical Society. It was apparently "out of print" (and not available anywhere I have access to), but I found the original CDs on eBay, being sold by someone who had acquired the inventory of a shuttered bookstore. After my CD arrived, I discovered that the document had been compiled into a database using proprietary software that  is no longer supported, with a self-opening viewer that cannot be opened under today's computer operating systems. I was afraid that I wasn't going to be able to extract the data from the CD, and that the massive effort that went into creating these genealogies was going to be lost to posterity due to obsolete computer formats. But with some effort (and after several false starts), I succeeded in opening the files, and I was able to copy the entire publication into a word-processor file. So now I have records for more than 6,000 people. I'm not at all sure what I'm going to do with it all -- but at least maybe I've helped save it for future generations.

by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
I hope that you figure out what to do with it and come up with a way to make it available again, at least the names and dates are exempt from copyright so might be possible to create peofiles for those people on WikiTree.
Oh, I fully intend to use the information -- not just names and dates -- to write profiles, but there's only one of me, and this community is just one of many ancestral places that interest me.
How cool to have done that, Ellen! Congrats.
+9 votes

I am living a wonderful retirement and wish I could share it with everyone. It's 80 degrees, soft breeze, green pasture, blue sky. Hawai'i is wonderful, but I do need to remind folks not to be too envious - Hawai'i is expensive (gas always above $4, milk $5 a gallon) and I still have to mop the floor and do the dishes.

We have 5 acres, mostly pasture, lots of bamboo, 13 goats (two require milking twice a day and 4 require bottle feeding 3 times a day), a bunch of chickens, 3 dogs, 2 cats, one lamb, two teenagers.  Yep, saving money on milk, but a bale of hay (grass or alfalfa) is $35.  Only the livestock people will realize that's at least 3 or 4 times as much as on the mainland.

And still I find time for WikiTree. I began with lots of information and very few good sources (except my Aunties who researched but did not record good source info).  It has been a challenge with great reward to start entering names and dates and realizing how much I need to do to flesh out my ancestors.  My brother, husband, granddaughter and I are all DNA tested, because of WikiTree encouragement.

WikiTree folks have taught me so much and given me so many sources and leads, I am grateful to all of you.

I encourage everyone to actively participate.

A Hui Hou,   Kristina
by Kristina Adams G2G6 Pilot (244k points)
Thank you for that post Kristina, another Kristina, my daughter is complaining about the cool Northeast Ohio mornings today while she is visiting us, 49 degrees, because she lives in the south now.
+8 votes

Hello from the Low Country of South Carolina!  We finally got some much needed rain this week, although it but a hold on a softball Tournament we played in!  We were able to finally finish up Friday night!  This tournament has also been the reason I haven't been to active here on WikTree!  But am glad to say that my team won the Championship, both in the Season games and the Tournament!

I won't be doing much here this coming week either, because my church is having Bible School, so I will be traveling "Off the Map"! wink

I did introduce myself last week but didn't give the reason behind my love of Geanology!  After my Grandfather Zahler died, my mom wanted to start a Reunion for the Zahler's here in Hampton, South Carolina.  She said it was always his dream to meet other Zahler cousins.  So my mom and her siblings gave me a list of names and told me to find them and invite them to a Reunion.  In the process of looking for all these Cousins, my love for this became evident when I came home after work and started researching every night!  Thank goodness my husband is understanding!  I only have problems getting him to go out to cemeteries with me!


by Liz Parker G2G6 Mach 2 (20.6k points)
+9 votes

Hi from Colorado. Here's hoping that the Global Family Reunion has been a smashing success!

I returned home from my second genealogy trip less than a week ago, and I'm aleady planning the third one.

My husband and I both have roots in New York and New England, so I will attend a genealogy conference in Syracuse in September, then drive around for a week looking for dead people ancestors, and possibly meeting a few relatives for the first time.

I used to say that I enjoyed getting lost as part of various trips, but after over an hour of driving in circles through and around Albany last week, I've decided that getting lost is not going to be a goal in September.

by Carole Partridge G2G6 Mach 7 (70.9k points)
+8 votes
Hello everyone, happy weekend.

I've not produced a lot of end result in the form of content on profiles this week. I have learnt a lot though in the background about the holocaust project and done some research off Wiki to start work on the profiles there.

I'm on holiday at a farm cottage in Devon at present and at the mercy of a sporadic WiFi connection plus only having the time to get online in the morning because I'm an early riser and get my peaceful few hours before the others are up and we are off out.  My daughter has the pleasure of the demanding cat that own us this week as she house sits at home, I love him to bits but it's always nice to have a break from the slave duties!

I've spent too much time on here this morning to be productive as far as profiles are concerned, my morning walk with the camera calls.  The weather looks good for this week and I am hoping to be able to take a swim in the sea at some point.
by Anna Hayward G2G6 (9.2k points)
+7 votes
We're back home safely from the Global Family Reunion!

It was well worth the trip.  A great big party, a great big family, and time spent with some of my favorite people... WikiTree-ers!
by Keith Hathaway G2G6 Pilot (606k points)
+7 votes
Hi All, especially our new Weekend Chatters. It's sunny, warm, and a little muggy here in NW Mississippi. I've been working on my Harrington roots this week, and I've started a Descendant Name Study for William Locke-186 (Category:Locke 186 Descendant Name Study). If you are a Xg-gc of William's, add the cat to your profile.

I'm looking forward to hearing about the GFR from all those who attended. Also, to all our new people, if you have questions or problems, feel free to ask. The only dumb question is the one you don't ask.

by Bob Keniston G2G6 Pilot (213k points)

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