Learning from your WikiTree mistakes-growing and moving on

+121 votes

When I first started with WikiTree, I didn't realize just how different (and special!) it was from the other sites like ancestry, family search, etc. I was tagged by Rangers within a few days of joining, for creating unsourced profiles, and profiles of people born before 1700. I was referred for a mentor and locked out of those profiles. I was angry. 

At the time, I didn't realize that what I was doing was harmful or incorrect, even after signing the honor code and all, because who *actually* requires an honor code to use a public site? Right? ( note - this is sarcasm - don't get feathers ruffled...keep reading.) How DARE these people tell me I can't do what I want on this free public site?!?

Enter my mentor Robin (yes Robin I'm naming you!), who took me under her wing, showed me the ropes, guided me, gave me constructive criticism and feedback, helped me see my mistakes and how to fix them, but most importantly, did it all with a positive attitude and kind approach. 

I learned that WikiTree is definitely unique and special. There's a method to the madness after all! Holy cannoli! 

Now, I'm a little more experienced (translation: not totally lost),  participating in quite a few projects, leading one of my own (shameless plug time) O'Neill Dynasty, and I've recently joined the mentor team myself! Talk about a 180, huh?

That said, I still make mistakes. I found a whole bunch of them yesterday and spent hours correcting them. I didn't even get to them all, but I'm working on it. I'm still correcting mistakes from the beginning too. I am human and imperfect. Just like everyone else here. I choose to learn from my mistakes, fix them, move on, and learn some more. I'm learning every single day. 

The point of this sleep-deprived, need-coffee-STAT, Sunday morning monologue slash confession, is to let other people out there know that your contributions here are valuable. Mistakes are inevitable. Fix them and move on. Don't dwell on them, learn from them. I've seen a lot of complaints in G2G about situations like mine. To those I say this: Try to take the approach of "they aren't criticizing me personally, they just want what's best for WikiTree." Our Honor Code is so important. It's what distinguishes our community from the others; it sets us apart and shows how much we care about the mission.

And that, folks, is why I love WikiTree. We are special. We care about getting it done, and getting it done accurately. I'm proud to be part of something so special. How about you? 

Link to this post on my personal blog: Rants, Raves, Roots, and Branches: A Blog Dedicated to Being Honest, Candid, Imperfect, Human, and My Favorite Pastime: Finding My Family Roots

WikiTree profile: Summer Orman
in The Tree House by Summer Orman G2G6 Mach 8 (87.5k points)
reopened by Summer Orman
I appreciate WikiTree more and more every day because of its dedication to careful and accurate genealogy. I am still a newbie, bit making fewer mistakes thanks to this site. I'm now getting blown away by all the incredibly sloppy stuff out there.

You are so right! It amazes me now about other sites, how anyone can put just anything they want and it's considered accurate. I happened upon a group site the other day who had one of my historically significant ancestors listed completely WRONG, parental lines wrong, it made me sick.
Listing sources is vitally important. Not seeing them is one of the great frustrations for me on other sites.
absolutely right Jennifer!
Dead on. I have felt a lot of this, and I have made a good deal of mistakes here. More egregiously, perhaps, I've been harsh in my advocacy for sourcing. I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize for that and resolve to be better.
I actually think the attention to sourcing on WikiTree is what makes it so good. I've quickly come to value this as I wade through some really careless work on other websites (you can't marry two different women a month apart in England and Massachusetts or father a child four years after your death!).
Kristine, you are so right!  What seemed like such an inconvenience in the beginning, quickly turned out to be the thing that sets us apart from all the other genealogy communities!  I love it!



It's great to set goals for yourself.  We all have our mistakes and flaws, and we all have things we can improve at!  That's great you know what yours are, because there are a looooooot of people in this world who do not!  :D


When I did a search for how to find my mistakes, I came back to this thread.  I was looking at the Challenge of the Week, and it said to practice on my own, but when I clicked on that link, it didn't show anything.  Does that mean I don't have any mistakes? laugh

Or am I doing it wrong?


Hi, Michelle!

It might just mean that. :-)

You can always get to your list of Suggestion from your Profile ID menu ... it's right at the bottom.

I clicked through to yours, and it looks like you have only 2 suggestions, and I think one was a "Unique Name," which is only there to alert you to possible typos.

Thanks for diving in!

5 Answers

+49 votes
Best answer
And Summer's success is what I love about mentoring.
by Robin Lee G2G6 Pilot (752k points)
selected by Summer Orman

I hope that I can better model the positive attitudes of Summer, Robin, Mags, Julie, and the rest of the gang when collaborating here on WikiTree. Too often I think I'm closer to this model from web comic xkcd:


Someone is wrong on the Internet.


Karen, I just spit water from my nose. It burns.

Perhaps we should also have a "DWWD policy - Don't Wiki while drinking." To save your nasal passages and electronic devices.
It is a great comic - some days too obscure for me, but other days I really get it. I had a night just like this recently on Wikipedia.
Oh my gosh, Karen ... I love XKCD! And, yes, there are those days, aren't there??   rofl!!!

Thank you for the very nice compliment! I've had a great mentor in Mags. She's been an awesome example of keeping your cool and having compassion for our fellow Wikitreers. :-)
Don't sell yourself short, Julie.  You are amazing too. I truly mean that!
Oh my goodness that is me!!!  My husband asks if I am ready of bed and I say in a minute.  Two hours later I go to bed.  Karen Tobo you nailed it and this one is so funny!!  I love Summer's reaction!  I keep looking for the like button on these comments forgetting I am not on Facebook!!!  Lol!
Thank you, Summer. :-)

Now I'm blushing.
I had to let you know that your story inspired me to write about the O'neils of Jamaca Plain, Boston and put their picture up on G2G..  And its all because of you.


Awwww! Thank you!!!
+30 votes
What a lovely post Summer :-)
by Living Hoolihan G2G6 Mach 5 (56.6k points)
Great step forward, Summer!
Thanks Leigh and Maggie.  I'm dedicated.  I found something I really like to do, and I'm good at it!
+28 votes

Well said. I think you've captured the real spirit of WT. I hope all the Red and Yellow list people read your story.
by Bob Keniston G2G6 Pilot (225k points)
Thanks Robert,

I hope so too.
+16 votes
Nothing to add except applause.  Wonderful post, Summer.  :)
by Vicky Majewski G2G6 Mach 8 (81.9k points)
Thanks Vicky!
+5 votes
Hello Summer,  as I said in my thank you to all the people who helped me find my family when all I had was my birth name and a DNA sample says it all for Wikitree.

When it all seems to be "mind boggling" someone will come up with an answer or a suggestion.

"Improvise, Adapt and Overcome"

All the best

by James Brooks G2G6 Pilot (956k points)
Thanks for your post, James....and I love that this post is still getting comments

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