September 2016 Biography Builders: Honoring the Grands

+15 votes

Fantastic August biographies, everyone! Thank you for joining in.

It's time to start our September Biography Builder challenge: Honoring the Grands.

September 11 was Grandparents' day. How many of us have uploaded our gedcom or gotten busy helping around the tree and our direct sets of grandparents have been left languishing? This month, let's clean those up! Not everyone has the privilege of becoming a grandparent, but those who have, let's give their story. Pick someone who was a grandparent-your own, someone else's, a third or fourth great grand, whomever, and fix them up!

See the first month's thread for how to participate, and last month's thread

Here are the details:

It is easy to get in a groove creating profiles, tracing ancestries, adding sources, and making connections on WikiTree, and in that groove, forget to build a profile to its fullest. Many profiles on WikiTree, even from our best members, have sources but no substance-what do those sources tell us? What has your research revealed? Who was this person? That's what the biography section is for and this Biography Builders challenge is a personal growth challenge to encourage members to create biographies for the profiles they work on, not just find connections and sources.

500px-Biography_Builders-1.jpgEach month, we'll set a theme to the challenge, asking participants to create biographies for different people in their family tree or from certain projects and categories.

Those who participate can challenge themselves to do a little more on each profile by working through our checklist of what makes a profile "complete." We know no person will ever be completely researched, and so no profile will ever be completely done, but there are certain points in building a profile where you hit logical stopping points and can "call it" at least for awhile. Each time you do this, you can share that profile in that month's thread as an example for the community as well as have a chance to get thoughtful feedback on other things that might make nice additions.

Each time you hit a milestone in your participation you'll get a template for your profile to show others you've been making WikiTree a better place to share family history. The first template is placed when you've completed 10 profiles for Bio-Builder challenges. The numbers are cumulative, so it could be the first month you participate that you hit that mark, or it could be 5 months later. It's up to you. Just number your profiles as you go and put them in the Builders thread.

Here's our ideas for what to put on your profile:

Data Section:
birth date/place
names of parents
marriage date/place and spouse name
death date/place

Biography Section

  • Written sentences stating the facts above, adding inline sources to each fact.
  • As a general rule, biographies should be in your own words. Paraphrase and rewrite, don't copy/paste.
  • Baptism, burial, military, and other life events with inline sources.
  • Something to "humanize" the person, such as career or avocation with sources.
  • List of children with at least one pertinent fact.
  • Explanatory remarks, if needed (i.e. Disputed persons sections, Research Notes, Disambiguation, whatever needs extra explaining).
  • Photos or pictures, background. Not a must, but nice (If you own the copyright or if they are in the public domain).
  • Categories/Project templates.
  • Connection to the Global Tree.
  • Search and initiate/complete merges with duplicates
  • Links to persons and events, perhaps from Wikipedia.
  • Historical context as related to the person's life.
  • Sources, Sources, Sources, cited inline.

Places you might look for information: Family Search; Find-a-grave;; google search for the person and their spouse together; look for a genealogy on the family; check for a town or county history to see if the person is mentioned; from the profile ID drop down menu use "Research"; if you have subscriptions to pay sites check those; check for printed ancient town records in the place where the subject lived. Of course if they are related to you, you may have even better information, like birth, death, probate, land, bible records etc.

Have questions? Post them here as a comment.

This challenge will run until mid October.

WikiTree profile: Space:Biography_Builders
in Requests for Project Volunteers by Abby Glann G2G6 Pilot (375k points)
edited by Abby Glann
Abby, I see you added the Category: A Surnames, Biography Builder to a number of my biography entries.  Are we supposed to put that on all of our profiles in this challenge?  I thought we were just encouraged to add projects like Civil War, One name studies, etc.
Hi Carolyn,

I add that category after the challenge is over-I don't even create the category until then, in fact. That category goes into the Bio Builders category, which is nested under Examples-profiles people can look to as good examples of what a WikiTree profile should/could look like. You don't have to keep it there, but it showcases the work everyone has done.
OK, thanks.

15 Answers

+4 votes

1.  John Blagdon - father of ten children, grandfather to 36.  He worked as a dockyard labourer, and ended as a basket-maker.  Also this month's entry from the Blagdon One Name Study.

2. John Haywood - father of three children, grandfather to 19.  He worked as a brickmaker and potter, and for twenty years was the manager of the nearby brickworks.

by Ros Haywood G2G6 Pilot (582k points)
edited by Ros Haywood
Ros, if you would like to you may add [[Category: Honoring the Grands, Biography Builders]] to these two profiles.
+4 votes
1-50 previously.
This Month

1. grandfather of 16+
2. - I slid down a rabbit hole, while working on Thomas Andrews in Hartford. It's a good thing this guy was a grandparent also, since I've spent most of today on him. I am not sliding any farther, I'm headed back into Hartford history.
3. Esther of Hartford, grandmother of many
4. Francis Founder of Hartford, grandfather
5. John Grandfather of Mary Becket, who may be "Mayflower" George Soule's wife
6. Edmund Great-Grandfather of Mary Becket, who may be "Mayflower" George Soule's wife
7. Thomas Grandfather of Mary Becket, who may be "Mayflower" George Soule's wife
8. William Andrews founder of Hartford

10. Anna, wife of above.
I also did bios for their 10 children, but they aren't particularly exhaustively done, so I'm not counting them.
11. Random person Josiah Hammond. I had no intention of getting this involved.
12. I sourced this person for the source a thon, realizing that I only needed to do a little more work to get her into really good shape Phebe Lay.
13. husband
14. wife
NA. doesn’t count I can't prove this guy was a grandparent but it's a really nicely researched profile.
by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1m points)
edited by Anne B
Oops # 9 was the same as #4 I only did 15.
+4 votes
1-103 previously

1.  Added to biography and put inline references.  This was one of my gggrandfathers.
2. - Added to biography and put inline references.  This was one of my 3rd great grandfathers.
3. -  Added to biography and put inline references.  This was one of my 2nd great grandmothers.
4. - Added to biography and put inline references.
5. -  Added to biography and put inline references.
6. - Added to biography and put inline references.  This was one of my 2nd great grandmothers.
7. -  Added to biography and put inline references.  This was one of my 2nd great grandfathers.
8. - my favorite grandma!  Added to biography and put inline references.
9. - my favorite grandpa!  Added to biography and put inline references.
10. -  Added to biography
by Carolyn Martin G2G6 Pilot (130k points)
edited by Carolyn Martin
+4 votes
Love doing bios. I am adding bio info to my Sourcerer profiles so they look better. Might be barebones, but it's a start.

1. Lydia Harrington-2193 (my 3G-gm) Bio and improved sources
2. Joseph Harrington-2205 (my 4g-gf) Bio and improved sources
3. Sarah Locke-1020 (my 5g-gm) Bio and improved sources
4. Joseph Locke-1018 (my 6g-gf) Bio and sources
5. Sarah White-15080 (my 6g-gm) Bio and sources
6. Martha Sherman-2339 (my 8g-gm) Bio and sources
7. Francis Bowman-2989 (my 7g-gf) Bio and source
8. Lucy Russell-5686 (my 4g-gm) Bio and sources
9. Samuel Stone-213 (gf of 33) Bio and sources
10. Elizabeth Cutter-91 (my 7g-gm) Bio and sources
11. Rebecca Mulliken-26 (gm of 21) Bio and sources
12. Jonathan Webber-74 (gf of 11) Bio and source
13. Henry Walker-9944 (gf of 1) Bio and sources
by Bob Keniston G2G6 Pilot (173k points)
edited by Bob Keniston
Don't forget to give yourself credit for previous bios you have listed here. The count here continues from month to month.

He doesn't have to give himself credit for the previous ones, because we are keeping track of it on the bio builders page

OK, guess I misunderstood. My bad!  So, I should just start from 1 each month?
Either way Carolyn, last month I started at 21, but then I saw the neat table Abby is keeping, so I started at 1 this month
Abby needs a special Badge - Queen of the Challenge Tallies
Yes she does. She has a really nice spread sheet for the Sourcerer's too.
Robert Russell-5689 must be a wrong ID
Typo. Got it, Anne
+4 votes

Huh. As it happens, I was just working on my grandparents' profiles last night:

  1. Slade-431
  2. West-5789
  3. Carmichael-1039
  4. Welch-3509
  5. And now, moving on to the greats: Slade-672
  6. Goodes-32


by Greg Slade G2G6 Pilot (219k points)
edited by Greg Slade
+4 votes

I would like to join the Bio Body builders.  I love to do my version of written biographies.I am rather unsure if as I add more I edit this answer or start a new one.. ) Hopefully some one will straighten me out..?

These are my submissions so far.   

  1. Maternal grandmother
  2.  great grand father
  3. [[Richardson-5319|Robert McAlpin Richardson]]
  4. [[Ralls-366|Frances Emily Ralls]]
  5. [[Richardson-7191|James J Richardson]] great grandfather
  6. paternal grandmother


    and I am  [[Richardson-7161|Mary Richardson]]


by Mary Richardson G2G6 Mach 2 (25.7k points)
Edit your answer by clicking on "comment."
Not quite.  She edits her answer by clicking on 'edit' (you can only see this if it is your own answer).  When she does SO MANY that the system says 'no more!' - that's when she comments, and then edits the comment in the same way.
Thanks, Ros. Guess I wasn't very clear.
Fine looking woman was your grandmother Cate, and as always, Mary, a lovely profile.
+4 votes
Hello Abby, I would like to participate in the BioBuilder's project.  It sounds like alot of fun.
by Sally Stovall G2G6 Mach 8 (88.2k points)
Just read through the description in the post and jump in, Sally. You should be able to figure out how to add your answer by seeing everyone else's posts. Thanks!
+3 votes
1. from my husband's side: Martha Malinda Baker Conrad, his great, great, great grandmother.

2. My fourth great grandmother, Mary Kiser Kester

3. another from the hubs' side-found lots of new sources with a fresh look:
by Abby Glann G2G6 Pilot (375k points)
edited by Abby Glann
+4 votes
I love building bios for families.
by Sally Stovall G2G6 Mach 8 (88.2k points)
+4 votes

Back again this month.  Both of my grandfathers died before I was born so I have only second hand family info and primary source info to go by.

7. Bill Daniels

8. John Wilson



by Connie Graves G2G6 Mach 4 (40.5k points)
edited by Connie Graves
+4 votes

1. [ Elizabeth Hirst]
Got some help finding facts new facts about Elizabeth this week that meant disconnecting her old parents so I've been able to do up her profile. She is my 5th great-grandmother and one of the last streets she lived on we used to walk down all the time when we lived at home

by A. C. Raper G2G6 Mach 4 (43.6k points)
+4 votes
10. My Grandmother, Mary Hoefer:

Replaces one of the John Day profiles from July that was rejected. Notified 2 days ago that, apparently, only one of a merged profiles can count.
by Pat Credit G2G6 Mach 6 (62.3k points)
+3 votes

1. July Jonas Archibald Braddock

This month;

2. Otto Smith (2x Great-Grandfather) _ Added Newspaper Articles and improved biography

3. Anges Galbraith Clark (3x Great-Grandfather) _ Added full biography

4. Samuel C Chapman (4x Great Grandfather) _ Added full biography

5. Theodore Kendall Williams (2x Great Grandfather) _ Fixed spelling and grammar, added more Newspaper articles and a source 


by Campbell Braddock G2G6 Mach 4 (47.2k points)
+2 votes
I would love to participate but have never been involved in a challenge.   I don't want to add a lot of busy work or record keeping to the limited time i have to work on my tree.  Can you tell me exactly what I need to do that is difficult from the work of improving profiles and sourcing that I am already doing.  Cherry
by Cherry Duve G2G6 Mach 1 (19.7k points)
Hi Cherry, Regarding the Bio Builders Challenge. This shouldn't add busywork or and only a little record keeping. You have to add the URL from a profile where you've "finished" a biography to a list here on this page by editing you're answer. The criteria we expect are listed above. So read them. I took a brief look at you're bio for Mary Jane (Allen) Bishop and that looks as though it qualifies as a well researched and written biography. Hope you decide to join us.

PS. You're answer must have gotten lost in Abby's mailbox or I'm sure she would have responded sooner.
Oops, yes, sorry about that, Cherry. With the Source-a-Thon, it probably got tossed in with the hundreds that came in with that. Thanks for helping out here, Anne.
+3 votes

Here's my first entry for this month:
1. Francis John Winton my grandfather

by Carol Keeling G2G6 Mach 3 (34.1k points)

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