Five years on WikiTree! Really?

+47 votes


It just dawned on me that I first joined WikiTree 29 Dec 2011, 5 years ago.

I am so glad I did.

I have to confess, it took me a couple of years to figure out WikiTree. Truthfully, I am still trying to figure it out. There is so much to learn and do here. Yesterday, I just started to learn how Templates works.  

My first experience with Merging was the fact that I did not know how to get back into my first profile (mine) so I created a second one on 22 Jan 2012.

Then I had to get help on how to merge and promptly screwed it up by merging it in the wrong direction.  So my "newer" profile replaced my "older" and lowest WikiTree-ID.  WikiTree has since put aids in place to help keep merges going in the proper direction.

Two things (out of many great things) about WikiTree that I love are:

1. The community is passionate about good Sourcing. This must be at the heart of every genealogist and it is what makes WikiTree as a One World Tree the most effective and best of all the trees out there.

2. Collaboration. WikiTree is built on Collaboration.  There are so many ways of sharing and communicating on WikiTree that if you are not using some of these features, you are missing out on one of the strongest tools to find and attract cousins and others who can help you build your tree.  

Online Genealogy tends to push people into isolation by the nature of how the programs work. They are built around individualized access.  If they have collaboration tools, they are more of a secondary thought and not well built.  

WikiTree turns this upside down, and is most effective when sharing with others who share the same passion for good results.  Projects being just one of many examples.

And while some may quibble and find fault with my examples, where else can you go and hash out differences. Where else can you post your frustrations and get a dozen or so people to immediately jump in and help out?

I could go on, but if you are not WikiTreeing, you are missing a huge opportunity to grow your family tree.

Help me Celebrate.  

What awesome things have you experienced with WikiTree?



WikiTree profile: Michael Stills
asked in The Tree House by Michael Stills G2G6 Pilot (357k points)
Happy Anniversary!  You've got about a month on me in longevity, but I share the sentiments and some of the stumbling and fumbling.
I love the fact you shared your early insecurities and fumbles. I agree with you totally, it takes a while figure it all out. I have been around since August of 2014 and like you say... learn something new all of the time. The problem is when I learn a new concept I usually want to go back and edit all of the profiles I manage. The biggest problem I have had is when some one messes with one of "my" profiles (I know "my" is a swear word on WikiTree that is why I isolated it with quotation marks. I know they are not "my" profiles) I'm a little anal about the way things look and with the constancy of appearance but have been able to (it took a while) accept differences of opinion and style. (ill keep working on that) The positives far out way the growing pains though. I look forward to my 5 year anniversary. Congratulations Michael!
Thanks Guys, I think if you ask all the "experts" here they will all have stories of learning to navigate WikiTree.  I think of it as the hazing period, it is definately a paradigm shift comming from sites like Ancestry.  An aquired taste if you will.  But for many, once you get WikiTree you don't go back.
WikiTree is its community.

More than it's a website. Genealogy software. A one world tree project.

We are producing something that I hope will long outlive us all, but the genealogy can be logically and literally separated from WikiTree. The community cannot. How we interact with each other to produce the genealogy is what defines WikiTree.

You have helped me see that, Michael, and you are an essential part of it.
Happy WikiVersary!!!
Thanks Michael

You are a true ambassador for this wonderful site.

Cheers to the next 5 years

Happy 5th Anniversary Michael ! 

And what can we add, you said it all, the isolation elsewhere, was what made look for something else and different, I was wondering why we all were working by ourselves on what in fact were almost all the same family trees, one of my searches finally led me to my new ''second home''  Wiki Tree and it for sure was the best choice ever !! 



I'm constantly discovering 1) I don't have all the answers; 2) I can learn how to find more clues to the answers; 3) it's okay to ask for help; 4) sometimes other people see where I need help before I do; 5) back to 1).

But a couple of breakthroughs occurred after I read some of the comments and questions other Wiki folks had left behind.  One thing stands out in my mind:  about contacting cemetery commissioners.  That lead to two different discoveries, including (in one case) a map showing the location of my ancestors' tombstones.  Who knew?

It's a process.  It takes patience.  And Wiki has been a good fit for me.
Thanks Jamie,  Collaboration as practiced on WikiTree is so much fun.

7 Answers

+11 votes
Best answer
You're such an awesome addition to our community, Michael, I'm really glad that you're a part of it! Congrats on 5 years!!
answered by Eowyn Langholf G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
selected by Linda Barnett
+15 votes
Happy WikiTreeDay to you!

answered by Mags Gaulden G2G6 Pilot (448k points)
+12 votes
Time flies when you're having fun!
answered by Doug Lockwood G2G Astronaut (2.2m points)
Yeah! It is a good thing that WikiTree is not fattening! might be. I seem to be sitting in front of a screen more than I used to.
LOL, Brett. :-)
So true, Brett.
+13 votes
Congrats Michael for sticking with it, through the confusion and frustration.

My three year anniversary is two days from now on the 7th. I'm glad I have this place to put my efforts and do what I love to do.
answered by Anne B G2G6 Pilot (961k points)
Thanks Ann.  Happy 3 year anniversary!  Working with folks like you is what makes WikiTree special.
Only three years, Anne? Not that three years isn't a long time, but you're such a vital part of the community, and so knowledgeable, I would have guessed more.

Thank you for posting this, Michael. I love it. I also noticed your Facebook post. Awesome.
+5 votes

Congrats, Michael, and thanks for the question.

There has been a lot of great stuff I've experienced as a result of WikiTree. Off the top of my head, I can think of three really good things, all of which have to do with living people. I'm listing them in the order that they happened:

  1. Getting to know Paul Patridge, my first genealogy friend, who turned out to be my father's 5th cousin. My parents and I were able to meet Paul and his wife last year, which was great.
  2. Meeting Eowyn (has it already been 2 years ago?) with my husband and kids on a road trip.
  3. Working with Julie Ricketts on the Greeters Project. What a fun person and a great group!
answered by Carole Partridge G2G6 Mach 6 (69k points)
Thanks Carole and thank for sharing your experiences.  I love reading how much people enjoy using WikiTree and especially when they discover something new or meet a new friend.
+6 votes
Happy Anniversary, Michael!!!

You hit the nail on the head regarding genealogy in isolation. I was just thinking about that this morning, and since being on WikiTree for so long now, I really can't imagine approaching it in isolation anymore! It's so much more fun with cousins. :-)

Thank you for everything you do here and for interjecting common sense to G2G!

Hoping to see you at RootsTech again!
answered by Julie Ricketts G2G6 Pilot (252k points)
+4 votes
Congrats Michael! Your post made me go back and look when I joined. I can't believe it's been over 5 years. Same goes for Eowyn too! Things sure have changed a lot since 2011.
answered by Michelle Hartley G2G6 Pilot (148k points)
Oh my gosh - it has been 5 years for me too!  Dang!  Where'd the time go?!
Yep, think we joined about the same time.
I bet we have a lot of 5 years.  It seems that might be when WikiTree started taking an upturn in new members.
Welcome to the 5 year club Eowyn and Michelle.  Congratulations to you as well.
Thanks Michael! Hope you will be at Rootstech this year.

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