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Meet Some WikiTreers

There are thousands of generous genealogists on WikiTree. Here are just a few. For more, read some of the comments members have left each other when awarding a Family Star, Community Star, Super Star, Generous Genealogist Red Star, Blue Star or Green Star, or the wonderful_wikitreers posts in G2G.

Every genealogist here is unpaid. "We are all volunteers, from the heart," as member Maggie N. puts it.

Frances Piercy-Reins

Frances Piercy-Reins
Frances is active in our England Project and leads a Chamberlayne Name Study. "I've been touched by the kindness of people I have never met, all over the world, who offer their time to help others in their own search for their ancestors. This is something I have found on no other genealogical platform." [interview]

Anne Guglik

Anne Guglik
Anne has participated in 10 WikiTree Challenge weeks and even broke a brick wall for a guest. Her advice to new members: get involved with a challenge or project to connect with other genealogists. "The members are truly the best asset WikiTree has, and most are endlessly helpful, once you manage to connect." [interview]

Dave Welburn

Dave Welburn
Dave leads the Yorkshire Team in the England Project. His advice to new members: "You are not on your own, everyone is here to help. If you need help, ask on G2G. If you make a mistake, don't worry. Everyone makes mistakes, and there is nothing you can do that can't be fixed." [interview]

Barry Smith

Barry Smith
Barry co-leads the New Netherland Settlers Project and the Switzerland Project, and is working to create a profile for every named person in the 1774 Rhode Island Census. "Other WikiTreers have taught me almost everything I know about genealogical research, mostly by answering hundreds of my questions on G2G." [interview]

Fionnuala O'Connor

Fionnuala O'Connor
Fionnuala is an Ireland Project member and Sourcerer. "WikiTree has helped me to organise a lot of details I had collected over the years into a neat format. It is a great platform for me to share everything with family members. Also, when I am contacting DNA matches, it is great to refer the person to my WikiTree family tree, to see if they can find any connections." [interview]

Loralee Hutton

Loralee Hutton
Loralee is an England and Canada project member. "Recently I joined the new Canadian Orphan Trail and loved the process so much that I volunteered to help others go through the process themselves. I hope to help people avoid the same mistakes I made while helping them love WikiTree as much as I do." [interview]

Pam Dale

Pam Dale
"I'm a Wiki Greeter, I'm involved with Data Doctors, Sourcerers, Connectors, the Notables Project and my baby, the Cemeterists Project. I'm part of the Maupin One Name Study and am considering starting a name study or two myself." [interview]

Beth Stephenson

Beth Stephenson
Beth is a team leader for the US Southern Colonies Project. "I don't want my research to die on a paid site that my children and grandchildren might never see. On the free WikiTree, I believe that it will be preserved and in a better form than on the paid sites. Certainly, WikiTree is more accurate than the paid sites." [interview]

Maxx Martin

Maxx Martin
"I love researching and improving profiles of people from all over the world as a Data Doctor and Connector but also work on more local New Zealand projects, such as photographing headstones at cemeteries in my area." [interview]

Marta Johnson

Marta Johnson
Marta is active in our Sweden and Germany projects. "WikiTree is a broad and diverse community represented by all kinds of people. Many are professionals, specialists, historians, or have a particular familiarity or skill. I am impressed not only by the capacity of our users to, say, decipher chicken scratch handwriting or truffle up information buried in an obscure database, but also their generosity in sharing those skills." [interview]

Mark Weinheimer

Mark Weinheimer
Mark's favorite thing about WikiTree "is the wonderful spirit of good will, and the courteous demeanor of members. The help I have received here, on so many occasions, has been inspirational." [interview]

Brad Stauf

Brad Stauf
Brad volunteers as a Project Coordinator for the Puritan Great Migration (PGM) Project. He helps new members with standards, editing, and sourcing on these challenging early American ancestors. [interview]

Betty Norman

Betty Norman
Betty is active in the US Southern Colonies Project. "WikiTree, plus some top-notch WikiTree mentors, have taught me a great deal about sourcing: What are the trustworthy sources? Where do you find them? Which ones should be avoided, and why? A biography is nothing more than fiction if it is not backed up by good sources." [interview]

Dieter Lewerenz

Dieter Lewerenz
Dieter leads the Germany Project's Translation Team and helps out in the Military and War Project. "I want to recognize Dieter Lewerenz for so consistently, quickly and thoroughly helping any and everyone who seeks help with German translations and genealogical research. I wonder how many brick walls he has broken for German-Americans." —Kathy Rabenstein [interview]

Joelle Colville-Hanson

Joelle Colville-Hanson
Joelle is a Cemeterist and leads the Illinois Team in the United States Project and the Argyll Team in the Scotland Project "I joined WikiTree in 2014 but found it confusing. I pretty much left it alone until 2018 when I discovered more about my father's family. Once I got the hang of it there was no going back." [interview]

Laura DeSpain

Laura DeSpain
Laura is one of our friendly Greeters and is a team leader in the US Southern Colonies and England projects. "I love that we all work together, and that it means something to all of us," writes Laura. "WikiTree has helped me learn to research older documents better, source better and build better biographies." [interview]

Pam Cormac

Pam Cormac
Pam is an Ambassador and Greeter and is active in the Global Cemeteries, South Africa, and Profile Improvement projects. "WikiTree is full of wonderful people contributing freely to our shared family tree. It makes me enormously proud to be a part of that. Together we can do anything." [interview]

Ben Molesworth

Ben Molesworth
Australia Project member Ben enjoys following surnames: "I will make contact with new people researching the same names, or will check their work, to see if I can help find connections for them. If they are working in Australia, I will often source an unsourced profile for them, and create a basic biography, to help demonstrate how our profiles can appear better." [interview]

Andrew Simpier

Andrew Simpier
Andrew is a member of the US Civil War Project. He enjoys creating profiles for veterans of the New York regiments and helping other members research their Civil War ancestors. [interview]

Christine Lajeunesse

Christine Lajeunesse
In between researching her own French Canadian ancestral lines, Acadians Project member Christine acts as an Adoption Angel helping adoptees build trees for their French Canadian DNA matches. [interview]

Nancy Wilson

Nancy Wilson
"I am working on an anniversary project. I pick an ancestor from my watchlist that was born or died on this date and try to flesh out their profiles. I don't mind going down a few rabbit holes. When I want something easier to work on, I like to go to the unsourced list for New Jersey from the 1800s. I have learned some local history that way." [interview]

C. Ryder

C. Ryder
"When the US Black Heritage Project was re-started this year by Emma MacBeath, I joined with a purpose. ... There are many incredibly knowledgeable members in this group, and discussions are awesome. I appreciate peoples' good online manners — a must for fruitful conversations. I hope to use my new WikiTree skills (searching for resources, building biographies) to further build profiles of Black Americans." [interview]

Denise Jarrett

Denise Jarrett
"Remember you are not alone in the search! You are now a member of a global genealogy collaboration team who is willing and able to help you with any questions or challenges you may have." [interview]

Kelsey Jackson Williams

Kelsey Jackson Williams
Kelsey leads the Baltic-German Team in the Germany Project. "WikiTree is unique in offering the possibility of collaboration at a sufficiently scholarly level. ... for genuine and continuous improvement." [interview]

Pamela Culy

Pamela Culy
Pamela began her genealogical journey to find her biological father. Now she spends most of her time on WikiTree volunteering as an Adoption Angel helping adoptees and others find their biological parents. "I like building family trees and researching .... I get satisfaction 'paying it forward' to someone who faced the same hurdles as I once did." [interview]

Gene Ellison

Gene Ellison
Gene operates an Ellison Name Study and has been generously creating profiles and family histories for former slaves as part of the Freedmen Narratives project. [interview]

Sondra Marshall

Sondra Marshall
"I am a member of the Global Cemeteries Project and have slowly been working on various historic cemeteries in West Central Nebraska. I am also a member of the Military and War Project and Westward Ho!, where [one] of my larger pet projects concern ... Buffalo Soldiers and Civil War veterans who took up homesteads after the war in Nebraska." [interview]

Margaret Allison

Margaret Allison
Margaret is a member of the New Zealand Project, where she's been contributing to profiles of women who signed the Suffrage petition in 1893, and the Scotland Project, where she's been improving her research skills on the "Tartan Trail." [interview]

Chandra Garrow

Chandra Garrow
Chandra is a friendly Greeter and participates in the Wisconsin Project where she's been developing Chippewa and Dunn county pages and creating profiles for local people. [interview]

Dave Ebaugh

Dave Ebaugh
Dave is active in our US Black Heritage, Accessibility Angels and Quakers projects. "One contribution to the universe I'm working on right now is a page compiling my research on the Colorado African Emigration Company. There is nothing on the internet that gathers together information on this organization." [interview]

John Rosser

John Rosser
Australia Project member John's favorite things about WikiTree: "1.) I love that we're all working together towards building one accurate, well-sourced tree and that we're pooling our individual talents to help each other... 2.) WikiTree has the best balance between collaboration and privacy: it's not a choice between 'sharing everything' or 'sharing nothing'. 3.) It is FREE." [interview]

Mike Butler

Mike Butler
England and Scotland project member Mike uses WikiTree's Family Anniversaries feature every day to share profiles with cousins on Facebook. He enjoys participating in challenges with the Kiwi Crew. [interview]

Kathie Forbes

Kathie Forbes
Kathie is a Virginia Project and Native Americans Project member. "The longer I am here the more I value the friendliness, helpfulness, and incredible body of knowledge of WikiTreers. The idea that a random stranger would spend hours poring over a barely-legible 16th century document to find a baptismal record for me is just astounding." [interview]

Terri Swift

Terri Swift
Terri helps review lines from Gateway Ancestors to the Surety Barons for the Magna Carta Project. She also leads the 5-Star Profile Improvement Team for the Germany Project and recently joined the new Medieval Project. [interview]

Mary Gorman

Mary Gorman
Mary coordinates a Gorman Name Study, participates in the Australia Project, and helps protect our tree as a Ranger. "I would encourage you to participate in projects. It is rewarding working with other members and can give you a group to bounce ideas off and learn from." [interview]

Beverly Benfer

Beverly Benfer
Beverly has been a member since 2014. "Recently I realized that a classmate who had died during the Vietnam War had been almost forgotten by those who had been his close friends. To honor others who may be similarly forgotten, I began working on WikiTree's Roll of Honor. I have focused on adding those from Pennsylvania (my home state) who died during the Vietnam War." [interview]

Ian Speed

Ian Speed
Ian recently co-founded the Accessibility Angels Project to help people with disabilities access, enjoy, and contribute to WikiTree. "I joined WikiTree in 2017. Like most people, I focused on my own family at first. I then progressed to adding other families with the same surnames. Then, last year, I signed-up for the England Project and discovered a whole new world of WikiTree collaboration!" [interview]

Azure Robinson

Azure Robinson
Azure co-leads the Ambassadors and Greeters and contributes as a Mentor, Ranger, Cemeterist and much more. She is currently recruiting Ambassadors for local history and genealogical societies. [interview]

Rosalie Neve

Rosalie Neve
Rosalie is a member of the Indigenous Australians Project and England Project. She loves how collaboration enables us to put together the pieces of our great family puzzle. "For my Aboriginal family history in particular the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that each individual brings are valuable to try and put the whole picture together. This is critical when so much of the details were never written down by us." [interview]

Laurie Giffin

Laurie Giffin
Laurie leads the Atlantic Canada Team and volunteers her language skills on le Portail Francophone and bilingual categorization. "We all save a lot of time and effort when we build on each other's research. I have met so many wonderful people, and have learned so much more about my ancestors than I could ever have achieved alone." [interview]

Alexandra Carter

Alexandra Carter
Alexandra is active in the Canada and Dutch Roots projects. "My favorite thing about WikiTree is the community. My research has really benefited from discoveries made by other WikiTree genealogists, and I've built my own knowledge through G2G conversations and community challenges .... don't be afraid to reach out to the community for help, because they'll generously give it!" [interview]

Sharon Hinshaw-Payne

Sharon Hinshaw-Payne
Sharon spends most of her time adopting orphan Hinshaw profiles and connecting their family lines to the Global Tree. She also participates in the Pennsylvania Settlers, US Civil War, and Ireland projects. [interview]

Alicia Taylor

Alicia Taylor
Alicia photographs headstones for the Cemeteries Project and adopts profiles to improve for the Profile Improvement Project. "On other sites, the whole purpose is to attach a record. Sometimes, that goes so quickly, you never really get to know your ancestor. On WikiTree, I've learned to really tell their story — where they lived, what they did, who they were." [interview]

Ludwig Kraayenbrink

Ludwig Kraayenbrink
A member since 2012, Ludwig is a Greeter, Data Doctor and Connector and participates in the Dutch Roots and Indonesia projects. His family says he's obsessed. He says "WikiTree relaxes me." [interview]

B. W. J. Molier

B. W. J. Molier
Netherlands Project member B. W. J. Molier likes to practice "random acts of genealogical kindness" for WikiTreers in the US, Canada, Australia, and South Africa who are searching for their Dutch ancestors. [interview]

Chase Ashley

Chase Ashley
Chase created the Ancestor ListMaker app to enable members to browse or export up to 20 generations in custom configurations. See his app announcement. [interview]

Tara Wildes

Tara Wildes
Tara enjoys community challenges and coordinates a one name study for Wildes. "A distant cousin told me about WikiTree and I was hooked at first look. I love being able to share research and collaborate with others in an organized manner." [interview]

Lucy Robinson

Lucy Robinson
Lucy is a Connector, Data Doctor and Sourcerer and also participates in our Germany Project. "I love WikiTree because of the rules. When I read profiles where the rules have been followed I feel I can trust the information." [interview]

Jaki Erdoes

Jaki Erdoes
Jaki participates in our Palatine Migration, Hungary and Scotland projects and 52 Photos challenge. "The sense of community and collaboration, and the commitment to a single, well-sourced family tree is important to me." [interview]

Don Howard

Don Howard
Don is a Sourcerer and member of our Germany and Notables projects. "I like WikiTree because high standards of sourcing are promoted, and there are a lot of group activities." [interview]

Claire Nava

Claire Nava
"I've been on WikiTree for just over five years. I have gone as far back as I can with most of my direct ancestors, so now I'm volunteering with the Greeters. ... My new current favorite is being a Data Doctor. I was an English teacher for a number of years, so it's nice to use my detective and proofreading skills to help people strengthen their profiles." [interview]

Brad Cunningham

Brad Cunningham
"I spend a lot of time on the Dorset, Somerset, & Cornwall teams in the England Project. ... I have to say that I believe one of the best things about WikiTree is the Orphans Trail. I hope that one day it will be something that everyone who joins WikiTree will take to start their journey." [interview]

Sarah Mason

Sarah Mason
"I am the Membership Coordinator for the Scottish Clans Team, Team Leader for Scotland Connectors, and a member of various other Scotland teams. I am also the Project Coordinator for the Nebraska subproject of the United States Project. In One Name Studies, I coordinate for Mason, Gore, and McGannon." [interview]

Mark Sutherland-Fisher

Mark Sutherland-Fisher
"I look after around 4,000 profiles of members of my extended family. I have the privilege of being a member of the leadership team of the new Scotland Project with special responsibility for Scottish Clans and Scottish Nobility. I therefore spend roughly half my time on WikiTree encouraging and supporting other members, especially those newer to genealogy, and the other half improving profiles." [interview]

Jackie Prentice

Jackie Prentice
"Apart from my One Place Study of Kirkby, Lancashire, I am part of the Cemeteries Project where I concentrate on military graves within the Moray area of Scotland. I have recently begun to learn Connecting with the help of the wonderful Carol Keeling. My main focus at the moment is being the Project Membership Coordinator for the Scotland Project." [interview]

Becky Troth

Becky Troth
"I joined WikiTree fairly recently, in May 2019, so less than a year ago, and I am addicted! I was quickly introduced to the fantastic England Project and their wonderful Orphan Trail. I'm now the team leader for the England Project's Shropshire Team, Shropshire being very close to my heart, and I have started two one-name studies, Troth and Elcock." [interview]

Cheryl Skordahl

Cheryl Skordahl
"I couldn't say enough about how much I enjoy the Puritan Great Migration Project. Our two leaders are fantastically encouraging and helpful. ... I'm also active in the United States Project, Profile Improvement Project, and 52 Ancestors. I've found my WikiTree home among the fabulous genealogical friends within these projects." [interview]

Greg Clarke

Greg Clarke
Greg is active in Canadian projects and WT Apps. He also enjoys our quarterly marathon events. ("The Clean-a-Thon and Source-a-Thon are my favourites.") Lately he's been developing and sharing great apps including Relative SpiderWebs. [interview]

Michael Schell

Michael Schell
Palatine Migration Project member Michael likens WikiTree to a collaborative jigsaw puzzle where the pieces you're putting together eventually connect with the pieces others have put together. "That process of hooking up is the funnest part about jigsaw puzzles and also the funnest part about WikiTree." [interview]

David Urquhart

David Urquhart
David volunteers as an Arborist, Connector, Ranger, and Sourcerer. "I have found WikiTree to be extremely addictive and move about whereever the distraction takes me. I enjoy being involved in projects because of the interaction and collaboration." [interview]

Paula Franklin

Paula Franklin
Paula is active in the Global Cemeteries, Categorization, and Data Doctors projects. Her advice to new members: ask questions in G2G. "Remember, it is not your tree or my tree, but our tree, and each and every one of us has a vested interest in improving and sourcing it. We will be happy to help you." [interview]

Todd Stanton

Todd Stanton
Todd is a Project Coordinator for the Rhode Island and Westward Ho projects. "I am now working with one local county historical society which has decided to use WikiTree as its platform for building profiles of its early county residents." [interview]

Peter Roberts

Peter Roberts
Peter co-founded the DNA Project and leads a Bahamas Project. "From genetic genealogy I have learned that we are indeed all cousins of each other to some degree," says Peter. "The quest is to find what traditional genealogical records exist to help reveal HOW we are related." [interview]

Danielle Liard

Danielle Liard
Danielle leads the Québec Team in the Canada Project and is a major contributor to Québécois projects and categorization. She loves the collaboration on WikiTree. "We often don't have access to all the same sources ... asking about something on G2G gets some amazing answers." [interview]

Margaret Summitt

Margaret Summitt
Margaret enjoys practicing "Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness" and making connections for others on WikiTree. She's a frequent participant in the casual weekend chat. [interview]

Bill Sims

Bill Sims
Bill has earned both "52 in 52" badges — for sharing 52 photos and 52 ancestor profiles in 52 consecutive weeks. "When I first started participating in the WikiTree project I got a little frustrated as there were so many options," says Bill. His advice to new members: "take advantage of the tutorials, don't be bashful and ask the experts questions. They are always eager to help." [interview]

Wendy Taylor

Wendy Taylor
Wendy helps coordinate the Greeters Project, which she sees a "24 hour service desk" for new members. She enjoys "helping other people make the most of WikiTree." [interview]

Katie Goodwin

Katie Goodwin
Katie joined WikiTree in 2018 because she was looking for "1) a free site 2) where people could see my work without logging in and 3) looked like it was going to be around for a long time." She now helps protect our shared tree during two shifts a week as a Ranger. [interview]

Greta Moody

Greta Moody
Greta is a Greeter, a Cemeterist, and a member of the Palatine Migration Project. "I think reading the New Member How-To is the best way to figure WikiTree out. New members should feel free to ask anything ... I'm always willing to answer any questions." [interview]

Astrid Spaargaren

Astrid Spaargaren
Astrid is a Dutch Roots Project member and one of our friendly, welcoming Greeters. "It took a while before I was able to make nice profiles at WikiTree with links to reliable sources, images, etc. But fortunately I received the best help ... people are all volunteers here, equal and very friendly." [interview]

Julie Ricketts

Julie Ricketts
Julie is one of our community's most committed and generous volunteers. Julie co-leads the WikiTree Mentors and volunteers as a Mediator. "The most fundamental thing that I love about WikiTree is the One Profile Per Person philosophy. The more I work in this sort of environment, the less I understand why anyone would want to work on their family in any other way." [interview]

Walter Howe

Walter Howe
Walter Howe is a dedicated researcher of the Howe surname and participates as a WikiTree Ranger, Data Doctor and Connector. "One thing I enjoy doing on WikiTree is finding a newly entered, unconnected Howe and then researching and linking the person to the greater tree." [interview]

Mags Gaulden

Mags Gaulden
Mags is a leading member of WikiTree's DNA Project. "I LOVE WikiTree's DNA features! WikiTree does things with DNA that no other genealogy site does, we combine community, collaboration and we do DNA the 'backwards' right way. We post DNA testers to the ancestors' profiles!" [interview]

Lizzie Griffiths

Lizzie Griffiths
Lizzie helps lead the England and Titanic projects. "This is without a doubt the most collaborative community in genealogy. I truly feel like I have a family here." [interview]

Joan Whitaker

Joan Whitaker
Joan co-leads the England Project and is active in the Mining Disasters Project. "WikiTree has made me a better genealogist. Since joining I have improved my researching skills, and now look for information in places that I would never have thought about before. My research is documented better and my ancestors have become real people, rather than just names." [interview]

Peggy Watkins

Peggy Watkins
Peggy is a team leader in the British Columbia Project. Her favorite thing about WikiTree is the community. "I think of it as social media with a purpose! You meet interesting characters that all enjoy the same hobby but otherwise come from a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives." [interview]

Cari Starosta

Cari Starosta
Cari contributes to the German Roots and Holocaust projects and enjoys helping with unsourced and unconnected profiles. "I love the collaborative spirit on WikiTree. I love that everyone can contribute to all profiles." [interview]

Cheryl Hess

Cheryl Hess
"My favorite thing about WikiTree is how close you can become to people that you have never met. By working together in G2G, or maybe working with the "Greatest Gang" (Greeters), or coordinating with other members to find sources, it really does feel like everyone is working together toward one goal." [interview]

Margaret Haining

Margaret Haining
Margaret is active in the Data Doctors, Australia and Categorization projects. "So often, especially working on other sites, family history seems a bit lonely ... here on WikiTree you have access to all sorts of profiles across the world, and can 'talk' to as many or as few people as you choose, from all over the world, all on a similar journey." [interview]

Frank Santoro

Frank Santoro
Frank is a team leader for the Italy Project. "I like to go through the G2G postings looking for members with Italian heritage to see if I can help them beef up their Italian lines. I've gotten a couple of Generous Genealogist awards for the contributions I've made to help folks break through brick walls." [interview]

Tanya Lowry

Tanya Lowry
"WikiTree is a must have in every home ... it's a good place to keep a tree free forever," says Tanya. It makes her "happy knowing that whatever happens to me, that info will help explain my path and my research will be intact." [interview]

Michael Cayley

Michael Cayley
Michael is co-leader of the Magna Carta and Quaker projects. "I love the way we work together. We all have different areas of expertise and knowledge, and different skills and interests. Between us we can create something better than any of us could do individually." [interview]

Hilary Gadsby

Hilary Gadsby
Hilary has been a member for 8+ years. She leads the England Project's help desk and coordinates county teams for the Wales Project. She's also one of the generous Greeters who welcome new members. [interview]

Shannon Thomas

Shannon Thomas
Shannon Thomas has been a member since 2013. She's active in our Profile Improvement Project, helps protect our tree as a Ranger, and shares the WikiTree Love as a "Tree Hugger" on the Appreciation Team. "WikiTree has given me many new ancestors, has helped me make genealogy friends, and I have learned a lot about research." [interview]

Virginia Fields

Virginia Fields
Ginny volunteers as a WikiTree Greeter and participates in the Southern Pioneers and Virginia projects. "I love the ability to collaborate; WikiTree is the first genealogy website that successfully promotes working together for the good of all." [interview]



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