Help:WikiTree Challenge Guests

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This page is for potential guest stars in the WikiTree Challenge.

See our three-minute video.


What is the WikiTree Challenge?

In the WikiTree Challenge a team of volunteers attempts to uncover as much as possible in one week about the family history of one lucky guest.


  1. It's fun for our community. Genealogy collaboration is what we do.
  2. Hosting celebrity guests and influencers gives us an opportunity to bring attention to WikiTree.

Who Are Our Guest Stars?

Henry Louis Gates, Week 5
CeCe Moore, Week 2
AJ Jacobs, Week 1

In the first year of our challenge, 2021, our guests were some of the world's leading professional genealogists and "genealogy stars" such as bestselling author AJ Jacobs, leading genetic genealogist CeCe Moore, and host of PBS TV's "Finding Your Roots," Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

These guests were the most challenging. Could all-volunteer teams "crowd source" new discoveries in professional genealogists' own family trees? The answer: Yes! In our first year we broke down over 800 "brick walls," i.e. made discoveries that were previously hidden behind stubborn research obstacles. All our 2021 guests can be found online, or we can provide personal introductions, if you would like to ask them about their experiences.

In 2022, our guests will not be genealogists. They will be stars from other walks of life. If we can make discoveries for professional genealogists, what can we uncover for non-genealogists?

What Do We Offer You?

"I know the holidays are coming up in December but I just opened up the biggest present in all the 45 years I researched." —David Allen Lambert, Week 36
Chief Genealogist at the New England Historic Genealogical Society

If you have ever wanted to know more about your family tree — your roots — this is a priceless opportunity. Literally, priceless. A professional genealogist could not be hired to do the intensive and expansive search for your history that will be done by our team of volunteers. This collaboration is unlike anything else in the world of family history research. This is the royal treatment.

Your ancestors will have their biographies written and their stories told. These new ancestor profiles will be on WikiTree's single family tree, but all living relatives will be private. [example]

What Do We Need from You?

We just need:

  1. What you already know about your family tree.
  2. A half hour for us to tell you what more we discovered.

Before the challenge: find out what you already know

We will schedule a private chat to find out what you already know about your family history. Our challenge is to make new discoveries for you, not to repeat what you already know.

We need to privately communicate with you about your living family members in order to identify your non-living grandparents or great-grandparents. These non-living family members can be researched in public records during the challenge. Information about living family members will not be researched or revealed to anyone.

The public challenge can't start unless we can identify one or more non-living ancestors first.

After the challenge: reveal what we discovered

During the week-long challenge, you just wait. In fact, we ask that you don't look at anything during the week so that we can surprise you with our discoveries.

When the week is over, we will schedule a video chat to tell you about our discoveries. This could be scheduled at any time, at almost any hour of the day. We will work around your schedule.

This conversation will be private, but recorded. We will edit your reactions into a video about what we discovered. If there are discoveries or reactions that you do not want made public, we will not include them in the video.


We are here to help. If you are still considering whether to become a guest, contact Eowyn Langholf. If you are a guest, contact Mindy Silva, the challenge coordinator.

This page was last modified 15:11, 26 April 2022. This page has been accessed 1,088 times.