Project: Black Sheep

Categories: Black Sheep Project | Black Sheep

Welcome to the Black Sheep Project!

The first record of 'black sheep' in a derogatory sense is from an English Puritan who emigrated to America in 1635, the appropriately named Thomas Shepard, in the evangelical text The Sincere Convert, 1640:

Cast out all the Prophane people among us, as drunkards, swearers, whores, lyers, which the Scripture brands for blacke sheepe, and condemnes them in a 100. places.

The Black Sheep Project is a top level project that includes seven sub-projects. Our Mission is to highlight the profiles of notable people on WikiTree who would be considered "black sheep".


How to Join

Are you interested in the Black Sheep Project?black_sheep.gif



For specific goals relating to each sub-project, please see that project for more information. The overall goals of the Black Sheep Project are to create and develop profiles on WikiTree for those members of the family who would be considered black sheep. To meet these goals:

  1. Add profiles for the sub-project you are helping with, checking for existing profiles to avoid duplication. If any duplicate profiles exist, request merges, starting with the oldest generation.
  2. If you're creating a new profile, add as Profile Manager by doing the following:
    1. Click the Privacy tab on the notable profile.
    2. In the Add to Trusted List section, enter and press ADD THIS PERSON.
    3. In the Trusted List section, select the link for to "Add as Manager."
  3. If the profile you're working on is an existing profile not managed by the Project, please notify a project manager to add the project as co-manager
  4. Work on profiles in the Black Sheep Project Maintenance Categories
  5. Use WikiTree Styles and Standards to cleanup kludge and remove broken links from GEDCOM generated profiles.
  6. Seek original rather than derivative documentation and add as sources.
  7. Write comprehensive, well-sourced biographies.
  8. Add the specific sub-project template to the profiles along with any relevant categories.
  9. Contact a project leader to request PPP status for those profiles that meet the criteria for project protection.
  10. Check family connections and add sources to collateral profiles as needed.
  11. Connect unconnected profiles to the Global Family Tree.

Please be respectful; we're not here to judge or label. If a profile belongs to someone that isn't famous, or infamous, always ask the profile manager if they would like the profile to be included in the Black Sheep Project before applying any categories or templates.


For the purposes of this project, Black Sheep are those folks known for:

  • Murder
  • Kidnapping
  • Armed Robbery
  • Treason
  • Theft of any item of fame
  • Membership in a famous gang, well documented
  • Political Assassin
  • Member of the FBI's Most Wanted List
  • Political Expatriate
  • Extreme Public Embarrassment
  • Involvement in Witchcraft Trials
  • Bigamy (outside the Mormon faith, which condoned it at one time)
  • Persons expelled from normal society
  • Convicted felons (documented)


These sub-projects were carefully chosen in an attempt to best represent the major categories of this project.

Do you have a suggestion for a new sub-project? If so, please share your ideas with one of our project leaders.

Project Template

... ... ... is a black sheep because they were outcast, outlawed, or outlandish.
Join: Black Sheep Project

Please see sub-project main pages for specific templates pertaining to Bootleggers and Moonshiners; Gangsters; The Hatfield and McCoys Feud; Outlaws; Pirates; Spies and Traitors; and Witch Trials.

If the person does not fit into any of those projects, you can add {{Black Sheep| }} to your profiles with the category below that best describes that person.

For example: {{Black Sheep|Arsonists}}

Black Sheep Categories

On Wikitree, we try to follow these categories as much as possible.

Bootleggers and Moonshiners
Con Artists
Attempted Murderers
Women Murderers
Murder Victims:Pirates
Polygamists - but note this category should only be used for black sheep purposes if this person practised polygamy at the relevant time period outside of an established religious practice (eg Mormon faith)
Bank Robbers
Train Robbers
Highway Robbers
American Outlaws
Australia, Bushrangers
Witch Trials
Salem Witch Trials

We can add more if you don't see yours here.

To-Do List


This page was last modified 09:45, 20 August 2020. This page has been accessed 16,337 times.