Project: Black Sheep

Categories: Black Sheep Project | Black Sheep

Welcome to the Black Sheep Project!

The Black Sheep Project is a top level project that includes 7 sub-projects. Our Mission is to highlight the profiles of notable people on WikiTree who would be considered "black sheep", and support those that have family members they wish to be included in the project. We describe Black Sheep as those that were outcasts, outlaws or just plain outlandish!


How to Join


Current Leaders: Leigh Murrin

You don't have to be related to a Black Sheep to join. Anyone with an interest is welcome! If you would like to participate, please do the following:

  1. To receive a project badge, please reply to our forum post Do you have an interest in outcasts, outlaws and outlandish people? Join the Black Sheep Project!
  2. Add BLACK_SHEEP to your list of followed tags.
  3. Edit our Black Sheep Project Member page by adding your name under the sub-projects that you are working on.
  4. Ask questions or share information on the Black Sheep Project Member page.

To see our current members, check out the badge feed.


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. Work on profiles in the Black Sheep Project Maintenance Categories
  3. Use WikiTree Styles and Standards to cleanup kludge and remove broken links from GEDCOM generated profiles.
  4. Seek original rather than derivative documentation and add as sources.
  5. Write comprehensive, well-sourced biographies.
  6. Add the specific sub-project template to the profiles along with any relevant categories.
  7. Contact Carrie or Leigh to request PPP status for those profiles that meet the criteria for project protection.
  8. Check family connections and add sources to collateral profiles as needed.
  9. 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.


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? Please share your ideas with Leigh.

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 that best describes that person.

For example: {{Black Sheep|Bigamists}}

Black Sheep Categories

The categories used on the Black Sheep Project match the criteria for "Black Sheep" set by the International Blacksheep Society of Genealogists (IBSSG). You can find out more about the criteria for being a Black Sheep on their website.

On Wikitree, we try to follow these categories as much as possible. We have one extra category, "Lost Sheep", which can be used for people who (at the time they were alive) would have been considered a "Black Sheep" but today would not be so considered due to modern attitudes.

Bootleggers and Moonshiners
Child Abductors
Con Artists
Domestic Batterers
Extreme Public Embarrassment
FBI's Most Wanted List
Lost Sheep
Attempted Murderers
Women Murderers
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
Australian Bushrangers
Spies and Traitors
Witch Trials
Salem Witch Trials

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


The International Blacksheep Society of Genealogists describes Black Sheep as 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)

If you are related to a person who is considered a black sheep, you can apply to become a member of The International Black Sheep Society of Genealogists (IBSSG). Visit their website for more instructions. Once you become a member of the IBSSG, we have a template you can use on both your profile and that of your black sheep ancestor to show your affiliation. This template is only for confirmed members of the society. If you are not a member of the IBSSG, please use our project templates.

{{IBSSG Ancestor}}

This profile is a registered IBSSG Black Sheep.

The Black Sheep Society accepts other forms of outcasts on a trial by trial basis. If your family member has been approved by them, they are also welcome to be a part of the project!

To-Do List


This page was last modified 09:01, 11 August 2017. This page has been accessed 7,253 times.