Project: Mentors/Mentors Tips

Mentors Tips

Handy hints for getting the most out of WikiTree. If you have a tip to pass on please message a mentor to get your tip added here.


Learning Your Way Around

This big Ole Tree is growing and growing. And you can get lost during your first few weeks.

  • Bookmark (in the browser) pages that you want to get back to easily.
  • Spend some time learning the menus at the top right of your page. These drop down menus give you shortcuts to everything from help, to the relationship finder, to categories.
  • The "MyWikiTree" menu (the one with the ID of the profile) will give you information that is specific to you and the profiles you manage. For example, click on Watchlist and it will show you a list of the profiles you are watching.
  • AND Paul Bech has put together some great "How To" videos which are great!

Adding Profiles

  • If your research includes anyone that might be an Historically Significant Ancestor check carefully for duplicates in any project that might contain them. For example European Aristocracy has almost all Kings and Queens of Europe and their families, all US presidents and Mayflower passengers are already here. Please check with the relevant Project for naming conventions and other information. See Find, Projects.

GEDCOM imports

  • After trying GEDmatches with your large GEDCOM file upload a smaller one for your first GEDCOM import, the WikiTree process is different than with other websites and a smaller file lets you get a feel for the process without getting overwhelmed.
  • Before uploading a GEDCOM for matching or import check the tree you are creating the gedcom from, add estimated birth and death dates based on baptism or burial dates if you can, this will improve the accuracy of GEDmatches and allow the profile to be imported.
  • If you are skipping profiles because the people are already on wikitree, make a note of the ID of the matches, it makes it a lot easier to find them after the import so you can add them as parent, child or spouse to someone you did import.

Manual Input

  • Before you enter a profile manually try a Find, Person: Search for the profile you want to add, if it already exists you save the time of entering the details manually and can instead add any new facts to the existing profile and tidy it up a bit.
  • Many ancestors have different ways of spelling their names. When searching for somebody, always try searches with different spelling variations. (You can find related surnames by entering a surname in the "Last Name" box at the top of any WikiTree profile page.)
  • When entering a profile try to include at least a birth date, even if it is an estimate, use the radio button to mark it uncertain or before, etc. and make a note in the Biography narrative of how it was estimated. You could also add {{DateGuess}} at the top of the Biography to warn other members that it is a guess. Dates on profiles make matching so much easier.

Editing Profiles

Your Profiles

  • Always add your sources as soon as you can, the longer you leave the easier it is to forget to add them.
  • If you are not sure about how to format your sources, just add them as regular text. You can always edit the profile when you have found a better way to do it.

Other Members Profiles

  • Before you jump in and start changing things on a profile managed by someone else send them a friendly message explaining what you would like to add or alter, let them know your sources, nobody likes to be told what you have is rubbish I am improving it. WikiTree values collaboration.


  • If you want to add or alter anything on a PPP page make sure you have a source for the information and post your intention on the profiles bulletin board first for Profile and Project managers to discuss.

Formatting Help


  • Prioritise your profile updates. From your Watchlist click the fourth header 'Last Edit' to sort the list so that the first profile listed is the one that's gone the longest time without being edited. Check it out! Maybe there's something you can add or improve!


  • When checking any of your profiles for duplicates, always mark the matches that are definitely wrong as rejected matches; then they will not show up again.
  • Remember to look at the Biography section. Sometimes, there is data in that section that is not reflected up in the normal data area....second husbands, reason for different names, dates, etc.

Merging Profiles

  • After merging two profiles always recheck the siblings and children for matches. The best method is to use the profile Id drop-down menu top right of the profile page, click Merging Tools. You will get an overview of the spouses, siblings and descendants on one page.

Pre-1700 Profiles

  • We share many pre-1700 ancestor profiles and if it fits into a Project, that is the place to find others interested in the same families and their neighbors. Please look at: Pre-1700 Projects to see where this profile and family belong. Contact the Project manager(s) about any merges you may need to do and they will direct you on how to proceed.
If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact one of our Volunteer Coordinators for help: volunteer Coordinators.

G2G Forum

  • When asking questions about people on the forum enter the ID for the profile in the box under the question, this makes it easier for other members to find the right profile and answer you. If the question is about someone without a profile then give as much information as you can in the question, like approximate dates and places, if only a century and a continent, it makes it easier to get the right expert on the job.


  • Start with what you know and work back to what you do not know. Working back is usually easier than working forward.

This page was last modified 22:39, 18 June 2019. This page has been accessed 3,358 times.