Categories: Source-a-Thon

This page describes the 2016 Source-a-Thon. Here are the final stats and winners. Soon we will begin organizing a 2017 Source-a-Thon.

October is Family History Month. To celebrate, we're kicking it off with a three-day "Source-a-Thon" October 1-3!

It's for a good cause (sourced genealogy!) ... there will be $4,850 in door prizes donated from around the genealogy community ... and it should be lots of fun.

Now that the Source-a-Thon is happening right now, here are important links:



It's the world's first Source-a-Thon, a 72-hour sourcing marathon.

Our goal is to clear out the Unsourced Profiles category on WikiTree. Including sources is in our community's Honor Code but inexperienced genealogists don't always record them. Sometimes the source is "Aunt Mabel," as Mags put it. This doesn't mean the information isn't worth preserving or sharing. It's a starting point — information waiting to be confirmed.

Badges for participants and winners.
We have a monthly Sourcerers Challenge where generous genealogists help verify unsourced family information on WikiTree. The Source-a-Thon is like a Sourcerers Challenge on steroids. This will be a big community event that attracts attention to the importance of sources and helps improve the accuracy of our great big, shared free family tree.

Like a marathon, this is a competition, but most participants won't be serious competitors. Most of us will be doing it for the challenge of sourcing as many profiles as they can, for the mission, and for the fun of it.

We will be hosting live Google Hangouts throughout the weekend to cheer each other on. During every chat we will draw a winner for a door prize. Every participant who is online and adding sources during that time will be eligible.

All the details are below. But if it sounds cool already, register now and get your race number for your geneajersey. (Don't worry if this doesn't all make sense (geneajersey?). We're making all this up!)


The party starts Saturday morning, October 1, and runs until Monday at midnight, October 3. We're including Monday so that anyone who isn't free over the weekend still has a chance to participate.

Technically, it kicks off at 12:01 AM EDT, just past midnight on Friday night, and ends at 11:59 PM EDT Monday night, Eastern Daylight Time, GMT -4. Genealogists from all over the world will be participating at the same time.

See the Source-a-Thon Hangouts.


To officially participate you need to register in advance.

Registrants will be given the Source-a-Thon badge and assigned a race number. We'll use that number to draw the random winners for the many door prizes.

Registration is free. Like everything on WikiTree.

Who can register?

If you're a genealogist who knows what sources are and why they're important please join us!

To register you do need to be a WikiTree member, and to participate you need to have signed the Honor Code.

If you're not already a member, login as a Guest now. You'll be invited to "volunteer" to help grow WikiTree. There are a few steps involved, but it's all just about verifying that you understand what WikiTree is about and aren't just in it to get free stuff.

How to register

To register simply post an answer on this thread. Just say "Sign me up!" or whatever and include a few words about your location or genealogical interests. A WikiTree Leader will award the badge and give you a race number.

If you have any trouble or questions, contact Eowyn at


Over $4,850 in genealogy door prizes will be given away!

Winners will be drawn at random in live Google Hangouts that we will be hosting every few hours during the weekend. See Source-a-Thon Hangouts for the scheduled times. Note that you don't need to videochat to participate, you can just watch and post comments if you like.

To be eligible to win you need to:

  1. have registered in advance, so you have a race number, and
  2. be online during the drawing and actively participating by adding sources to Unsourced Profiles (see below).

We know that many participants won't be online when their number is drawn. The Source-a-Thon is running 24-hours a day for 72 hours straight. If you're online for 72 hours we'll be worried about you!

If you're not present when you're number is drawn, you'll have until the next Google Hangout starts to claim your prize. Numbers will be posted at the top of a "Who's winning the Source-a-Thon door prizes?" G2G message that will be linked here.

If you see your number posted, you get to pick from available prizes. You make your selection by posting a reply on the G2G thread.

If you don't claim your prize before the next drawing, your number will go back in the hat.

After someone wins and claims a prize, their number will come out of the hat. In other words, you can't win more than one door prize. This will give all of us a lot of chances to win.

With so many prizes, the odds of winning are good. And the more active you are in the Source-a-Thon, the better your odds become.

Here's the current list of door prizes. This list is growing every day!

Website Subscriptions

  • One year full MyHeritage membership including Data and PremiumPlus site subscriptions (5) ($250.74 value each)
  • One year full FIndMyPast world subscription. (2) ($239.52 value each)
  • Semi-annual US Discovery individual memberships to Ancestry (2) ($198.00 value each)
  • One year full World Explorer individual membership to Ancestry (2) ($298.00 value each)
  • Annual subscription (1) ($79.95 value)
  • Annual Basic subscription (1) ($149.80 value)
  • Annual subscription (1) ($69.95 value)


Courses and Conferences

Books, E-Books, and Magazines

Gift Certificates



  • One full version of RootsMagic
  • One copy of Evidentia via CD or digital download (2)
  • One license to download Clooz, a program specifically designed to support recording and organizing source document information

Research Assistance

  • 2 hours of research at the Clayton Center for Genealogical Research in Houston, TX, (one of the nation's top 10 genealogy facilities) courtesy of Lisa Franklin
  • £200 voucher for British research courtesy of Family Wise Limited

Surname Society Bundle

  • 1-year membership of The Surname Society, which includes access to the website with members-only data, facility to register multiple surname studies, admission to our private Facebook group
  • A copy of The Surname Atlas (fully interactive CD-ROM from Archer Software) featuring surname maps, statistics, geographical plotting, surname tracking and more
  • A copy of 'Help! Why Can't I Find my Ancestor's Surname?' by Carol Baxter - all about surname variants, and full of tips and tricks to search for elusive spellings

Badges source_a_thon.gif source_a_thon_winner.gif

Every registered participant will get a Source-a-Thon badge.

The 10 participants who remove the most profiles from the Unsourced categories over the 72-hour period will get a Source-a-Thon Winner badge. The gold, silver, and bronze winners will be celebrated as the heroes of the weekend. There are no prizes for winning — just the badge, bragging rights, and the community's appreciation.

We are also planning a user template that you can put on your profile after the race is over to show your race number, number of sourced profiles, and final ranking.

Participation: Adding Sources and Counting Sourced Profiles

Participating means removing profiles from the Unsourced Profiles category.

Select an Open (white) profile from anywhere in the category or one of its subcategories and search for sources to back up the facts of the person's life.

Profiles need to come from the Unsourced Profiles categories. They cannot be profiles that you created.

Valid sources include census records, BMD records/index references, military documents, land documents, wills, etc. A source cannot be another family tree, such as Geni or an Ancestry Member Tree.

If you find a valid source:

  1. Edit the profile to add the source, according to our Sources guide.
  2. Remove the {{Unsourced}} or [[Category:Unsourced Profiles]] categorization or categorizations, and save the profile.
  3. Add the profile's WikiTree ID to the Source-a-Thon G2G tracking message for the Source-a-Thon Team you've joined or been assigned (details will go out right before the Source-a-Thon). Click the "edit" link below your answer.

See the September Sourcerers Challenge for an example of how this way of posting works.

If you search for sources for a profile but cannot find any, please add a Research Notes section to the profile. Say where you have looked and sign your comment with four tildes (~~~~) so it is dated. For example: "Looked for John in the US Census records for 1900-1940 and couldn't find him on FamilySearch or Ancestry." This way the next researcher knows where to start.

Everyone maintains their own counts, on their honor.

See the Source-a-Thon Tutorial for step-by-step help on how to participate.


To make the G2G contribution tracking threads easier to use, we will be splitting participants into groups of 20 or less. Each group will have its own tracking thread.

We're calling these groups "teams." Many teams are having fun with this and will be sourcing profiles in the same area, cheering each other on, and otherwise encouraging and helping each other.

To join or start a team, or for more information, see Source-a-Thon Teams.

Participants who don't join a team will be assigned to a regional or generic group.

Official Rules, Terms and Conditions

In addition to WikiTree's main Terms of Service ...

No purchase is necessary for the prizes. Void where prohibited.

Prize donors are independent and not officially affiliated with WikiTree. Prize winners will be put into contact with prize donors for delivery. WikiTree is not responsible for prizes that are not delivered or otherwise unsatisfactory.

WikiTree is not responsible for technical outages or problems that may prevent an individual from participating or claiming a prize.

By participating, you agree to release and hold WikiTree harmless from any and all losses, damages, rights, claims, and actions of any kind in connection with or resulting from acceptance, possession, use or misuse of any prize.

By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of WikiTree and waive any right to claim ambiguity in the rules. All decisions regarding the Source-a-Thon, including, but not limited to, selecting winners, will be made by WikiTree whose decisions shall be final.

This page was last modified 09:22, 30 May 2017. This page has been accessed 9,311 times.