England Orphaned Profiles Team

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Welcome to the England Orphan Team Project Page!

The Orphan Trail is a unique gateway to the England Project and getting integrated into a Wikitree team. It’s great fun and it helps you develop a knowledge of the sources unique to this country. It also helps the health of our Global Tree as you will improve Orphaned Profiles adopted by your Trailblazer, who will support and guide you as described below.

The Orphan Trail Team has been a huge success since it launched and has helped many Wikitree members to develop the skills (such as proper sourcing, where to find records, etc.) needed to create profiles for their English ancestors.

We are delighted to have you on the team, and help you graduate through the programme so you can involve yourself as a contributing member of the England Project.

However - we would graciously request that you complete the trail BEFORE taking all you're learning to improve your own tree. This will enable us to maintain an even flow of people, as we are just volunteers and can only work with a certain number of people at any given time :) Plus, it would help us to avoid having to create a waiting list for those who wish to do the Trail. The Orphan Trail can actually be completed in as little as 9 days (or less)!

Team Leader: Raewyn Vincent

Trailblazers: Lizzie Griffiths | Elizabeth Viney | Marion Poole | Hilary Gadsby | Paul Shepard | David Urquhart | Stephen Heathcote | Chris Colwell | Peggy Moss


What you will be doing

You will be working on orphaned profiles (those without a manager). The basics will be writing a biography (long or short), searching for birth, marriage, death, and census information and providing sources to back it all up. Also making corrections to the existing profile if needed. Every stage of the trail is different, and we have example profiles on every sandbox page for you to look at :)

What is a Trailblazer?

A Trailblazer is the person who will be working with you during your journey on the Orphan Trail. Trailblazers are all former graduates of the Trail, and we are here to guide you, teach you, and generally help you along. We want you to enjoy your time with us and have fun while learning the ropes! And keep in mind that we are available to answer any questions you may have, or help with any problems you may encounter :)

Goals (with an English flavour)

  • To familiarise new WikiTreers with various processes within WikiTree's England Project
  • To provide help and support in connection with English profiles

Start Here: New Member How-To

Your Map to English Records

(Click on each link to go to a freespace page which details the sources you need and where to get them.)
It is recommended that you start working in the following time-groupings, starting with 1838-1957: the most recent (when sources are readily available).

  1. 1838-1957: BMD (birth, marriage, death) vital statistics and censuses; source formatting and biographies
  2. 1700-1837: Introducing parish registers; continuing with source formatting and biographies
  3. 1500-1699: Continuing with parish registers; introducing templates, stickers, and categories

The Process

  1. You will be emailed a link to a page where you will pick a profile to work on.
  2. You pick the Orphaned Profile you wish to work on - just one, not a family.
  3. You email your Trailblazer to let him/her know that is the one you want to do.
  4. We check that nobody else is already doing it, and give you the OK.
  5. When you begin, you go to the Sandbox page of the 1838-1957 group (linked above)
  6. You work on the profile, using ONLY the sources listed for your group.
  7. Remember that the example profiles (bottom of the Sandbox page in a blue box) are there for you to check your work against, to see that your formatting is OK.
  • If there is something you cannot find, you write in the bio that you couldn't find it.
  1. When you are finished, you send your Trailblazer an email to let us know.
  2. We review the profile in case there is something you have missed (formatting etc).
  3. We send you an email saying it's OK, choose another one, and you go back to step 1.
  4. When we judge that you are comfortable with the time period in that group (usually about 1-2 profiles), we give the OK to move on to the next group.

Please ask your trailblazer if there is something you don't understand or find something you don't know the answer to. We are here to help!

Images: 1
England Orphans
England Orphans


On 17 Sep 2019 at 09:21 GMT Christo Coe wrote:

Hi just signed the honour code and read through the England Orphan trail info . How to I actually start e.g get an email allowing me to choose 1. In the Process?

Thank you

On 9 Sep 2019 at 18:23 GMT Anon Cormack wrote:

I'm interested in joining this please As a dyslexic I find formatting etc more difficult + I'm very slow.

Family both sides came from Ireland + then settled in or close to Manchester so that would be where my interests would lie or Cheshire where I now live

I didn't realise that we could make up information about people ie the profile of Anne Elizabeth Mears formerly Mason as although these were historic events we don't know how she was personally involved?

On 7 Aug 2019 at 13:44 GMT Lois (Hacker) Tilton wrote:

Is there a way to bookmark this page to make it easier to find?

On 5 Aug 2019 at 21:21 GMT Elaine (Walling) Goodner wrote:

This Orphan Profiles Team training is a God send! I have joined 3 country groups and feel like I am in over my head. I am excited to do the trail and hopefully become useful.


On 24 Jul 2019 at 16:27 GMT Becky (Harrop) Johnson wrote:

Willing to have a go but not comfortable with new things and so takes time for me to settle into doing something

On 22 Jul 2019 at 18:34 GMT Heather (Brown) Brannon wrote:

Hi Fran,

Think I saw something about this on the England page when I was very new to Wikitree. Oh well better late than never! Looking forward to the experience. Heather

On 22 Jul 2019 at 15:23 GMT David Carlson wrote:

I would love to try the orphan trail. I think that I will learn a lot and, hopefully, help Wikitree along the way. David

On 20 Jul 2019 at 11:34 GMT Ruth Graham Ms wrote:

Hello i want to begin the orphan trail with the profile Woodhead 81 today so long as that's ok.

On 28 Jun 2019 at 00:58 GMT Becky Troth wrote:

Hi Fran,

Have read through and looking forward to working on some orphaned profiles when someone has time :) Thanks again Becky

On 20 May 2019 at 22:45 GMT James Stratman wrote:

I'm ready to begin work on some Orphaned profiles. I assume I need a Trailblazer to provide me with the profiles. Feel free to contact me when you are able. Thank you. James

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