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Source-a-Thon 2017

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The 2017 Source-a-Thon is now over. Thank you to everyone who participated. Together we improved an amazing 53,000 profiles!

September 30 - October 2 — the start of Family History Month — is our second annual "Source-a-Thon".

This three-day event is for a good cause (sourced genealogy!) and there will be over $5,700 in door prizes donated from around the genealogy community. It will be lots of fun.



This is our second 72-hour sourcing marathon. The first one in 2016 was lots of fun and together we added sources to over 22,000 profiles.

Our goal is to clear out the Unsourced Profiles category on WikiTree. Although including sources is in our community's Honor Code, 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.

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.


The party starts Saturday morning, September 30, and runs until Monday at midnight, October 2. 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 is GMT -4.) Genealogists from all over the world will be participating at the same time.

Click here to register now. The registration cut-off is Thursday, September 28, at 11:59 pm, EDT.


Source-a-Thon "Race Bib"

You need to register in advance. You'll 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.

Sorry, registration is now closed. The information in this section is left here for reference only.

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 here: register.

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're already part of a team from a previous challenge, mention that.

If you have any trouble or questions, contact Eowyn at eowyn@wikitree.com.


Over $5,700 in genealogy door prizes will be given away!

Winners will be drawn at random in live 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. register 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 the "Who's winning the Source-a-Thon door prizes?" G2G message.

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

  • Annual MyHeritage membership which includes both Data and PremiumPlus site subscription (3) ($250 each)
  • Annual World Explorer individual memberships to Ancestry (2) ($300 each)
  • 12-month premium subscription to Find My Past (2) ($239 each)


  • Grandma's Genes Boutique Package: If you haven't taken a DNA test Grandma’s Genes will help you figure out what test to take, take care of the test and get you set-up on GEDmatch. If you already have your DNA test results? Mags will take things from whatever point you are in the DNA test process and spend some time with you one-on-one, live via a Google Hangout. Virtual Blueberry Pie included in both options. ($400)

Courses and Conferences


  • Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian, by Elizabeth Shown Mills ($16.95) (3) (courtesy of Ed Williams)

Gift Certificates



Research Assistance

  • Emma's Family Treasures will donate THREE separate gift certificates which includes the option of ONE of the following:
    • ONE HOUR of genealogical research OR
    • ONE HOUR of document transcription or French document translation OR
    • ONE HOUR of biobuilding work on WikiTree on your profiles of choice (this includes sourcing and biography work)
  • Legacy Tree Genealogists is offering a Family Tree Discovery Plan: Winner of this receives a certificate for either the a Discovery Plan or a DNA Discovery Plan (each valued at $350):
    1. About the Discovery Plan: This is ideal for novice and experienced researchers alike! Our team of professional genealogists will develop a detailed research plan to help you discover more about your ancestors. Digital results only. Project completed in 2-3 weeks.
    2. About the DNA Discovery Plan: Discover more with DNA! A DNA Discovery Plan from Legacy Tree Genealogists provides a preliminary assessment of your DNA test results (test not included) and development of a detailed research plan including recommendations for additional testing/research to meet your goal(s). Digital results only. Completed 2-3 weeks after test results are received.
  • Kottal Genealogy is offering two hours of genealogical research in Danish records. (5) ($162 each)

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

WikiTreer Donations

  • 6 X 6 Black and White painting (2) (courtesy of Summer Orman)
  • Embroidered shirt (courtesy of Keith Hathaway) (winner can collaborate on the design for the shirt)
  • Two tree-themed hand knit wash cloths and a bar of handmade peppermint head-to-toe soap (courtesy of Abby Glann)
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice and Sultan's Blend, Mediterranean Dreams Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Dip and recipes on how to use them courtesy of (Laura Bozzay)
  • A collection of recipes from her cookbooks (courtesy of Lisa Murphy
  • A copy of her book Lady Gwendolyn (courtesy of Karen Hoy)
  • A photograph of the winner's choice from her Etsy store (courtesy of Alicia Dunavan)

Donate a Prize

All prizes are being donated by individuals and organizations in the genealogy community.

Will you donate a prize? It can be anything that would be fun or valuable to genealogists, with at least a $25 face value.

E-mail Eowyn at eowyn@wikitree.com.

Participation: Adding Sources and Counting Sourced Profiles

Participating means removing profiles from the Unsourced Profiles category. They cannot be profiles that you created.

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.

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}} Research Note Box tag.
  3. Save the profile and click the Challenge Tracker button.
  4. On the Challenge Tracker, select the Source-a-Thon checkbox.
Visit the Source-a-Thon Instruction Video
for a step-by-step walkthrough of these instructions.

If you don't find a source after searching, 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.

For more details:



Everyone who participates in the Source-a-Thon will be on a team.

Teams are just groups of people working together and encouraging each other. Many teams are having fun with this and will be sourcing profiles in the same area, cheering each other on, and otherwise helping each other.

See Source-a-Thon Teams.

Badges + Free Course   source_a_thon_2017.gif source_a_thon_winner_2017.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 Profile Sticker that you can put on your profile after the race is over to show your race number, number of sourced profiles, and final ranking.

Every registered participant will also get a free course from the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Your choice of three:

  1. Connecting Families Online & Virtually
  2. Google for the Wise Genealogist
  3. Social Media for the Wise Genealogist

For a complete description of the above courses, please go to: Genealogical Studies, click on the menu item COURSES, click COURSES again in the dropdown menu. Click alphabetical order, and then click on the name of the course.

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.

Prior Source-a-Thons

  • Login to edit this profile and add images.
  • Private Messages: Contact the Profile Managers privately: Chris Whitten and Challenges WikiTree. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)

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Categories: Source-a-Thon