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US Southern Colonies News Page - 2021 Archive

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US Southern Colonies Project | News Page | 2020 Archive | 2021 Archive | 2022 Archive

The News Page serves as the Newsletter for the US Southern Colonies Project. It went live on 29 October 2020 and shows current and previous months. This archive page includes 2021 postings no longer showing on the News Page.

~ Liz Shifflett, News Page Editor (the "I" in the articles), from 29 October 2020 through 2021


December News

Project News

WELCOME new project co-leader Scott McClain! You may already know Scott from his excellent work as Project Coordinator for Managed Profiles. The project is delighted that he was recognized by WikiTree as a Project Leader in November and is now also a co-leader of the US Southern Colonies Project.
Laura DeSpain and Betty Norman were also among the new Project Leaders announced in November. Laura is Team Leader of our Sourcerers Team and Betty's work on profiles for Jamestown settlers was recently featured (see September News).
Best wishes to Scott, Laura, and Betty in their new role. I know they will excel as Project Leaders, as they have already proven their worth by their work to date.

Team News

Connectors Team - Have you heard? 2022 will be WikiTree's "Year of Family Connections" and will include two extra Connect-a-Thons (see this G2G post for details). Now would be a great time to join our Southern Colonies Connectors Team.
Province of Georgia Team is looking for volunteers to help complete the Ann Passenger List by adding the remainder of the passengers to WikiTree. The Ann comprises the first settlers to the Province of Georgia.
Data Doctors Team - Have you noticed that the Suggestions Lists are color coded? There are three types of suggestions - Error, Warnings, and Hints. See more here. You can help with the project's 450+ suggestions by searching for your WikiTree ID on the project's list (here). You can also search by colony: there are only a few instances of "Georgia", a couple dozen hits on "Maryland", under a hundred for "Carolina", and Virginia needs its own Data Doctors group. While you can work on suggestions whether or not you are an "official" Data Doctor, both the Data Doctors Project and our Southern Colonies Data Doctors Team are always looking to recruit new members (and Team members must also be members of the Data Doctors Project).
Arborists Team - Speaking of recruiting... Team Leader Shirley Dalton has put a call out to the Arborists Project seeking members with an interest in the southern colonies who would like to help clean up and merge profiles from Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas, and Georgia who lived prior to 1776. If you're an Arborist, or are interested in becoming one, please contact Shirley (note that Arborists Team members must also be Arborists Project members).
And don’t forget to check on merges involving profiles on your own watchlist: click here, then select "My Watchlist" (top right in the pyramid of choices). Also check on "Pending Merges Initiated by Me" - the choice below “My Watchlist”. I just did and found over a dozen of the merges that I had proposed now had default approval. Remember that not all merges that receive default approval (and not even all those approved by a profile manager) are necessarily correct. Always re-read the profiles and any comments before completing a merge.


To Ken Spratlin, who did the lion's share of the work in adding the now-required colony parameter to the 4000+ profiles with either the project box or project sticker that lacked it just a few short months ago. What a colossal undertaking! THANK YOU Ken!!
To Shirley Dalton, who has also finished a colossal undertaking - updating profiles for the Jamestown Society's Qualifying Ancestors. See her comment below, posted 24 November. THANK YOU Shirley!!
And thank you to all our project members working toward improving the profiles of southern colonists!

P.S. - To all project members: If you haven't already, please switch the category on your profile to the (relatively) new Category:US Southern Colonies Project Members (from Category:US Southern Colonies Project, so that category can truly be a "top-level category", which means it has no people profiles).

P.P.S. - Happy Holidays!

News Posted as a Comment, 24 November 2021
I've been working since September on updating the WikiTree Checklist of Jamestowne Society Qualifying Ancestors. This list includes pre-1700 individuals who were stockholders in the London Company or the Virginia Company; owned land or lived on Jamestown Island; resided in Virginia at the time of the 1624/25 muster or earlier; served as elected or appointed officers in Virginia; was an Anglican Church minister or an official Indian Interpreter. Many WikiTree members trace their ancestry back to one of these people. It has taken me a while, but I finally finished reviewing the list from A-Y (there are no Zs). It was quite an adventure. I think the most interesting thing I learned was how close-knit a group the early colonists were. The same names kept coming up as neighbors, witnesses to legal documents, marriage partners, etc. There still are quite a few names on the list who have no profiles on WikiTree. If your ancestry goes back to early Virginia, maybe you can add a new profile for some of those we're missing. ~ Shirley (Strutton) Dalton
Reply, 24 November 2021
Thank you for this effort! This is a great resource and an amazing contribution to the Project and to WikiTree in general! ~ Scott McClain

November 2021

October sped by me & soon everyone will be caught up in winter holiday celebrations. I have not been as active in WikiTree this month as I normally am, so I don't actually have anything to share. How about we make this a "build your own" newsletter? Post your news in the comments to share with anyone passing by and those members of the project who have signed up for the Project Account Google Group. ~ Liz Shifflett, News Page editor

Here are a couple of thoughts to get you started...

What? There are two Google Groups for the US Southern Colonies Project?

Yes, yes there are. Everyone in the project should be a member of the project's Discussion Google Group. The Project Account Google Group, which is tied to WikiTree-24 (the project account), is optional for project members. It's the group that receives e-mail copies of comments posted to profiles and space pages managed by the project (via WikiTree-24). If you send a join request for the Project Account Google Group, be sure to include your WikiTree ID so that we can confirm you're a project member (both groups are "member only").

How does activity impact awareness?

I mentioned I didn't have anything to share because I haven't been as active as usual. I have found that WikiTree is one of those things that the more you put in, the more you get out. For instance, participating in G2G - if you don't "uncheck" the box to get notified if the discussion gets a new post - will increase your participation, or at least your awareness.
Did you know there's a Weekend Chat? It's like a block party for WikiTree. You've missed the 29-31 October Weekend Chat, but jump in next weekend - you can find it under tag/weekend_chat - weekend_chat
Tags are a great way to focus your G2G participation. You'll get notices in daily and weekly e-mails about your followed tags (if you haven't "deselected" the option to receive those e-mails). For your list of followed tags, click Special:Following. For general information, see Help:Tags.
Are you a member of a project? If not, join one! If you are, check in to see what tasks you might be able to help with.
Many projects have challenges. Participating in a challenge is a great way to increase your participation. See challenges - for example
The weekly WikiTree Challenge can be a bit daunting, but you can always pick one of your own ancestors to work on for the week, or the month. If they were living in the United States in 1850 or later, you can probably find them with the names of others in the household and their near neighbors in the census records available at FamilySearch. You can also check to see if there's an applicable project that might have a Reliable Sources page or other resource guidance that could help get you started. Build out your ancestor's family, adding siblings & their spouses/children. I have made some amazing connections with new-to-me cousins who shared information about our shared ancestors that was also new to me!
Speaking of Cousins... there's a new feature. Did you see the Announcement? If you follow the announcements tag, you probably did. If not, check it out here. If you missed the announcement about the cousins app, you probably also missed the announcement about WikiTree's Google Calendar - a great place to see what challenges start when.

Enough food for thought? Have some ideas to share, or requests for future articles? Post a comment!

October News

Source-a-Thon! Many US Southern Colonies Project members have signed up for Team Virginia. If so, you've already seen the great advice posted by Sandy Patak to Team Virginia's page - mostly for first-time participants, the tips are useful for more experienced participants too. (If Sandy's name sounds familiar, she's the project's PC for Colonial Teams as well as co-captain of the Source-a-Thon's Team Virginia.)

If you're looking for reliable sources, check out the links on this page, and also on the project's Reliable Sources pages:

Quick-links for Sources pages
US Southern Colonies Project Reliable Sources
Maryland Virginia
Some pages are under development. See also
Another note from the US Southern Colonies Project Reliable Sources page: After finding a reliable source, care must be taken to establish that the source belongs to your profile.
And if you add one of the project's Maintenance Categories, remember that you also need to add details in the Research Notes. The note should say why the category was added, what needs to be done before removing the category, and your linked name/date ("sign" it with ~~~~ to add that automatically). Also, the "Needs Extensive Work" category is not a catchall; it is used when more than three needs categories apply, and you'll need to list at least four needs categories with details and your signature of ~~~~

Updates from around the WikiTree

Chase continues to update his Ancestor Explorer app: check out this G2G post from June (the latest update was in July).
WikiTree updates can be found in G2G, tagged announcements. One of the most recent updates was the addition of "draft" saves. See details here.
If you missed some of the latest stickers - see
Those links go to the template pages for the stickers, where you can find details about their parameters and how to use them. For a comprehensive list of stickers, see Category: Stickers.
And another cool "how we connect" feature is the "My Connections" button found in the upper right of any Category page, such as the category for the project's Unsourced Profiles (if the category has more than 200 profiles - which Category: Maryland Colonists does, for example, you'll need to click the "Next" button to see connections past the first 200).

September News


Source-a-Thon is coming! The sixth annual Source-a-Thon will be 1-4 October, but registration is already open. Sign up now by answering this G2G post.
For help with sources for profiles within the scope of the project - pre-1776 Maryland, Virginia, Carolinas & Georgia - see the project's Reliable Sources page, which has information about general and multi-colony sources, with links to the colony-specific pages. The project also has a "Sources and Resources Directory" with those links and more, including links to colony-specific WikiTree Source pages.
WikiTree Source pages have great information. Take a look through the links here. As you explore the links, check the categories that a page is in too, to find similar pages. One of the source pages you can find through the category Virginia Colony Genealogy Resources is Space: Early Colonial Settlers of Southern Maryland and Virginia's Northern Neck Counties. Although it is an online tree, which is not a reliable source, it frequently includes primary sources that are.
G2G is another great resource, even if you're not the one seeking help! For example, tips on finding early Maryland wills are discussion for the This G2G discussion, for example, has tips on finding early Maryland wills.

Team News

Jamestown Team's Betty (Skelton) Norman has been steadily working on "quality assurance" for profiles of Jamestown settlers. She has written some great biographies in the process - check out a couple of my favorites (the first two) and her favorite:
Shirley (Strutton) Dalton has been working through the list of Jamestowne Society Qualifying Ancestors (this list) and steadily adding to the "WikiTree" column.
Nice work, the both of you, and much appreciated!!

New Jamestown Stickers

Speaking of Jamestown - the replacement stickers have finally arrived! You might recall that about a year ago, the tailored stickers for Jamestown profiles that were based on the Recognition Sticker began generating suggestions (DBE 846 Died before template time frame) because the Recognition Sticker should only be used on the profiles of active WikiTree members, not Jamestown settlers. The replacement stickers can be used on any profile, if appropriate. See Stickers for Jamestown Colony for an overview of available Jamestown stickers (and this page for project stickers). The new Jamestown stickers are

August News

Team News

Connectors Team ~ from Sandy Patak

If you liked the 2021 WikiTree Connect-A-Thon and want to continue connecting within the Southern Colonies, join our Project's Connectors Team. Participate across the Southern Colonies or a specific Colony/Location.
You can join by posting to the Team page, stating that you wish to join the Connectors Team, if you're already a member of the US Southern Colonies Project. If you're not a project member, first head over to the project's Welcome post in G2G & say you'd like to join the Connectors Team in your answer there.

Membership Team ~ from Mary Richardson

The June 2021 check-in was completed 11 July.

Categories Team

The project box now accommodates the addition of a colony: Maryland, Virginia, Jamestown (pre-1625), Carolina (pre-1712), North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. While adding a colony to the project sticker changes the text as well as the category, only the category changes when added to the project box. Changing {{US Southern Colonist}} to {{US Southern Colonist|Maryland}}, for example, moves the profile out of Category: US Southern Colonists to Category: Maryland Colonists.
Team Leader Ken Spratlin provided details in posts to the project's Discussion Google Group, but in general we're working toward making US Southern Colonists a top-level category (no people profiles). Those profiles that are managed by the project, and therefore display the project box, can be found via WikiTree-24's watchlist or the template's "Pages using the template".
The Template page for a project box or sticker has a wealth of information, including the timeframe for appropriate use (the enddate for our templates is 1776, meaning the person had to have been born in or before 1776, otherwise the template use is reported as DBE 847 Born after template time frame) and values for named parameters - for example, see the last box on Template: US Southern Colonist Sticker. The parameters box also notes "Usage" - Optional, Preferred, or Required. For both the project box and sticker, the usage of colony is now Required. This means that after the next database scrub, profiles with a project box or sticker without a colony added should show up in suggestion reports for "DBE 894 Missing Required parameter in template" (they haven't as of 30 July 2021).
And speaking of DBEs... While the Categories Team looks for DBEs related to the project's categories and templates, the project's Data Doctors Team works on cleaning all DBEs from project profiles. Check out the Data Doctors Team page for more information, including links for project-related DBEs.

July News

Team News

Province of Georgia Team ~ from Sandy Patak

The Georgia Team has a few Mini Projects that anyone can jump in and help with, including adding the first Quakers to the Province of Georgia.
4th of July Profile Spotlight: Brig. General Lachlan McIntosh - Immigrant from Scotland that rose to Brig. General in the Continental Army.

Connectors Team ~ from Sandy Patak

The 2021 WikiTree Connect-A-Thon registration is now open. The event will start on Friday, July 23, at 8 AM (EDT) and run until Monday, July 26, at 8 AM (EDT). Personally, I am partial to Team Virginia. :)
For those that love Connecting on WikiTree, the US Southern Colonies Project has a dedicated Connectors Team that you can participate in all year.

Membership Team

Did you get a message from Mary Richardson, Project Coordinator for Membership, about the June Check-In? Did you reply? Please do! Mary is coordinating the June 2021 check-in. Many of the projects reorganized in recent years, including the re-launched US Southern Colonies Project, conduct a check-in every 6 months to get feedback about what the project could be doing to improve the experience for its members and also to check that members still want to be active participants in the project. Your feedback is important to the project's Leadership Team!
Don't forget that if you are a project member, the correct category for your profile is Category: US Southern Colonies Project Members (this is a relatively recent change, so check your category and add "Members" if you're still in the old category). You can also add the Member sticker to your profile: {{Member|Southern Colonies}}

More Leadership Team Announcements!

Last month's news was "Leadership Roles Filling Up" as we welcomed Kelly Clarke as Team Leader of the Pre-1700 and 1700-1776 Managed Profiles Teams and Mary Richardson as our new Project Coordinator for the Membership Team.
This month's news is We're Full! I am delighted to make the following announcements:
Other news about the project's Leadership Team is news from me, Liz Shifflett. I have stepped down as co-leader of the US Southern Colonies Project. I will miss being on the Leadership Team but the project is in good hands, and I am still an active member - e.g., editor of the News Page!
If you're a badged Project Leader and would be interested in joining the project as a co-leader, please contact co-leader Darlene Athey-Hill. While all of the project's leadership positions may be filled, the project could really use another co-leader... or two!

What Does PPP Mean for Management of a Profile?

If you're new to WikiTree, you might not know that project-protected profiles - referred to as "PPP" and marked with the Project Protected banner - did not always require that a project be a manager, although it was recommended that the profile identify which project had protected it, usually by displaying the appropriate project box. (You can always search in the Changes to see who protected it - editing a profile to add or remove PPP is listed as "edited the Locked Status".) When WikiTree's guidelines were clarified in late 2017, US Southern Colonies Project had THOUSANDS of profiles displaying the project box, many of which were also PPP. Shorthand for the clarified guidelines is "If PB, then PA and vice versa; if PPP, then PB & PA" (PB= project box; PA= project account - US Southern Colonies' is WikiTree-24).
June's News included information about the remaining 3000 or so profiles that had displayed the project box having those templates converted to stickers by EditBot. It also included the News Flash that reviewing those profiles was completed on 9 June. This was the culmination of much dedicated work, spearheaded by Jillaine Smith and David Douglass, joined more recently by Ken Spratlin. Congratulations y'all!
However, there are still quite a lot of profiles that are PPP without the support of a project, and work continues to review those profiles (for lists of these profile, see the following wikitree+ pages: for 1500-1699 and for 1700-1799).
If you run across a profile that is protected and that you think should be managed by the US Southern Colonies Project, please fill out the Managed Profile Request form - see this page for more information and a link to the form. If you think it does not need to be protected, or managed by a project, let a Project Leader know (any project member with a Project Leader badge, which includes me - Liz - or you can post to G2G from the profile).

New Project Category

Check out the project's latest category - US Southern Colonies Family Studies. It is for WikiTree free-space pages that take a closer look at a family or individual. The category page has a link to the WikiTree space page for Family Genealogies - published works that may have information such as wills and other records, or give you leads on where to look for such records. Remember - just like online databases of family trees, published family trees are only as reliable as the sources they cite!

US Southern Colonies Project Reliable Sources Pages

Speaking of reliable sources... the Colonial Teams now each have a separate "Reliable Sources" page, and each page has quick-links to them all:
Quick-links for Sources pages
US Southern Colonies Project Reliable Sources
Maryland Virginia
Join the project's Sourcerers Team and help us improve Profiles.

June News

Leadership Roles Filling Up

It gives me great pleasure to share this news!
  • Please welcome Kelly Clarke as Team Leader of the Pre-1700 and 1700-1776 Managed Profiles Teams.
  • Please welcome Mary Richardson as our new Project Coordinator for the Membership Team. Mary is one of the founding members of the original US Southern Colonies Project, has led the Jamestown Team since the beginning, when it was a sub-project, and leads the Carolina, North Carolina, and South Carolina Teams. She has also conducted several check-ins and will be conducting the project's June 2021 check-in - the third for the re-launched project. (I conducted the January check-in... finishing up just yesterday[!!] and am ever so grateful that Mary volunteered for the PC Membership position in time to conduct the June check-in.)
The project's teams are listed here.

Project-Preferred Locations: Location Preferences page

Aleš Trtnik has been working with projects on refining locations used in the datafields for profiles, in order to improve searching by location. New database suggestions included ones when "project-preferred locations" are not used. Previously these were only listed in the suggestions for orphaned profiles, but that restriction has been lifted. The Data Doctors Project page includes a link for the weekly report, where you'll find a table of suggestions, including Birth (618), Death (648), and Marriage (678) Location Country "not preferred by project".
Kathy Zipperer, of the US Southern Colonies Project's Data Doctors Team, worked with Aleš to provide our input and helped with the development of the project's Location Preferences page. Thanks Kathy!

New Pages for Maintenance Categories

Thanks to great work by Ken Spratlin, we have a one-stop reference for Maintenance categories AND criteria for project-managed profiles!
Take a look: US Southern Colonies Project Maintenance Categories.
That page doesn't include a new maintenance category that has already been emptied and deleted - Category: US Southern Colonies Potential. The category was created 20 May 2021 and EditBot added 2000 profiles to it on that date. These were the profiles that remained after more than a year of work by the Managed Profiles Teams to resolve thousands of profiles that were incorrectly displaying the project box (if a profile displays a project box, the corresponding project must be a manager). Ken Spratlin lent his support to Jillaine Smith's unflagging efforts in the past month or so, and they continue to review these profiles to check that profiles within the scope of the project needing protection by a project, or just project management, are picked up by the project. News Flash: All the profiles in the category were processed by early June! This item was updated to remove the link to the category so that the category could be deleted on 9 June 2021.

Project-Managed Profiles Page and Updated Managed Profile Request Form

If you run across a profile for a Maryland, Virginia, Carolina, or Georgia colonist that you think might need to be a project-managed profile, or a project-protected profile (PPP), we have a page for that now too! Please see US Southern Colonies Project-Managed Profiles, which includes Criteria for both. (And I'd like to thank Ken Spratlin for his excellent rewrite of the first draft of this page!)
The Managed Profile Request form, and the Managed Profile Requests page that links to it, have been updated to reflect the clarified criteria listed on the Project-Managed Profiles page.


I just want to give an extra shout-out to all of our project members. Since joining the project as a co-leader in October, I have been working closely with the project's Leadership Team and am SO appreciative of all that they do. In finishing up the January check-in so that I could have a squared-away membership list to turn over to Mary for the June check-in, I saw just how much work all of our project members devote to improving colonial profiles. Thanks so much to all of you for all that you do - for the project and for WikiTree! ~ Liz Shifflett

May News

Project-specific Editing Guidance Published

If you're working on a profile for a pre-1776 colonist in Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, or Georgia and have a question about how to do something, check out these pages

US Southern Colonies Project Editing Guidance &
US Southern Colonies Project Profile Example

If you don't see the answer you need, or a link to where to find an answer, post a comment on the project's Editing Guidance page.

We got the pages finished just in time for the Clean-a-Thon & made the announcement in G2G - "off schedule" from the monthly News Page update - about "US Southern Colonies Project has some News you maybe can use during the Clean-A-Thon!"

Feedback from those who had occasion to use the pages during the thon has been positive. Speaking of Clean-a-Thon participants...

Clean-a-Thon 2021

Virtual US Southern Colonies Project Team

Fun facts:
Not a fair comparison, since project members are active and probably a lot of the 800,000+ WikiTree members are not. Still, 34 out of 162 isn't half (fifth?) bad. Here's our Virtual Team (and their IRL team):
  1. Pip Sheppard - Southern Super Sweepers
  2. Kathy Zipperer - Southern Super Sweepers
  3. Sandy Patak - Team Virginia (co-captain)
  4. Patty LaPlante - Team Roses
  5. Virginia Fields - Southern Super Sweepers
  6. Bill Vincent - Team Virginia
  7. Kelly Kley - Cornbread Catchers
  8. LaMyra Morton - Team Missouri
  9. Sarah Mason - Twisted Thistles
  10. Darlene Athey-Hill - Musty Dusty
  11. Liz Shifflett - Team Virginia
  12. Sherrie Mitchell - Team Virginia
  13. Laura DeSpain - Mighty Oaks
  14. Emily Holmberg - Tree Nuts
  15. Chris Brady - Team Virginia
  16. Tara Wildes - Cornbread Catchers
  17. Cathie Stumpenhaus - Southern Super Sweepers
  18. Marsha Sturdivant - Southern Super Sweepers
  19. Mary Richardson - Cornbread Catchers
  20. Mags Gaulden - Cornbread Catchers
  21. William K. Foster - Team Virginia
  22. Amanda Torrey - Team Virginia
  23. Eleanor Colson - unaffiliated
  24. Loralee Hutton - Canada Cleanup Crew
  25. Karen Wood - Team Virginia
  26. Lynette Jester - unaffiliated
  27. Beth Stephenson - Musty Dusty
  28. SJ Baty - Southern Super Sweepers
  29. Jillaine Smith - unaffiliated
  30. Donna Harris - unaffiliated
  31. Loretta Buckner - unaffiliated
  32. Gerald Jones - unaffiliated
  33. Tammy Kirkpatrick - unaffiliated
  34. Brenda Breland Shaffer - unaffiliated
Some of the participants didn't realize they were participating. You had to register in advance to sign up for a team and be eligible to win a T-shirt (winners were announced during the Hangouts). Those participants noted as "unaffiliated" had not pre-registered, but if any WikiTree member corrected a suggestion & updated the status for that suggestion over the 72 hours that the thon ran, their numbers were included. If you caught any of the Hangouts where the "No-Name Team" was mentioned, that's them. They came in 15th, by the way.
So how did we do? Drum roll... we cleaned 23,188 suggestions, which puts our Virtual Team in 3rd place (between Team Roses with 30,112 & Southern Super Sweepers, with 21,384).
To see numbers by Team & User, [click here]. To see numbers by User, [click here].
Everyone I heard from who participated had a great time. The team commraderie and chats - by team and every 4 hours in the Hangouts - are not only fun but also educational. I've been a WikiTree member since 2012 and I learn something every thon (usually many things).
See this G2G post for more wrap-up info - I'll give one bit away: 233,558 suggestions cleaned!!
See Challenges for G2G posts about challenges happening between the thons.

New Project Maintenance Categories

During the Clean-a-Thon, we encountered a lot of profiles within the project's scope that could really use some TLC. Because of the time crunch, we wanted a way to "tag" them so we could come back later to work on them, but we discovered that many didn't fit in one of our existing Maintenance categories - or fit in too many. So we now have two new ones:


We have several positions to be filled, plus a need for a Google sheet guru (two different sheets needing a "keeper" - contact Jillaine for the Managed Profiles sheet; contact Liz for the other - a more detailed version of the member table).
Postions to be filled (see this page for descriptions of the project's PC and TL roles):
Also - calling all Project Leaders (you know who you are, but for everyone else, [click here]). Members who are also Project Leaders -
  • if you'd be interested in joining the project's leadership team as a co-leader, please contact Liz.
  • if you're not not interested in taking on a (or another) leadership role but could help now and then with PPP on/off and adding/removing the project account, please contact Liz or Jillaine.

Thanks to [all of our project members] for everything you do to improve the project, profiles, and WikiTree!

April News

It has been a quiet month. Contact the editor if you have something you'd like covered!

Colony of Virginia

The project has a new page: Virginia General Assembly (pre-1643). The page lists burgesses who attended the first General Assembly in 1619 and those attending the first bicameral assembly, held in 1642/3.

March News

Connectors Team

Wonderful news - Sandy Patak, Colonial Teams Project Coordinator and Province of Georgia Team Leader - is now also the Connectors Team Leader. Thank you Sandy!

Province of Georgia Team

Report by Sandy Patak, Team Leader

The Province of Georgia Team Members have been working on profiles for the US Black History Month: Some Team Members have been working with the US Black Heritage's Connecting Challenge while other Team Members have been working on adding profiles to the Province of Georgia Slave Owners and Slaves categories for the Parishes.

We have added three new Team Members: expert Scottish researcher, Lynda Pollitt, to help out with the shiploads of that came to Georgia; Suzanne Howe who brings a lot of knowledge with the Brown, Clay, Armstrong & Willis families; and most recently, Paul Tolleson, whose ancestor John Daniel Tolleson was one of the many pioneers who moved to Georgia in the late 1700s.

The Province of Georgia now has an official Reliable Sources page! With the help of Jillaine Smith - the sourcing extraordinaire - this page provides one location to find quality sourcing resources along with advice on what to avoid using as a source.

Diverse Group - Interests of our project members are in no way confined to the Colonial South!

I check out the project's Family Activity Feed (activity on US Southern Colonies Project profiles) regularly, along with the Badge activity feed (activity by US Southern Colonies Project members), and I'm always proud to see project members collaborating on project profiles but also proud to see how many project members are active in other projects.

Are you active in other projects? Which ones? Post a comment here & let us know. At one point, I had responsibilities in so many projects that I had to put a "My Projects" table on my profile. Happily, I'm not spread quite so thin these days, but I do co-lead the Magna Carta Project as well as US Southern Colonies Project. And wouldn't you know, I do that Project's newsletter also. An article I wrote last month might be of interest to y'all too:

"Did you know? ... that WikiTree has an Apps Project? Producing all manner of cool apps!" (in the Magna Carta Project's February Newsletter)

Arborists Challenge

Part of the diversity is driven by a couple of our Profile Improvement Teams requiring membership in the corresponding project. For example, members of the Arborists Team are required to be active members of the Arborists Project.

Currently, the Arborists Project has a year-long challenge underway - the Unmerged Match Challenge. You can help by checking on the unmerged matches you've set (go to Special:BrowseMatches and click the link for "Unmerged Matches Initiated by Me").[1] This Challenge might be something the Colonial Teams could help with too. Check with your Team Leader if you'd be interested in spearheading Team participation in the Arborists Challenge.

Locations in "Place" Datafields

Speaking of challenges... the Clean-a-Thon is fast approaching. It will be 23-26 April this year. Registration opens 10 March, so look for that notice in G2G under the tag Challenges

This year there will be a lot more location-related suggestions to clean up, as new DBEs about a location's country were added in February (see this Data Doctors Report).

I recently sent an e-mail to the Google Groups for both the Virginia Project and US Southern Colonies Project and wanted to share it here too, with a bit added - prompted by the discussion in the US Southern Colonies Google Group. - Thanks to everyone contributing to that discussion!

With the new DBE suggestions about place names, I wanted to remind folks working on profiles with Virginia locations to please include County or Parish if that information is known. The reason: Virginia has parishes, counties, and towns with the same name that may not be in the same location. For example, from Albemarle County, Virginia Colony:

There is an Albemarle Parish that never served Albemarle County (Albemarle Parish served Surry and Sussex Counties from 1738 to 1753 and from 1753 to after 1785, respectively).

Also be mindful of using "Colony of Virginia" for pre-USA locations. In some cases, dropping "Colony" changes the location - for example, there were two Rappahannock Counties that did not cover the same area. One existed before the United States and one after. Also note that while the categories use "Virginia Colony", the preference for the datafields is "Colony of Virginia".

...pre-USA, often seen as "Old Rappahannock" is Category: Rappahannock County, Virginia Colony and post-USA, which exists today, is Category: Rappahannock County, Virginia.

One of Virginia's nicknames is "the Mother of States and Statesmen". Many of its pre-USA counties belong to other states today - such as the 50 counties that broke off to form West Virginia in the 1860s, and 9 counties that became Kentucky in 1792. The space page Virginia Counties and Parishes includes sections that cover those counties –

The "Virginia Counties" table on that page shows more than just counties. The entries show a wealth of information at a glance – the following row is an example:

Colony - VA - IC

The clickable links for Richmond, Ritchie, and Roane counties go to space pages for those counties. The clickable links for Colony and VA go to the pre-USA and USA categories for those counties; WV goes to the West Virginia category for the county. IC goes to the category for the Independent City of the same name (Virginia currently has 38 Independent Cities – see details on the Independent Cities, Virginia category page).

Not all of the parishes that served Virginia counties have a category page, but the ones that do can be found under Category: Virginia Parishes. Note that unless a county name is needed to distinguish parishes of the same name, the category name does not include the county. Take a look at Freddie Spradlin's page that shows the history of Virginia's parishes here. His page and the History of County Formations in Virginia 1617-1995 are great references for "what was it called, when" questions.

Joe Cook shared the following information:

"County formation, particularly in the Carolinas, was a moving target, both in the colonial period and following. South Carolina had parishes, districts, and counties at different times. North Carolina had a mishmash of area designations including judicial districts with the same names as towns - sometimes in the districts and sometimes not. Sometimes the territories of the judicial districts changed. Fortunately, there are tools to decipher this complicated history. For North Carolina, there is an interactive map documenting formation of the governmental entities by date. Similar maps exist for other regions. For North Carolina: http://www.usgennet.org/usa/nc/state2/amap/nccf.html"

Joe's post led to the creation of this page, with a collection of county formation links (thanks for your help with that Joe!). The page is the companion space page for the project's maintenance category: Category: US Southern Colonies Project Needs Location Research, which is for profiles that need project attention to verify that the location in the datafields and/or text existed at the time the person was living and make sense with the family's known locations/migration routes.

If you're working on profiles in that category and need help beyond the information on the Needs Location Research space page, you can post a question in G2G (tag it southern_colonies and the appropriate colony name as well as place_names) or post a comment on a project-managed profile (which will send an e-mail copy to the Project Account Google Group). If the profile is not managed by the project, you could post a comment to the appropriate Team's page (e.g., the Province of Carolina Team for a question about pre-1712 location in the Carolinas). For a list of colony-level teams, see the Colonial Teams page (all project teams are listed on this page).

Recruiting Notices

We've had some positions open up. David Douglass has been filling in as the Managed Profiles Teams Project Coordinator (PC) and the Pre-1700 Team Leader following Jillaine's decision to participate only as a Team Member. Contact David if you're interested in either position.

The Membership PC position is also available. Contact Darlene, Liz], or David if you're interested - or if you've heard from Greta (we're worried, since it's been months since she's been active in WikiTree).

The most important task of the Membership PC position is welcoming new members, which includes the following:

  • Respond to requests to join made via the project's G2G Welcome Post
  • Confirm that the person is pre-1700 certified, has made at least 100 contributions, and has been on WikiTree for 30+ days
  • Contact Darlene to get the person badged
  • Add person to team pages, membership worksheet, and Google group(s)

February News

January Check-in and Membership Boom

The 6-month member check-in was intended to be completed in January. Thank you to everyone who responded to the December rollcall e-mail and subsequent poll and check-in request. However, fewer than 50 members (out of about 140) responded, so it's been extended into February.
If you were a member of the project in 2020, please check the table on the US Southern Colonies Project Members page. To check in or make corrections, you can post a comment to that page or contact Liz, who's coordinating the January check-in.
Liz will also be updating the table with members who joined in 2021 - give her a week to catch up if you did and you're not yet listed in the table. We had a LOT of new members as the result of our new G2G Welcome post being featured in WikiTree's newsletter the last Wednesday of January.

THANK YOU to all of our members and WELCOME new members!

Team Updates

Bio Builders Team is delighted to have a Team Leader! Beth Stephenson recently joined the project, expressing an interest in the Bio Builders Team. When asked if she would accept the position of Team Leader, she said yes! Beth is a researcher who enjoys improving and writing biographies. As she says on her profile page: "I truly enjoy discovering information about my ancestors. I am an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. I am also a lifetime member of the Jamestowne Society." Beth is spearheading the project's selection and updating of representative profiles for WikiTree's Examples page, and the profile of Thomas Gibbons (1757-1826) was posted 28 January. If you're a project member and interested in joining the Bio Builders Team, post a comment on the Team page. (If you're interested but not a member, answer the project's G2G Welcome post.)
Categories Team did a bit of work on the project's US Southern Colonies Project Maintenance Categories recently:
The Unsourced and Conflated categories are added using those templates. The project also has seven maintenance categories[2] that can be added using the "needs=" parameter with the project box or project sticker (listed on US Southern Colonies Categories, in the Family Brick Walls / Mainenance Categories section. If you have another maintenance category you'd like to see added through the "needs=" parameter, post a comment on the Categories Team page. Post there if you're interested in joining the team too.[3]

Data Doctors Team: Team Leader Emily Holmberg canvassed her Team members for the January check-in and had a much better reply rate than the project is having overall: All but one of the Data Doctors replied. Thanks so much for the assist Emily!

Province of Georgia Team

The Georgia Team has been working on creating and improving profiles for varied "First" Settler Groups:
The timing was serendipitous: the Bio Builders asked the Colonial Teams for profiles to showcase on WikiTree's Examples page just as we were finishing with Thomas Gibbons' profile!
Always: Sourcing and Writing Biographies on Profiles, Database Errors (DBEs), Adding Southern Colonist Sticker, and Merges all with volunteers from the Team. If you'd like to join the Georgia Team, post a comment on the Team page.

Quality Assurance News from Mary Richardson and Betty Norman

A Carolinas Quality Assurance Team has been in place for a while, consisting of Mary, Betty, and Carol Wilder. Mary and Betty have recently started a Quality Assurance Team for Jamestown profiles. Mary is Team Leader of the Carolina teams - Carolina (to 1712), North Carolina (1712-1776), and South Carolina (1712-1776) - and also of the Jamestown Team.
In medical jargon, quality assurance is the protocols used to ensure Quality Control is performed. That refers to laboratory testing, but businesses use it also to ensure the product has been manufactured according to standards.
Our Quality Assurance Team has used this concept for profiles of colonial settlers of the Carolinas. With it the team evaluated the sources for dead links as well as no sources. Betty Normon and Carol Wilder checked the profiles in the categories of Province of Carolina, Province of North Carolina, and Province of South Carolina for dead links.
The team found many profiles with dead links and either repaired the link or replaced it with another source. If a good source could not be found, they disabled the bad link and added a comment to the citation. They added new sources to profiles which had none. They found many profiles that had no biography, so they wrote biographies, with sources.
This same concept is being used on Jamestown profiles, but is just beginning. In addition to finding bad links, our goal for Jamestown will be to find sources that identify a person as a Jamestown colonist or a Jamestowne Society Qualifying Ancestor and develop a new profile if one doesn't already exist.
If you'd like to help with these efforts, please contact Mary Richardson Team Leader for the Jamestown, Carolina, North Carolina, and South Carolina Teams.

January 2021 News

Project Members: Check your Team! All project members should have joined at least one team (see the list of teams). Please check the team page & if you haven't yet added something about your interests next to your name in the members list, please do. And Thanks!

Check Your Watchlist: Whether or not you're a project member, you can easily help with project goals by checking your watchlist for profiles that are categorized as US Southern Colonists. That category is added by both the project box and the project sticker.

If you are the manager or on the trusted list for a profile in Category: US Southern Colonists, when you click the [Limit to Watchlist] option at upper right of the category page, only those profiles will display. Each profile will have either the project box (1) or the project sticker (2).

1. If the project box is displayed, then the project account (WikiTree-24) needs to be a profile manager. But if the profile does not need to be managed by the project, you can change the project box to a sticker. If the profile is project-protected (PPP), and needs to be, the profile must also be managed by a project and display the corresponding project box.[4]
1.a. The profile needs to be managed by the US Southern Colonies Project but isn't: Please fill out the request form (see the link here).
1.b. The profile doesn't need to be managed by the US Southern Colonies Project but is: If you're a profile manager, you can remove the project account from the trusted list. If you're not, post a comment on the profile asking that the project be removed as manager.
1.c. The profile is PPP but doesn't need to be: If you're a project leader, you can remove PPP. If you aren't, and the profile is managed by the project, post a comment on the profile. If the project is not a manager, post to G2G from the profile (click the "Ask Question" button) & tag it southern_colonies to bring it to our attention.
Short answer about project box (PB), project account (PA), and PPP: If PB, then PA (and vice versa); if PPP, then PB & PA.[4]

U.S. Southern Colonies Project logo
... ... ... was a Southern Colonist.
If you need a refresher on what's a project box/what's a sticker - short answer: the sticker is at right (or above on a small screen) and the project box is below. For more information, see November News (on the 2020 archive page).
US Southern Colonies.
... ... ... resided in the Southern Colonies in North America before 1776.
Join: US Southern Colonies Project
Discuss: southern_colonies
2. If the profile displays the sticker, then the profile should not be managed by the project (see 1.b. above). The sticker, without any parameters, adds the profile to Category: US Southern Colonists. The project is working toward having only those profiles with the project box in that category by using the sticker's "colony switch" parameter, which will recategorize the profile from US Southern Colonists to a colony-specific category (see the template page and this page for details). If you need advice on which colony to add, post to one of the Colonial Team's page for help (links to the team pages are here), or post a comment on this page (include the WikiTree ID of the profile in question in either case).

Check Your Suggestions: Before leaving the profile you're checking, check its suggestions - especially if you've just made corrections. In the mini-menu at upper right, click "Suggestions" under the profile's WikiTree ID (you can check all suggestions for your watchlist if you click the "Suggestions" that is under "My WikiTree" in the mini-menu).

If the profile did not meet "if PB, then PA (and vice versa); if PPP, then PB & PA"[4] at the last update (generally every Monday, depending on where you are in the world), you'll have suggestions about that, such as DBE 926: "PPP With unpaired Project Account and ProjectBox". Update the status of the suggestion to "Corrected" (if it has been) or "Comment" that you've submitted a request for the project to manage the profile (for example).

Suggestions for News Page: I asked project members what they'd like to see covered & the following information stems from the feedback I received. If you have anything you'd like covered, send me a private message (Noland-165) or post a comment to this page.

Project-member Primer (useful links)

New Project Page: This News Page has project news from the current and previous months. Since that means October News went away last month and November News went away this month, we now have an archive page: US Southern Colonies News Page - 2020 Archive.

Project Member Check-In: It's time for the project's 6-month check-in. A rollcall request was sent with an e-mail to the project's Discussion Group about selecting an Examples profile for the project. If you're a project member and didn't receive that e-mail, please contact Liz Shifflett, co-leader & member of the Membership Team, who's coordinating this month's check-in. (If you did receive the e-mail, please reply!)


  1. You might be surprised by some of the pairs listed - if you proposed a merge and someone else postponed it (changed it to an Unmerged Match), it will show up on your list. (I was just reminded of this, since a merge I'd proposed showed up new on my unmerged match list - which I've gotten whittled down from about 70 to 50. Clearing an Unmerged Match can take some time, since the purpose of postponing a proposed merge is to allow time for research.)
  2. As of 3 April 2021, there were eight - Needs Project Attention was added.
  3. Please don't add a needs= parameter that has not been established, or you'll create a "wanted category" (it will display in red) that might not be named in accordance with Categorization Project guidelines or in a way that fits the project as well as it might. Also please don't add a colony switch to the project box, or more than one colony switch to the project sticker: the project box does not support colony switches, and the project sticker is designed to only support one colony.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 For more information about PPP, project boxes (PBs), project accounts (PAs), and project management, see Help:Project Protection, Help:Project_Boxes, Help:Project Accounts, and Help:Project-Managed_Profiles.


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