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WikiTree Connect-a-Thon Tutorial

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: 12 Jul 2019 to 15 Jul 2019
Surnames/tags: connect_a_thon challenges
This page has been accessed 4,723 times.



Our goal for the Connect-a-Thon is to decrease the number of profiles that are not connected to our big tree by spending 72 hours adding new (and sourced!) profiles of family members.

If you have any questions not covered in the Help Page then ask on G2G.

Adding Profiles

  • If you are adding profiles from your GEDCOM check out the Walk Through on the current process.
  • Check out the How-To page for ideas on editing profiles.

Finding Sources

This is to help you find records on FamilySearch and copy the citation over to your WikiTree profile.
Note: If you can't see one of the pictures good enough you can click on it and open it in a new window or tab to see it larger.
Look at the profile you want to research. You can find the Research button in two places:
The first is on the upper right in the second menu. In this example it was Christopher Stone and his WikiID is Stone-564. Click on that then click on 'Research' near the bottom of that menu. The second place is on the right of the page, down past the comment box.
Log in to RootsSearch
The first time you use RootsSearch you will need to pick an email and password. The easiest way to remember it is to use the same email you use for WikiTree. After that you will login on this screen each time you use the RootsSearch button.

Add your genealogy sites to the RootsSearch buttons
If you are already using, MyHeritage, FindMyPast or other paid sites, you can add them to your research choices in RootsSearch.

Look for records on FamilySearch

You can look on those other sites if you are already a member. I recommend looking on FamilySearch first as it is a free site so everyone can look at the records you find. FamilySearch sometimes has a little login glitch. If you click on it and it asks what you are looking for - go back to the RootsSearch page and click FamilySearch again. The second time it will open the search page.

RootsSearch automatically fills in the information
As you can see RootsSearch filled in all of the information you already have to make searching easier. If you don't have luck finding records, try shortening "York, Yorkshire, England" to just "England." If it is a United States of America location, try entering only the state in the birth and death place (i.e. Kentucky).

Find a record that looks right
Find an entry that looks right for your ancestor. In this example I'm using the record of a Mary Stone that has Christopher Stone as a father. Using your mouse, drag your cursor over the text (I put a blue box around it). Right click and select 'copy.'

Paste into your WikiTree profile
Now go to your profile that is open on Edit Mode. Scroll down until you see the Sources section. Type an asterisk * (it marks the start of each source). Right click with your mouse and select 'paste.' You can use the same method in the first help section to hide the link. Notice I put 'FamilySearch' and the brackets to hide the url.

Type 'Added birth record' in 'Explain your changes' section
Now type in the reason you made changes to the profile and then click 'Save.' Now instead of others viewing the profile just seeing a link - they can tell it is a birth record, where you found it, and what information it contains.
Go ahead and practice finding sources for the profiles you have already created. And congratulations for learning how to use a full source citation!

Pre-1700 Sources

  • The definition of a source is 'where something came from.' The difference in a genealogy site, such as WikiTree, is that the quality of the source becomes more important the further you go back in history. Pre-1700 profiles should not have FindAGrave, Ancestry (or other site) family trees, Family History etc as a Primary Source. You can put them in a 'See Also' section so you can refer to them as a tool while researching. These do not count as a source on a pre-1700 profile for any of the Thons.
  • If you are looking for Reliable Sources for Pre-1700 Profiles check out the ever-expanding WikiTree Category. There may be sources for your location of interest that you didn't know was there.

Hiding a Source Link

Copy the URL Web address from the search bar. Then paste your link into the Sources section
Leave one empty space after the link and type in what it is (or paste in):
  • Frederick Andrew "Fred" Bevensee, Iowa State Census, 1905
Now add the brackets:
  • [ Frederick Andrew "Fred" Bevensee, Iowa State Census, 1905]
This will result in a source that looks like this:
Click Preview and then if satisfied click Save

Inserting a Source into your Biography

Note: See the Helpful Links section below for how to quickly add sources
Add a census in the Biography section.
To easily insert the open/close tag at the end of the text for the source click the capital C above in the edit box. See below example:
Edit Box
Fred Bevensee lived in Iowa in 1905.<ref>insert reference here</ref>
Type your sentence in the Biography section. Enter your URL between the Tags, add a space then enter the name of the source. See: Example below, This will result in a source that looks like this in Edit mode:
Fred Bevensee lived in Iowa in 1905.<ref> Iowa State Census, 1905</ref>
It will look like this in Preview or Public mode:
Fred Bevensee lived in Iowa in 1905.[1]
  1. ↑ Iowa State Census, 1905

You can then hide the link if you desire as described above
Fred Bevensee lived in Iowa in 1905.[2]
1.↑ Iowa State Census, 1905

Find Unconnected Profiles on Your Watchlist

You may want to start with Unconnected ancestors on your own Watchlist. Where is that darn list, by the way? πŸ€” Here's how to find it:

Do I really have Unconnected Profiles? 😲 How do I check? Click on that 'Unconnected' button and find out!

Wow, I do have Unconnected Profiles! Now what? 😡 There are all kinds of nifty ways to sort those Unconnected ancestors:

Now you know how to find your own Unconnected Ancestors. Find a census (or other record) and get to adding children, siblings or parents. Before you know it they will reach out far enough to connect to other branches!

Image Copyright

In order to keep WikiTree free for everyone to use, one of the things we do is respect usage laws regarding photographs and documents. If you do not have the photograph in your personal possession (taken and owned by you), please remove the pictures from the following profiles (and any others you have added them to):
Note: FindAGrave does not allow people to publicly post pictures from their site online without express written permission by the owner of the photograph.
Documents downloaded from sites such as Ancestry or FamilySearch are also protected by copyright laws. Please do not use them on your WikiTree profiles. Thank you!

Helpful Links

Hints for Research

  • Use the 'Research' button on each profile for Ancestry and FamilySearch
  • Use your own text for Google searches, trying several variations. First look at 'More' and 'Books.' If nothing is found, look at the 'All' tab. Examples of variations:
    • Duncan Lindsay Scotland
    • Duncan Lindsay 1726 Scotland
    • Duncan Lindsay New York
    • Duncan Lindsay Anna McDougall
    • Duncan Lindsay married Anna McDougall
    • Duncan Lindsay Migrated
    • Duncan Lindsay died 1791
  • Use the 'C' citation button for sources. Then, go into the <ref> section and add name="xxx" Note: I use the ref name= style, then copy just that first part < ref name="xxx" > and paste it after each sentence that it applies to. You DO need to add in a forward slash < ref name="xxx" /> (without any extra spaces). This way, if I find more information that fits into the middle of a paragraph, each sentence is already cited. If you only put the citation at the end - some of your sentences may lose that citation later on.
  • If you aren't comfortable with the 'name' added to the citation - just use the Citation button. Let people know where each bit of information came from.
  • On a Post-1700 profile I prefer to do the sections as such: residence, then family, then any Military, then any Death & Legacy found, THEN write the bio (it still goes at the top of the page). This allows you to track migration, check the children's birthplaces against the residence, keep the sources out of the main biography, and makes errors easier to find. I also find it useful for creating the actual bio - as I can then draw from the information I have laid out. Everyone has their own way of researching and creating profiles - so find a style and manner that works for YOU. (Note: You can add those profiles now and then go back after the Thon and write a Biography if you want. Especially if it is your own ancestor.)
  • Keep a Windows Notepad file on commonly used, or hard to remember, items (such as census tables you can copy and paste, a 'generic' link for Ancestry you can adapt, the FindAGrave template, link to the WT flag page, Migrating Ancestor sticker, Minimal profile headings, etc.
  • Look at profiles that others have created within your era for ideas. The older ones can be looked at in 'Edit' mode to see how they created certain sections.

And Most of All...

HAVE FUN!!! Chat with your team members, cheer each other on, have (pretend) arguments over coffee vs. tea, etc. This is supposed to be a relaxing, fun-filled, sometimes exhausting event that will also improve our Global Tree (grin)
Note: If you can't see the images well enough then right-click on them and 'Open in new tab' or 'Open in new window.' This will let you see the pictures full-sized.
Hint: Bookmark the sections that were helpful to you. Some of these ideas can be used year round!


Comments: 13

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I started out in April working on Clean-a-Thon. I know how difficult it can to learn while participating. Just focus on creating good profiles and then adding. Children and Family.

The adding profiles and Connect-a-Thon Tutorial are incredibly helpful in showing you exactly what to do. I recommend printing them out. I print most things out so I can make notes.

That Challenge tab isnΒ’t part of this Thon. Just create a profile, add 1 source and connect it to an existing profile.

You can do this!

what am I doing wrong? every profile seems to be rejected when I hit the challenge tab?
I am far too new to be competing in a contest, but I'm hoping I can find new skills and opportunities to create avenues of study. What I mean is that I may not be able to source yet, but I may be able to see what primary sources are available and learn some skill in accessing them. I've seen some original documents and cannot for the life of me read them! Maybe some of you can! Separating out real connections from fantasy attachments to see an authentic story would be fascinating!
posted by Amanda (Moyer) Torrey
You can check the Connect-a-Thon Help page for more information on scoring and prizes. The link is in that first paragraph: Help page.


posted by Mindy Silva
i just added a tag 'connect_a_thon' , should I use 'hyphon' instead of '_' ? This tutorial for 'sourcing' syntax is quite helpful. will learn as I go along...
posted by [Living ye]
I was looking for how the actual challenge works. Procedures, scoring and so on. I guess I have to keep looking.
posted by [Living Winter]
This is incredibly helpful! Wish I had read this when I first started WikiTree a month ago!
posted by Emily (Loy) Martinez
You did a great job on this tutorial.
posted by Lucy (Wilson) Robinson
You are supposed to add a new profile, so just making that new connection wouldn't count. Good question!
posted by Mindy Silva
Hi, asking a question for a Connect-a-thon member, ........."if I link two unconnected profiles on wikitree as related ... does that count or not ?"

Or are points only for new profiles?

posted by Maggie N.
Honestly, I don't get the Connect-a-Thon. The old stereotype was a brick wall. And man do I have one. No one, but no one has been able to offer any assistance in about oh, 25 to 30 years! I'm getting up there and it would be nice to have the anecdotes and the facts sort of add up before I have to hand this off to someone (no offers yet, I may have to use the thrust technique, lol).

Margaret Ann Dowling b abt 1868 d 1951 Paternal Grandmother w/o John Martyn, Mother of James Edward Martyn Thank you for your time!

posted by Michael Martyn

Categories: Silva-1055