I have been researching my family tree since about 1985 - and things have changed enormously since then! At first, I had a few hundred names, mostly derived from conversations with great aunts and uncles and family bibles that had been passed down the generations.
I restarted my research in 2009, when my first child was born. Initially I wanted to create a printed family tree as a keepsake, but I quickly discovered the power of the internet, in particular the digitised census records on ancestry and the various pedigrees online. In a short timescale I quickly expanded my tree into over 5,000 names.
Having been an active contributor to Wikipedia since 2005, it made sense for me to join a free wiki, so I chose the then-largest one, WeRelate.  I have been active there ever since, expanding my genealogical work beyond my own family to also cover a "surname study" for my own surname, Turvey, and my mother's surname, Tulloch.  I have also managed to link my mother's ancestry to scottish noble families and, through them, to scottish royalty and most of the royalty of europe. So my family tree now tops more than 10,000 people!
In 2016 I started using WikiTree. The main drivers are the apparent financial problems on WeRelate, accompanied by a growth rate that has ground to a halt and a lack of development.
My experience of WikiTree (so far) is largely positive:
- the size is significantly larger, and this has already meant I have had many more family connections than on WeRelate - comparable to my experience of Ancestry
- the approach to older genealogy is more nuanced than the blanket prohibition on WeRelate, albeit there are significant quality complaints on both
- there is the same desire for quality genealogy, but WikiTree seems to have more positive ways to achieve this
- the manual entry is easier, in particular avoiding the unwelcome "family" type between individuals
- they have found a good solution for including living people but showing them with degrees of privacy. It also means they can merge the "User" and "Person" namespaces (which are separate on werelate), which has significant benefits
The downsides are - so far - manageable, although I'll have to see whether they become more of a problem as time progresses:
- it's still too difficult for the average genealogist to get involved, I think, and much harder than commercial equivalents. That will - at some stage - limit its development potential
- WikiTree X was a fantastic tool, but it stopped working one day for me and my repeated messages on that have fallen on deaf ears
- Perhaps reflecting this, it seems much harder compared to other wiki communities (wikipedia, werelate) to make suggestions and get a hearing. Partly I imagine this reflects the commercially-owned status.
- The community in turns seems much more hierarchical. Users are told they must collaborate with projects on pre-1700 profiles (which I dutifully do with zero benefit). Project leaders set conditions which members have to fulfil to join and then arrogate rights to control certain profiles. Does this result in a better quality website? Perhaps, but I find it quite tiresome myself.
I am looking forward to my time on this site and hopefully the overall good experiences will continue!
|Gen. No.||Relation to me||Total Possible Profiles||On Wikitree||Sourced||Biography||Genealogically Defined|
|5||2nd Great Grandparent||16||16||tbc||tbc||tbc|
|6||3rd Great Grandparent||32||31 (97%)||tbc||tbc||tbc|
|7||4th Great Grandparent||64||37 (58%)||tbc||tbc||tbc|
|8||5th Great Grandparent||128||45 (35%)||tbc||tbc||tbc|
|9||6th Great Grandparent||256||35 (14%)||tbc||tbc||tbc|
|10||7th Great Grandparent||512||33 (6%)||tbc||tbc||tbc|
|11||8th Great Grandparent||1024||19 (2%)||tbc||tbc||tbc|
|12||9th Great Grandparent||2048||6 (0.3%)||tbc||tbc||tbc|
|13||10th Great Grandparent||4096||8||tbc||tbc||tbc|
|14||11th Great Grandparent||9192||10||tbc||tbc||tbc|
|15||12th Great Grandparent||18,384||7||tbc||tbc||tbc|
|16||13th Great Grandparent||36,768||5||tbc||tbc||tbc|
|17||14th Great Grandparent||73k||5||tbc||tbc||tbc|
|18||15th Great Grandparent||146k||9||tbc||tbc||tbc|
|19||16th Great Grandparent||292k||10||tbc||tbc||tbc|
|20||17th Great Grandparent||584k||17||tbc||tbc||tbc|
|21||18th Great Grandparent||1.17m||24||tbc||tbc||tbc|
|22||19th Great Grandparent||2.34m||35||tbc||tbc||tbc|
|23||20th Great Grandparent||4.68m||48||tbc||tbc||tbc|
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Andrew is 25 degrees from John Adams, 28 degrees from Calvin Coolidge, 29 degrees from Dwight Eisenhower, 23 degrees from John Hanson, 25 degrees from William Harrison, 24 degrees from Thomas Jefferson, 26 degrees from Abraham Lincoln, 26 degrees from James Monroe, 27 degrees from Franklin Roosevelt, 27 degrees from Martin Van Buren, 24 degrees from George Washington and 29 degrees from Jana Diamond on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.