Chris Whitten
Privacy Level: Private with Public Biography and Family Tree (Yellow)

Chris Whitten

Honor Code Signatory
Signed 1 Jan 2011 | 69,755 contributions | 4,468 thank-yous | 3,389 connections

I'm the founder of this website, WikiTree. You can send me a private message, post a public comment here on my profile, or email me at chris@. If you have questions about WikiTree, please see our help pages instead. If you don't find your answer there, ask a question in our friendly G2G forum. We have the best genealogy community anywhere. If your question needs to be answered privately, or it's about your account, email the team at info@.
Chris I. Whitten
Born 1970s.
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of [private brother (1960s - unknown)]
Father of [private daughter (2000s - unknown)]
Problems/Questions Profile manager: Chris Whitten private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 3 Jan 2008
This page has been accessed 99,911 times.


WikiTree Day
WikiTree Day Attendee: 2022

Chris grew up in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, with his mother Donna and brother Ted. His father Ted and step-mother Vicki were in the nearby town of Ashby.

In 1989 he graduated from Fitchburg High School and started at Lyndon State College in the beautiful Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. After two years in the small business program at Lyndon he transferred to New York University. He graduated from NYU with a degree in economics in 1993.

After college he stayed in New York City and worked as the managing editor of a small mail order book catalog named Laissez Faire Books. Before this was the only source for many unusual books on libertarian philosophy and free-market economics. In 1994, he started experimenting with the Internet to announce and sell new books. The email list he created there was one of the first of its kind.

In 1995 Chris left his job to create a libertarian community and networking site called Free-Market.Net: The Freedom Network (FMN). This site has been called "the mother of all libertarian websites" for its early work in promoting usage of the Internet among free-market organizations and individuals.

In 1997 he created a non-profit organization in Chicago called The Henry Hazlitt Foundation to be a home for FMN and its sister sites including, and Bureaucrash. The foundation grew to employ five people full-time and more than a dozen people part-time.

In 2000 Chris met Megan McClellan who was finishing her math degree at the University of Chicago.

The next year, Chris left his non-profit work to be more entrepreneurial again. And to pay off his student loans. This led to the creation of FAQ Farm in 2002, which later became WikiAnswers and then

In 2004 Chris and Megan moved back from Chicago to New York City. The next year, in 2005, Megan was offered a job in London and they took that opportunity to see Europe.

In 2006 Chris and Megan returned from England. They bought a home in northern Westchester County, NY.

Late that year Chris sold the WikiAnswers business. During 2007 he worked with to integrate the site into their company. In both 2007 and 2008 WikiAnswers was the fastest growing site among the largest US websites. It became a top 25 US website with millions of visitors per day.

In 2008 Chris began work on this site, WikiTree, and has been working on it full time ever since.


  • Paternal relationship is confirmed with 23andMe test matches between Chris and his father Ted showing "47.6% DNA shared across 22 segments" according to 23andMe.
  • Paternal relationship is also confirmed through Y-chromosome DNA testing. Keith Whitten Sr. and Chris Whitten match on 37 out of 37 markers, as reported by Family Tree DNA. This confirms their direct paternal lines back to their MRCA Richard Whitten.
  • Maternal relationship is confirmed with AncestryDNA test matches between Chris and both a grandchild ("G.C.") and great-grandchild of Havelock P. Howes. They are a second cousin once removed and a third cousin to Chris. This matches the predicted relationships reported by AncestryDNA: 3rd - 4th cousins, Confidence: Extremely High and 4th - 6th cousins, Confidence: High.

Only the Trusted List can access the following:
  • Chris's formal name
  • full middle name (I.)
  • e-mail address
  • exact birthdate
  • birth location
  • personal memories about Chris (1)
  • images (443)
  • private siblings' names
  • private children's names (1)
  • spouse's name and marriage information
For access to Chris Whitten's full information you must be on Chris's Trusted List. Please login.

DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships by comparing test results with Chris or other carriers of his ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree: Mitochondrial DNA test-takers in the direct maternal line:
  • Chris Whitten: Family Tree DNA mtDNA Test HVR1, haplogroup U5, FTDNA kit #124309, MitoYDNA ID T10468 [compare]
It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with Chris:

Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Comments: 500

Leave a message for others who see this profile. If you prefer to keep it private, send a private message to the profile manager. private message
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.
Hello cousin, what a nice surprise.

Thank you for Wikitree, LOVE IT! Brooke Kidd-Baker

posted by Brooke (Kidd) Kidd-Baker
edited by Brooke (Kidd) Kidd-Baker
Hi Chris.

Congratulations on certifying to work on pre-1700 profiles! It’s very important to read and understand the Pre-1700 Profiles page. These profiles for deep ancestors are shared by many and collaborating on them works best if we all follow the guidelines in the certification quiz.

Primary sources should always be added to pre-1700 profiles at the time they are created. If you don't have a source for a pre-1700 profile, it would be best to ask for help in the G2G forum before creating the profile.

Jenny ~volunteer WikiTree Pre-1700 Greeter

Hello! I just discovered that we are eleventh cousins through Elisabeth (Alden) Pabodie
posted by N Lamb
edited by N Lamb
Happy holidays Chris, thank you for introducing me to WikiTree, I wish I would have found it sooner. It's truly a wonderful collaborative environment for like minds to come together doing something that we all love.

Thank you again for your kind words, encouragement and especially for my award.

Have a wonderful weekend, Kimberly

posted by Kimberly (Diss) Morgan
Are we having problems today with the DNA connections on our profiles?
posted by Cliff Truesdale
Hi Cliff. Yes, there was a problem over the weekend. It should now be corrected.
posted by Chris Whitten
Wow! Thanks for the fan chart & ancestor web!!! They look great! We might not be connected yet, but I'm just getting started, so before I'm through we'll find our degree of connection.

Thanks for creating the site. I wanted to let you know that my starting this geneology search has already allowed me to re-connect with two people from my past. One, my son, wants to collaborate on this project with me. He has already done a TON of research and taken the Wilson branch back seven generations.

Thanks again for this NICE surprise!

posted by Pat Brunson
edited by Pat Brunson
Thank you so very much for your editing of the primary photo for Katherine (Roet) Swynford. It is very exciting to find her.
posted by Patsy (Dodson) Wilson
Well blow me! I've just discovered we're 12th cousins one removed through my mother's family, the Bancrofts! Thank you for Wikitree, and for the many happy hours I spend here.
Pages I found mentioning the appearance in the crossword puzzle in the New York Times - July 16, 2010:

posted by Steven Greenwood
edited by Steven Greenwood
My husband and I both enjoy WikiTree, have been Rangers for several years, and are constantly recommending it to our fellow genealogists. I just found we are 8th cousins once removed. As a librarian, I'm all about sourcing - and about collaboration - two of the high points of WikiTree.

Thank you so much for WikiTree. Hope (Tillman-416)

posted by Hope Tillman
Thank you, Hope! I appreciate the kind words, and thank you for your many contributions to our community. Librarians make the best genealogists.
posted by Chris Whitten

Thank you for developing Wikitree!! It is definitely a source of enjoyment for me as I work on my family tree. I found you as i was working on DNA confirmation. I want to get the hang of confirming and posting the confirmation. As I was working through the example, I found my way to your profile and b4 I realized you were the "Head Honcho", I checked to see if we were related, and YES. we are! 11th Cousins. It is official now, you definitely have one and probably many more Southern Cousins. Thank you so much for all the resources on this site and the camaraderie established with the process. Congrats on a job well done! Your Cuz, Jenny Capell-224 Campbell

Thank you, Jenny! DNA confirmation on WikiTree is a challenge, even for me.
posted by Chris Whitten
Chris, I've been doing genealogy for 20 years, but until two months ago I had no idea WikiTree existed... a random comment on Twitter led me here! It has quickly become my favorite site, as I appreciate how we all strive for sourcing and accuracy, as well as the collaborative aspect. So thanks for all your work on building it!

Sincerely, your newest 12th or 13th (we've got a few paths) cousin! :)

posted by Crystal White
Thank you for this great compliment, Crystal! Much appreciated. :-)


posted by Chris Whitten
Thanks for WikiTree! This is my favorite genealogical website!

James Boone

posted by [Living Boone]
Thanks, James. That's really nice of you to say.
posted by Chris Whitten
Thank you for Wikitree and all your preliminary work that made it possible.

Your response to a question brought me here to your profile. Laissez Faire Books looked very familiar. I see that it was before "the web" about four years into my online experience (starting with Prodigy, then access at university not long after).

I haven't done much investigating of relationships with fellow Wikitreers except a friend, and someone I don't know. Was surprise to be related both times. So I checked at your page too. Uh huh. Related distantly - 11th cousins through our mothers, via two daughters of Matthew Marvin.

I think I must check relationships with Wikitreers more often, lol. Don't have DNA results to post yet or would have probably done more investigating of connections. It is always surprising and interesting to connect to contemporaries, and people from the past!

Best of all I thrive on doing the online research to find documentation - and love contributing to Wikitree in every way I can. It is a blessing to have so many people in one collaborative space who are willing and able to create the quality we all want to see throughout Wikitree.

posted by Mary Gossage
Thank you, Mary! And thank you for your military service, and for your many contributions to WikiTree.
posted by Chris Whitten
First things first: We are NOT related. Not by a single gene. I just wanted to congratulate you for your work in developing this site. It is truly unbelievable and so inspiring. I enjoy using it so much.

Again, thanks for being you; doing what you do.

And, once more, we are non-cousins!

posted by Barney Banks
Hah. Great message and very kind of you, Barney.
posted by Chris Whitten
Hi Chris, we are direct 6th cousins through Millicent Goodrich Gilbert. Nice to meet you!
Hi Veronica! Nice to meet you too. :-) I checked on GEDmatch and unfortunately we don't have significant matched segments. The connection could be too distant. Cheers, Chris
posted by Chris Whitten
Hi! I'm new here, but it looks like we might be 10th cousins! What kind of DNA test should I take to confirm I'm related to Samuel Munson or you? I'm new to DNA tests and don't know where to start.
posted by Jennifer Fulk
Hi J. Welcome to WikiTree! I'm sorry to say that an ancestor as far back as Munson can't be confirmed with DNA unless they are on your direct paternal line. If it were a paternal line ancestor, you might be able to use a Y-chromosome test. Most of the tests that people take are "autosomal". It's your full chromosome so all your ancestors contribute to it, but not in an easily predictable way.
posted by Chris Whitten
This message might be too long.

Does DNAportal replace GEDmatch? Does it do LivingDNA data?

One neat thing about GEDmatch is that it processed a couple of DNA merge files I built using DNAkitstudio to merge ancestry and LivingDNA data.

I thought LivingDna being an oddball from others could offer wider coverage, but that has drawbacks. One disappointing thing about myheritage is that when I originally signed up they offered livingDNA uploads. They made excuses for many months saying just wait a few weeks then after about 6 months they said it was no longer supported.

I liked livingDNA because of their abbreviated Y and mtDNA at no extra cost. Two of my major brickwalls involved my Y and mtDNA lines, but neither Y nor mtDNA has been useful. My paternal line brickwall was breached via autosomal matches involving illegitimacy. My mtDNA is only 2% or less of Ireland population, but that has not helped yet.

posted by Jim Ward
Hi Chris, HAPPY NEW YEAR! I found a link to you via Ancestry this evening and discovered we are 4th cousins, once removed, via George Legge ( I grew up in Canning, Nova Scotia. I had run across the info for Effie from Scot's Bay before however I didn't understand my Legge connection until recently.

WikiTree is an amazing site, though I'm still a newbie, there is so much information here to learn from! Thanks so much!!


posted by Denise Rhynold
we have 6 or 7 common ancestors Merry Christmas!
posted by Rose Jackson
Thanks for doing the good work. Its very much appreciated. My cousins all use this site.
posted by Thomas Peterson
Thank you, Thomas. I appreciate the kind comment. And thank you for your military service.
posted by Chris Whitten
Hi Chris - Thanks for your response! I remember you from gatherings at the Coventry house. Your Great-Grandmother was my Aunt Ada. She was sister to my Grandfather Gilbert Storrs. From what I can see, you have the Bartlett look! I loved visiting my Worcester cousins & hearing all the old stories the adults told. Gib & Mary had the farm in Coventry & we would gather there on Sundays. As we got older, it became fun to just sit on the veranda steps & listen to family gossip. Grandpa Gilbert kept his shotgun loaded & situated in the front hall so as kids - we weren't allowed to pass through that area. However - one time the gun went off & shot many little holes in the ceiling. What a noise - especially in the house!. By the way - did you live in Tucson,AZ at one time?? We were there for many years & I tried looking you up there. I was told you needed your sleep & couldn't be bothered. ha ha Well, thanks again for all the work you do regarding the family & I want you to know it's all very appreciated!! Eileen Storrs
posted by Eileen (Storrs) Ruth
I just saw my grandfather's (Cook-27466) high school senior yearbook photo! That is awesome! I've never seen it before, thank you very much!
posted by Jason Cook
I'm so glad you found it! So, our grandparents went to high school together.
posted by Chris Whitten
I found out we are 10th cousins. Woo-who.
posted by Shawna (Sumner) Landry
I'm related to the founder of this site. Cool!!!
posted by Thomas Bruckner
Hi, Chris! I just read your comment on Laurie Giffin's profile, how funny that we're related - small world!
posted by Dana (Dauphinee) Reale
Hello, Chris!

Thanks for all the work you accomplished during our Connect-A-Thon 2020. It is amazing how many more profiles were created and added to our Shared Tree. You have every right to be pleased with your efforts!

And while I am here, allow me to also thank you for your leadership.

Kind regards,

Pippin Sheppard ~ WikiTree’s Appreciation Team

posted by Pip Sheppard
Hi Chris! I just want to say THANK YOU for WikiTree and I love WikiTree! I am enjoying the new member greeting process so much, as I'm a Greeter.

Chris and Greta are 11th cousins. Chris Whitten and Greta Moody are both descendants of William Allen.

posted by Greta Moody
Thanks, Greta! That’s really nice of you to say. And thank you for being a Greeter.
posted by Chris Whitten
Hi Chris!

Just wanted to let you know that I am really enjoying the new member greeting processes! Not only is it easier for guests and new members but it makes the job of greeter even better. The info that new members add to their profiles helps us greeters to tailor our message and point the new member in the direction of info and tips that our customized to their interests!

Thanks for helping to bring in this improvement!

Peggy W ~ WikiTree Greeter

posted by Peggy Watkins
Hi Peggy. Thank you for this note. I'm really glad to hear it. And thank you for greeting!
posted by Chris Whitten
Chris you did a wonderful job of reforming the way Guests become Members. Greeting is very easy. Joining is now semi-automated. It's an easy step from here to fully automate. Guests upgrading could be given an automated "How To" Link!
posted by [Living Wood]
edited by [Living Wood]
Hello Chris,

I would like to thank you for WikiTree. It is such an innovative concept. I have been using it for over two years, and certainly appreciate all the planning and work involved in its creation. Great idea! Thank you, so much! Regards, Ali

posted by Aline Barbeau
Thank you, Ali! That is very kind of you to say.
posted by Chris Whitten
Congratulations on your latest honor! You will notice that you and I share Geoffrey Chaucer as a distant uncle.

John Williams ~ WikiTree Greeter

posted by [Living Williams]
edited by [Living Williams]
Hello, Chris! We are cousins through Samuel Fuller who came over on the Mayflower. I found out we are 10th cousins once removed and more than that I was surprised to find that you are the one to thank for WikiTree! This is a great service to the genealogy world! Keep up the great work, cousin!

Thank you, Dorothy Mathis Vance (Mathis-410)

posted by Dorothy (Mathis) Vance
Hi Dorothy. Thanks for the nice note. :-)
posted by Chris Whitten
Hi, Boss!

Thanks so very much for your participation in the spring Clean-a-thon! Every suggestion you cleared (over 300!) made our Tree that much better. The WikiTree community appreciates YOU!

Pip Sheppard WikiTree’s Appreciation Team

posted by Pip Sheppard
Hi Chris,

We are 8th cousins through Henry Baldwin of Woburn. I cleaned up his profile about 2 months ago and am working on tracing the FTDNA Baldwin name back to common ancestor Richard Baldwin. My colleagues and I hope to get this published and then add the Connecticut and Massachusetts lines back to Aston-Clinton. Thanks for all you do. Carol (Baldwin-3428)

posted by Carol Baldwin PhD RN
That sounds like a great project, Carol. Good luck!
posted by Chris Whitten
You and I are 12th cousins! Both sons of Henry Robinson :)
posted by [Living Deegan]
Thank you so much for your enthusiasm in the making of wikitree. I am so happy that you had created this free site. DNA has been a real factor in finding ancestors. Appreciate all your blessed endeavors to help others especially me in finding where and who we are from.

My Late husband Walter Pack and you are

Walter and Chris are 13th cousins once removed sharing the same great grandparent Thomas Wright. Amazing.

posted by Andrea (Stawski) Pack
edited by Andrea (Stawski) Pack
Hi Andrea. Thank you for the very nice comment. I appreciate it! (And thank you for your 111,000 WikiTree contributions. Wow!)
posted by Chris Whitten
Incredibly great work during the 2020 Scan-a-thon! Our Tree has been enhanced by your efforts to preserve photos and documents, Chris!

The Appreciate Team THANKS YOU!

Pippin Sheppard Appreciation Team Member

posted by Pip Sheppard
Hello Chris! We are 11th cousins, descended from the Kimball branch. :)
posted by April (Oppegard) House
Hey 15th cousin, you must have some Scots runneth through your blood! Scots are famous for their Whit! I am great grandson of Robert the Bruce and third cousin to Wallace! I love Wikitree! Its awesome!
posted by [Living Sykes]
Hi Cousin Chris!

Henry Cobb 1607 is my 10th great grandfather, so we are 11th cousins. I have tested with Ancestry, and 23andMe. I have a tree in the works in Ancestry...The Richard Carlton Jackson Family Tree. It is definitely a tree in the works as I was not raised by my bio dad and he never knew who his father was and there was a slight question of who his mother DNA proved that. Thank you for this site!

posted by Barbara (Jackson) Wren
Hi Chris,

We're 10th cousins, once removed via Mary Rainsford among others! We share Alden/Mullins DNA too! Kelly (Holtz) Stamper (Holtz-78)

posted by Kelly (Holtz) Stamper
Hi Chris! Nice to meet another Whitten. I actually met my first unrelated Whitten in the wild this week.

My Whitten line is from Pennsylvania I think. I'm having a hard time finding the parents of my 3rd great-grandfather, Joseph Whitten of Oil City, PA. If you have any knowledge of my line I'd love to hear it!

Re: Jimmy Wales, you may be interested in the TEDx talk I gave about the early days of Wikipedia in St Petersburg, FL. See Thanks for saying hi! -BradPatrick
posted by Bradford Patrick
Hi Chris,

On behalf of the Connectors Project Leaders, we are doing a six-month check-in with members. Please let us know if you are still active. If you are active, please let us know in which ways you are currently contributing to the project.

All of us at WikiTree would like to thank you for your contributions and hope that you are enjoying exploring your roots.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Michelle ~ Volunteer Coordinator

Rejected matches › Chris Whitten

W  >  Whitten  >  Chris Whitten

Categories: WikiTree Team | Fitchburg, Massachusetts | WikiTree Day Attendees