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

Chris Whitten

Honor Code Signatory
Signed 1 Jan 2011 | 63022 contributions | 3781 thank-yous

I'm the founder and president 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. If you don't find your answer there, ask a question in our friendly G2G forum. We have the best genealogy community anywhere.

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Chris I. Whitten
Born 1970s.
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of [private brother (1960s - unknown)]
Father of [private daughter (2000s - unknown)]
Profile manager: Chris Whitten private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 3 Jan 2008 | Last significant change: 4 Aug 2020
11:56: Dana (Dauphinee) Reale posted a comment on the page for Chris Whitten [Thank Dana for this]
This page has been accessed 83,130 times.


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.

More Genealogy Tools

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. See the Contact section of the Tree & Tools page.

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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 DNA with Chris:

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

Comments: 463

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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 Gilly Wood
edited by Gilly 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 S. Deegan III
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 Norman 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

Chris is 15 degrees from Laurie Giffin, 31 degrees from Toni Morrison and 19 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

W  >  Whitten  >  Chris Whitten

Categories: WikiTree Team | Fitchburg, Massachusetts