Why I Love WikiTree

Categories: WikiTree Love | Member Moments

Members Share Why They Love WikiTree!

Here are some endorsements, reviews, and kind words from people using WikiTree.

A few neat stories have also been posted here in the forum: "Do you have any great WikiTree stories?"


Cousin Bait

Image:DSC 0099.jpg"There's a lot going on at WikiTree, more than I can really get into here. I recommend that you check out the site yourself to discover all there is. But there's one more thing I want to mention: the biggest reason why you should you WikiTree: cousin bait. ... In my years doing genealogy, I've had the most success thanks to WikiTree. One cousin who contacted me emailed me copies of a Bible record and snail-mailed me actual original photos of my Great-Grandfather as a young man (the only photos I had of him were from his 40s or older)." -Valerie Craft, in her blog post "Using WikiTree: The How and The Why"
"I have received Treasure in the mail. A distant cousin who I met through wikitree has sent me a DVD containing 1.5 GB of digital photos of heirlooms from 1841: every page of a birthday book, letters, notes, school documents." - Irene Dillon
"As of today, I have received 6 contacts via WikiTree from living 2nd cousins whom I would otherwise NOT have been able to communicate with. Thanks, WikiTree!"
"Holy Cow! Two contacts this afternoon from 3rd cousins via WikiTree. Two! In one day! Totally random contacts in differing ancestral lines. Woohoo!" - Keith Baker
"My most effective 'cousin bait' for genealogy research... WikiTree. Another three emails this week."
"WikiTree came through again. Another 'lost' cousin has contacted me via their father's profile page. Photos of my wife's great-grandfather, of whom we have never known of any photos existing, should be in my inbox by the end of the weekend. And with that, I have at least one photo of every one of my daughters' great-great-grandparents." - Randy W. Whited
"Thanks to WikiTree after 40 years of research I was finally able to connect with my family in Finland. My grandparents immigrated to the US in 1903 or so and died about 1960. Because my grandfather had a brother left behind in Finland, his great-granddaughter was searching for what became of his brother that immigrated. She has provided full documentation as well as photos and interpretation of old Swedish/Finn records. She has even researched my grandmother's family and added their records. ... The ability to collaborate with long lost relatives is phenomenal. Thank you WikiTree." - Terri Crowell
"I found a cousin the first day of using WikiTree. This is an absolute must for genealogists." -Bryan Francis Stearns
"My tree linked up to a total stranger/cousin. I found out through her that I am related to a Choctaw indian chief named William Durant. She even had pictures. ... I then took those pictures and made postcards from WikiTree and sent them to other family members. I love WikiTree!" - Cindy Williams Reilly
I thought my experiences reconnecting with former colleagues and students on Facebook was an incredible phenomenon. It just began to prepare me for this. I have journeyed many places, with many loved ones, in the past couple of days and have found new family, as well. Thank you for providing that continuing opportunity with WikiTree." -Marsha Auger
"I get about 3-5 requests a week from people on WikiTree to share data while I get about 1 a month on Ancestry. In one case I was able to put a neice in contact with an aunt she hasn't seen since she was 17 (over 30 years ago) ... it was real neat as they both knew a family song that someone in the family sang to their children at bedtime that was passed down." - Jamie Swindells
"I'm about to reach my ninetieth birthday, so I'm not much of a gee-whiz guy on the computer, but I'm quite enjoying myself on WikiTree. I write this note to tell you that your site has allowed me to reconnect with a whole branch of my family that I'd lost contact with years and years ago. And that after only a few days using your site! Thanks kindly for making this service available free of charge. I couldn't otherwise afford it." - William Crossland
"Last year I was searching online for information on my wife's family on her father's side, whom she never knew. One of my first hits was a WikiTree maintained by one of her unknown cousins. That led to a contact and a discovery of hundreds of years of ancestry. As a result, we made two trips to Indiana from California to meet her relatives for the first time." - Roger Linder
"Within a week of putting my tree on WikiTree I heard from a great-grandson of my great-grandfather's sister (what does that make him?) who sent me some fantastic photos of my grandfathers aunt's family setting up homesteading in Saskatchewan. And a week later I heard from someone with a similar relationship in my mother's line. Really fantastic!" - Christine Searle
"WikiTree is the ultimate in 'cousin bait'.:)" - Carol Yates Wilkerson
"To me, one of the biggest selling points of Wikitree is that after you create a profile for an ancestor and enter in details such as dates and places, your Wikitree profile for the ancestor starts to rise to the top of Google searches for that ancestor's name and details. As such, this is a major reason why distant relatives often come across Wikitree profiles. I have been contacted by several distant relatives who I had never met before because my Wikitree profiles for my ancestors are prominent in the results for Google searches." - Ray Jones
"On behalf of the Krasilowycz family in Ukraine and their Americanized Kroslowitz cousins, a great big 'Dyakuyu!' (Thank you!) to WikiTree. This site was the catalyst that led to our meeting each other and learning more about our families on the other side of the world. Proof positive that WikiTree is THE most awesome of genealogy sites." - Karen Kroslowitz
"I've connected with a cousin I didn't know existed! We're having such fun sharing family information. What a great way to see where we come from. Before WikiTree, the only roots I ever saw were the gray ones!" - Alice Jones, Hawaii

It's Addictive

"Just out of curiosity, how many of you were, like myself, totally hooked on WikiTree after your first month or sooner? It feels as if this site was catered specifically to my needs, so, if I'm to be honest, it was love at first sight. Kodos to the developers, administrators and contributors for making this site what it is today. Long live WikiTree!" Mark
"The Wiki Tree website should have a warning label posted on it: WARNING! Highly addicting!!!" -Kathryn Smith
"Last night I was in the midst of a multi-faceted information blitz. I have been raving about how the impossible task of recording all this family information has moved at lightening speed, because of WikiTree. Only problem I have right now is trying to figure out why the genealogy gods favor me with the best information of the day beween 11PM and midnight! Just can't log off!!!" -Marsha Auger


"WikiTree allows us to work together to document our family histories and expand them into other histories and lineages we might not have discovered on our own. The collected resources of WikiTree PMs (Profile Managers in Wiki parlance) are enormous and truly impressive. It's like working with the most talented professional genealogist you can image." -Michael Lewis
"If you've been looking for a FREE family tree system that encourages collaboration, then I suggest that you try WikiTree. My opinion is that it's the easiest to use collaborative family tree currently available." -Randy Seaver, from an "Exploring WikiTree" series on Genea-Musings
"When I tell my friends about it [WikiTree], I tell them that it is the best site I have found for genealogy. To me there are three big selling points:
  1. Everyone is all about accuracy. You know that the goal is to have one profile for each person and that people don't tend to put up lies about family life. With emphasis on citations here I mention the fact that it can be tedious to get everything done.
  2. The privacy settings are topnotch and of the utmost importance! Grandma Joanna won't be yelling too much if she finds out her name is on that contraption "the internet" after someone calmly explains the privacy setting.
  3. The community as a whole is great! Everyone makes a point to be nice and work collaboratively with one another. I always mention the thank-you system here. Also, if you ever have to wait for an answer for more than 2 days, something is wrong."
- Michael Joseph Hruska
"I've just started putting my Hynd family tree on WikiTree, goes from me out to my 16 great great grandparents on all sides so far - still got a lot of work to do to log all the sources and add more photographs where I have them. I like the collaborative design of WikiTree - I've already heard from a relative in New Zealand!" - Paul Richard Hind
"Thank you! Just recieved an email from a connection on your site. They had key information about several relatives, which has enabled me to further research. Yahoo!" - Deb Ruth
"I've only been on WikiTree a month, and I'm already getting overwhelmed (and sleep-deprived :). But it is oh so exciting to have the collaborative forces of WikiTree members help me break through brick walls. Many are crumbling. It's really exciting! The beauty of WikiTree is the synergy of working collaboratively with distant cousins. It's thrilling - and energizing - when you see your tree get fuller when that collaboration works as a wiki was designed to." -Liz Shifflett
"I've used other services including Ancestry.com, Footnote.com, etc. but none were as easy and accessible for sharing and collaboration." - Jay Byrne

It's Free

"It is still amazing to me that I can find such a rich online experience with so many different options available to me... totally FREE. All that is asked of me is that I be responsible to our community with the information that I'm putting up." - Gail Cox commenting on Jenny Lanctot's blog post "What's Not To Love About WikiTree?"
"Just wanted to thank you for your fantastic free resource; I have found it to be an expensive proposition so far in trying to extensively research my heritage." - Bob Anderson
"I'm about to reach my ninetieth birthday, so I'm not much of a gee-whiz guy on the computer, but I'm quite enjoying myself on WikiTree. I write this note to tell you that your site has allowed me to reconnect with a whole branch of my family that I'd lost contact with years and years ago. And that after only a few days using your site! Thanks kindly for making this service available free of charge. I couldn't otherwise afford it." - William Crossland
"I've only been using it for 5 days and I've already found 2 'branches' of my tree going back to the 16th century. I've always been frustrated by those other websites that want you to pay to keep track of your own family and I finally found wikitree. I've been telling everyone about it." - Erica Nicksin

DNA Features

"We know how personal computers changed the genealogy landscape by allowing us to build our own genealogy databases. The next step was the Internet which provided easier communication and convenient access to family history information. Then came DNA which allowed us to confirm if our genealogies were indeed correct. Now there is a new genetic genealogy tool, WikiTree, that puts it all together for free!" - from WikiTree and DNA

It's Easy

"I think it is much easier to use and better organized than Ancestry.com." - Jack Aubrey
"I tried a couple other sites before I came to Wikitree, and found them too hard to use (when will people figure out the Flash is NOT the best thing ever?), or too expensive, or just not what I was looking for. I love the awesome merge abilities and just how easy it is. I also love the idea of a free world-wide tree." - Krissi Hall
"I must have lucked out, but a quick search of my Great grandfather's name (it's an unusual one) took me back to 17th Century France in about 5 minutes flat. How cool is that! Thank you for your brilliant site." - Nick Morton
"I love this site. It's friendly, easy to get started and expand on fast." - Barbara Jean Duren
Image:3276 67815985868 535645868 1790642 2509353 n.jpg"It's amazing how simple WikiTree is to use. I have a family tree program with 20,000 people in it, but the main issue has been keeping up with family. Here, I can add them by email and when they update I can see their additions." - Thomas Allen
"When our family reunion was announced this year I was volunteered to complete the family history. Wikitree.com has made the whole process so easy! It was simple to construct the family tree and share it with my relatives to gain their input. I especially like the privacy functions and page layouts. It is really an amazing service!" - Cris, Chicago
"I LOVE this site. It is free, easy to use and easy to read." - Melissa F., Cincinnati
"I have spent most of my day adding pages to the wikitree site. I have never found a site that is so well done. It is so easy to work with." - Doug Coldwell
"What a fabulous toy! My daughter has a family tree assignment and this has made getting the info together a lot easier." - Constance Mallon
"WikiTree is such a great site for compiling and storing family info. It's so idiot-proof and I love it. I've already met up with 2 third-cousins that I never even knew existed." - Orlaith Read


Image:ThomasMacentee.jpg"The WikiTree site is easy to use, easy to understand and most importantly, it 'gets' concepts that are important to its users such as privacy." - Thomas MacEntee, from a review on GeneaBloggers
"[Y]ou can find many online sites for publishing your genealogy information but not all of them provide privacy controls. ... WikiTree incorporates a 'Trusted List' system to customize the access you give to distant relatives. Each person, place, or thing listed in WikiTree has its own Trusted List. Similar to 'Friends Lists' on social networking sites, each user on a Trusted List has to be individually approved by the person who uploaded the information." - Dick Eastman, from a review in Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter


"Last year we lost a lot of very valuable genealogical info when my 77-year-old mother's machine crashed. Never again will we lose this info, thanks to WikiTree and GEDCOM exports." - Bob Adler
"Thank you for reviewing my GEDCOM. I am very impressed with your thoroughness. As a result I will have much more confidence in what I find on WikiTree." - Kim Stevens

And More

"I had an amazing experience the past couple of weeks. A woman contacted me, because she'd seen the profiles I created for my Paddock family line on Wikitree. She'd found a Civil War era letter in her grandmother's things, that was addressed to a woman named Orris Paddock. I had an Orris in my Wikitree profiles, but my Orris was far too young to be the same person. The woman who contacted me wanted to know if I could help her find out who her Orris Paddock was, and how the letter ended up in her grandmother's things (as she had no known Paddock relatives). It took me about two weeks of tracking, but I not only found Orris' connection to the woman, I found Orris connection to my family line as well. The woman was so grateful, she sent me flowers, as well as a reprinted copy of the letter she had made at Kinkos, so I could keep a copy for my records. I love how Wikitree brings people together." - Heather Morgan
"Recently I have become very interested in my genealogy and came upon your site which intrigued me. It has the values and discipline that I find commendable in this day and age. It also confirms my belief that we all sprang from one source and share common ancestry. While my desire to uncover the past of my recent ancestors has turned into a passion it has also fueled my desire to know how we are all related as human beings. Maybe this small step can spur on the thought of how we can all live on this planet communally and in peace and friendship. Hopefully this step will lead to other steps to accomplish this goal." - Cecil Potter
"I have a keen interest in Genealogy, and I feel this project is perfect for anyone looking into their family history; I'm excited to be able to contribute to this library of human history!" - Joe Wells
"WikiTree is the best genealogy tool I've ever come across, and it's done wonders for the organisation of my research." — Lianne Lavoie, author of the Stories of a Canadian Family blog
"The best kept secret in genealogy!" - Maggie N.
"I feel that WikiTree (because it is free and non-members are able to view profiles and contact members) creates a new method of discovery. For instance, I received an email from a woman who purchased a bedroom set that was originally owned by one of my ancestors. Along with it, she received a copy of a family tree, several obituary clippings and a few photographs of members of my family. She offered to send me the information and now I have it, all because I posted a profile for my ancestor on this wiki and she found it through a google search." - Angela Kohl
"I'm really so delighted with the site, it's just what I've needed. I've been collecting disparate pieces of family history from relatives for decades and never had a chance to collate them in one place until I found WikiTree." - Peter Waterworth
"This site is really neat! As I use it more and more, it amazes me. I am starting to fill out my family tree information ... I LOVE the way that it organizes family groups. Way to go!" - Pastor Todd Futter
"I like the fact that it [WikiTree] attempts to accurately create a single profile for a single person. I've used other sites to create my ged file. Put ged file to WikiTree and have gotten farther faster and more accurately than all the other sites combined.

I like the idea that working on my tree, especially distant members of my tree, helps others out there working on their tree.

I like that it has DNA integration. Especially for hard evidence or questionable relationships. It is true that wikitree [members] are friendly, helpful, accuracy minded, full of good ideas people, and are striving for the One World Tree.

Its easy to use and free!"

- Brett Deem
"I just joined today and have happily been putting stuff in there and trying to get my cousins involved. This is so much fun!" - Laura Haynes Smith
"Just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to the wikitree developers and webmasters - I love your site, been using it just over a year now and it is great." - Maresa Sinclair
Image:Rosamond - ID half.jpg"This is a great site! I am such a fan. I've been doing our tree for two years with other tools but with WikiTree, nephews and nieces are also starting to show interest ... It was like pulling teeth to get them interested before." - Rosamond Alejar
Image:261.JPG"Thank you so much for this site. WikiTree has allowed me to take boxes and boxes of notes, pictures, and bits of information and get it all in one place. Now I have a resource for all my family, whether local or scattered, and all our future generations." - Kate Brown
"One of the features I like about WikiTree is that you can leave it for awhile and it still has life. Its growth is not dependent on one person. When I get an opportunity to go back and re-engage it will have grown and I can decide where I can contribute based on how it has developed." - Ralph Bartlett
"I don't just like WikiTree... I love love love it! My two favorite things about it are the different security levels on every single page and item and the 'Encyclopedia of You'! Your Navigation page is also the best I've seen on a wiki site. It not only tells you what you've done recently, but shows you what you can do next and how you can get there." - Monica Palmer of Digging In... To My Past
"I have been working a little with Wikis these past 3-4 years (in physics collaborations), and I'm impressed with the organization of the WikiTree website. Top rate." - Tracy Smith
"We had a very enjoyable Sunday morning here in Dublin with my brother & his family & our Mum & Dad going through all the family tree, memories, photos etc. The snow & ice were left behind outside as we all got warm & fuzzy inside! I got my neices and nephews to hassle their Mums & Dads for info and they have been great at giving me info. Now I plan to roll it out to the cousins and let them loose on the site." - Jane N.
"Genealogy for me has always been all about family. A great, big extended family.

That's me in 1969 receiving an MA from the University of Oklahoma, surrounded by my husband, my parents and my four grandparents. I'd only been climbing the ol' family tree about three years then. Each of my four grandparents had pioneering stories about early-day Oklahoma to tell, aunts and cousins to connect me with, and an amazing ancestry just waiting for me to discover.

For years I had to rely on the US mail and then international mail to search for ancestors, cousins, documentation and reliable contacts. In the next thirty years I was able to visit genealogy libraries four times (NSDAR twice, FHL in Salt Lake City once and the NEHGS once), with limits of a day or so each time.

Younger family researchers will someday be unaware of how difficult it was to find someone searching your line and how frustrating to rely on random indices to find a single census entry. The Internet has changed everything. In a few seconds I can find everyone with a certain surname in the 1860 census, marriage records from around the country, blogs and websites dedicated to a family or locale, and queries to link me with family researchers I would never have found in the old days.

And Wikitree is a vital part of that new, exciting, easier genealogy hobby. I love Wikitree for many reasons; here are a few: the cousins I meet, the people I can help, the discussions and partnerships that decide policies, the wonderful combination of high standards combined with kindness and consideration, and, most of all, because it makes my family BIGGER!

-Kathy Patterson

Do you have comments on WikiTree? Contact our Forest Elf, Eowyn Langholf.

This page was last modified 22:30, 18 June 2019. This page has been accessed 3,255 times.