WikiTree Challenge Reveal – Spoiler Alert: Brick Walls Falling

I’ve to inform you – this was simply so doggone a lot enjoyable!

I used to be a visitor of the WikiTree Challenge, a community sourcing and discovery occasion. The WikiTree volunteer researchers have been simply wonderful.

I already had a tree on WikiTree, which is a mixture of my “personal” tree and the identical ancestors that different folks share on WikiTree. WikiTree is a “one large tree” family tree website. In case you take a look at my tree, then scroll down, you’ll see three classes of Analysis, Instruments, and Contacts accessible to everybody

This screenshot is simply an instance – there are tons extra options and instruments accessible.

And earlier than you say it out loud, sure, I do know concerning the errors and misinformation on “one large tree websites” and the way FRUSTRATING it’s to search out inaccurate data and both haven’t any capability to repair it, or it’s nearly not possible.

I’ve discovered WikiTree to be completely different.

Eight Causes Why I Like WikiTree

Let me clarify for a short minute how WikiTree works and why I prefer it.

  1. WikiTree is solely free, all-volunteer, and encourages cooperation and collaboration between and amongst genealogists.
  2. You possibly can add your GEDCOM file and join your ancestors, or you’ll be able to merely enter your self and your ancestors till you join with an ancestor that already exists in WikiTree. In my case, that might have been my grandparents. WikiTree has many profiles of ancestors, in order that course of shouldn’t take lengthy except you might have a household from an under-represented area of the world.
  3. WikiTree has volunteer moderators who’re skilled and help if points come up. Let me provide you with an instance. Let’s say you suppose one thing is in error to your ancestor. You permit a touch upon that ancestor’s profile card, however the profile supervisor doesn’t reply. You’d prefer to have the questionable knowledge evaluated, so you might have the choice to ask for help from one of many moderators.
  4. WikiTree has a GtoG (Genealogist to Genealogist) Discussion board the place you’ll be able to ask, or reply questions.
  5. You possibly can submit questions, feedback and in lots of instances, edit the profiles to supply further data.
  6. The analysis feedback stay within the thread of the ancestor, together with hyperlinks to different assets.
  7. Descendants can submit their Y and mitochondrial DNA data in the event that they descent appropriately to be related to that ancestor – together with autosomal data so you’ll be able to see if you happen to match.
  8. WikiTree is free and doesn’t exchange every other useful resource. In different phrases, you continue to want to check your DNA elsewhere, and also you want these knowledge and doc subscriptions for analysis assets. You document the findings and paperwork from all of the websites in a single location in WikiTree for every ancestor.

WikiTree is Enjoyable

As we genealogists all know, there are timber and varied sources of information in lots of, many particular person locations, a lot of it on-line. Nevertheless, there’s nonetheless an enormous quantity that isn’t on-line, hidden in musty courthouse basements, and/or resides in researchers’ file folders.

WikiTree is a central location the place all of these varied assets and hints will be sifted by and gathered collectively – and it’s accessible for everybody free and with out a subscription. I consider it as my wiki family tree repository. In any other case, my ancestor’s knowledge is scattered in lots of places – and held in lots of timber on-line – none of which I can affect besides my very own. I can and do contribute on WikiTree.

In contrast to some subscription providers, researchers can have an ongoing dialogue about, let’s say, whether or not Abraham Estes’s spouse, Barbara’s delivery surname was Brock – or not.

Her surname has (erroneously) been reported as Brock for the reason that Nineteen Eighties when a NOVEL was written utilizing Abraham and Barbara as characters and ascribed Brock as her surname. Actually, nearly each tree on the subscription websites exhibits Barbara’s surname as Brock, however there’s not one single shred of proof that it was. Even the creator later stated he was sorry he had executed that and had no thought folks would latch on to that as gospel. In any case, it was a novel. However they did.

You possibly can check out Barbara’s profile here and the feedback and documentation as properly. In essence, WikiTree is your alternative, apart from your individual tree wherever you place it, to make certain there’s at the least one public location the place your ancestor’s data is offered and compiled accurately – and that the dialogue of why is preserved.

Once I’m researching, I recognize that I can see the forwards and backwards dialogue. WikiTree assures that exchanges stay respectful.

My Problem Week

My WikiTree challenge week ran from 10-13 to 10-20. Upfront, I reviewed my ancestors and commented the place I believed there have been questions or points. Sure, I hoped for assist, particularly with certain particularly thorny ancestors.

It was all I might do to behave and never peek in the course of the week. I can’t even specific how excited I used to be.

I didn’t have any particular expectations, partially as a result of I’ve been a genealogist for therefore lengthy. However after all, I hoped for some brick wall breakthroughs!

Lastly, the massive reveal day arrived!

You possibly can watch the reveal right here:

It’s also possible to see a summary of the highlights, here.

Provided that challenges are a group occasion, WikiTree has made it enjoyable by awarding factors to researchers for varied issues. Scoring is explained here.

Along with the WikiTree group, my weblog followers who weren’t in a position to get on the WikiTree staff on the final minute contributed as properly by sending me hints and data. Thanks so very a lot. I really like you people!

Mindy Silva, the Problem coordinator, started by making a fan chart that confirmed the place I had brick partitions accessible to fall.

In reality, a number of of those partitions did fall, resulting in further generations being added to that line as properly.

I used to be gobsmacked.

Specifically, the Henry Hill line out of Vermont has confirmed very complicated and the German Drechsel line is daunting.

I’m extraordinarily grateful for the numerous Dutch data and the way properly they’re preserved. This facilitated transferring again a number of generations on two strains, here and here. Moreover, it was additionally found that one Piers de Jong changed his name in 1811. As if Dutch data and surnames aren’t tough sufficient!

For Dorothy Edmiston, now we have extra data, however I nonetheless should be satisfied. My sticking level is that our solely knowledge supply is a will in 1749 that refers to a Dorothy Edmiston as a daughter – however we all know that our Dorothy was married to Thomas McSpadden within the mid-1730s. This isn’t a criticism, however actually leads me to my subsequent level.

It’s All Hints

I’ve heard it and even stated it. One large timber are irritating as a result of there will be a lot misinformation. The identical is true for particular person shared timber, too, after all, and so they multiply like ants. Usually, you’ll be able to’t do something about it, however you really can at WikiTree.

Deal with every thing as a touch.

That’s my rule of thumb: It’s all hints!

Attempt to show or disprove every thing. It’s possible you’ll properly discover that the proof is definitely within the profile, or within the hyperlinks to different assets. Keep in mind to share your precise findings within the individual’s profile so another person doesn’t should replow the sphere you simply plowed.

Put up your feedback. Learn the threads. There’s gold there. Even if you happen to disprove one thing, it’s fantastic to know why it arose within the first place. In a single case, somebody lastly discovered the unique supply of a household story and why a particular piece of data was given.

However There’s Extra

Generally I believe we focus an excessive amount of on breakthroughs and never sufficient of documenting what’s accessible. I attempt to do that in my 52 ancestor tales, however including the assets in WikiTree and ensuring they’re correct is vital too.

Greater than 3100 edits of my ancestors’ profiles have been accomplished in the course of the problem week.

Along with every thing else, tons, and I imply a LOT of cleanup and housekeeping happened.

For instance, look how good this profile web page for my great-grandmother, Ellenore (Nora) Kirsch (Lore) looks now due to Cheryl Hess Smith’s exhausting work. I’m so very glad to see the knowledge from the articles I’ve written about my ancestors being built-in into these profiles. They requested and I gave permission for data from any of my articles for use.

Belief me, Nora’s profile appeared nothing like this earlier than.

Are We Associated?

Who’re these individuals who spent a lot time on my ancestors’ profiles? Am I associated to them? Is that why they expended the hassle? I anticipated the reply to be sure.

Only for enjoyable, I made a decision to see if I’m associated to every one who labored on the problem.

It’s simple to inform if or how you might be associated to somebody on WikiTree.

Go to their profile, then underneath their profile data, choose “Relationship to Me.”

In case you don’t see these choices, the profile proprietor could have opted to maintain any such data personal.

If you wish to see how you might be associated to me, click here for my profile. If we’re associated, inform me how and thru which ancestor, alongside together with your profile ID within the feedback. Who is aware of, the WikiTree Problem volunteers could have been working in your ancestor too!

For every of the staff members who labored on my branches this week, I checked to see if and the way we’re associated. The outcomes are proven under, with delivery surnames proven in parenthesis.

As I considered the profile for every individual, I used to be dumbstruck on the variety of cumulative contributions by these volunteers. Are you prepared for this – these 35 folks have contributed properly over 1.5 million occasions – and rising each single day.

Relationship to Me

Let me clarify how this works.

Jayme Arrington was the MVP this week, which means she made the best variety of contributions that acquired factors. Thanks, Jayme.

Jayme and I are 12th cousins as soon as eliminated and I’ve offered the connection hyperlink so you’ll be able to have a look if you want. Sure, every step must be confirmed for each folks.

  • Jayme Arrington – MVP – 12C1

Relationship link

54K contributions

Jayne is an incredible contributor! We’re associated by our Connecticut Puritan line that extends again to England.

  • Dieter Lewerenz – no relationship

23K contributions

Prime bounty hunter – congratulations!

  • Cheryl Hess Smith – 11C1R

Relationship link

91K contributions

Have a look at that – 91 thousand. Wow. Simply wow.

  • Margreet Beers

25K contributions

Margreet is Dutch and I wager you’ll be able to guess who did a few of that work on my Dutch strains!

  • Greg Lavoie – 9C by Abraham Dugas

Relationship link

35K contributions

We share Acadian ancestors. There’s an previous saying that in case you are associated to 1 Acadian, you might be associated to all Acadians!

  • Donna (Tucker) Baumann – 10C1R – by Katherine Duxford

Relationship link

51K contributions

Donna and I share Puritan ancestors.

  • Kathy Rabenstein – not associated

83K contributions

Kathy made 151 edits to my ancestors and added 22 of their kinfolk. I’d have gone down some rabbit gap by no means to be seen once more!

  • Ann Browning – not associated

5K contributions

Ann created a brand new ancestor for me. I’m grateful to be amongst her contributions.

  • Rosalie Martin Neve – 12C

Relationship link

29K contributions

Our Bowling line is from Lancashire. It’s enjoyable to search out connections. Provided that she’s a WikiTreer, I’d wager she has seen my Bowling articles that include Charnock Richard, the place our ancestors lived.

  • Chris M. Ferraiolo – 7C2R

Relationship link

15K contributions

Chris and I are associated by my tough Hill line which intersects with the Drew and Downes line. Have a look at this.

Chris and I share 70 widespread ancestors on a number of unrelated strains. (Trace – he has Acadian ancestry too)

Isn’t this WikiTree function cool!

  • Kathy J. Nava (Urbach) – 19c2R

Relationship link

2K contributions

If these lineages are right for each of us, we join within the royal lineages of England. I’m not satisfied my facet of this lineage is correct, however I must analysis my Rice line extra anyway and this offers motivation.

  • Maddy Hardman

131K contributions

OK, I’m simply blown away by the sheer variety of Maddy’s contributions. She should assist different folks all day and evening. Does she ever sleep?

  • Paul J. Gierszewski – no relationship

47K contributions

Paul created 9 kinfolk and made 83 edits. Paul, together with a number of different WikiTree volunteers works on Source-A-Thon‘s too, the place the targets is to – you guessed it – add sources to unsourced data on timber.

  • Lucy A. Selvaggio-Diaz – 15C1R

Relationship link

46K contributions

Lucy edited 16 profiles and added a number of kinfolk.

  • Jennifer Robins – 10C1R by Katherine Duxford

Relationship link

52K contributions

Ah, look, which means Donna, Jennifer, and me are all three associated by the identical ancestor.

  • Karen J. Lowe – 10C by Mercy Prence

Relationship link

185K contributions

Our widespread ancestor, Mercy Prence was the granddaughter of Elder William Brewster, the Pilgrim minister.

I can’t even think about 185K contributions. My cousin is AWESOME!

  • Melanie McComb (Doherty) – no relationship

2K contributions

Melanie created two ancestors for me!

  • S. Johnston (Ellingson) – 15C

Relationship link

4K contributions

Okay, I actually do should get busy researching my Rice line to see if I can determine if Thomas Rice is the son of Edward Rice and Mary Elizabeth Claiborne Harris. Group 4 of the Rice DNA Project is the road of my Thomas – extra analysis is definately wanted.

  • Laura A. DeSpain, Problem staff captain – 11C1R

Relationship link

40K contributions

One other Puritan lineage connecting by the Hill, Corridor, Richardson strains out of Connecticut.

Thanks, Laura for being my staff captain!

  • Elaine Weatherall – 17C2R

Relationship link

5K contributions

Our widespread ancestor depends upon being related to Francis Pafat by way of an illegitimate birth. I’m wondering if there’s a technique to show or disprove this. Hmmm…

  • Michelle R. Enke – no relation

26K contributions

Michelle added two kinfolk and made a number of edits.

  • Mindy Silva, hostess of the WikiTree Problem occasions – 11C1R

Relationship link

91K contributions

I believe that considered one of my ancestral hyperlinks, Jotham Brown’s father, is wrong on WikiTree so I’ve added my article about Jotham that exhibits his early connection in New Jersey. Y DNA connects him with that line too. Sadly, that signifies that Mindy and I most likely aren’t associated.☹

  • Joan E. Whitaker (Williams) – no relation

122K contributions

Joan added a relative and cleaned up a number of profiles.

  • Nancy L. Wilson (Cox) – 16C

Relationship link

14K contributions

Our widespread ancestor, Reynold West, is a member of the Magna Carta WikiTree Project. Do you might have any Magna Carta sureties as ancestors?

  • Ellen Smith – 7C by Mehitable Wooden

Relationship link

119K contributions

Our widespread ancestor, Mehitable Wood, has a number of folks listed who’re descendants and supply their autosomal check data. I must examine and see if I match with Ellen or anybody else who descends from Mehitable.

I really like the power so as to add the several types of DNA checks for every ancestor. I exploit WikiTree typically to examine for each Y and mitochondrial DNA descendants. If everybody checks their autosomal and mitochondrial DNA, and males check their Y DNA at FamilyTreeDNA, this could finally enable almost each ancestor to have their Y and mitochondrial DNA data related to their profile.

  • Tommy T. Buch – no relation

13K contributions

Tommy has labored on many WikiTree challenges. Usually, individuals who have been the fortunate recipients say thanks on the profile of the varied volunteers – and Tommy has a number of.

  • Yann Le Ny – no relation

1K contributions

It appears like Yann simply joined WikiTree within the spring of 2021 and has already made greater than 1000 contributions. Welcome and thanks!

  • G. Value – 9C by Thomas Durham

Relationship link

2K contributions

I’m actually impressed that she has offered for her “Digitial Afterlife,” one thing all of us must do. I must take this identical motion, and so do you. Check out what she did, here, by scrolling down.

Stephen Tomaszewicz – no relationship


Stephen labored on cleansing up a number of Dodson profiles, though they aren’t his household strains.

I used to be startled to find that most individuals have been contributing on strains that aren’t their very own. Simply from the kindness of their hearts.

David A. Lambert – 9C

Relationship link

200+ contributions

David is the Chief Genealogist at American Ancestors of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, so it’s solely becoming that we join by way of my Hill/Mitchell/Andrews line. I’d wager a guess that I can rely on the knowledge for our widespread ancestors, Joane and John Andrews, being correct.

Eileen Robinson (Bellamy) – no relation

1K contributions

I want we have been associated. I discover Eileen’s bio very inspiring. Moreover, in 10 days or so since I initially wrote this text, Elieen has gone from crossing the 1000 submission threshold to 1905. Hats off to Eileen!

Janet Wild (Langridge) – no relationship

74K contributions

Along with engaged on my problem, Janet has participated in different challenges together with being the captain, has been a mission staff lead and a one-name-study coordinator. I didn’t notice that WikiTree had one identify research. I must go and check this out!

Karen L. Stewart – 10C

Relationship link

8K contributions

WikiTree has completely different privateness ranges. Karen has set her privateness degree to “Personal with Public Biography and Household Tree.” You possibly can learn concerning the various levels and what they mean, here.

Jelena Eckstädt – no relation

74K contributions

Once I noticed Jelena’s German identify, I believed positive that we have been associated. Alas, no, however I used to be nonetheless the beneficiary of her German experience.

Anon Sharkey (Cormack)

44K contributions

Anon could need to stay nameless, however with nearly 45K contributions, Anon is clearly making an enormous distinction.

Thank You One and All

I simply wished to say a HUGE thanks to everybody for engaged on my ancestors throughout my WikiTree Problem week.

If I labored on 10 objects a day, for a 12 months, I wouldn’t have been in a position to get this executed. It’s not simply time. I used to be the beneficiary of the experience and willpower of those wonderful volunteers.

Really, the vacation season got here early for me this 12 months!

Thanks every one.



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