Saturday, November 30, 2013

Map Your Ancestor's Moves

The winning Profile of the Week this week is the story of a rogue - you can read about Clayton Sloan at WikiTree. The profile demonstrates the sleuthing abilities of Sean Sloan Johnson, as he tracked down an ancestor who used many aliases, and moved around quite a bit. One of the many excellent touches added by Sean is a map of the movements around the country of his ancestor. In response to my comment on it, he sent me a link to Google Maps Engine.

So I'm in the process of mapping the life of my gr-great grandfather James Sherrill, one of my Oregon Trail Pioneer ancestors. This is another example of how the WikiTree community inspires me to better work on my family tree.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Evidence Explained - the Facebook 'Blog'

Elizabeth Shown Mills, a highly credentialed and experienced genealogist, has long been recognized as a leader in setting professional standards in her field, especially regarding sources - why, when and how to source a fact in a family tree.

I have her weighty tome, Evidence Explained, and one of her QuickSheets (which is less likely to break my wrist holding it up). To your right you may see I have added a link to Ellizabeth's Facebook pages for her book. I was not aware of this valuable resource until today. I found it through a link in the G2G group at WikiTree, and thanks to Jillaine Smith for giving us the link!

This is just one more example of how joining WikiTree is helping me grow, not just grow my tree, but grow my ability to make it a good one.  I recently discovered a resource listing that Rick Pierpont.created and shared. Another resource list I like to use is Kitty's Library, which has benefited many in the WikiTree community.

Being part of a collaborative community is making my family tree hobby more fun, and more effective.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Like a Kid in a Candy Shop

Some well-behaved children go into the candy shop, stand in one place, and quietly ask their parents: "May I have that one, please?"

Not like me.  I'd wander from one side of the shop to other, considering the delicious choices. With my nose plastered to the glass covered display case, I'd say, "That one - no wait - this one, uhmm - may I have them both?".

Nothing has changed except my hair - it is gray instead of brown.  I dash (virtually) from one profile to another at WikiTree. I find a missing link that takes a branch that has been stuck for years way, way back. I work on it for a week, then I'm peeking into other branches, finding more missing links - oh please may I have all of them?!

Unlike the candy shop - the answer is YES!  And it won't even make you fat! So here is my Miner missing link; here is my Crow missing link - like a magic candy shop, you can have some too, and there is always more left than before! 

Of course I know that working carefully, logically, from a well-thought-out research plan, would get me where I want to go quicker in the end. What can I say? I'm just a kid, hiding in a grown-up body....

WikiTree Globe
WikiTree - Where We Are All Related

Where did the Week Go?

You have heard the saying "Time flies when you're having fun" -- well the past week went by at super-sonic jet speed.  To make a perfect week even better, last night when I checked my profile page for updates, I found this:

 Community StarFamily Star

  -- and it isn't even my birthday!
The family star may be awarded by any member to anyone  "for making valuable contributions to their family's history or genealogy".  This one was from Tami Osmer.  Tami and I share many of the same ancestors, and she has uploaded her GEDCOM (a format for transferring family tree information) to WikiTree. She too blogs about genealogy - you can find her blog with the link to your right "Finding Family stories". She wrote on Nov. 8:  "Thank you for caring about ancestors by honoring them with thoughtful profile pages!" This from someone who produces so many great stories of her ancestors! Wow! Thank you Tami!

The community star may be awarded to anyone " for outstanding generosity in the community or dedication to the WikiTree mission to grow a shared, worldwide family tree".  It is reserved "for those making contributions beyond their own family."  This one was awarded by Terry Wright - she is the Project Leader for the Profile of the Week, and she also works on Photo for the Week Project; Scottish Clans Project; Australian Convicts Project - and many other valuable contributions to WikiTree.  She has made a major commitment of her time to be a greeter for the new members of WikiTree. In fact, she was the one who greeted me and has made me feel very welcome.  Here is part of what she wrote on Nov. 9: "April shows such outstanding generosity to the WikiTree Community April is willing to help in any way that she can." Thank you Terry!

Speaking of the WikiTree Mission - here is the statement from About WikiTree:
" Our mission is to grow a single worldwide family tree that will make genealogy free and accessible for everyone."

The Vision statement begins: "WikiTree is designed to balance privacy and collaboration so that everyone can share the same family tree."

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Reading, Writing and WikiTree

 October 2013 Club 100
I spent part of the weekend reading the nine profiles nominated for Profile of the Week - (scroll down, link on the right side).  It is interesting to read about the lives of people who came before us - not just the famous but everyday sort of people.

I am also learning how many ways a profile can be presented - narrative, timeline, combination, mainly pictures, etc.  I spent my insomniac part of the night/morning writing another profile.

I hope you like my October Club 100 badge at the top of this page. Points can help me measure my impact at WikiTree and they give me a way to track my productivity, but points aren't the goal or purpose of WikiTree.  Points - they are just a way of acknowledging every single contribution made by the members.

In a collaborative work such as WikiTree, it is the sum of mutual effort that is important. The goal is to produce accurate trees and interesting profiles, well sourced, with pictures.  There is no such thing as an 'insignificant' contribution in a co-operative body of work. My little finger is small, but not at all insignificant!

Today I have been reading back dated issues of the WikiTree Blog, which I strongly recommend for anyone interested in genealogy. Whatever level of experience you may have acquired, from beginner to expert, I think you will find articles that interest you.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Surprise! a badge for genealogy blogging


OK, so I made it bigger - just didn't want you to miss it:)  To me blogging is like thinking out loud to a friend.  So getting a badge for blogging is just - like two desserts - extra extra.  The part I like best is that my blog will be listed on the bloggers page at WikiTree.  I have read all the blogs on the page and it is inspiring to see these meticulous researchers going the extra mile to find out more than vital statistics about their ancestors.

AK's Genealogy Research demonstrated research skills in a blog about her Irish ancestors last month.  I have Irish ancestors too:)  In fact, I have more Celtic ancestors than anything except Finnish.  Reading other genealogy blogs always gives me new ideas. Thanks, AK!