Monday, 27 April 2015

A-Z Challenge 2015: W is for WikiTree

I hardly know where to start with this one.  Oh, yes - wait.  I do know.  WikiTree!
There are plenty of sites around which suggest you build your tree online (and they are either free or paid-for).  Over the years, I have dutifully been putting my tree up on various sites with no effect other than
to add a little MORE pressure to my already-full day.  And then along came WikiTree.  Sounded good, it was free, lots of privacy, even an honour code.  So I put my tree up there, person by person (I'll discuss why not a huge GEDCOM in a moment).  I even put a photo of my grandmother up there which I had taken when I was about 10.

Then I got an email, asking me about my identity (and quoting several names and places so I would know it wasn't a scammer).  It was a cousin I'd never met!  I had been searching for him and his side of the family for over 30 years.  He rang his sister, and said "We've found her! We've found her!" and it turned out that they had been searching for me for ages, too.  And we found each other because of WikiTree.

Oh, yes.  Why not a huge GEDCOM.  OK, it probably is a good idea if you have an enormous tree of 35,000 people, but when you only have a few hundred (so far) I think it is better to type them in, person by person, even if it takes days rather than minutes.  (Of course, it does help if you can type really quickly.)  That's the way, in my opinion, that you really get to KNOW your ancestors.  When you have typed 'Ebenezer Haywood' a few times, you will never forget him!  Or 'Otho Popham', or 'Loveday Anna French', 'Rabage Beere', or 'Beaton Downe' (Yes, really!).  (These are all actual names from my own tree.)  You may not remember every single date (although frequent retyping definitely helps), but you begin to remember the names, and which family they belong to.  And family is what it's all about, isn't it?

© 2015 Ros Haywood. All Rights Reserved


  1. That is so cool that you found your cousin and learn he was searching for you too. I have not heard of this tree for ancestry but have marked it down and will look into it

    1. I really recommend it. I just love the integrity and honour of it all.

  2. I don't have a wiki tree but I have been found by cousins through my blog and through my tree.

    I should have been following you for this challenge! I don't know why I wasn't.

    Finding Eliza



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