WikiTree and Family Search

Life is such an annoying thing, the way it always gets in the way of enjoying genealogy – my/our primary purpose in life, right? I have so many real life things to do today but instead I am here posting a blog about a speaking engagement I have for tomorrow on one of my favorite subjects…you guessed it, GENEALOGY!

Shameless plug:

Voices from the Dust – Ottawa’s Rootstech

Saturday, 18 June, 2016 from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

1017 Prince of Wales Drive, Ottawa Ontario

My subject? Why it’s “WikiTree and Family Search, Oh, The Connections You’ll Make!”.

There are all sorts of Wiki based projects “out there”. WikiPedia is probably the best known, WikiAnswers, and others of all kinds. (There’s even a Wiki to search all of the various Wiki’s!) The Family Search Site even has it’s own Wiki – FamilySearch Wiki. This wiki is chock full of great information on everything Genealogy. The Wiki I am talking about is my favorite Wiki, WikiTree.


Wikitree is a Global family Tree. It is one single tree built by volunteers from all over the world. It is a free Genealogy site which is my Genealogy program of choice. I have used a few programs in the past and they were pretty static. Static, meaning they didn’t move. They didn’t do anything from my computer…well one did, it uploaded all of my hard work to a “pay-for” Genealogy site. At the time I didn’t mind. At the time I knew I would never upgrade my “free” membership to a paid membership because I don’t believe in it. I, no one, should have to pay to see my/our ancestors. WikiTree is the converse of static. It changes and grows and expands like a real live tree. I have made more real live cousin connections in the two plus years I have been a part of Wikitree than in the 18 years I have done Genealogy.

That being said, WikiTree offers the opportunity to make connections. Making connections in Genealogy is important because connecting allows others who have the same interests as you, and you, to share information, sources, pictures and memories. It’s model of collaboration is an experiment in old school Genealogy,  gone wrong/wrong way  of thinking. Different in that you collaborate and share first – as you work. Done in discussions with other researchers, family historians and genealogists…then just sit back and watch your research move forward, facilitated by WikiTree.

In the case of Family Search? It’s amazing the stories I heard this year at Roots Tech from conference goers I talked to two years ago. In those conversations I explained that WikiTree and FamilySearch can work great together, in tandem:

In WikiTree you can post your research AND have others collaborate on the research. Then with one click connect that research to other, existing FamilySearch profiles.

Connecting my Charles Allen, III, Revolutionary soldier, I found there were two different profiles for him on Family search. I connected to both, though one had something terribly askew in the family relationships. Since I was doing a connection from WikiTree I had the opportunity to leave a message about the possible mistake in the notes for the Family Search profile, with reference to the Wikitree profile.  Haven’t heard anything back from the Family Search person as of yet but…

This shows the existing matches I have for Family Search to the WikiTree Profile for Charles Allen, III

One click and you are shown possible matches on Family Search. Wikitree saves that information on the WikiTree profile too. So you have a link straight to Family search for the profile you are researching on WikiTree. Pretty darn spiffy!

More on this tomorrow at the conference. Come see me…maybe I will have some blueberry pie waiting for you.

The presentation slides are available.

Coolaborate On!