WikiTree

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by Chris Whitten
The Worldwide Family Tree Wiki. Unlike many wikis the content is not completely open and public. Copyrights are kept by the contributors. Content is kept private through a unique “Trusted List” system that enables you to select the individuals you want to collaborate with and the specific content you want to share with them. This flexible system means everyone can be on one worldwide family tree but privacy isn’t sacrificed. GEDCOM import is supported.

WikiTree is free but new members must be invited by a family member or fellow genealogist and must understand the Honor Code and mission before contributing.

Free • Online • Full Featured
http://www.wikitree.com
Overall1322.7 out of 52.7 out of 52.7 out of 52.7 out of 52.7 out of 5 2.70
201611 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 1.00
2015402.86 out of 52.86 out of 52.86 out of 52.86 out of 52.86 out of 5 2.86
Earlier912.61 out of 52.61 out of 52.61 out of 52.61 out of 52.61 out of 5 2.61

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132 Reviews of WikiTree     RSS 2.0 RSS     Showing 1 - 20                   Add Your Review

WikiTree Review by Jared,  Jan 30, 2016

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

I do not rate wikitree at all! Sure it strives to connect people, but it has one critical flaw. I started adding family with creditable evidence and as some family lived so long ago, it was freely open to all. An American who has no evidence nor family connection started making changes. They started changing names and adding family with no real evidence, just an index number without actually checking the original after doing half an hour of research. I use Ancestry also and every American who I have queried on my family (I contacted over 50 users last year alone), I found the didn’t actually know a thing and based a lot of so called evidence on “assumption”, very unprofessional. One thing to be weary is that most “researchers” don’t actually check documents they quote! I saw a few trees and thought wow, I check actual records and the evidence was not theirs to claim. Most recently an American I am in contact with claim descend of Adam Rolland of Gask, a well documented tree with wills, probates and death records and this person completely manufactured her connection through the surname when in actual fact that person never had any surviving male heirs. I pride myself on gathering evidence (there are no facts, only evidence) and connecting the dots and when some hick shows me their “family tree” I show them mine, along with my archive system and over two hundred folders of evidence I have collected to support my claims. Back to my point on Wiki, this American was just changing information for fun, they think themselves a genealogist without formal qualification (yes, to be a genealogist requires an actual qualification). I am not a genealogist, I don’t have the qualification, I am merely a family archiver. Most people you will find on Wikitree are amateurs, they do 10 minutes of research or worse just copy another’s tree without checking. The only truth with Wikitree is it will never be true, there will always be false manufactured connections to royalty or because most people don’t know a thing about their family and just copy. Therefore if Wikitree cannot be fully true, it is pointless. My advice is to stick to building your own tree that you control because if somebody says you should change your tree, you turn to them like me and request evidence. A good rule of thumb, three points of evidence make a good case as one piece of evidence is circumstantial and not enough to prove a point. I didn’t put all my evidence on Wikitree, but I did reference it and encouraged people to contact me and ask. Nobody did. My ancestry tree is private to that very reason, people take and take and take until you find a picture of you ancestor associated with another incorrect person. Never publicly show your tree, it is your own work, your history, your photos and evidence for your family alone. Wikitree encourages stealing and will never protect your property and integrity. When the Internet is gone Wikitree will be gone, so publish your work in books, so that many generations can read and enjoy. Wikitree is not a tool like other family tree programs, it is open sourced and anybody, I mean anybody can steal, edit and delete your precious work.

P.S. If you stay with Wiki, be careful, follow the evidence and not the conman who edits your tree without evidence. Ethically only proven family should edit your tree, not random unrelated people.

Biggest Pro: Connections
Biggest Con: The amount of fraudulent information being edited and shared and the fact people mostly don’t connect the same trees

WikiTree Review by Patricia,  Dec 29, 2015

2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

12/29/2015

Hi — I tried this site today & it was a mistake. I saw a FREE offer for family tree so I thought Why Not.
Well, I typed my info & could not figure out how to add the other family members.

Biggest Pro: A FREE web site for family trees
Biggest Con: No able to add other family members

WikiTree Review by SC Hultgren,  Dec 25, 2015

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

Unfortunately this is the very worst source there is for family records. Copyrights are kept by contributor. Many contributors have simply gone on sights such as Ancestry.com uploaded GEDCOM’s from members trees who have not marked their trees as “Private” and deposted the list of names. These GEDCOMs have been copied without ANY supported facts. As a result you have a web page with a list of names. In my case the “contributor” has uploaded 15,690 random names most with a note “Supported Documentation Did Not Transfer” and when I request that information be taken down .. By an absolutely random contributor who is not even related to I was told No. So there it sits on the web wrong, created by someone who is not related. Lets face it very few people are going to be related to 15,690 people as this so called contributor claims to be.

Biggest Pro: There are none
Biggest Con: The people can load 10’s of thousands of names and have Zero supporting documentation to support the info.

WikiTree Review by MAL,  Dec 23, 2015

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

The Definition of Family History is.

A drawing or chart that shows how the different members of a family are related to each other.
In other words - A line of descent traced continuously from an ancestor.
That being the case. How can somebody, who appears to have done a One Name Study on their Surname, include these Totally Unrelated Persons, and call it their family tree. 

There is NO Continuous Line Of Descent.


But then to have the audacity to become the MANAGER of the Spouse one of these Totally Unrelated person.

When I asked this person how he was related to my Grandmother.
The Answer was.
“There is no direct link to my family line”

When I asked how he got all his information.
The reply was.
“I’ve just been busy trying to log lots of people with the surname ********. Its largely a copy from Ancestry. I’ve put all that I have in Wikitree”

So presumably, this person has pulled several hundred, or more, unrelated people with the same surname as themselves. Along with their spouses, and their descendants. And called it their Family Tree.
This person ADMITS to not having a line of descent that they can trace continuously from the person in MY Family, that they have attached to themselves.

So why is it allowed???

Perhaps over years of research, they may be able to piece some of this vastly expanded, unrelated tree together. But until they can proved a Continuous Line of Descent. They shouldn’t be allowed to make connections.

My own Family Tree consists of just over 7,700 people. This includes over 1500 people who have my surname, who are related. 
No doubt this unrelated person would have latched on to 90 or so people in my tree that had his surname.
Because if he wasn’t related to my Grandmother. He WASN”T related to them. Having latched on to my Grandfather, they again given the chance would have latched on to the 1500+ people with his name.

WikiTree - Don’t Go Near It

Merry Christmas Everybody

I Bet This Gets Deleted

Biggest Pro: There Isn’t One
Biggest Con: To True, WIKITREE Is The Biggest CON

WikiTree Review by sylvia,  Dec 11, 2015

2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

i found a lot of unsupported information and wild stories about people without documents to support those stories. i joined because of a distant cousin. found the atmosphere hostile. the profile “managers” can take away your trusted status even on your own father if you disagree with them and ask for documentation. then you go to the mediation process and the cards are stacked against you as the new person on the block.
the person who is directly related to an ancestor should have the option of managing their page, regardless of who originally added the profile. co management is an option too but to be “just trusted” with parent or grandparent to a 2 cousin twice removed is a travesty. they do not share these persons as common ancestors as your wikitree co management statement states. not with immediate family. wherever you connect is where we become distant cousins and can co manage the profiles. as long as this web site has policies not being followed and no one who is willing to uphold them, this is a very negative atmosphere.

Biggest Pro: i did not find any. everything gets tangled up when you have to ask to be trusted with your own father’s profile.
Biggest Con: profile managers who refuse to share profiles with those who are direct descendents of someone they manage.

WikiTree Review by Dr. Taylor Ruhl,  Nov 9, 2015

4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

I have found considerable information of value on WikiTree that I could not find elsewhere. However, I’ve found that my contributing is constantly being watched. If I put in some new records without documentation, I get an email from an observer within 30 minutes or less reminding me. If I point out something incorrect that someone else has contributed and suggest that it be corrected, I quickly get an email asking if I’m putting pressure on someone - and I am an unfailingly polite person. Thus I decided to take a time out from Wikitree. I may continue to use it to find information, but will discontinue contributing.

Biggest Pro: Quite accurate (much more than Ancestry.com).
Biggest Con: “Big brother” operation where you are constantly watched.

WikiTree Review by Jon L,  Oct 31, 2015

2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

Names added that do not belong and unable to remove!

Biggest Con: Names added that do not belong and unable to remove!

WikiTree Review by Jim,  Oct 15, 2015

4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

Being a Wiki, Wikitree is free and always will be. No chance it will be absorbed by some big name and hidden behind a Paywall.

Like any Wiki, the information is only as trustworthy as the people keying it in. But wrongs can be corrected, and there are plenty of opportunities to share source info and links.

Unlike many online genealogy databases, Wikitree is intended to be a shared tree, conceivably linking every human on the planet, with a goal of one profile per person.

It’s not as richly featured as some, but the basic features are there. It will get better with time. Its potential is staggering!

Biggest Pro: Sharing and collaboration
Biggest Con: Unrestricted GEDCOM imports by novices can in an instant contaminate entire trees dating back centuries. There needs to be some restrictions on who is allowed to import (perhaps a certification exam) and how far back (1800 would be a good cutoff)

WikiTree Review by Drinda McBreairty,  Sep 19, 2015

3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

This is terrific site and being free is a plus, and a great reference place for info. My disappointment happened when someone began putting incorrect info into my family tree. Actually, Edith and Ozithe are the same name only Ozithe is the French version. It appeared that the individual may not have been familiar with the family. Sorry, I just lost interest with it all. My fault I should have kept it private, but how would that assist anyone? The people should contact the keeper of the info BEFORE changing anything. It just got to be a mess. A great place but others are not considerate.

Biggest Pro: My biggest disappointment was when a person got involved in my genealogy and just put in info that was not correct just to get badges rather than try to provide correct information.

WikiTree Review by not star-struck,  Sep 12, 2015

Not Rated

WikiTree is a good idea, and was working fairly well despite some problems (unsourced garbage, etc., that you find on just about any genealogy site). But now one person has decided that millions of profiles should have a box showing their “connections” to minor celebrities. There is no way to remove it if you don’t want it, even from your own profile. At least on ancestry, you can ignore the “look how many famous people I’m related to” crowd if you want to.

Biggest Pro: Goal of one profile per person, no duplicates
Biggest Con: one person being able to cheapen the experience for everyone

WikiTree Review by Jack Hanney,  Sep 8, 2015

4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

I am surprised at some of the comments posted here about Wikitree. My experience after trialling about 7 different online and offline programs is that Wikitree stacks up very well. Of course it all depends on what you want out of your genealogy work. If you want an entirely self-contained record of your family alone, then it is not for you. It is more about collaborative research and joining trees together. Also it is 100% free, no pro/premium memberships etc.

There are comments about lots of unsourced information and false information in the comments below. That is true but it is also true for most online genealogy sites. What I feel is different about Wikitrees the community is trying to continually improve that by firstly attempting to ask those who just want to upload a family GEDcom if they know the goals of Wikitrees (the honour code). You join as a Guest then get asked your intentions, most get accepted as a full member but some are filtered out are not really interested in working to make their tree better. Secondly there is a lot of support to help improve sources and accuracy.

As for privacy well again I think Wikitrees has a good approach to this. Any profile can be locked by the profile manager to one of 7 privacy levels. The most restricted is ‘UNLISTED’ this is for profiles that you want to keep entirely hidden from everyone but the Trusted List. Unlisted names do not appear in search results, surname index pages, or automatic matches.

Biggest Pro: Being free, and a team of volunteers who are continually make the data more reliable
Biggest Con: those who join without improving the data

WikiTree Review by Ocky,  Sep 7, 2015

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

Wikitree is a bit different to the majority of Genealogy websites out there. It is based on collaboration between members. The idea is to load your family on to the site, either manually or via a GEDcom upload. Then start the process of merging with other common profiles. A merge creates one profile that is shared between the original profile managers.

I have family trees on several Genealogy sites but i find Wikitree is the most satisfying in that the community is strong and supportive and the process is all about a common family tree.

Obviously the greatest feature is that it is free. Also profiles can be locked down to varying degrees of allowable access and therefore privacy is very strong where needed, ie living persons. It is also building very interesting project groups, for geographical areas, for one name studies, for historical events etc.

If there is a negative it is that it cannot find information for you relating to a particular person however if you link to another profile then hopefully someone else has useful facts that you then share, but that said, being free it has no ability to obtain records etc, like the expensive paid sites.

Navigation around the site can take some getting used to.

Biggest Pro: Free
Biggest Con: navigation

WikiTree Review by Morris Simon,  Aug 25, 2015

4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

Over the past decade, I’ve used most online family tree presentations, including both commercial and “free” sites. In terms of accuracy, openness and quality, I prefer WikiTree to anything else on the internet. It takes a while to master the privacy levels, the documentation system, and the data entry fields, but once you know the system fairly well it’s an intuitive, informative and productive presentation site. WikiTree is designed for cooperative efforts and is not for people who dislike sharing or blending their work with that of others. I particularly like the documentation requirements of WikiTree, which somewhat force users to add sources, especially for older generations. With hundreds if not thousands of internet users looking over your shoulder, it’s difficult to get away with entering guesswork or dubious data. Not for the casual user!

Biggest Pro: Documentation procedures; cooperative data sharing
Biggest Con: Awkward data entry procedures; steep learning curve

WikiTree Review by Graham Lewis,  Aug 18, 2015

Not Rated

Concept was interesting/attractive, but the reality immensely disappointing. I uploaded my gedcom and was “matched to very large numbers of other gedcoms. I commenced comparing the matches hoping to find cousins or other researchers with whom I could collaborate, but quickly realised that most of what I was looking at was poorly researched rubbish copied from elsewhere on the web. There would have been huge effort required to point out the immediately obvious errors that any researcher with slight attention to detail should have realised for themselves. I have better ways to spend my time than correcting/educating people who are simply “collecting” names of interest, rather than building reasonably authenticated family trees!
NOT WORTH THE TIME TO REMAIN A MEMBER.
So I decided to resign and delete all signs of my being there. NOT EASY! And no response whatsoever when I tried to give constructive feedback to their customer service peopl, and seek help in getting my data and personal info systematically removed from their site. NOT EVEN AN ACKNOWEDGEMENT! HOPELESS!!!!

Biggest Pro: POTENTIALLY VERY WIDE REACH
Biggest Con: TOO MUCH RUBBISH RESEARCH PUBLISHED THERE TO ALLOW FINDING USEFUL COLLABORATORS

WikiTree Review by PV,  Aug 17, 2015

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

I wish I had never heard of this site. If you download info. anyone on the “trusted” list can take over management and will make changes at will. The site “owns” your family tree. There is no way you can remove your entries if someone else has changed your info. I hate these people.

Biggest Pro: None
Biggest Con: They ARE cons, don’t do it.

WikiTree Review by Michele Camera,  Aug 10, 2015

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

I love WikiTree and the way it works. I have “met” (online) cousins I hadn’t known existed by working on the same ancestor profiles and chatting both on and offline. The G2G community is a beneficial society with many people who are generous with their time, advice and resource suggestions.

My frustration is that my software did not upload source citations when I posted my GedcGED com. Now I have to recheck all my ancestor profiles and manually add citations. That is an issue I caused with my software, not the site.

There are a few curmudgeonly individuals but they were probably the kids who didn’t play nicely with others in the playground sandbox. Now, they are old and can’t last forever.

Biggest Pro: collaborative nature of site and the W2W genealogist community
Biggest Con: failure by some contributors to provide real source citations

WikiTree Review by Richard Williams,  Aug 6, 2015

3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

I see so many reviews here that say “someone stole my information, and used it with their ancestors and I don’t know them, and no one living in my family knows them!” Well, get a grip and think about it for a minute. I know that no one alive has ever met some of my relatives. Some of them died 600 years ago!! Through those relatives I am a member of thousands of families, some I have never heard of but the data checks out. So just because you don’t know me doesn’t mean that we can’t me related and that your data is yours and yours alone. I have first cousins that I have never met much less people who are related to me from 7 or 8 or 9 generations

Your data gets stolen? What do you think a Wiki is? It is a collaborative effort is put together the data held my millions of people and see the connections between them.

WikiTree Review by Henry's Nana,  Aug 1, 2015

Not Rated

i joined Wikitree hopeful and left Wikitree extremely disappointed. I found an entire line of my family hijacked by an Internet myth and had no way to correct it. My only option was to post notes or comments with the correct information, but I could not change the massively incorrect information attached to historical people because the people who claim the ancestry through the myth don’t want it corrected. I also found hundreds of records with no information except a name, and most of the records I looked at had ancestry trees or other web sites as their sources, not any actual documentation. The goals seem good, I liked the idea of writing a little bio for each person, but I have no interest in attaching my documented research to a bunch of garbage.

Biggest Pro: thereare some good, well documented records
Biggest Con: mostly garbage, not genealogy

WikiTree Review by Henry coy dawson,  Jun 24, 2015

4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

Wikitree works great for me.I just started to look up my family history

WikiTree Review by Brad Foley,  Jun 9, 2015

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

I’m baffled by many of the comments here, and felt like I had to chime in. It’s obvious that a majority of the people criticising WikiTree simply didn’t read the FAQs (”frequently asked questions”, for those who don’t know how to Internet). I think the idea for a single, free, shared tree is really important and necessary. It’s pretty early now, but will only get better over time as more people contribute to it, and keep it rigorous. It’s a fantastic resource for sharing ancestral information, and most importantly I don’t need to pay a monthly fee for access to my own, and other relatives’, work

First, the vast majority of negative comments here seem to stem from a profound misunderstanding of what “shared” means. People are angry that their work is “stolen” or “hijacked” by others who are also working on the tree. Some of those gripes sound legitimate (people adding unsourced branches) but are solvable within the community framework. Others just sound like people want to have a private tree within a tree, off limits to anyone else. These people clearly don’t belong on WikiTree, and clearly didn’t try and understand what the status of shared entries means.

Second, some people seem to think that, because the paid sites have started offering WikiTree profiles as documentation (and are charging for it) that their work is being stolen by the crooks in charge of WikiTree. No. Because the paid sites are scouring the net, and dredging up possible matches; and because WikiTree is free, they’re just charging to provide access to free information. This is *not* the fault of WikiTree.

I have my own moderate gripes with WikiTree - mostly that the GedCom import options leave many abandoned, messy duplicate profile stubs that take too much work to integrate. That said, I love WikiTree, and love the community and volunteers there.

Biggest Pro: Collaborative
Biggest Con: Collaborative

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