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
Overall1592.61 out of 52.61 out of 52.61 out of 52.61 out of 52.61 out of 5 2.61
201712 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00
2016272.51 out of 52.51 out of 52.51 out of 52.51 out of 52.51 out of 5 2.51
Earlier1312.75 out of 52.75 out of 52.75 out of 52.75 out of 52.75 out of 5 2.75

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

WikiTree Review by LisaC,  Jan 7, 2017

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

It gets as high a rating as it does for what it taught me, and what it brought me–and those lessons and that gift would have had me rate it a five only a week ago. First, the positive. I had added to my tree on Ancestry.com with every hint, not thinking of the quality of the source–to the point it had me tracing my paternal line to Eleanor of Aquitaine and beyond! Because I took seriously their idea each profile should be sourced, and because through WikiTree I learned of FamilySearch.com, I climbed each branch of my tree and tested each thoroughly and found a lot of rotten wood. I thought that lesson invaluable and one I wouldn’t have learned if I had blithely continued to use Ancestry alone. Second, I found a sister I never knew I had! Her mother had married my father before he met my mother. She knew of a brother (I hadn’t–we’re still looking) but not a sister. She found the profile I’d put up of our father with his pictures and through that found me.

The bad. There was a lot of free-floating junk that came in with the GED import, some of which I had learned didn’t connect to my tree and connected no where else. I took my responsibility for those profiles seriously and didn’t want to leave them there with all this GED junk. I saw advice in one of their forums how to get rid of it since they have no mechanism to delete profiles. So I merged profiles that should have never been on my tree, that connected to no one else’s tree, and that no one had worked on but me. Took me not even an hour. I then get an email that my account is now blocked because of my “destructive merging” No warning. I sent an email back apologizing if I had caused any problems to anyone but myself. No answer back, and I’ve realized I may never get one. I can’t even edit my own profile now–and I just got my new sister all excited and she joined. If we still didn’t have a brother out there, I’d have told them to put it–well, you know. As it is, I groveled. But that’s months of work I now have no control over. I’ve seen this again and again with these kinds of groups. It attracts self-righteous busybodies quite willing and able to control your work. I simply can’t recommend anyone investing their time here given my experience. No wonder they have so many orphaned files! Also, half my heritage is Puerto Rican. I started closing down the privacy settings for those profiles when someone who hadn’t looked at the sources, didn’t know Spanish or Spanish surname customs changed the genders on me. Bottom line is–even if this gets resolved? I don’t trust them. And I don’t think anyone else should either.

Biggest Pro: Teaching a Newbie the Value of Sourcing; Great “cousin bait” if you’re looking for family
Biggest Con: You can be cut off from your own profiles, your own family tree, your own pictures, without warning

WikiTree Review by William,  Dec 28, 2016

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

Very good, very simple and intuitive.

Biggest Pro: intuitive

WikiTree Review by Harley Sparks,  Dec 26, 2016

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

Genealogy by committee. No vetting of information. Beware anything found here.

Biggest Pro: Free
Biggest Con: A lot of uninformed copying from ancesrry trees.

WikiTree Review by Ghengis Jon,  Dec 15, 2016

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

I’ve been using the site for over a year now with very little problem. I’ve had none of the issues called out below. With only a few exceptions, all contact between members has been wonderful (you can find pompous jerks everywhere though). Some of the more advanced functions are a little tedious, but that’s usually because you’re waiting for someone else’s input. I don’t import any data and collaborate/document all entries. Like anything else, its only as good as the data that’s put in. Overall, I’m pleased with the site, the layout and its participants.

Biggest Pro: Simple to use
Biggest Con: Not exactly intuitive

WikiTree Review by SeeChell,  Dec 8, 2016

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

I didn’t catch an early comment from someone who said, ‘that, will catch the attention of sysops’. How was I to know that wasn’t a good thing?
The honor code is required for use of the site. The honor code requires openness, lack of anonymity. Protection is provided to any administrator who chooses to be anonymous, even though members have agreed not to be. Some administrators have no family trees. I can’t tell you why. I have no idea.
Or, why I had to agree beforehand to do none of that. I won’t list the honor code and all the ways members are expected to behave that administrators don’t, and won’t be expected to follow.
Members will be required to provide documentation and sources for every person added. But profiles for ancestors in the family of administrators, historical persons, notable persons, and many hundreds, possibly thousands of uploaded persons may have vague, or no sources at all.
After providing documentation, members may be denied matching to improve poorly documented profiles, denied collaboration, and denied any reason for this. The honor code also prevents adding duplicate profiles, so that member’s tree will be unable to continue.
A search of any surname will show many hundreds of unattached, unsourced profiles added by people who have given up and gone elsewhere. Many duplicates exist and are uploads, but without collaboration a minor difference will generate denial of a match without discussion.
Expect any question might receive a random snarky reply. Because it’s the ‘nicest place online’ (you were told so when joining) members are expected to thank that person for the answer and provided a nice link to do it with. Questioning any of this is met with bullying, and hostility from administrators who will be protected after demeaning and debasing the questioner. This is particularly true after the member’s frustration leads to a comment reflective of the administrator’s.
Then the member will be shunned.
After realizing this stress is not worthy of that member’s time, and unable to manage without any help, members realize this is a lesson learned and move on. If not, they will be banned. It has been done to many people. Don’t burn a bridge that prevents you from seeing the site altogether.
I suppose you could grovel. They might like that.
After a few months I realized there was some sort of ranking system that put me at around #660. I remembered when I first started the number was about #1000. This means, they only have about a thousand active users. Rather than growing, they attract and lose members at a steady rate. I imagine a significant number of those are not active, but have not been inactive long enough to show as such. Having the same small group of names on forums and in other places, supports this. A recent all hands on deck event only yielded a few dozen participants. I’m not saying those were all of the active members but…..
They are driving people away, trying to hide the fact, and unable to figure out why people leave as quickly as they join.
It’s a privately owned site. They can do what they want. They DO what they want.

It’s your choice.

Biggest Pro: Occasionally stumbling across a clue
Biggest Con: The site

WikiTree Review by Paula Green,  Dec 4, 2016

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

Do not use this site. They lure you in to use this site as it’s free but the moment you commit any infraction (it could be as harmless as deleting data that you contributed) they will lock you out and steal your information. That’s what happened to me. I’ve had to threaten them with legal action to remove my personal information and I’m still waiting for them to remove it. They claim they have removed it but I can still see all 600 contributions I’ve made. They’ve only put a lock on my account so the public can’t see it but any admistrator (and who knows how many are on there) can see all of my sensitive information. Not only my personal details like date of birth and previous married names and my current name and email address but my children’s details and other still living relatives along with their photos. All of which I can’t log into edit and remove since they’ve blocked me from doing so. Even on their website they state they won’t keep personal information on their website about you if you ask them to remove it but they do. I think it’s a very dangerous website and it could be some sort of front for farming your personal information to sell onto third parties etc. and could lead to identity theft.

Biggest Pro: I thought it was about belonging to a worldwide tree
Biggest Con: It was a huge mistake that can have disastrous consequences

WikiTree Review by Bill Pool,  Oct 11, 2016

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

Wikitree is a collaborative genealogical research site.
It is free to join, you don’t have to be ‘invited”.
It is growing rapidly and and great potential.

With few exceptions, like most “wiki sites” you are free to add /delete / modify information.
Normally it is expected that you will consult with the “Profile Manager(s)” before making major chages.

Wikitree encourages members to work together. Sometimes this “ghestalt” process produces “breakthrough” results, where the combined knowledge and efforts of several researchers produces results that no one researcher would have produced by himself.

Wikitree is supportive of use of DNA and “solid references” to verify genealogical data.

Biggest Pro: Open collabortive approach to genealogy; this produces a friendly helpful research environment.
Biggest Con: Like other sites, a lot of undocumented or poorly ducmented profiles exist.

WikiTree Review by C Panek,  Sep 27, 2016

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

This is a great forum for collaboration - you can enter your data, and work with other genealogists to merge it with theirs. The tool is entirely web-based, nothing to install on your computer. That being said, your family tree is now on the web! How do you feel about that, in this era of web-site hacking? You can select one of 7 privacy levels for each individual in your tree, from Unlisted (invisible to all but you and your trusted circle) to Open (fully editable by anyone).
When importing your gedcom file, wikitree looks for matches in it’s existing data, if it finds a close match, it suggests you not import your individual as a separate entry, but merge them later . However after the import is complete you are left to track those matches down again and link them up manually - a fairly tedious process, if you have a big tree to start with.
Only the basic info is stored in dedicated fields - anything else is put into a free-text “Biography” field, that requires “wiki markup” formatting. Tedious. Especially since the import process seems to make mush out of any sources in your .ged file.

Biggest Pro: Collaboration tools abundant
Biggest Con: Entering sources is tedious

WikiTree Review by Loreal,  Sep 17, 2016

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

Leaders of wikitree are nothing big bully’s
Please don’t join

Biggest Pro: It’s free
Biggest Con: Leader bullying

WikiTree Review by Bunny Love,  Sep 2, 2016

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

Not very user-friendly as technical knowledge of xml etc is needed to fully contribute. Some editing operations such as merging records are confusing and time consuming. Worst of all, contributors often omit their sources. In short, wikitree adds nothing to the chaos & shoddy ‘research’ that is typical of web-based genealogical trees. I finally had to drop off wikitree, after a couple years of contributing, due to the lack of cooperation from other editors as well as the sheer volume of bad data and missing sources. If you choose to join, you will surely be emptying out the ocean with a spoon.

Biggest Pro: It’s free and a wonderful idea
Biggest Con: A horrible mess of unsourced “facts” & lack of quality control

WikiTree Review by Connie Hale Tompkins,  Aug 18, 2016

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

I was appalled to see the profile of George Hale mutilated by a drive-by “editor” with no Hale roots. The “editor” disconnected his parents William Hale and Rose Bond, insisting there was no “proof” of parentage, despite a citation from the well-respected Burke’s Peerage. A note to Chris Whitten regarding this has gone unanswered and the profile remains vandalized after 24 hours. Be advised that untutored amateurs wreak havoc on the historic profiles on Wikitree, freely and without restraint or admonition.

Biggest Pro: none
Biggest Con: a mess

WikiTree Review by Sue,  Aug 9, 2016

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

I love that this is not just a separate tree, and is improving gradually - lots of the people on here early on seem to have melted away - and a few have left thinly researched info and there are a few locked profiles that could be improved were they not but I find most people seem to respect the guidelines and improve the sources as they go.
Easy to get addicted.
Recent improvements made it easier to work with

Biggest Pro: Collaborative
Biggest Con: Long waiting to connect with apparently absent profile minders

WikiTree Review by Ray Wade,  Jul 20, 2016

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

Wikitree is a mess. Don’t go there. I joined yesterday and I quit this afternoon. The administrators are inefficient, unconcerned with members’ problems, and unresponsive to complaints. When confronted about their lackadaisical attitude, they become abusive. The level of work done on the “genealogies” is amateur. No real genealogist would or should participate. And, if you wonder about my credentials, I am a genealogist for Clan Douglas and a member of the Virginia Historical Society.

Biggest Pro: there are no pros
Biggest Con: it exists

WikiTree Review by Gaston Tardif,  Jul 13, 2016

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

Chris,
I have been a participant on WikiTree for several years right up to now but, for 4 or 5 days, I am unable to enter the WikiTree site - at all - not even “assistance” - nowhere! I get the same message always:
This site can’t be reached

“www.wikitree.com took too long to respond.
Try:
Reloading the page
Checking the connection
Checking the proxy and the firewall
ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT”

However, I still recieve “WidiTree Family News” and “WikiTree News” but cannot open any. Same message as above.

Could you figure out what is going on.?

Biggest Pro: Most chalenging site that I have seen -

WikiTree Review by dernea,  Jul 8, 2016

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

Data can be both open and protected so some of this issues below have either been addressed or as new users they may not have understood. Also it, like, Wikipedia, it is moderated by users and gradually improving.

Biggest Pro: its free
Biggest Con: it can be challenging to use at times

WikiTree Review by Peter J. Roberts,  Jun 15, 2016

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

Best online collaborative one world tree with the least duplicates that I know of. The forum (G2G) provides fast and helpful information and the questions and answers can be voted up or down. A DNA tester’s Autosomal DNA, Y chromosome, X chromosome, and mitochondrial DNA information is automatically associated with their ancestry. There is so much early ancestry already in WikiTree that it is often easier to manually enter your family tree and connect to shared ancestors already there rather than uploading a GEDCOM.

Biggest Pro: Genetic genealogy features
Biggest Con: Occasional vandals

WikiTree Review by campe,  May 7, 2016

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

It great

Biggest Pro: it free
Biggest Con: coding

WikiTree Review by Patricia Prickett Hickin,  May 4, 2016

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

Personally I really love Wikitree. I love the focus being on the individual and the ability to do really long, illustrated biographies. I love being able to add link to other people, to outside sources, to other websites, etc. I love all the family tree tools. I love being able to do “free-space profiles” about places or events or churches, etc., etc. I love being able to merge information about an individual with the research someone else has done. I love being able to add an infinite number of sources.

Biggest Pro: The biographies that are so easy to view. It’s so much more than names and dates.
Biggest Con: If there’s a disagreement with someone else about parentage there’s no easy way to show both sets, except in the bio.

WikiTree Review by Laura,  Apr 19, 2016

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

I find wikitree a great site to work on. The support from others is good and yes, there are people trying to control a lot of entries of the same person and messages are sent to the site managers to confirm or reject merges. One can set the privacy control and many sites are accessable due to low privacy set by the manager. Remember that access can be granted by a site manager and that privacy is there to protect living persons listed. Possibly the processes are an aggravation to some, but much is happening on the site which is positive if you remain within the area of your own research. Many people will help as far as they can. I try to substantiate my entries with a copy of a death certificate and am always open to suggestions and corrections. Most of what I receive is there to promote the site and to streamline the info to eradicate duplication.

Biggest Pro: Access is free and assistance is always available.
Biggest Con: Takes a bit of time to get used to the website.

WikiTree Review by Ronald Hatmaker,  Apr 18, 2016

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

I tried for 2 days to use wikitree and I have encountered many difficulties and I am certainly computer literate.
Entering information is not straightforward. I entered my grandfather but could not enter my grandmother. I knew a birthdate month and year but not day. It would not take it at all. Entering sources is not straight forward if at all.
An average person will never be able to easily use wikitree. Even though the data that I did enter is not private, I have noticed already that someone is changing it.
ron

Biggest Con: ease of use

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