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
Overall1742.49 out of 52.49 out of 52.49 out of 52.49 out of 52.49 out of 5 2.49
2017162.2 out of 52.2 out of 52.2 out of 52.2 out of 52.2 out of 5 2.20
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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174 Reviews of WikiTree     RSS 2.0 RSS     Showing 1 - 20                   Add Your Review

WikiTree Review by A-ole,  May 14, 2017

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

this webs site is bogus. there is no privacy only the illusion of privacy. anyone with a certain type of rewards badge can go into your personal data and not only view but alter it as well. having different levels of privacy is only for show. then when you bring this to Chris’ attention you get blocked out of your own profiles private and everything else you contribute. I have a written e-mail wanting me to sign off my rights to my private files on this site.

Biggest Pro: nothing
Biggest Con: Privacy, lack of communication, altering profiles without contacting the contributor, mass file cleanings.

WikiTree Review by Jesse,  May 7, 2017

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

Truly an awful site. Time consuming, ridiculous requirements for stating sources, terrible layout, there’s not a lot of good with this trash. I can’t use it because of a complete lack of cooperation between careless profile managers.

Biggest Pro: None
Biggest Con: Everything

WikiTree Review by Patricia Prickett Hickin,  Apr 25, 2017

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

Wikitree does take some getting used to, but I love and think it is by far the best genealogy website around. The focus is on the individual person and the format is highly flexible — you can include really log biographies; you can illustrate them profusely; you can document your information; you can write little side essays and link to them in a variety of ways.

It is collaborative so you have the advantage of other people’s input. You get to “meet” other people who are working on the same families and you can collaborate with them.

There is lots of help available thru the “G2G” Forum and questions are answered really quickly.

Biggest Pro: It’s unlimited, collaborative, flexible; info is easy to document and illustrate.
Biggest Con: Takes a while to learn your way around, but worth it!!

WikiTree Review by Bill,  Apr 14, 2017

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

what a joke this web site is. no upholding privacy control as stated in the we site. no source citation, or clear sources. vandalism is constant. people are supposed to contact you about possible matches or changes to your profiles but do not. when you question those same people you get locked out by the idiots and owner that run the web site. some “real professionalism” there. I am actually considering suing them. Anyone with a certain type of badge can go into any profile private and view and alter the information to it. DO NOT SIGN UP FOR THIS SITE. IT IS A SAFE HAVEN FOR IDENTIFCATION THEVIES. INCLUDING THE OWNER OF THE SITE AND HIS SMALL GORUP BOARD MEMBERS.

Biggest Pro: your kidding right?
Biggest Con: PRIVACY TO THE STILL LIVING PEOPLE LISTED

WikiTree Review by Beryl Meehan,  Apr 11, 2017

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

You have taken the best of my data and now you block me. Complaints to mentors or arborists are not dealt with. So your game is to take the best data people have and then block them.
Someone below charge that 1/4 of the Wiktree data is fiction, after my experience with another member this past month and all her duplicate and erroneous data I’m out, banned for complaining about her guess work.

Biggest Pro: seemed great idea at the time
Biggest Con: accepting gedcom data without real sources, rude behaviour of some mentors with who, you have had previously no contact

WikiTree Review by Ken,  Mar 30, 2017

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

This site has helped me learn a lot when compared to the other sites. I find the vast majority of the people on the forums to be very helpful. I do belong to several other Genealogical Websites and find that each has its own merits, but WikiTree seems to have the best interaction amongst members. I really like the relationship finder that allows you to see where you fit into your family tree, and where things may be a bit questionable. DNA Information is great also.
The biggest problem I’ve run across is that sometimes those with a highly scientific backgrounds have difficulty in understanding simple concepts. Sometimes folks are just looking for a simple answer and end up getting three pages worth of stuff they may not understand.

Biggest Pro: Interaction with others and the Relationship Finder
Biggest Con: Too many locked profiles or unresponsive profile managers

WikiTree Review by Laura Bozzay,  Mar 30, 2017

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

No site is perfect But the majority of the people I have had the pleasure (and I DO MEAN PLEASURE) of interacting with have been passionate, caring, and decent and KNOWLEDGEABLE. You can go to many very expensive pay sites and find trees that are so badly sourced they are laughable (I found one where in the 1700s they had two men married because the name for one appeared to the untrained to be female (Christian is female in Scotland and England but male in Germany).

On WikiTree active people seem to care about accuracy and we even try to fix errors where other sites don’t even want to know they have errors.

I have seen people disagree on some issues but I have not seen out right bullying. Can it occur? Sure but I think other WikiTreers will call out the person acting as a bully. Disagreement is good the best answer is probably somewhere in the middle.

The staff listens. They may take a while to act because they are balancing resources which anyone who has ever run a company or a non-profit knows is not easy to do. You will never please everyone.

Does WikiTree have some issues… sure but so do all sites. Are they worse than other sites? Well do you want a free site that allows everyone to participate especially those on fixed or smaller incomes instead of catering only to the rich? Or do you want a site you have to pay for and you may get a bit faster response but you will also not get the cross spectrum of users sharing their gene pool. So for me, it is no worse than other sites and in many ways better!

For me, WikiTree is a great asset and while there may be problems like unresponsive or inactive PMs, it is in my opinion something that is part of growing pains and part of an open Wiki philosophy. Can some tweaks be made to solve it, yes but I like the fact that the staff is listening and evaluating the best course of action. That is what caring staff do…

This is not a bad system it is not intuitive because that takes more money, but if you take a few hours you can learn it. Any new system requires some learning to use it properly. It needs you to volunteer and help make it better. It has processes for you to do that!

Biggest Pro: Requires sources, has active members looking for errors to make trees more accurate, FREE site
Biggest Con: Requires a little bit of learning to get the hang of it, but they provide mentors to help

WikiTree Review by Grizel McDowell,  Mar 25, 2017

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

There is talk of removing the public/privacy setting which gives the public access to information but unless one is on the trusted list changes can not be made. The privacy levels as they are are one of the things credible genealogical bloggers have praised about the site;

“”The WikiTree site is easy to use, easy to understand and most importantly, it ‘gets’ concepts that are important to its users such as privacy.”
— Thomas MacEntee, from a review on GeneaBloggers”

“”[Y]ou can find many online sites for publishing your genealogy information but not all of them provide privacy controls. … WikiTree incorporates a ‘Trusted List’ system to customize the access you give to distant relatives. Each person, place, or thing listed in WikiTree has its own Trusted List. Similar to ‘Friends Lists’ on social networking sites, each user on a Trusted List has to be individually approved by the person who uploaded the information.”
— Dick Eastman, from a review in Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter”

There is no longer point in putting effort into wikitree unless you are comfortable placing the profiles of your ancestors into the hands of randoms and know-it-alls.

Sadly too it is not as claimed “the friendliest site on the web”. There is a bully culture alive and well on wikitree.

My advice, don’t go there.

Biggest Pro: It’s vision
Biggest Con: It’s reality

WikiTree Review by Dennis Stewart,  Mar 16, 2017

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

I’m a genealogist and member of the Jamestown Society. I’ve been studying pedigrees on
wikitree for the last 2 and a half years. I was able to prove that, at least from my study,
that about one quarter of wikitree genealogies are total fabrications. I suspect mostly people
creating false pedigrees in order to connect to some historic icon. Too many contributors do
not abide by honor code. For them wikitree is a “toy” to try to deceive subscribers. I even had
some research done in England to prove that certain wikitree project managers are complete liars.
—Dennis Stewart

Biggest Pro: Quick access to family trees
Biggest Con: Wikitree is infested with “Ancestor Collectors”, down right dishonest people !

WikiTree Review by Sam,  Mar 2, 2017

Not Rated

Your kidding right? The biggest joke for genealogy on the net. Just a bunch of novice people changing profiles that they themselves never researched. The owner Whitten seriously needs to wake up and see the mess this Web site he made has created. Security is a joke. You can do a search and every name within wiki displayed. Whitten will be charged one day for lack of privacy control.

Biggest Con: Privacy control and glorified amateur research groups

WikiTree Review by Janice,  Feb 28, 2017

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

what a joke. everything from the creator to the program. people violate private files like the setting was not even there. If I met the creator in person I would kick him right in the dick. because for Chris Whitten to say that the living profiles are private is a lie to everyone on this site.

Biggest Con: privacy

WikiTree Review by Marg,  Feb 27, 2017

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

wow. what a joke this wikitree.com is. nothing is private, despite what the owner of this site Chris Whitten says. team leaders go into private files and alter name spellings without notifying you about it. like they are that person that they are changing the names spelling in the profile.. what the F%$^? how can anyone trust a web site that allows anyone into privatized files. I now have to contact my family of the private files that were violated to check their credit reports because some jerk can not stay out of the private files. but also the joke is on them. for every file that was violated their are now 2 false files in my listings. deal with that jerks!

Biggest Pro: nothing
Biggest Con: privacy

WikiTree Review by Sarah,  Feb 20, 2017

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

wikitree. wow, ok in fairness the site does promote privacy. However if you go to a internet search engine on a selected person from your file that is supposed to be private that profile name comes up. you can not truly promote privacy if the name is of a living person is showing up in any internet search engine. second hardly anyone contacts anyone on the site that is supposed to be a collaboration. people ignore source citations and notes in the profiles and make changes without contacting the person listed as a manager. for example not all parents spell a child’s name the same. while the idea may be good the result still needs work. and more security especially with living people.

Biggest Pro: the idea of a one world family tree
Biggest Con: concept is a free for all.

WikiTree Review by Amanda Hancox,  Feb 19, 2017

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

I am very happy with this database - specifically because it is open (free) and records are linked (all one big family tree)- i.e. if you add a record for a person and that name already exists in someone’s tree it will ask you to check if it is the same person. Thus avoiding duplicates and enabling you to connect with a relatives’ tree.

I been able to share all sorts of information with ‘new’ relatives and add information to their record and have them add to mine.

As well, there is plenty of room to add material - documents, photos, etc. Also reference citation is required which is terrific.

Biggest Pro: All trees are inter-connected
Biggest Con: navigation between records isn’t particularly intuitive.

WikiTree Review by Michael,  Feb 17, 2017

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

When I first started with wikitree.com it was ok. People actual worked and spoken with one another. Now I feel this Web site is the biggest joke for genealogy. No one reads profiles before they merge them, and if you try contacting the wiki team members you get brushed off or locked out of your files. Their privacy settings are a joke. No one respects them.

Biggest Pro: nothing
Biggest Con: privacy not respected, Web site is just glorified I.D. theft

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

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