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
Overall713.22 out of 53.22 out of 53.22 out of 53.22 out of 53.22 out of 5 3.22
2014223.02 out of 53.02 out of 53.02 out of 53.02 out of 53.02 out of 5 3.02
2013153.25 out of 53.25 out of 53.25 out of 53.25 out of 53.25 out of 5 3.25
Earlier343.62 out of 53.62 out of 53.62 out of 53.62 out of 53.62 out of 5 3.62

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

WikiTree Review by Bridgette Page,  1 day ago

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

This site is very difficult to navigate and there is no access to census records, birth certificates, etc. You just look up your relatives and hope someone responds to you. So once you start building your family tree, anyone can come in and change your information on your non-living ancestors whether right or wrong. The “collaboration” is not there, new people just come in and change the information you have input. The “trusted list” only applies to living people, and when you are researching ancestors going back 3 or more generations it doesn’t apply. I find their claim that their content is not completely open or public laughable because a new member came in and in one day altered at least dozen of my records without opposing documentation. And these were silly minor edits, adding a letter to a name, changing a death date by a day, etc. Don’t waste your time. The member that changed all my records did so without being invited, before signing the honor code and after I alerted them that I was being barraged with e-mails from this person to get on my trusted list, access to my private records, etc. So….Don’t put your family or your private history in the hands of WikiTree…

Biggest Pro: none
Biggest Con: poorly managed, too much public access, sets up conflicts with members, NO PRIVACY

WikiTree Review by Laura Scott,  Mar 31, 2014

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

I love WikiTree. I have doing family history for about 40 years. I have seen the changes brought about by technology. I have my databases (mine, my husband’s & my son’s) up a FamilySearch and Worldconnect. WikiTree is the only one that allows me to build a web page for each ancestor. I see my people/profiles more clearly, now that they are not hidden in a database. I do not recommend the folks upload huge gedcoms because you should monitor each profile and clean it up and dress it up. Add smaller gedcoms each month till you get the biggest part of your database up.

Biggest Pro: The ability to work with other to complete our family tree.
Biggest Con: It is time consuming, especially if you have an additive personality. But I love it@

WikiTree Review by cannae,  Mar 22, 2014

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

It is entirely “what could be”. But, far too much of it is full of error, speculation and unsupported assertion. If you are “stuck”, it can be a good place to look for clues.

Biggest Pro: Potential
Biggest Con: Too many errors that are far beyond correction.

WikiTree Review by Jen1963,  Mar 18, 2014

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

WikiTree was a great idea back in 2011, and it hints of that potential still. However, of its many projects, many are like social cliques. Some are above the rules and can do what they want, while others are Blocked from access or told to leave for being frustrated with the double standard. It is overly political, heavily to the left. It has, what seems like hundreds of “Supervisors”, most, it seems, with no genealogical experience.The paid members and a couple of “supervisors” have gotten in good and cozy with the owner and can do no wrong, so they go policing around like big brother while forgetting the so-called honour code in their path. The site hasso much potential but it is all thrown out the window because the owner does not hold his team accountable…

Biggest Pro: Potential
Biggest Con: Drama, Big Brother Making Sure You Smile, Cliques

WikiTree Review by Edwin Poor,  Mar 18, 2014

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

I saw a comment it wasn’t right to change some of the oldest data…….Well some of that has been around for a hundred years or more and it has been discovered to be incorrect and corrected but still hasn’t been removed.
William Beville died 1637 leaving a will (over looked or ignored by Welles.in his William Buell genealogy
Thomas Roberts died in 1644 left a will . Not the one to immigrate. His father’s name has been wrongly given as Thomas but was known for years as John.
Priscilla wife of Mathew Grant of Windsor. Assumed to be Anthony Grey’s daughter who was born 8 years after Mathew Grant’s declaration that his wife’s birth date was 1601 not 1609. Also Priscilla has her birth, marriage and death date on her families church monument. Plus her husbands name. This also questions the accuracy of Mathew’s parentage. Never shown are any documents of any events.
Thomas Roberts above has the assumed wife Rebecca Hilton. No marriage record with any name. No list showing anyone with that name coming to New Hampshire.
The Newberry of CT genealogy a few years ago was found to have a fraudulent changed generation cutting it short significantly.
I know a few more but I’ll stop with those. Point is you can’t lock them because they have been around so long

Biggest Pro: Ease of entry
Biggest Con: Embarressment of showing others their mistakes. And my own by entering name

WikiTree Review by April Dauenhauer,  Mar 18, 2014

Not Rated

Yesterday I merged an ancestor I imported in a GedCom into the same ancestor who was already on WikiTree with a different spelling (which is why I didn’t catch it as a duplicate before importing).

With that one connection of an ancestor born in 1669, my family tree suddenly grew multiple branches going back to the 1400s, the 1200s and even back to Charlemagne.

This is the power of Collaboration, the first article in our Honor Code at WikiTree: 1. We Collaborate. When we share ancestors we work together on the same ancestor profiles.

I spend eight hours a week, minimum, doing volunteer work for the community at WikiTree, and so do thousands of other members. We do this because the leaders of the community have our trust and confidence, and what builds the community benefits all of us as we enlarge our Free, World Wide Tree.

I love the thank you’s I get from other members when a source or a connection I have added benefits their line of research, and I have sent many thank you notes to other members who have improved my tree by what they have added. This is the incredible power of the Internet and people sharing their discoveries on mutual ancestors.

Biggest Pro: The joy of sharing information about my ancestors with other descendants as we all learn from each other.
Biggest Con: The disappointment when someone keeps their sources secret and acts like they have exclusive ownership of a mutual ancestor (rare but is happens).

WikiTree Review by Theodore W. Palmer,  Mar 18, 2014

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

I found Wikitree more than a year ago and was delighted to have a resource that was totally free. I am NOT a modern genealogist and know little about the wonderful technology now available. I inherited information (names, relationships, birth and death dates and sometimes places) for many thousands of relatives from my family that had an interest in genealogy for many generations. Professional genealogists (all (sometimes distant) relatives and many friends) have greatly expanded my information. I am slowly typing in my information as time permits. Despite its lack of accepted modern documentation I very seldom find disagreement with my sources. I have gotten lots of interesting new information from Wikitree. I have found some information farfetched (e.g. the many ancestors of Charlemagne) but any public Wiki cannot avoid receiving mistakes and even rubbish.

I am very disturbed about Harry Maltby and other’s complaints (completely unknown to me until a few minutes ago). Harry and I are distant cousins (previously unknown) and have thus had several useful correspondences.

I am sure administering a genealogical Wiki leads to all sorts of difficulties. Users are not allowed to remove profiles (only merge them) and supervisors should very seldom do so. I am sure some things Harry added which may now be gone were of value to me.

I have a small complaint to mention, not big enough to list as a big con. I generally search for all profiles for people with the same names as those I have entered. I am puzzled by listings that give a name but no (even approximate) date or place or relative. There is no way to figure out whether the person entering this might have been thinking of my relative or definitely was not.

Biggest Pro: Free and comprehensive. Cooperative editing usually works well.
Biggest Con: Difficulty on sometimes agreeing on cooperative editing. Completely unsupported material.

WikiTree Review by Harry Maltby,  Mar 18, 2014

Not Rated

Please do not go on to the site called WikiTree.com. I believe it is following the model (High schools students asked to read) as seen in the series books “The Uglies”, “The Pretties”, “The Specials” and the “The Extras” by author Scott Westerfeld. The number of hits his site gets, the more money and fame the owner get. Unsuspecting amateur naive genealogist are providing data that then he gets to use as a way of enticing you to come and visit. This would be great if it wasn’t for their modifying and upsetting the authors of the data and then blocking any further communications such that they then inherit the data and attempt to sell it out to other unsuspecting amateur genealogist or family members.

WikiTree Review by Harry Maltby,  Mar 18, 2014

Not Rated

Please do not become complicit by “adopting” a profile (especially to merge it with your profile). As far as I can tell, I and other genealogist did not give up our right to our profile data just because we entered it into WikiTree. By them (G+ community) taking, modifying and locking out the true owner of the data, I believe they are performing a type of genocide on our hard earned (what should be thought of as proprietary) data. It is very offense to see my personal profile, my parents, my grandparents and great grandparents listed as being up for adoption with a note at the bottom of: This is an “orphaned” profile — there’s no Profile Manager to watch over it. If you’re a descendant of William Betts or have a special interest in honoring his life, please adopt this profile.” Please do not click on “No Profile Manager [adopt this profile]“

WikiTree Review by Harry Maltby,  Mar 17, 2014

Not Rated

No Chris, I sent this:
Chris,

Several on your team seem to think they can destroy whatever they want so pleas help me delete all of my files. I want them all removed.

Thanks,
Harry

Biggest Pro: none now that you blocked and kicked my IP out of communicating with the site.
Biggest Con: That is what this site is: a “Con” just not sure how or why since we had a great working relationship

*** Moderator note: A reference in this review to someone else’s personal site was deleted on request of that person.

WikiTree Review by Harry Maltby,  Mar 15, 2014

Not Rated

I see that all of my profiles have been put up for adoption. I should have put two and two together in that during these last few months I had been coming upon more and more suggestions that I merge with someone else profile only to find I had to adopt the profile before I could merge the two. Guess this has been happening for quite a while. Stealing is not just limited to tangible things any more. Probably the control of information is becoming a big business and to some extent that is why I had quite working on the Ancestory.com years ago. I did think it right that I freely gave them my family data and then they turned around and were selling it. Not sure where WikiTree is going with this but they definitely have a big piece in the new world of how to impose your presence on others. mhmaltby@hotmail.com is also completely blocked from communicating with them. Very strange. Changes to Profile of Rachel Swartwout
10 March 2014

22:57: Maggie N. edited the Biography for Rachel Swartwout. [Thank Maggie for this]22:57: Maggie N. added Maggie N. as manager for profile of Rachel Swartwout. [Thank Maggie for this]22:44: You edited the Biography for Rachel Swartwout.12:21: Al Adams proposed a merge of Swartwout-47 and Swartwout-232. [Thank Al for this]
30 August 2011

22:17: You imported the data for Rachel Swartwout from Maltby master 08282011.GED

Chris Whitten (chris@wikitree.com)
Add to contacts
3/12/14
To: Harry Maltby
Cc: T. WikiTree

Hi Harry,

I thought you asked to have your account closed. Here is what I read:
“pleas help me delete all of my files. I want them all removed.”

And then later: “I just do not want to deal with this any more.”

Deletions and demands for account closings need to be taken seriously
here. I’m sorry if your intentions were misunderstood.

Now that private profiles have been deleted and your account has been
closed, there is no reversing things. This is why we have so many help
pages and instructions on the topic.

Also, please understand, as a free website we cannot offer a lot of
intensive one-on-one “customer service.” I hardly deal with any of it
personally, so your personal message to me was taken seriously. The
account is now closed.

Chris

Biggest Pro: none
Biggest Con: Interest in genealogy, or helping connection to your Surname, this is not a site for you.

WikiTree Review by Harry Maltby,  Mar 13, 2014

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

Very Sorry I did not look at these reviews before entering 15,000+ profiles of my family. Big mistake in that just as a reviewer stated, I caught one of the staff Maggie jumping into one of my profiles I had just merged with another genealogist and she deleted most if not all of my data relative to the source and background for no reason at all would be deleted. I tried to complain to Chris and suggested that if they were going to delete and/or change my data without my permission I wanted to be allow remove them. I know they had a problem with me because I had a code that they objected to so maybe that is what provided the sore spot. In any case, I no longer can get this computer and email address to communicate with their service. Chris and Maggie are something else! After 100+ years of my family researching and collecting this, he takes it.

Biggest Pro: I have loved this site for 3 years and now all of all of that is erased in an instant.
Biggest Con: Power play or some very devious thinking going on.

WikiTree Review by Ray Jones, Ph.D.,  Mar 1, 2014

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

I am a management professor at the University of Pittsburgh with years of training in academic research, with a personal interest in genealogy (i.e. it is my hobby, not a professional activity).

For this reason, Wikitree has been my go-to site, for the simple reason that it allows me to create profiles on my ancestors that are fully accessible by anyone via Google searches/any internet site. I have created several hundred profiles on the site over the past three years, and have been contacted by a wide range of distant cousins who have found my profiles on internet searches. This has led me to documents and photographs of ancestors that I would not have found otherwise, and the site allows people who find me online to send me messages directly.

Based on what I see on Wikitree, I can also see that this openness has some drawbacks - particularly for people with an interest in the genealogy of famous/historically-significant people. When there are multiple Wikitree users interested in working on a profile (which often happens with royalty or celebrities), collaboration can lead to conflict over the research and issues related to the Wikitree software/process. My ancestors are mostly working-people from Pittsburgh, so this isn’t an issue for me.

All-in-all though, it is an amazing site with a great community of people. If you are a strong communicator and are looking to get serious about your research, the site could be a difference-maker for your work.

Biggest Pro: Incredibly valuable if one wants to share their research and make it accessible online - especially if you are looking to connect with distant relatives
Biggest Con: The site’s collaborative features are more frustrating for people with an interest in the genealogy of historically-significant people

WikiTree Review by Martin Allen,  Feb 28, 2014

Not Rated

For the record, I am not a Wikitree supervisor (see review of Jan 23 2014). I have no official role of any sort on Wikitree, nor do I crave one.

One comment I will add to my previous: Wikitreers come in all sorts and we don’t always agree. That’s the way of the world and it is healthy. I tend to be UK-centric and it probably comes across. Others are US-centric etc. etc. A bit of common sense overcomes any of that.

Vive la différence.

WikiTree Review by Debby Black,  Feb 28, 2014

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

Before becoming a supervisor, I was an enthusiastic member of the WikiTree community. Now that I am a supervisor and am still enthusiastic, should my opinion not count? Everything I said in my earlier statement is true.

I appreciate Chris Whitten for the wonderful, FREE site he has created. If he’s making money through selling advertizements, he deserves it. It’s not wrong to work many hours and then get paid for one’s effort.

WikiTree.com is a worldwide family tree collaboration site. If you don’t care for collaborating, WikiTree won’t be a good fit for you. Sometimes mistakes are made and someone will do an improper merge. It is regrettable and also very understandable that the person who created the original profile will be upset. No one wants something like that to happen, but people do make mistakes. No responsible researcher wants “any kind of nonsense” added to a profile. When you have a great many members, some are not as careful as others. WikiTree constantly encourages members to include documentation and sources.

WikiTree has an honor code: http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Special:Honor_Code. Part of that honor code stresses that people should be courteous. That’s something new volunteers are informed about early in their WikiTree journey. If a person becomes disrespectful to others, eventually they may get banned. WikiTree is about individuals helping each other grow larger and more accurate family trees, not about insulting one another.

We’re just a group of researchers who enjoy working on a global family tree. Does it matter if any certain faction is drawn to this goal? To me it matters not at all. The more help, the better.

Biggest Pro: Integrity of management, innovation
Biggest Con: Learning curve

WikiTree Review by Terry Wright,  Feb 28, 2014

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

I can not understand why someone would say I only wrote my review to boost wikitree ratings if i didnt belive what i wrote i would not have written it I understand Wikitree is not for everyone but I have been on a lot of different family tree sites and i find Wikitree the best (this is my personal opinion) I am not saying this to boost wikitree’s ratings as a greeter i see the number of new members every day so really Wikitree doesent need me to boost its ratings but I do take offence to being called a one of his (Chris Whittens) idiots I dont think you really have any idea about Chris or any of the Wikitree Supervisors. Wikitree Supervisors are all volunteers and give up their time to help new members

Biggest Pro: Chris Whitten ,Supervisors ,collaboration, the wikitree community ,privacy
Biggest Con: unresponsive profile managers

WikiTree Review by Liz Shifflett,  Feb 27, 2014

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

I’m hurt that someone said my post shouldn’t be taken seriously because I’m a WikiTree supervisor. I’m a WikiTree supervisor because I LOVE WIKITREE, and I posted because I wanted to share my thoughts about WikiTree. Visit my great-great-grandfather’s profile at http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Watkins-1252 - the picture of his portrait that I didn’t know existed was sent to me through WikiTree by a cousin I hadn’t known I had. Whether that’s to be taken seriously or not, I think it’s pretty cool!

Biggest Pro: collaboration
Biggest Con: duplicates

WikiTree Review by Mark Stuckenborg,  Feb 24, 2014

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

If you are interested in working on your individual tree, this is not the place for you. I have a subscription account I use for my personal tree. I also added my tree to the World Connect Project, Geni, MyHeritage, GEDmatch, FamilyTreeDNA and Ancestry.com. WikiTree is unique from all of these websites as it strides for sources which can be easily verified while consolidating individuals into a single tree in order to have one collaborative effort. If your information contradicts a widely accepted source and you have none, your profile will be edited in an attempt to rectify these differences. I find this allows me to reanalyze my tree on the other six sites and possibly make corrections. The best way to look at it is you are making a community of people interested in verifying information aware of an individuals existence and providing sources so that others may conduct their own research. In response to a few of the other reviews: 1. as far as erasing profiles, I believe you are confusing this with merging the individual into an older, proven profile. I caused a debate by suggesting clearing the tree of profiles with just a name and was adamantly apposed by all but a few. Wikitree should provide you with other possibilities, not ruin the only copy of your tree in existence. 2. I would not be surprised if WikiTree was full of Mormons, but I fail to see how this matters. I hear lots of good things about FamilySearch though it is the only major place I seem to not have a copy of my tree on at the moment; I’m not sure why, but I hope to soon as there are many free resources there. 3. If the FBI wanted to know who you are, they would not have to look on WikiTree to find you. Besides, you are limited to how many profiles you can mange, so importing all of your living relatives makes no sense as they are kept private so only those on your Trusted List can see them. Just use one of the other 7 sites for these individuals. I am not a supervisor and I’ve only heard of WikiTree in the last month or so and I agree Wikitree is not for everyone, but that is why there is only one.

Biggest Pro: Colaboration on one unified tree with sources.
Biggest Con: Many profiles currently lacking both birth and death dates. To fix this, you are now not able to import or add profiles without an estimated date of birth.

WikiTree Review by Tom,  Feb 12, 2014

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

Too easy to get separated from control of family info. Suspect the site is partially funded by FBI contractors to gather meta-data.

Biggest Pro: Easy fill questions
Biggest Con: Tree looks hamfisted and non-intuative

WikiTree Review by Catherine,  Jan 27, 2014

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

I was a member of wikitree. For offending the increasingly dominant Mormon faction, I was locked out and many of the profiles of my family have been erased. Yes, they can erase the profiles. My people were there on Monday, gone on Friday. Completely gone. Months of work. Not just locked up from view. GONE.

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