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
Overall1542.61 out of 52.61 out of 52.61 out of 52.61 out of 52.61 out of 5 2.61
2016232.44 out of 52.44 out of 52.44 out of 52.44 out of 52.44 out of 5 2.44
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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154 Reviews of WikiTree     RSS 2.0 RSS     Showing 1 - 20                   Add Your Review

WikiTree Review by Paula Green,  1 day ago

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

WikiTree Review by adolph leuzinger,  Apr 9, 2016

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

the privacy settings are a joke. i went to a newly installed computer that has never been to wikitree and typed in a name that i knew had a privacy setting of “unlisted” those are not supposed to appear in searches of any kind according to the privacy statement. i typed in the name and it came up with “we found 1 match.” then displayed “unlisted” please try to explain how that profile was “found” in a general search. tell me how it is “unlisted” and comes up as “unlisted” but it is apparent by the search criteria who that “unlisted” individual is. it should not come up as anything. it should say “NO MATCH”

if your name ever is typed into that data base no one can remove it even for privacy violations. no matter what privacy setting someone uses nothing there is private.

they also have a link that is supposed to let you request “anonymous” on your profile and remove all private information but it leads to nothing that lets you even request that. just pages talking about privacy. never a form to fill out or an email address to make the request.

i notice the low rating above. be very cautious in using this site.

Biggest Pro: nothing
Biggest Con: privacy is not upheld

WikiTree Review by Cindy,  Apr 5, 2016

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

On line genealogy acquaintance tried to get me to join, oh she was so excited that now the “truth will come out” and “all the mistakes of all those other on-line trees will be a thing of the past” and how it’s going to be “so much better” than all those other sites. So, I checked it out. MY GOD WHAT A MESS! The people putting the information in here are the same people that are making all those other on-line trees with all those mistakes, and they’re all right here in this tree, too. If the person managing that mistake doesn’t want to change it, they’re not going to change it, no matter how much proof you shove at them. So, the lies and mistakes just go on the way they have before. It’s actually worse than all those other online trees, because for some reason people think Wiki anything is the Bible or the Encyclopedia Brittanica, they don’t seem to understand that any idiot can post anything they want. It’s hard to navigate, it’s a jumbled mess, hard to search, hard to read, the format is just plain ridiculous Try to correct a mistake someone has made. Pfffft. There are instances where people’s surnames are spelled differently, so the thing won’t let you connect them because of the spelling. Anybody that has ever seriously done genealogy (and you’d hope that someone who built a genealogy site had done some genealogy) knows that there are families that spell their names differently. Then you have the people that don’t know diddly about DNA saying they’ve got “DNA PROOF” that so-and-so is who they claim him to be. No way in hell. Just because John Smith and Mary Doe both have James Doe listed as their g-g-g-g-grandfather, it doesn’t make it so. Yes, John and Mary’s DNA may match, but that just means they are related to each other. Unless they have a sample of Old James Doe’s DNA, it doesn’t prove a thing. If the two of you made the same mistake, that DNA is not going to prove you’ve got the right person, just that you’re related. I wouldn’t touch this with a ten foot pole, and I wouldn’t recommend it to my worst enemy. Ought to be taken down completely.

Biggest Pro: Absolutely None
Biggest Con: Perpetuates false and misleading information

WikiTree Review by Adolph Leuzinger,  Mar 15, 2016

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

Wikitree has many “orphan” accounts. i have seen many complaints about this. the biggest reason for this that no one talks about is that so many people are banned from wikitree without solid reasoning. the mediation process is a joke. they tend to be biased to one person for whatever reason. sometimes the mediator is a friend of one of the persons they are mediating for. ONE person decides if someone is to be banned based on their biased position. no group oversight before someone is banned. no way of appeal after this unjust banning proceedure.

the whole web site is a power play for accounts. one person has control of a person’s profile and even if that profile is of your parent, you can be locked out of that account by some controlling person who likes to play games.

be smart and do not join. i did not but i represent some who did and were banned without any proof of wrong doing. wikitree mediation emails give enough proof to take the owner to court and that will eventually happen.

Biggest Pro: there is not one
Biggest Con: management and biased mediation that has no over sight to keep it on the up and up.

WikiTree Review by Peter T Burke,  Mar 9, 2016

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

Miserable website to try! If you like frustration and problems with the website this is the place for you!

I have been doing genealogy on the internet for about 30 years. I have over 4,000 verified ancestor profiles in a GEDCOM. I have done extensive DNA testing. I thought I would share these to make it easier for other search for the same ancestors. Silly me. What a hassle! Everything is so secure that you can’t get at your own name.

Biggest Pro: Don’t know that there is one
Biggest Con: Very difficult and not intuitive at all!

WikiTree Review by Vicky,  Feb 21, 2016

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

WikiTree seems to be one of those things that people either really love or really hate.

Personally, I consider it to be one of the best free collaborative family tree websites out there - the key word being “collaborative”. One of WikiTree’s primary goals is to share information as widely as possible so that multiple people can contribute to the same profile. This means that if you put your family information on WikiTree, you have to be OK with the fact that other people will want to see it and/or comment on it and/or correct it. These other people may be distant relatives that you have never heard of, or not even related at all. That doesn’t mean everything is totally public - there are privacy options (which you really need to learn to use), but privacy is just that: privacy. As opposed to control. If you want your own private tree that you control for yourself and not talk to anyone, then WikiTree is not for you.

The other major foundation of WikiTree is accuracy. This means being able to back up your relationships with actual sources, and cite those sources when asked. Yes, personal recollections count as “sources”, and yes, you can add in questions or speculation (as long as you mark it as such). The WikiTree FAQ is full of instructions about how to present all kinds of information. However, if you’re just looking to dump your GEDCOM without a second thought, or collect a bunch of names, then WikiTree is not for you.

One caveat: I don’t have much experience with the WikiTree “community”… I tend to avoid online genealogy communities in general due to the fact that they are usual cesspools of drama. I don’t know if WikiTree’s is any different. But you don’t really need to use the forums to use WikiTree.

TL;DR: WikiTree can be really good or really bad depending on your needs and expectations. It’s not for everyone. It’s probably not for beginners.

Biggest Pro: One profile per person, collaboration, strict conduct code and detailed contingency/resolutions for most problems
Biggest Con: It’s not for beginners or casual family historians

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