WikiTree

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by Chris Whitten
The Worldwide Family Tree Wiki is a site with a mission to grow an accurate single family tree and is freely available to everyone. The community improves the tree and almost everything is done by volunteers.

Free • Online • Full Featured
http://www.wikitree.com
Overall1802.7 out of 52.7 out of 52.7 out of 52.7 out of 52.7 out of 5 2.70
2017232.8 out of 52.8 out of 52.8 out of 52.8 out of 52.8 out of 5 2.80
2016272.51 out of 52.51 out of 52.51 out of 52.51 out of 52.51 out of 5 2.51
Earlier1302.75 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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180 Reviews of WikiTree     RSS 2.0 RSS     Showing 1 - 20                   Add Your Review

WikiTree Review by James,  Oct 19, 2017

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

This site is being used to place people’s personal information not only without their consent but also when they have directly asked the moderator to remove such information. It’s a joke especially when you have people like Barrie Miller posting misinformation. They try to get you to login in to dispute published info so they can increase their data base.

WikiTree Review by Rose,  Sep 24, 2017

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

So I found one of my oldest known ancestors (my really great grandfather) and it said that he is 41 degrees away from the Queen. I’m not sure exactly what this means but it came up with a whole diagram and how it happened to how they are remotely related (hardly any connection btw). Still super distant but interesting. But what I don’t understand is how it said that he’s also 40 degrees away from Pocahontas? Seems a little bit interesting to me but who knows. Quite interesting and the website was fairly easy to navigate. Makes for an interesting thing to share with my fam :)

WikiTree Review by David Burrell,  Sep 21, 2017

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

Almost useless in my opinion. I have spent hours trying to enter additional family information but nothing works. And it’s near impossible to navigate. I have no idea how anyone manages to use it.

Biggest Pro: Site contains family information
Biggest Con: Difficult to use

WikiTree Review by Rove,  Sep 13, 2017

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

I’ve been putting my ancestors in manually, so over the last couple of months I’ve spent a lot of time on the site. Some observations: I find navigation around the site frustratingly difficult, one of the reasons I find the site user- unfriendly. For example, I ran into a problem where I added an ancestor’s wife but she didn’t appear on the chart, sometimes not anywhere. So I type them in again and then get a message to say that I have duplicated persons. I have wasted so much time doing this. You virtually cannot erase an ancestor profile so you can start from scratch.

Another annoyance is that WikiTree ‘kicks up’ when you attempt to put in any ancestor that is pre-1500 ( I have quite a number scattered about). You have to fulfil a list of requirements, some quite difficult and time consuming, before you can get permission to continue. I won’t even attempt to do that. There is one for pre-1700 ancestors but that one is fairly easy.

Anyway. It’s been very therapeutic for me reading the negative comments below. I don’t feel so frustrated anymore.

There are lots of positives in WikiTree and I like the idea that my work on it may survive me and be useful for future generations. I like the format of it, although I would love to have a go at re-designing the pro-forma that we fill out for each person. I like the warnings you get when you have made an ‘obvious’ mistake. I love the system of charts over the generations. There is lots I love in WikiTree.

I’ve been researching family for about 50 years but I’ve had a fast learning curve with WikiTree in relation to being very strict in including all the documentation that I have collected over the years. People have complained about poor documentation in many of the genealogies but WikiTree has been warning us to be vigilant in including sources for each claim during the time I have been here.

I have met a lovely relative through this site, 4th cousin. I didn’t expect to find relatives because most of my relatives come from The Netherlands, although many relatives emigrated to the USA and Canada from about the 1840s from Zeeland.

Yes, I have also been at the receiving end of a very impolite reply to a question. This has been totally balanced out by the help, good tips and documentation offered by fellow users of WikiTree. I had my data ‘frozen’ mid-stream but it was to protect my work when I kept on repeating an error.

My advice is, give it a go, it can get very addictive! My positives far outweighed the negatives.

Biggest Pro: The layout of profiles and charts. The ease of putting in your data.
Biggest Con: Navigation needs a complete and streamlined overhaul.

WikiTree Review by cantfindwan,  Jul 21, 2017

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

This site is not intuitive. It is garbled and messy. The theory is good, but fails miserably. I took a few runs at it, and abandoned it. Its a Wikijoke.

Biggest Pro: theory
Biggest Con: execution

WikiTree Review by Julie Ricketts,  Jul 3, 2017

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

The description above isn’t wholly accurate. First of all, you don’t have to be invited by a family member. The website is open to anyone who wants to join. It’s free for everyone. If you don’t want to join, you can still use the site for reference, and you will have the ability to ask and answer questions in the forum, G2G.

By volunteering to be WikiTree Genealogist, you agree that you will follow the Honor Code (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Special:Honor_Code), which is how we manage to work successfully in a collaborative environment.

WikiTree is built to have one profile per person. In other words, it’s a shared tree, and we work together to make that tree as accurate as we can. It’s quite different from other websites where you have your tree, and I have my tree, and never the two shall meet.

The site is community-driven and managed by a group of volunteer leaders. It has a very small, part-time staff who handle administrative and technical issues. The policies that govern the website are developed by the active members of the community.

You will not find a more courteous and active community anywhere else. Members are eager to welcome newcomers and go out of their way to help them learn how to use the website, and many of the members enjoy helping people with their genealogy. Our members are also very protective of the nature of the community, and they are quick to correct people who come in with misunderstandings about how the website works.

Some of the unique features of the site include:
* A volunteer group of Mentors who work with individuals who are struggling with one aspect or another of the site.
* Projects that encompass everything from One Name Studies to Military and Wars to European Aristocrats, just to name a few. Members of these projects work together to properly document the related profiles.
* Challenges that encourage people to work together toward a common goal, e.g., Saturday Sourcing Spring, Spring Clean-a-Thon (focused on correcting errors in the database), Sourcerers (monthly challenge to source profiles)
* Procedures to manage conflicts that might arise between members.
* Profile-level privacy settings that allow you to set a separate privacy level for each profile that you manage
* Trusted Lists that allow you to share information on private profiles with close family members or others who share an interest.
* Watchlists that help you monitor changes to profiles you manage or for which you’re on the Trusted List.
* It’s free.

The WikiTree community is vibrant, involved, and fun. I can’t imagine doing genealogy any other way now.

Full disclosure: I recently became one of the small, part-time staff employed by WikiTree. My review would have been the same if that was not the case. I’ve been a member since 2011.

Biggest Pro: One shared tree
Biggest Con: Collaborative genealogy isn’t for everyone

——–
** I have updated the site description using information from the Wikitree About page. - Moderator

WikiTree Review by Edward Antonio King,  Jun 29, 2017

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

I joined in February and have experienced few problems. I concur with Lynette. Hard, honest efforts will gain you rewards and advancement. What people need to understand, before joining, is that, once you enter information, you are donating it. There have been problems recently with new members who add their family trees and, though they have ancestors in common with other members, they attempt to keep “their family ” separate. If one of their ancestors is, for example, Archibald Woods, these separatists create a profile for Archibald, ignoring the fact that he already exists and the rule is, one profile per individual. In my four months on Wikitree, I’ve made genuine friends. My expertise in early American history has been recognized, appreciated and rewarded.
There are many educated, experienced, researchers working who gladly give their time to helping others with accurate data. Individual profiles must have documentation of the information in them. It isn’t acceptable to attach a child to the grandson of Pocahontas unless you can prove he is related to her and to you.
This is a community. There are, at times, disagreements. There is a team of moderators to negotiate between quarrelsome individuals. Those who can not understand the rules and continue to violate them are admonished and if their behavior is egregious, may have their membership terminated.
If your intent is to have “your tree” separate and apart, choose another site.

Biggest Pro: Good people
Biggest Con: Bad people

WikiTree Review by Lynette,  Jun 27, 2017

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

I’ve read through several of the complaints of Wikitree. Most are from people who just don’t understand the concept of Wikitree.

First, it is a wiki. It was not intended to be a clone of any high $$$ paid subscription sites, where there are numerous trees all repeating the same correct or incorrect data.

2nd. Its premise is a ONE TREE. One profile per person. As people leave the paid subscription sites, and attempt to bring their trees with them, there are bound to be duplicates. These duplicates of interrupt the continuity of that ONE TREE. Of Jamestown and Plymouth Rock colonies, only about one third of the colonists survived. Of this small handful of people, there are about 25 million descendants in the USA today. So yes, if you join and put your tree in, there are going to be people who share your linage.

3. Privacy Profiles can be marked as Private, this is mandatory for Living People. The person and those on the Trust List can see those marked Private. But for someone else just looking, it shows as Private. The name name appear in an Index search but there will be a color coded dot that shows the status of the person. If the name with a red dot is clicked on, nothing can be seen in the profile. If you are that worried about privacy, don’t add living people. I only added my daughter and her children at her request. She is old enough to make that decision. I have not added my living relatives.

4. Difficult to use. Yes, there is a learning curve to using Wikitree. It does take patience.

5. Sourcing. ANY family researcher worth their salt is going to source. “This is what I found and this is how I found it.” Try joining one of the Societies without proving your linage. Write a college paper without citations. You will fail. Why should genealogy be any different?

6. Erroneous Information. How long have researchers been fighting erroneous information? But it keeps popping up as gospel. We have all made mistakes in our research and there are numerous books of family trees out there that also contain errors. The genealogies prepared by Gustave Anjou still lives and his style of genealogy still lives. (Don’t believe me, check some of the trees at those costly sites.) So tell me, how do we fight that? See #5 above.

7. Collaboration. This seems to be a foreign concept to those who have posted before me who have complained.

8. Your data is not yours once you enter it. OK, I have to be very blunt here… Did you not read the Terms of Service before you joined? Try removing your data from those paid sites? You can’t do it there either. And you have to pay them for that honor!

9. Account suspended. Well, there are several ways to get suspended. One is willful destruction of profiles. Another is not responding to someone who messages you repeatedly. Or not being active on the site for a extended period. And, yes, having a bad attitude worse then mine will get you suspended.

10. “It’s MY familiy!” Yes, it is. And after a certain period in time, its OUR family. I would actually love to see more descendants of my 2nd ggps on. But cousins have found me from my work at Wikitree. The only way it can be YOUR family alone, is if each generation only had ONE child. And we know that didn’t happen very often.

And Yes, I joined Wikitree because someone had my family line up. And they had people in it that didn’t belong. The biggest error other then that was the (relationship to me) 4th ggf was b. after his son. I have yet to figure that one out. But lets just say newby error. And after several attempts to contact the then profile manager who never responded to me, I reported him as an unresponsive manager. I also adopted several of his other profiles and worked with an arborist to merge several duplicates. I disconnected the son who was posted on an uncle and posted the research I had found on him, his mother and step-father. He’s still fatherless, sorry to say.

11. Bad Merges. Do they happen? YES. Can they be corrected? YES. not as easily, but they can be fixed. And it does take both profile managers to approve the merge. One can reject the merge with reason. I have rejected several merge proposals due to not enough data to validate the merge.

12. They are going to sell your research. Hmmm…. are they? Proof of that? Or just conspiracy mania. Oh! Did anyone complain when Broderbund did it? I also have a whole collection from Ancestry. Ooops. So if you don’t want your genealogy published, don’t do it on the internet. Frankly, I’m doing it on the internet because I want to make sure they have mine correct.

So are you ready to change your mind on how internet genealogy should be handled or do you want to stay in a rut just to prove your Royal descent, which is totally meaningless, because there are probably more people then can be counted who descend from John of Gaunt and Katherine Swinford.

Biggest Pro: Its free. ts a wiki. Its a collaboration.
Biggest Con: Learning curve.

WikiTree Review by Voltaire,  Jun 9, 2017

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

It’s free and truly collaborative. Aims to have be one single tree rather than the commercial online offerings where you find a collection of individual trees and you need to subscribe to collaborate.

Biggest Pro: Collaboration
Biggest Con: Slow to make updates and changes

WikiTree Review by Jethrude Hipolito,  May 30, 2017

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

Its great, maybe the reason why they give out bad reviews is because they don’t actually know how to use it. It is really one of the best out there, once you get the hang of it.

Biggest Pro: Its Free
Biggest Con: A little bit difficult to navigate

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 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

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

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 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

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