Attempt to use Wiki-Tree to reach the FaceBook Generation

In an earlier Blog Post I said:

Wiki-Tree–First Attempt

February 25, 2012

While at RootsTech 2012, I was able to spend a couple of minutes at the Wiki-Tree booth. I spent some time with Chris Whitten, Create and WikiTeer-in-Chief. I had kidded the Social Networker and Evanelista Extraordinaire, Elyse Dorflinger that I went to RootsTech so that “they” could tell me why I should spend my time on Wiki-Tree.

I need to back up a bit, to explain what I am talking about.



Is a free website that has this statement:

This collaborative project has been growing since 2008. As a community we are creating a single worldwide family tree. As individuals and family members we are connecting the tree with our private family histories. It’s all free, but new members need an invitation to join.

I joined early one, but didn’t do much with it. It looked like it might take some time to work on, at at the time, didn’t have the ability to upload a GEDCOM file. I have my family research in enough places, and I don’t want to keep my ‘non-research’ time, under control.

As I mentioned in the earlier blog post, Elise and Chris left me with a real reason to look at WikiTree again.

A bit of history:

When my parents both died, I created a book with their family history in it. My thought was, that these books would help those at the service Celebrating their Life, to see a different view of them.

The genealogy management system that I use, and have used all of my research life, has the capability to generate books. It’s a great feature.

I have on several occasions provide packets of information for ‘the cousins’ to fill out, and send back to me. I needed a way to catch up on births, marriages, and deaths within the family. Some response, for which I am grateful, but not a complete response.

I have one member of the family from my Dad’s generation. Last year, we lost another member of the family due to cancer. I was going to create a book for her Celebration for her children, but when I looked at my file, I was missing a whole bunch of stuff. I was not willing to share it. With one Aunt remaining, I want to create a book for HER, while she is still with us. Her birthday and Christmas are both in December.

She had her “first birthday party” when she turned 80. I did make a humble attempt to generate a book for her, which I did, but I wasn’t very happy with it.


Social Media is with us. I certainly have learned the advantages of Social Media. Many of those experiences,  I have posted on the Blog. Someone said that Blogs are “Cousin Bait”. I can attest to that.

Over that past year, I have been finding those Cousin’s, that I want to reach for input to this book, on FaceBook. All have Friended Me, for which I am grateful, which have lead to other Cousin’s. You know, it’s one of those cousin’s who got married, that I had only heard about, but didn’t know the details … I am sure that other Family Historians know what I am talking about.

For this reason, I have called this group of cousin’s the “FaceBook Generation”. If they are willing to Friend me on Facebook, is there a non-genealogy platform, to help me gather data for the book.

That is where Wiki-Tree comes in. Elyse and Chris, both of ‘that generation’ (for me at least) convince me to give it a try.

With the addition of the ability to upload a GEDCOM file, I did. Did some clean up of the database at WikiTree AND in my genealogy database, and am now setting into motion the gathering of that data from the FaceBook generation.


When I saw the invitation email from WikiTree, it was very clear that some “up front” work needed to be done. “Why am I getting this email from …. what … who … WikiTree?

As I am now gathering email addresses, I will begin to send out emails, one at a time, to 1) Let them know what I am trying to do, 2) what they can expect, 3) that the data will be totally private, and 4) what I want them to do.

It’s like the letters “we” / I sent out with the packages that are never returned.

Add to WikiTree

Once the introduction / plan email is sent, then I’ll wait until I see a response, then send the Invitation, (Add the email address to their Profile), then wait for the fun to begin.

Once the profile has been updated, I will update my genealogy database.

I will use this Blog as the way to communicate with them, as to what I want them to do, or give them the steps that I want them to do, rather then individual emails.

I am learning, but an willing to share that experience with others, who might be in the same place is I. That is reaching the FaceBook Generation.

Thanks for listening.


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