WikiTree – Honor Code

February 27, 2012

I think that it’s important that folks joining me on this WikiTree journey, take a few minutes to read the WikiTree Honor Code. Please read it.

I’ll point out the opening paragraph:

WikiTree is free, but it’s not a free-for-all.

If you were invited by a family member and are just creating or editing a few private family profiles, the following doesn’t much apply. Those who participate at a higher level become part of our wiki genealogy community. Our community is creating something special: a worldwide family tree that will make genealogy free and accessible for everyone. This grand project requires mutual trust and a common understanding of how the community works.

So for this project, and the way I am attempting to do this, it may not be as important, but I am suggesting that the Family Take a minute to read the page

The Link again is:

More Information

You can discuss this Honor Code on our community’s Facebook page. For help see how to use WikiTree.

Here is more about WikiTree including its mission and organization. Here is more about the community.

Whereas this code is like a pledge that community members make to each other, the creators and hosts of WikiTree have also made a pledge: to keep WikiTree free.

There is also a link on the bottom of each screen on the Web Site.



February 26, 2012

Now that the Invitation has been accepted, and your password established you will see this menu on your profile screen:


Your Name will be listed, and when a Picture is uploaded, it will appear to the Left of your Name. The Red ICON, on the right indicates that this Profile is Private.

The Menu Items are:

  • Profile – Public View
  • Edit
  • Photos
  • Family Tree
  • Changes
  • Privacy
  • Profile – Private View

The Private View is what someone finding this profile will see.


This is mind. Name, Photo, and Born 1940’s. There may be some recent Wiki-Tree activity listed below the name. Again, this profile is Private. If you are on this Profile’s Trusted List, here is what you will be able to see.


Note: I have control over the Trusted List and there is a way to ask for permission to be on the Trusted List. It’s on the screen.

WikiTree–Email Invitation

February 26, 2012

Now that I have set up my Wiki-Tree Tree, some security testing has been done. It appears that I do, in fact, have the control I need to get this project going.

Here is how this first step will go:

I add my known email address into the profile that I am updating to the tree. Wiki-Tree will send an email that will look like this:


It says that I am, including my name, sending you the email. This is the invitation to join the tree. Since the receiver probably doesn’t have a profile, the Link that is provided should be clicked, where reader will be taken to a website to create a Password.


It is asking for the reader to create their own password and to enter it a second time. There is a Check mark that MUST be added, indicating that the user is 13 years old.

You will then be taken to your Profile Page.

Those instructions will follow.

Attempt to use Wiki-Tree to reach the FaceBook Generation

February 26, 2012

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.

WikiTree–Someone Added new profile

February 26, 2012

OK, this is working.

I had invited someone to this tree. They received the invite and accepted. I controlled who they had access to.

This person Added the parents, mother and father, and some details. They added me to the Trust list for the Father and not the Mother. I can see details of the Father, but no details for the Mother. I used the Wiki-Tree email to ask permission to view the mother, that was accepted and I could see the details.

I looked at my Watchlist, saw the two new additions, BUT, noticed that these two were listed as Open. NOT what I wanted. So, requested the profile manager, for these two people, to click on the Privacy setting for the, and change the Setting to the Red ICON (Private). Refreshed the Watchlist, and they are now Private.

I asked this person to look at my profile, and was able to see that I have two children. They saw that I had two children, but would NOT see any details on them.

Lesson Learned: Suggest to the Trusted List participants, that they go immediately to the Privacy Tab, to verify that the Settings are correct. In my specific case, they should be Private ( the Red ICON)

WikiTree–Privacy / Trusted List

February 26, 2012

With the help of the Cousin Connector and Community Assistant, on Facebook, I was able to figure out how do to what I am trying to do. I was trying to do it backwards.

For anyone who might be interested, and so that I can remember how to do this, I am posting the steps here. (I will remember where to look, the next time I want to add a person)

In my profile on WikiTree, I want to go to the Privacy Tab, and scroll down to the Add to Trusted List. It is below the Remove Selected People button on the profile / Privacy page. The option to add this person to many lists, the Bulk Trusted List Changes tool is used.


That will bring up the Bulk Trusted List Changes screen:


The Add button is selected from the pull down menu, and the Continue button is selected. This will take you to the screen to add an email address.

One of two things will happen. 1) if the email address is already listed in a Profile, you will be taken to the next screen, or 2) if their email address is not already in a profile a new profile screen will be presented.

For my purposes, I will add the Email address to the person’s profile, inviting them to participate, then I will add them to the Trusted list.


The email address was entered, and am taken to the list of the members in my tree. The name of the person will be listed at the top (blanked out for this example), which is a great reminder of who I am going to allow to see what.


The list of the members of the tree are listed below. Blanked out for this example. By putting a check mark in the Right Column, will allow that person to see and Edit the information for those profiles.

An example of what one of those lines look like.


This is the control I was looking for. Was just looking at it backwards.

On with my project.

Thank you Tami for your help.

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.

Trying to ignore Elyse’s energy for the project, which is hard to do, she said that between Chris and herself, I would be convinced. And I was.

First, thank you both for your time. The key for me was the ability to reach (my term) the Face Book Generation.

I have made contact with a number of the young folk that I need information from on Face Book or this Blog. So, if they will ‘friend me’ on Face Book, I needed a platform to get information from them about their families.

The problem that I have, is that I lost two cousins, in my generation, so my link to the information was not there. I could of times making packets of information, self addressed stamped envelops, enclosed letters resulted in very little information.

There is one aunt, in my Dad’s generation, and my goal is to create a Book for her, like the ones that I have made for my parents. BUT, I want to give it to her for her birthday THIS year.

So, how to get the data I need on her descendants, and the other descendants of my fathers parents? I am convinced, with a little help from my friends at Wiki-Tree, that this is the platform to try.

I generated a GEDCOM file and uploaded it to Wiki-Tree. It took a little time, but I received an email that said it was online.

Because much of the information in that tree is about living people, I want the Tree to be Private. That was relatively easy to do, and the “Watchlist” report is very clear that it is.

Issue 1 – Import of GEDCOM file.

First, this is a great feature. I would not have done this earlier, but when this capability was added, this platform was back on my plate.

There was an Issue on the import of the GEDCOM file into Wiki-Tree. Here is a portion of the Edit Screen for one person, using a GEDCOM file.


The issue is that the Proper First Name Field contains my dad’s Middle Name. So, I had to review each person in the import to Cut the Middle Name and Paste it into the Middle Name field.

Chris was very responsive to this issue. The issue is that in the Name field of a GEDCOM file, the pieces of the names do not have a Tag, but it’s a string of characters.

This tree was about 90 people, so it took a while to complete the clean up.

If you notice, there is a “Current Last Name” field. Very handy field, so as I went through the list, I added the Married Surnames for the females, to show their married surname in that field.

Issue 2 – Adding Email Addresses

There is a field, just below the screen above, where you can add an Email Address. So I did, until someone asked “what’s this email about”. Oops. I didn’t want any email go out, until I had the online information as clean as I could get it AND to be able to let the Face Book Generation what I was up to.

Quickly deleted all of the Email addresses. Only had about 5 entered when I heard that question from the other room. Oops.

Warning: Be aware that when you enter an email address in the Profile, an email will be sent.

One of the people who received the email was in contact with Chris. When I deleted the email address, it blocked that person from accessing my tree. This happened when I was emailing with Chris about the initial email, as I couldn’t figure it out using the Help pages.

So, Chris is aware of what I was / am trying to do and what happens. Until I understand what an invitee can see and do, I want to have some control and I am concerned about the security. I want to make sure that the Face Book Generation is comfortable in sharing their information.

Issue 3 – Social Networking

Actually, this effort, for me, is very helpful. By checking out my Face Book friends (family) I was able to pick up a number of people for my file. I knew that a couple of the “cousins” had married, but that’s all I knew. Face Book helped with that.

I created a Spread Sheet, based on the Watchlist (a list of everyone in the tree), and added a column for email address OR that I can communicate with them on Face Book. Pretty good coverage for this project.

Who said you can’t do genealogy on Face Book?

I have a Face Book friend, who understand why you want your genealogy research online, to help me test out how this works. I need to be able to explain what I am trying to do, and what the Face Book generation can expect to see, from me (or the Wiki-Tree), and what I want them to do.

This is in no way an attempt to be negative about Wiki-Tree, but am only sharing my experience with it, to date. Also, my focus is small at the moment, but will expand what Wiki-Tree can do for me in the future.

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