Trying out Wikitree

After my slightly disappointing experience with My Heritage last month, I thought I'd give Wikitree a go. It's supposed to be very collaborative and I spent some time trawling through the questions from other members, and answering a couple of them. Once I'd got a sense of how it all worked, I took a deep breath and uploaded my gedcom file - I had to cut it down a bit as they don't like you to include more than 1000 individuals. So I just included my main lines.

The gedcom loaded up overnight and I got an email next morning to confirm it worked. There were a few glitches - my privacy settings on one or two individuals had gone a bit haywire, and the system doesn't accept dates like Q3 1800 (i.e. the quarter of the year as with the British BMD records), so I had to go through and edit those manually. But these were minor irritations and I was excited to see a lot of potential matches.

Unfortunately those matches were 90% useless - the system didn't seem to pick up on places of birth or even countries, so I got lots of potential matches with the same name who were born in the US and were clearly not the same person as my UK ancestor. I did go through and reject some of them, but there were hundreds and my eyes began to glaze over. Out of 900 individuals I got one actual match. One!!

Was it worth it? Well it was an interesting exercise and maybe in the future as more non-US families are uploaded I'll get a few more matches. I believe this site is introducing a more sophisticated matching technique shortly, so hopefully that will help eliminate the obvious mismatches. And at least this site doesn't charge anything - the idea is that everyone pitches in and helps each other. Be warned however that once you have uploaded your data you can't delete it in future if you change your mind.



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