"In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take."

Harnessing My History: Making The Past The Future (Part 4)

The transition to WikiTree wasn’t a quick process for me.  I decided that instead of uploading a file that contained 7,000+ poorly sourced individuals, I wanted to start from scratch and hand enter each and every individual, using my existing research as my roadmap, making pit stops along the way to relocate sources and include them.  I may be a glutton for punishment, but, it seemed like starting from scratch and including accurate, cited information would be easier than trying to wade through a mess.

So, I started and I kept working.  And working and working.  And, much to my surprise, once I worked back to my first documented family member that came to the United States from Germany in the 1800’s, someone had already created his profile!  How incredible!  Even better, I was able to help out by contributing some additional information (with sources, of course!) and an old family photo from the late 1800’s to the individual’s profile.  This collaboration thing is so cool!

Let me be real honest for a moment – WikiTree also has a much larger learning curve than any other family history software I’ve ever used.  There’s no doubt about it.  But, despite the learning process being longer, it wasn’t overwhelming by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact, it’s been much more of a format and style learning process than anything else.  I’ve been making some notes along the way to help me quickly recall specific formatting and sourcing items, which has been a huge help.

Overall, I have been extremely pleased with my experience with WikiTree thus far, even though I know I haven’t even scratched the surface of the potential of the site.  I’ve made a commitment to transition all of the research I’ve done over the past 18 years to WikiTree (including all the media I’ve amassed) to WikiTree in order to immortalize the information and allow others to benefit from the work I’ve done.  As of this moment, I’ve made 2,920 contributions to WikiTree and have absolutely no plans of slowing down.

In some extra exciting news, 2018 just so happens to be WikiTree’s 10th birthday!  Now’s a great time to get involved in the project, even if it’s only contributing some basic information about yourself or your immediate family.  Or, just take a browse around and see what others have already contributed to the massive project.  Go ahead, click the graphic below, you won’t break it.   🙂

 Special Thanks: I’d like to say a big thank you to Eowyn, one of WikiTree’s volunteers, who graciously agreed to proof this mini-series and is hugely supportive of our goals through Small Living, Big Life.  Thank you, Eowyn, for your time, feedback and support!

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