Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Scaling the branches of our global family tree

Sheesh, I should really blog sometimes...

For the past year or two I've been pretty much obsessed with genealogy. Things really kicked up a notch when I became active on WikiTree in late 2014. I found the idea of collaborative family trees fascinating, and pretty quickly became part of the volunteer leadership there. In February 2015 I headed off to RootsTech with the WikiTree gang for my first genealogy conference, brought my family out to the Global Family Reunion in June, and then returned to RootsTech 2016. This year I'm the new Recording Secretary for the Boulder Genealogical Society at home in Colorado, and am a regular at Colorado Genealogical Society events as well. In May I gave my first presentation, entitled "Plays Well with Others: Pros and Cons of Collaborative Family Trees" to the Boulder group.

While I do work on my own family history quite a bit, I especially enjoy helping others connect. Mostly it's other genealogists like myself, but sometimes we get asked to pitch in and connect better known cousins:

As the leader of WikiTree's Puerto Rican Roots project, it was really fun to find a path between these two New Yorkers. I wish I could say I used my powers of deductive reasoning to discern the shortest path between Ms. Dawson and Mr. Jacobs, but I really just used brute force. I added about 150 of Ms. Dawson's cousins and cousins' cousins until I noticed that her great-great-aunt Julia (Alvira y Torres) Garrison Bookman had married a Georgia man Roy Garrison whose colonial ancestor Christopher Garrison was already present on the global family tree.

So yeah. That's how I spend my evenings...