Scrap closeness: what is your most distant connection in the global tree?

+15 votes
Lots of fun can be had with the new connection finder. (In addition to its usefulness when exploring villages with a lot of intermarriage between families).

Just for fun, I have been looking around for my most distant connection. So far I have only been able to squeeze it up to 51 degrees.

That's if I use myself as the anchor in one end. If I make the connection to someone far out on a limb in the Swedish past from the person I'm 51 degrees from I should be able to push it up.

Edited to add tag
in The Tree House by Eva Ekeblad G2G6 Pilot (591k points)
edited by Eva Ekeblad
Hah! I tested you with the newest "French notable" I painfully managed to connect, and you're 60 degrees from him. (It is a very fragile connection, I'll admit. This person is 24 degrees from the nearest profile with several connections, and there is no other path that I could find unless it's through a few placeholders for living people).

Meet Jean Gabin:
I just say: Wow!!

I can't beat that! Well done Eva and Isabelle! laugh

Bravo Isabelle! I saw you were working on Jean Gabin, and the path you found to connect him is indeed a long and windy one. But I'm sure his distance to everyone will go down over time when new connections are found. 

My own distance to Eva is 33 degrees, going through my wife's family and the (in)famous Thorn branch. If I strike out my wife in the path, the shortest path is 43 degrees long, passing through my newly discovered cousin Suzanne Gardahaut. It figures that just adding a node can reduce a lot of distances.

The connection finder explores the graph using all the possible directions - parents, children, spouse(s), siblings - If every node has a mean value of three neighbours (a very conservative number), you can reach billions of nodes in about 20 steps (3^20 > 3 billion). If each node has five neighbours, your reach the billions in 14 steps. 

Those theoretical values are actually consistent with the current geometry of the graph. Distances over 50, and even over 40, are the exceptions, and should be reduced in the course of WikiTree growth. This is a very cool paradox, the more people we add, the closer we are from each other :-)

Yes, this game says a lot about where the global tree is thinly populated.

Since I viewed it as a game, I didn't consider it as cheating to use time as distance.

But now I wonder about my most distant WikiTereer colleague.
This made me curious, so I checked my connection with Bernard. We're 28 degrees - and I suspect this could be shortened by 10 degrees or so without much difficulty.

If I strike out my well connected sister-in-law and Bernard's wife, we are 32 steps apart. Which is surprisingly short as this path only goes through very ordinary French citizens (it goes through the ancestry of a very distant cousin of mine with Breton ancestors).
So I check my connection to Maria Lundholm, which is 17 degrees, going through her husband, with whom I have a common ancestor seven or eight generations back.

Striking him out it's 28 degrees, going straight back on my side to Arvid Andersson (1669-1740) and then snaking down on the side of Arvid's sister through a chain of marriages.
I'm 38 degrees from Eva, 32 degrees from Maria, 34 from Isabelle, and 31 degrees from Bernard. I'm 58 degrees from Jean Gabin.

Most of my connections go through Queen Sonja of Norway, my 6th cousin twice removed. It makes sense, because royalty is well-researched and closely connected. The Queen and I both descend from common people in Lower Telemark.
42 degrees to Leif if I strike out the American paths.

@Eva : "But now I wonder about my most distant WikiTereer colleague."

Indeed this is maybe where my above speculative computations are the most relevant. I'm pretty sure you won't find many beyond 40 degrees among the "active" WikiTreers. (say, over a few thousands contributions).

I agree with Bernard. The reason why there's about 40 degrees between Eva and me must be that both Norway and Sweden are sparsely documented here on WikiTree. I'm pretty sure that the distance between us could be halved, going exclusively through commoners, given more contributions.
I took a quick look at the Swedes with project badges and the biggest distance I got was 38 degrees, with somebody who has added just one line, going far back.

Maybe one should make a hobby of adding a few sideways-connections in the late 19th century now and then and see what they meet up with.
This is fun! I take that connection to Eva of 28 jumps, and strike out person after person (nobles) and still we are 28 jumps apart (after striking out at least three persons already).

8 Answers

+5 votes
Has this been allowed?

 I seem to remember a discussion a while ago, about how the system would take hours every night to make these billions of connections just to connect all of us to every profile in the system? And this is why there was a 10 degree restriction in place.

Why the change?
by Robynne Lozier G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
Thanks to the marvellous work of Aleš Trtnik.
Announced 17 September.
17 Sept?

Oh dear. I am behind the times.

Thanks Eva!!
And thanks to Isabelle. I realised from her answer that I can 'strike out' my husband from the connection finder. I get so annoyed  when almost every connection is via his South African relatives.

Eva is 34 degrees from me, 26 via husband.

The strikeout feature is very nice to have.

+5 votes
by Samantha Thomson G2G6 Pilot (277k points)

laugh Samantha this one is unfair. Of course if you go back 2,000 years even in direct ancestry line it takes over 60 generations. This is the limit to my above comment, which was more about the distance between currently living people.

LoL! I have 78 degrees to Xiu-1

I'm only 70, thanks to the direct "aristo" line of my wife. wink

If I strike her, 78 like you, Eva.

+6 votes

I'm 27 degrees from Eva Ekeblad and 52 degrees from Jean Gabin Alexis Moncorgé (1904 - 1976)

by Jennifer Robins G2G6 Pilot (276k points)
+6 votes

This one is 2000 years ago as well try

 I was only 49 degrees from him 

by anonymous G2G6 Mach 9 (98.7k points)
I have 54 degrees.
47 for me.
Profile doesn't exist in 2022.
+5 votes
Eva, thank you for starting this convo.  I learned a lot about using the connection finder by playing with it.  I'm 28 degrees from you, 25 from the Bernard Vatant profile mentioned previously.  Can you tell me how you found the furthest person?  A random stab in the dark probably isn't where you started . . .
by Cindy Cooper G2G6 Pilot (347k points)
I started by looking for early, but still connected profiles in Asia. My first attempt - through the category system - was a Chinese person living in Indonesia = 51 degrees. Of course it would have been smarter to go straight to China and use WikiTree+

I was surprised and a little embarrassed when Isabelle brought in Jean Gabin. I just didn't think of France. That path is also very impressive with so many lateral connections.
Thanks for the idea Eva.  I found Asinii-1 who is 64 degrees from me (using Asia).  IDK how to get WikiTree+ to givem e the oldest birthdates without some text to go along with it.  My first French connection is 30 degrees.

The WikiTree+ query to give the connected profiles with the earliest birthdates is:

Thanks, Paul.  The first one on the list is:  That was very interesting with the Chinese Emperor, quite a few from Mecca, and about 1000 years of French. 

Xiu Liu is 70 Degrees from Cindy Cooper

+6 votes

Eva, another way to figure the graph connectivity is to start from a robust, heavily connected node, and count the number of profiles at distance 1, 2, 3 etc. 

I've started to do that with my great-great-grandfather Jean-Joseph Marie Vatant (1804-1875), who had 9 children of Marie-Anne Hamonou and 53 grandchildren (if I don't miss any). As he had also 10 siblings, and of course 2 parents, this makes 22 profiles at distance 1.

At 2 degrees only, I found (as of today) 114 profiles! I've started gathering them in a dedicated spreadsheet smiley.

At 3 degrees ... I'm still counting, but suspect the figure will be over 500, and at 4 degrees in the thousands (including me).

When I'm more advanced with those figures, I will post about them, as an illustration of the fact that there are way more people at short distance than we usually think.

by Bernard Vatant G2G6 Pilot (179k points)
Sounds like a substantial task you have given yourself :-)

YES! But that's because I want to stay alive for quite a few more years. In the same spirit I engaged a few months ago in a crazy online Go (the game) tournament which, given the number of participants (more than 2,000) and the settings allowing very long delays between each move, is likely to last about 60 years, if not more. That gives me yet another reason to stay alive. L'espoir fait vivre smiley

Eva, now that our 100 Circles project is up and running, please add our trademark tag "100_circles" to this thread, for further easy retrieval.
Did that ten seconds before you posted ;-)
+3 votes
I found a person who seems to be 60-65 degrees from a few different people I have checked.

Gaspar Wanderley is 63 Degrees from Erik Granstrom.

WikiTree contributors, "Gaspar Wanderley (abt.1651-)," WikiTree: The Free Family Tree, ( : accessed 03 July 2022).
by Erik Granstrom G2G6 Mach 5 (50.5k points)
Hello Erik. Gaspar Wanderley is "only" 57 degrees for our reference profile Mary Stuart.

So ... he does not qualify to be an "Outer Rim" profile, at distance over 60 from the Queen of Scots. See
This thread was started before we had the tools Bernard has been using. We were just using educated guesses, like looking for very early profiles in Asia etc.

So when I saw this new answer I was a little curious what led Erik to Gaspar Wanderley.
65 degrees from me
The top person in the Outer Rim (Faiz Hamdani, caveat: lacks sources) is 92 degrees from me.
This Faiz Hamdani (Khanum-8) is a real outlier, with a connexion path no one seems able to double-check, through [[Ibn_Husayn-1|Ali Zayn al-Ābidīn ibn Husayn A.S. (abt.0659-abt.0713)]] ...
+3 votes

The furthest person I can find in my watchlist is 32 degrees is Theresa Rebok, thanks to adding profiles for the US Black Heritage project. And this is a fairly modern person, not going back in time.

by Rob Neff G2G6 Pilot (140k points)

Rob, you can find living people at more than 80 degrees from you, in the Italian branch of [[Palleschi-562|Giovanni Palleschi (1916-2001)]], himself at 79 degrees, his great-grand-children are 3 steps further, that is 82.

Note that your shortest path to the Palleschi branch is passing through my own profile.

And BTW there is a very dubious profile in this path : [[Ryckman-135|Rachel Ryckman]] ... born in 1692, married in 1796 and children born between 1797 and 1813.surprise

Right, I had found farther connections as posted above using your link to the outer rim, but here I was limiting it to my own watchlist.

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