Why has my connection to AJ blown out?

+9 votes
Ever since we starting tracking to AJ I had a connection through my paternal line and managed to get down to 28 steps.  I looked at it again today but it has blown out to 29 steps and is now connecting me via my husbands line.

How can this be?  Does it mean my previous connection has been broken somewhere up the line?  Shouldn't the path go through the persons own ancestors first before crossing to a spouse?
in WikiTree Tech by Veronica Williams G2G6 Pilot (140k points)
I went and checked several of the profiles in my tree and most are off by 1 number...can't see how...

Also my connection if you follow it back from me to AJ there are 2 private profiles , so how do I KNOW we have the connections

3 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer
My route to A J changed also, from mother's lineage to father's, and presume it's due to changes in profile relationships.  I've tried linking mother's ancestors to him and the route still goes down to my mother and crosses to father, so the link via mother's lineage has left the party, but glad we're still cousins.
by Patricia Roche G2G6 Pilot (428k points)
selected by Mags Gaulden
I'm late seeing this thread but my connection was 28 degrees on my father's side. I had not checked it since my mum's family was added. Now it's 24 degrees  Through her family. My father's side the connection is mostly through marriage. Mums through mostly blood ties.
+6 votes
It could be that someone realized there was a "bad" link in there somewhere, where better research revealed someone was not actually related to someone else. I know when we get communication to indicate that a connection has an error, we try to jump on it to make sure we're using good research and fix it, which can change connections. All that said, the more research we add, the better chances we can get it back down to where it was and beyond :-)
by Abby Glann G2G6 Pilot (426k points)
With this many people noticing it, whatever was changed must be close to AJ.  I don't see anything different in his family tree, but maybe someone else has some insight.
Something may have changed with a massively common ancestor, or a person further back in time. A few months ago, I had to untangle an incorrect husband and wife pair from early Pennsylvania because there had been a bad merge between two couples of different time periods but with the same names. (The result was a woman born in the 1720s married to a man born in the 1780s, resulting in children born between 1740 and 1820). They were about 15 steps from AJ, and it blew out a bunch of connections! So, they weren't too close to AJ, but a lot of people were close-ish to the mess. But once things were re-sorted, everyone ended up back where they were supposed to be, or closer to AJ.
The funny thing is the connection via my line is still in tact if I go back to the ancestor that got me there in the beginning!
+3 votes
I had a similar change, from 33 steps to 34, but upon examining it, it was a much more direct connection, via more blood and less marriage. So I assumed it was just choosing the better route through the tree?

Maybe yours is something similar
by Lucy Lavelle G2G6 Mach 3 (37.3k points)
Plausible theory, but my experience indicates that the AJ Relationship Calculator doesn't prefer links by blood over links by marriage.

My mother is 21 steps from AJ on a path that includes only one link by marriage, and my father and I both used to be 22 steps from AJ on that same path. Then one fine day a new connection was made that created a 21-step pathway to my father through his ancestry, and WikiTree starting mapping my 22-step path to AJ on that path, which includes several marriages. (Maybe the algorithm prefers paternal relationships?)
The algorithm looks for the shortest path. I'm not sure what it does if there are multiple paths the same length, but it definitely looks at path length first regardless of blood vs. marriage.

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