Unconnected Profiles Categories

+25 votes
Hey Connectors!

After some discussion with a few project members, I have started building the Unconnected categories. We have tools for finding Unconnecteds by our Watchlists and surnames, but were finding it would be handy to be able to look at regions and projects, which categories can help with. I am slooowly building the categories and adding profiles to it from the master Unconnected list that Chris had put together last year. If you come across profiles that can be categorized here, please go ahead and do so! I haven't set up all regions yet, so you may need to add a new category or two, but any help is appreciated :-)

Here's the link to see the form: http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Category:Unconnected_Profiles

This will help us develop new challenge ideas, too. Thanks everyone!
asked in Requests for Project Volunteers by Abby Glann G2G6 Pilot (374k points)
edited by John Atkinson
Hi Mary, yes, Kevin Bacon, AJ in the bottom box of the profile is proof of successful connection.

Be aware that there is an overnight cycle in which this conneciton reporting happens only once daily, because of the resources drain in order to calculate it across WikiTree.

I have noticed that it tends to update in the 8-10 pm timeframe, PST, or thereabouts. But it may be variaable.

In some cases if I am working on it late, and so after the update, then I don't see the box until two days later.

Also, if you change a profile to a new LNAB, or merge into a non-connected profile, the non-connection status will persist on the resulting profile until completion of the next daily cycle calculation. Basically this is because a LNAB change is a new profile, and by definition new profiles have not been connected, as far as the cycle is concerned. Until it re-calculates overnight.
Steven i would caution that if you actually check links with AJ etc they are often containg obviously wrong links coming from gedcom merges of profiles with common names. (This can happen easily to profiles without much detail on them, but can often be checked by looking at context such as other family members.) So the word proof may not be appropriate. Actually that connection function should be something people use to quality control Wikitree in my opinion. The connection function is a fun thing on wikitree but the pleasure is reduced by finding how often it relies on obvious errors such as mixing of families living in different continents.
Yes Andrew, sadly most of what passes for the massively propagated genealogy this days is utter nonsense.

There is a race between better source proof being provided more readily to everyone, and exponentially growing garbage propagation overwhelming those source proofs.

It dismays me to see my distant relatives taking my old working files that have fallen into their hands, and then simply tossing it up on to the Internet, where it gets propagated again and again as fact. In most cases they then completely walk away from it, so that errors never get corrected, and it appears as if the origination came from them.

I have not yet had the unpleasant experiences of one of these proagators telling me that my correction is wrong, because the file came from their close genealogist aunt (thus missing my early role in the creation). but I suppose that is coming.

But I have had the unpleasant experience of somebody completely detaching individuals from one of my created family branches, because it did not agree with their own incomplete propagated data, despite the fact that I had the full family spelled out in the census records on the profile bio. So it goes.

As far as the Family Connector tool, I discount anything beyond 10 degrees or so, as likely having at least one error in the path which would make it faulty. Each degree further has a mathematical certainty of exponential increase in such errors, such that at 40 or so degrees the specified path is certainly wrong in every case.

But that is a whole other can of worms. At concern here is merely that a connection has been made, and the *proof* that I mean is merely proof of the connection having been made, which is simply visible in the presence of the degrees of removal box. So it provides a starting point by which to then trace down and actually *prove* every stated connection, rather than hunting around endlessly for *some* connection somewhere.

That last is a bit troublesome, because it requires filling out countless siblings and spouses and parents and children of siblings, in order to find at least one connecting path. Many of those paths lead nowhere productive, and they grow exponentially with each profile to search through. So having an existing connection trail, even if faulty, makes the task that much simpler.
But, just to show I really can look for a bright side, I do think the relationship finder can be used this way to look for such problems and fix them. Many of them probably just resulted from early gedcom merges. There is a big Australian gedcom which I connect to in many places for example, and has lots of typical English looking names. Apparently, when it was merged into Wikitree (my best guess) many of the loose end profiles ended up being united with loose end profiles from American gedcoms, English gedcoms and so on, causing jarring movements of individuals that (when you contact the managers) don't seem to be intended. This will happen, but the relationship tools can actually be used to pick these things up sometimes, so I run through all my relationship chains every now and then.
I think the relationship finder to Queen Elizabeth II is the most useful, because her genealogy is particularly well documented.
And its so much fun to refer to "my cousin, the Queen"
Yes, but for example wikitree shows a chain of links between QEII and myself which contains apparent mistakes like the ones mentioned. You have to keep in find how that tool works, because it can be very quickly away from well studied trees.
The best thing to do is to work to correct those errors when we find them-it's part of the connection process. After working on many connections for AJ for the Global Family Reunion, I found myself making disconnections as often as connections in order to fix errors.
You make it sound easy.  But the way to be a happy WikiTreer is to leave everything alone unless you really need it fixed.  Fixing stuff for the sake of it is only looking for trouble.
Yes such cases are normally not easy. What do you change? They tend to involve profiles without many identifying features and happen on the edges of big gedcoms so no one is likely to know the origins.

2 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer
I'm wondering about adding a sub-category to the Unconnected categories for those profiles that are unlikely to ever be connected.  In particular I'm thinking about the European Aristocrats Unconnected Category, that Abby has been adding to many profiles (thanks Abby), but it might apply to other unconnected categories as well.

Some of the early European Aristocrat profiles may never be connected, either because there is no evidence for their existence, or they were real people but all their relationships (parents, spouses, children) are totally invented.  If we could effectively park them in some related sub-category, then we could concentrate on those where there is a chance of connecting them to the wider tree.

I'm definitely not a categories expert, so don't know if this is possible or would stuff up the existing system?
answered by John Atkinson G2G6 Pilot (323k points)
selected by Maggie N.
I was wondering about those, too, John. Maybe something like European Aristocracy (or even without the EA designation) No Known Connection or something along those lines? I was hoping the Unconnected category would help with the project's cleanup efforts, too, as there seem to be quite a few random duplicates floating in the middle of nowhere.
Yes thanks Abby, I finally got to have a look at what profiles were in the EA Unconnected Category (I spent most of last week without much internet connection) and you're right there are quite a few duplicates (particularly with an Unknown in their name somewhere) that can be merged and then probably connected to the tree.  So it is proving very useful.

A No Known Connection sub-category would be excellent, still connected somehow to the Unconnected category so they are easy to find, if some new source every comes to light.
Great. I will set it up as Category:No_Known_Connection and it will be nested right in the Unconnected Profiles category.
+6 votes
Great discussion on getting profiles connected and linked, and how many broken connections result from merges where profiles properly get unlinked from people they're not actually the parents or children of.  

Please let me call attention to another type of unlinked profile, which I have advocated and deliberately created, and these are profiles of people often believed to have existed, but who evidence shows actually did not.  An example would be "Katherine Brent," believed by many to be daughter of Giles Brent and wife of my ancestor Richard Marsham.  As a non-existent person, Katherine cannot have parents or children, but because many genealogies show her, it's important to keep a profile, both to explain and document her non-existence -- and also to keep others from mistakenly re-creating her and adding her back in to WikiTree.  So my hope is that her profile, and similar profiles will be seen as a solution to be emulated in WikiTree circles, and not a problem to be solved!

We've created a separate category called "legends" for such people!
answered by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (248k points)
These types could also fall under the " no known connections" category since they likely didn't exist. Great example, Jack.

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