Who's the most connected of The Unconnected?

+60 votes

Hi WikiTreers,

I'm excited to announce that Special:Unconnected now displays the number of connections for each Unconnected profile. You can sort it so that the "most connected" are on top.

Let me back up a little, for those unfamiliar with this connected/unconnected stuff.

As of today, 8,224,708 profiles are connected on our "one tree". That is, eight million of us are connected within 100 degrees of four different "anchor people" (currently A.J. Jacobs, Kevin Bacon, Queen Elizabeth II, and Maureen O'Hara). "Connected" includes relationships through marriage. See Special:Connection.

Another 2,815,287 people are on WikiTree but aren't connected. They often have some family relationships, but the connections dead-end. More genealogy needs to be done to connect them.

Helping to connect the Unconnected has become the mission of a heroic group of WikiTreers: The Connectors.

Some Connectors, Greg Slade in particular, started asking if there was a way to see who among the Unconnected had the most connections. This would make them low-hanging fruit. If a certain person had 50 connections, connecting any one of the 50 would mean connecting all 50 because they're all connected to each other.

We now have this.

There are some limitations:

  • We only calculate the connections once a day. People don't immediately drop off the list when you make a connection, and their numbers won't update immediately.
  • We stop counting connections at 100. It appears, though, that less than 1000 people have 100 connections but aren't connected to the big tree.
  • Some of the counts appear to be incorrect. Karen Tobo reported a bug that we still need to track down.

​Onward and upward,


in The Tree House by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
How do you work out who to connect them to?
Hi Iain. maybe take a look at the connectors project http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Unconnected, it gives examples that can be used when looking for the connections or take a look at the June connectors challenge on g2g . Generally I do it by looking at the rarer surnames marrying into an unconnected family then looking at those to see if any live nearby then going through sources to see if they connect. I source records that I am also looking to connect.
thanks Paula i certainly will have a look at that page!
The connectors project link above is broken. Can anyone redirect? I would like to work on my Unconnected list - I've found the list and sorted it by most connections but don't know where to go from there.  Thanks!
Go to your watchlist, click on unconnected. You will then have to open the profile and view the descendents or ancesters to get started
For the record, here is the link to the Connectors Project: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Project:Connectors
Thanks Greg! I was hoping for something a bit more specific than "open the profile and view the descendants or ancestors to get started."

Also, I don't understand what is meant by sorting by the ones with most connections - since they're on the unconnected list, as is my entire tree, I assume the most connections they have, are not actually "connected" in the sense meant by this project?
It indicates the size of the unconnected tree, it will sort with the largest to the top of the list. there are two strategies to find connections, one keep going back generation till you run into a connection, But the one I find most successful is to fill in the female lines, and add all brothers and sisters that you can find frequently the female line (finding maiden LNB) runs quickly into the primary tree.
Thanks. But the "largest" number of connections aside, they are still unconnected - so you mean the largest number of relatives?
I should probably also say that we have some tips for connecting on the Connectors Chat page: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Connectors_Chat#Hints_and_Tips

13 Answers

+13 votes

That is just great Chris.Thank you! All you do is much appreciated!!!!

In between as people like Chris are working on solving the problems of unconnected and making things much easier,  we all can work as bottom-uppers! (lol if that is correct English! :D )


Those like to help to get the numbers down on the unconnected on a long base please join the [http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Project:Connectors#How_To_Join CONNECTORS_PROJECT] 

Those like to help for a short term finding connections for unconnected please, join the challenges organized. Join the connect/source challenges! :) Named at same link of the connectors. 

The second Dutch_Roots_Challenge started yesterday [http://www.wikitree.com/g2g/237075/the-2nd-dutch_roots-challenge-starts-now] just got a family connected in their monthly challenge in one day!!!!!!!! we ve been looking for for weeks. Just fun to work with many together and dead ends solved fast. :D

But they have a bonus-challenge! Finding a connection between Joop van Belzen, Dutch Roots member [http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Belzen-1]  and Lillie Nancy Belzen [http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Belzen-1] from Texas U.S.A.!! (Beware Joop's LNAB  is VAN Belzen, Lillie's is just Belzen). There might not be a connection but Lillie has no parents yet. Hard for us Dutch to find right sources. So calling all up: Feel free to join!!! Started yesterday will last till next week tuesday noon GMT [http://www.wikitree.com/g2g/237075/the-2nd-dutch_roots-challenge-starts-now]. Feel free to suggest new unsourced Dutch for the next challenge!!

There are more and bigger challenges. Please check for them at G2G. 


Thank you all. 


From the Netherlands and member of the Dutch_Roots Project. 

Just hope I didn t make to many language mistakes. :P





by Astrid Spaargaren G2G6 Pilot (257k points)
edited by Astrid Spaargaren

Lillie was still living in 1910 so her death date is wrong which also means so is the findagrave memorial -

"United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M2QZ-M6N : accessed 7 April 2016), Lillie Aday in household of J M Aday, Austin Ward 2, Travis, Texas, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 67, sheet 6B, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,375,608.

The findagrave memorial looks like the inscription is for Mrs Nedy Aday, so a in-law to JM perhaps

This is like a sore tooth and I just couldn't leave it alone - Lillie Nancy Blezen (aka Belzen-1) may actually be two people that have been confused.   Most of my sources right now are from Ancestry and I don't know if that would be helpful at the moment.  If you would like me to continue, I will search on Familysearch.org for others.  Here goes-

Joseph M Aday married an Necey Belzen in 1886 in Williamson County, TX

She is on the 1900 census as Nely Aday in Georgetown, Williamson, TX with Joseph M and 5 children and a boarder.

The findagrave picture for the grave marker could be Mrs Nely/Necy Aday who died in 1903. Williamson County TX

The Lillie on the 1910 census looks to be a remarriage (m2- for JM as well). Also it notes that Lillie has had 2 children; she and JM have only been married 5 years; the children in the household are over 12; there is a 20 yo male with the surname of Murray. Travis County TX

Lillie remarried after JM Aday passed.  It looks like she married a Robert Leigh (1920 census). Nueces County TX

Which leads to a findagrave memorial for Lillie Zimmerman Leigh (wife of RB Murphy) Williamson County TX

"Find A Grave Index," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVVF-VCVB : accessed 7 April 2016), Lillie Zimmermann Leigh Murray, 1945; Burial, Round Rock, Williamson, Texas, United States of America, Round Rock Cemetery; citing record ID 15842295, Find a Grave, http://www.findagrave.com.

It's midnight in Texas so sweet dreams, y'all

Kathleen thank you sooo much for diving in. I m away next 36 hours but thank you so much for this. For us it s hard to find good sources at the U.S.A. and yes as there are so many different names for this Lillie I said also yesterday there might be two Lillies or two wifes of Joseph mixed or so.


Together we will solve this! :D

WikiTree luv from the Netherlands!!

+10 votes
This is a great new Addition well done Chris. I had a little look at the GRIST family on here last night and it appears 2 or more geds have been merged together. Many of the people have 50+ children, so fraid that line's going to need a merge hero pretty early on.

P.S. maybe its worth having a badge for meger's after doing a little more indepth training as a lot of people don't have the confidence to do them.
by Paula Dea G2G6 Mach 7 (71.6k points)
Hi Paula,

You might want to bring up that PS as a new question, so more see it and it can be discussed more carefully.

The idea of a merge certification has been brought up many times. I don't see any way we could require taking a quiz or having certain credentials for doing merges. Merges are too important and even brand new members have to do some. But there could be something that just awards you the badge as a point of pride thing. The only obstacle to doing that is writing the questions and answers for the quiz. Maybe you could put together a group of volunteers to work on it.


The explanation of the Grist mess is here


A lot of different Grists were all merged into Unknown-207592, which turned all their children into siblings.

Now the job would be to figure out how they were all connected previously.  Clearly it shouldn't be assumed that apparent "siblings" with the same name are the same person, or even siblings.



+9 votes
So, if somebody has 100+ connections, all of those connections are also in the list with 100+ connections.

Which would mean the 500+ people showing with 100+ connections represent only a handful of disconnected trees.  Possibly only one, theoretically.

And if anybody has 93 connections, you'd expect to have 94 people with 93 connections, and they'd all be one tree.  The counting bug seems to be throwing this off a bit, but it's all very informative all the same.
by Living Horace G2G6 Pilot (572k points)
Well the bad news is that almost half a million profiles have 0 connections.  However, many of those are users.

Probably something like 800k - 1m Unconnected treelets altogether, mostly containing less than 10 profiles.

PS those numbers may need revising when Chris finds that bug.
I would say that only half a million unconnected singles is good news.  That's a big task, but not as big as 8 million.
Sorry, I read the wrong number.  The logic still works, though, half a million is a lot better than 2.8 million.
+8 votes

Great new feature! Three cheers!! And when you turn over a rock...

The cluster that includes David Hodgart could definitely use some attention. It might not be such a big fragment once it's all condensed and clarified. I sorted by fragment size and found him on the second page.

So many angles to approaching large bodies of data. Extra challenges with crowdsourcing.

by Living Winter G2G6 Mach 7 (72.1k points)

This bio was generated by a gedcom import.


The numbers aren't consecutive.  I think the gedcom must have gone round in circles.



+7 votes


You must have some bug, I made my tree with cca 250 people connected together. And all of us are unconnected to global tree, since most of us are from Slovenia. This option should show 250 connections (100+) for all people on my watch list, but it isn't so. It lists 3-35 connections. For me http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Trtnik-2 it lists 18 connections but i have more then 45 direct ancestors.

So your assumption, that less then 1000 people have 100+ connections is wrong. My tree has 250, and i think, there are many more such trees (grapes).

by Aleš Trtnik G2G6 Pilot (661k points)
Hi Ales,

Karen Tobo reported this too. There is some bug in our code, probably related to some of the shortcuts we take to make the counting more efficient. I'm not sure it's worth trying to get these exactly right. It takes a lot of server resources. For now, I think we'll just call these estimates.

Ditto on this being cool. Another reason to not spend time with the living people. ;-)

 I'm having same estimate issues. Am I correct in assume the intent is that we would sets or pods of unconnected people that would have exactly the same number of relationships?

Ignoring the processing power required, It would be interesting to see all pods in descending order of size. That would allow collaboration on the largest tree first. I may have missed this. I found http://www.wikitree.com/index.php?title=Special:Unconnected&limit=100&start=100&order=connectionsdn&viewAll=1 but it lists lots of individual profiles with more than 100+. Hard to see what group is the largest.

I'm off to work on my largest group of ~48 Porterfields to see if I can get it off the list or up to 100, hopefully the former.
+7 votes
A new project to work on!
by Kyle Dane G2G6 Pilot (101k points)
Yes - I've found a pattern:

Patrick Stewart's family is on the top at 33-ish connections

James Cagney is #2 at 26-ish connections tied with Louis Braille

Scarlett Johanssen is #3 with 23-ish connections, tied with Alan Rickman and William Christopher (MASH's Father Mulcahy)

Leonard Nimoy comes in at #4 at 18-ish connections

Wow - if I could somehow nail down at least a few of these, it would eliminate some loose ends that have been hanging out for awhile.
+9 votes
Woo Hoo!

Forced me to re-examine the connections to Patrick Stewart and his Barrowclough line. After digging in hard, I found a very long distance connection through the Ledgrand family from Mirfield all the way back to the 1500's. We'll see in the morning how far down the line he is - maybe in the high 30's or low 40's...
by Scott Fulkerson G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
+5 votes
Thanks, Chris. You've answered a question that's been on my mind since i first saw the connections number. Now I know which profiles to attack first. BTW, I've noticed some other "improvements" in the system that don't need explanation, the sex colors being the one that comes to mind first. How about being able to sort name groups by PM?
by Bob Keniston G2G6 Pilot (225k points)
Hi Robert,

Which context do you mean for sorting name groups by PM? Special:Unconnected?

I'm afraid sorting by manager isn't easy. Many have asked for it on Watchlists and surname index pages but it's not something we have "indexed" in our database.

+8 votes

I have connected one of the largest unconnected trees, involving a crapload of people named "Benscoter" and their relatives.  It turns out they are descendants of Theunis Eliassen Van Bunschoten.  I found that there was just one missing generation on the path from Theunis to Abram Benscoter, so that group will disappear from the list on the next update.  

by Kyle Dane G2G6 Pilot (101k points)
W00t! That's exactly the sort of thing that I was hoping to see happen!

Well done Kyle, very impressive. There were over 500 unconnected Benscoters yesterday, and now only 1 remains. I'm working on the 100+ branches of England, have managed to clear 6 so far, with two more awaiting merges and two waiting to be added to the trusted list. Several more families that I've looked at and are currently working on have all emigrated from England to other parts of the globe. It's been quite frustrating not being able to source the records overseas, so much so that I've just upgrade my Ancestry sub to worldwide! Am also getting to be quite an expert at finding free online sources for Australia and Canada. I hope everyone else working on these connections is finding it as rewarding as I am, one of my friends commented today that it's "an enticing challenge with pleasures attached". Thank you again Chris, for getting these unconnected numbers added. It's made a huge impact on connecting.   

I am working on the Bishir family now and think I've found a connection there, too.
+3 votes

I have connected the large, previously unconnected Bishir family, at least tentatively.  The connection was made by linking previously unconnected Whitsett-250 to his father Whitsett-134

I see from reading the profile of Whitsett-134 that his connection, through the woman currently listed as his mother, Rebecca Stewart is in dispute, but I'm going to leave that to someone else to sort out.  I'm very confident in the connection that I made.  

by Kyle Dane G2G6 Pilot (101k points)
+4 votes

How are the Sys/ops getting on with removing the Grists and Hodgarts? They now make up quite a large amount of the first few pages on the 100 unconnected list :(




by Paula Dea G2G6 Mach 7 (71.6k points)
Yeah, I steered clear of those as soon as I saw what was going on in those two families.  What a mess!
+3 votes
Chris, BOW! I see more fantastic new features and that s just great................ Thank you for all you and those assisting you a BIG lot. Love it!

I see many great new things! Again thank you, thank you. You re doing just wonderful things at the moment!!!!!!!!!!!!!


About few little things/wishes:

Now where to add/post again new wishes?

- I would love to have a feature to click "square" no spouse as the "square"  no children, please. For children died young.

- Things were changed at the parents links at the edit page........ would love the word "AND" in between the parents. Aware it might be just me wishing that.

- Is it possible to add the spouse link there too? Just asking as I know you re all working hard and this just little unimportant wishes. :D


Again! You re work is soooo much appreciated. :D

Chapeaux!! Or, as Eowyn learned me :), "CURTSY"!!!! :D
by Astrid Spaargaren G2G6 Pilot (257k points)
+6 votes
I am finding this to be VERY helpful in eliminating the stray profiles from my list. So far, I've revisited and connected 5-6 profile strings of 30-ish, 40-ish each that have connected several Notables where I'd hit a brick wall previously. Patrick Stewart, Jimmy Cagney, Scarlet Johannsen, Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, and so on...

Thanks for putting this tool together!!!
by Scott Fulkerson G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)

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