Looking for advice from the connectors please

+10 votes
125 views
I would like some advice please on the best way to go about connecting unconnected profiles. Where is the best place to start and is there a knack, or a special way of doing this? Is it better to work towards present day or back into the past?

Any advice, tip, tricks etc would be gratefully recieved.

Thanks :)
asked in The Tree House by Wendy Sullivan G2G6 Pilot (125k points)
I just go to the earliest ancestor in a family line, click on descendants and begin to fill in those still waiting for spouses. I always go "no children" "no spouse" where appropriate as this fills gaps in the descent line.

Then I open Wikitree in a separate tab, open a name search & check places for likely connections or merges.

Then, going back to the name search box at the top of each profile, press enter on the empty box, you'll get a search field asking for more detail, look for the "text search" at the bottom of the page and enter a small locality such as a county or town and see who else Wikitree has living there.

I also make an internet name search for an individual who may turn up in an online genealogy, newspaper extract or local history. Then track sources for that person & if the fit is right via parents etc. - bingo!

Remember to use the specific google search engine for each country as this brings up better results - for searching in Ireland use google.ie, google Australia in google.com.au - England is google.com.uk - New Zealand google.co.nz etc.

4 Answers

+5 votes
I'm not a connector, per se, but I'd think working back would be best as how do you know what line to go down if you do it that way?  As to a way to go, I'd suggest looking for spouses lines since this gets you new surnames immediately which might be ones which connect easily.  Depending how far back you are in the census period, I'd try to work up as far as you can go and then go back to a family you found a census with several children and try to get spouses for the children and then go back on these new lines.  If you stick to censuses, you have easy sources and they're easy to get by looking for family trees which have added censuses as on Ancestry.com or FamilySearch.
answered by Dave Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (368k points)
+7 votes
Connecting people is far from being an exact science. The best tricks I've found are to look for nonliving relatives with multiple marriages (if the person's own family isn't connected, maybe that second husband will turn out to be connected), as well as for nonliving relatives who were wealthy or prominent. I also keep a lookout for family names and places that are familiar to me (because I'm more likely to be familiar with the existing WikiTree profiles for the families, or know the sources for the genealogy).
answered by Ellen Smith G2G6 Pilot (892k points)
+1 vote

There are a bunch of tips on connecting on the Connectors Chat page.

answered by Greg Slade G2G6 Pilot (194k points)
+1 vote
To maximise the chance of someone else connecting to your family tree, always add in all siblings and spouses. Make sure the spouses have the correct current last name - if the sources indicate that they used their husband's name, then make that the CLN. That way you will have more potential surnames to connect with. A linear tree going straight up with no side branches is unlikely to connect easily.

You can also look at the surname list to see if there are any others with the same surname in the same area, then work on connecting those using primary sources. This obviously works best on rarer names.

I am an experienced connector and love the challenge of connecting, using primary sources. I recently connected a bunch of australian profiles with their English ancestors and whilst I was at it, managed to connect an American branch of the family, making it my first three continent connection chain.
answered by Gillian Causier G2G6 Pilot (168k points)
edited by Gillian Causier

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