Seeking advice from experienced connectors

+3 votes
229 views

I'm getting tired of the little non-tropical island that I and all my relatives currently reside on in WikiTree.

(This is basically the same as an older G2G question, but that question only got two answers and one comment, and I'd like more detail and more discussion.)

I'm looking for advice from people with lots of experience connecting profiles to the big tree. What direction works most often? Up, sideways, down? What parts of the world are best-represented on WT? What time period yields the most connections?

Faced with the task of connecting Profile X to the tree, where do you start? What tools does WikiTree offer that make the task easier? What "outside" tools do you turn to?

Specifically, any advice for connecting Hungarians like my father-in-law's cousin to the big tree?

asked in WikiTree Help by J Palotay G2G6 Mach 2 (21k points)
recategorized by Jillaine Smith
Aristocrats and the rich are usually pretty well represented.
I do hope eventually we will have enough Hungarians on the Tree that poor Bela Lugosi won't be lonesome without any kinfolks anymore.
In 1965, Albert Szent Gyorgyi married Susan June Wichterman, the daughter of Ralph Wichterman who was also a scientist at Woods Hole.  I adder her and some of her family which should give you a start on connecting him.  She was born 1940 so may still be alive, thus she is private. Wichterman-15.
Mark: it took a few months, but at some point in July while I was in China for a family wedding, Albert's third wife Susan got connected to the global tree (or to Queen Victoria, which comes to the same thing). I haven't gone through and looked at all the connections yet, so I don't know how "robust" the chain is, but Thank You! (I had nothing but Susan's name and birth year, and because she's still living I had never even bothered to look for her parents, so this is not a link I would ever have come up with.)
Thanks! I did the initial legwork, but you have to thank Jessica Key for the final connection. I see that she snuck in there incognito and made the final connections.  She is good at that.

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Key-2986
:) Shhhh Mark, I'm quietly gathering that genealogical karma so my brickwall ancestors will be revealed to me!

6 Answers

+4 votes
Are you connected?  If so, just add the connections to yourself.  I find siblings to be the best way to connect, but usually in the 1700s or 1800s.  Many of the profiles here are people of the United States, but other regions have a healthy number of profiles, such as Canada.  I am not the most experienced, though.
answered by Lucy Selvaggio-Diaz G2G6 Pilot (286k points)
See the first line of my question: no, I'm not connected. Nobody on my watchlist (only 50 people so far) is connected to anyone not on said watchlist. We're this little island of Hungarians. :-)
As the others say: find the emigrants.

I started in WikiTree already connected - there were two or three different connection paths through Swedish people who went to America. Later I entered a couple of sisters, smith's daughters, who married into near-nobility, since then my path to Queen Elizabeth goes without crossing the Atlantic.

The very first path I had branches off from an ancestor in the 1600s - that would have been pretty hard to predict. Then a couple of others branch off closer in time, like from cousins of my greatgrands.

I'm sure a lot of Hungarians emigrated - my ex-husband was a California boy with four grandparents who emigrated from Austro-Hungaria.

Actually, if I were you I'd browse for Americans with Hungarian Roots and see if any familiar names or places pop up at the tips of their branches. But perhaps you already thought of that.
+5 votes

My usual strategy is to move around the tree until I find someone from the USA who is missing relationships. I use my missing links tool to find which people still need relationships. Then I tend to work up and over. But there aren't any people from the USA attached to your tree. 

Maybe search for connected profiles on WikiTree that have the same surnames or locations as your relatives.

Sometimes checking Geni works. If you are logged in there is a connection finder. 

answered by Jamie Nelson G2G6 Pilot (194k points)
+7 votes
Has anyone from your family moved to Britain or USA or Canada? Especially during or after WW2?

 If yes then you need to get their profile onto wikitree and then find their spouses and/or children.

Sideways is best - siblings and cousins and all their spouses and children - especially if they come from Britain, USA, Canada or a west European country.

Also you are new to Wikitree. It is not at all uncommon for some countries (such as those from the former communist bloc) to take some time to be connected. You just need to be patient.

But I do know how you feel. I have a celebrity American whose tree I have been working on for well over 6 months and they are STILL NOT connected to the global tree. Their island is getting rather large as well.

If your spouse is american, and not of hungarian origin, then you might be able to connect through their family as well.

As to displaying your married name - if you want to connect through your spouse, you will have to display both their name and yours to get the connection. You do NOT have to add your children if you dont wish to.

I have added both myself and my spouse on wikitree. but I have NOT added my son - for his privacy and because he is still a minor.
answered by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (521k points)
edited by Robynne Lozier
My spouse is just as Hungarian in ancestry as I am. :-)

The emigrants on my side are my parents, so there's nobody there who can possibly connect. (I've entered my dad on WT, because he passed away six years ago, but my mother is still living, so her "profile" is an unlisted stub.) My dad's uncle actually came earlier, but he had no children, so again, total dead end for emigrant connections.

Hmm: there is one side-branch that emigrated early enough for US census records to actually be relevant, but the problem is that I know next to nothing about the husband. Maybe I'll pursue that angle a bit.

My spouse's side is similarly problematic for emigrant connections, because most of them are still living, and I ain't putting them online. (I've only put two of Albert's wives up, because the other two may still be alive.)
On the display of married name as well as maiden: if I do that, I may as well just put my full name up and my complete biography and let the identity thieves have at. There's nobody else on the planet with that exact combination of maiden and married name. Yes, it's possible for people to figure it out by connecting various things, but I'd rather not serve it up on a neon-lit platter.

I've put my spouse up, unlisted, so that my own view of "family tree and tools" has some utility, but our child will not be entered here or anywhere else, despite being the root cause of this hobby. (I realized shortly after giving birth that I couldn't teach our offspring the names of all the great-grandparents the way my parents had taught me mine, so I set out to remedy that situation.)
J: Doing a Google search for "J Palotay" produces about 25,900 results, including numerous 19th century arrivals to the US and several naturalization records. Chances are there are connections in there somewhere.

As to your child: If he or she should be in school, and particularly if he/she participates in any extracurricular activities, you'll probably find his/her name on the web already.
None of those 19c. Palotays have anything to do with me: my grandfather Hungarianized his name in 1935, and the only relatives with this surname are my immediate family.

I just checked: all web search results with my full maiden and surname are me. (It's cluttered by Google's "helpful" inclusion of things that only match a fragment of the name, despite all attempts at specifying exact matches only.) The only result on my child's name that's actually my child is my father-in-law's obituary, and it doesn't include a middle name. Schools have rather strict rules about not putting names online; heck, even the paper student directory is strictly opt-in and therefore incomplete.
I guess it is a balance between how much information you can provide and the chances to make a connection.
I went to work to connect "Lewis Carroll" pen name of the author of "Alice in Wonderland." I added more than 200 profiles to do it. I spent quite a bit of time in the Victorian period English Census. Much better birthplace info than US Census, FWIW.

I did not succeed in making a connection until I came across someone who emigrated to Canada.
+9 votes
I have several thousand Czechs and Germans from Bohemia connected to the tree solely through my marriage. It sometimes just takes time to reach critical mass from one particular country until a connection happens. I find One-Place-Studies and One-Name-Studies can contribute quite a bit to reach this critical mass.
answered by Helmut Jungschaffer G2G6 Pilot (446k points)
+1 vote
I've been working through 1000s of cemetery pix. I've connected most of them (not all, sadly.) I go by whatever I can find. You never know what is going to work! Sometimes I'll work a few days on the father's family, and then later find out the mother-in-law already had a profile, and it could have been finished in a matter of minutes.

You never know! Occasionally, I'll get excited about making a connection, only to find that I've only connected two unconnected bits.
answered by Elizabeth Winter G2G6 Mach 6 (65.7k points)
+2 votes

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

answered by Greg Slade G2G6 Pilot (203k points)
Thanks! That's exactly the sort of thing I was looking for but utterly failing to find. (Either I just don't have the knack of phrasing things right for the searches on WikiTree, or the search algorithms are particularly useless for all the things I've tried to find.)
Looking at Dr Albert Szent-Gyorgyi's page, I see you don't have his kids, I'd start there, add them in their spouses and go up with those spouses, connect them. Maybe start with Szent-Gyorgyi's daughter Ursula Rowan, named in the obit of her brother.

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QKWV-TQRV
Ursula is not Albert's daughter, and in any case she's still alive and I'm not putting her information online.

Albert's actual daughter was Nelli (Cornelia, like her mother), but her husband was English, and I have very little information about him. There's also a later wife's daughter Lola, but she's still living.

(Ursula and Gabor are/were Marta's children from her first marriage. Albert did not formally adopt them.)

Goes to show: don't trust an index. There are other errors in that GenealogyBank entry.

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