What exactly is the "Big Tree"

+8 votes
I keep seeing references to the "Big tree"  Lots of times I've hooked up with another family but is that the BIG TREE or just more fragments.  Is there someplace to go see THE BIG TREE.  How do I know if I'm part of the BIG TREE or just a BIG BRANCH.
in The Tree House by Joelle Colville-Hanson G2G6 Pilot (132k points)
You can tell if you are connected to the "Big Tree" by scrolling to the bottom of your profile page. There you will see various people that you are connected to. Those connections indicate that you are part of the "Big Tree."
Is that the how many degrees thingy?
Yep, that's the how many degrees thingy. Calculates how you are related to selected individuals in the Big Tree.
I understand the wikitree concept.  It's just people are talking about the big tree  like it was some magical goal and I'm still not clear if it's something different than just connecting up with other branches.
I tell you what, when I connect my fathers side with my mother's side, then I'll feel like I've done some connecting.
It means connecting to the largest cluster of branches. There are still many unconnected profiles out there, from individuals, to small twigs and branches. We work to get them all connected to that largest cluster, the Big Tree.

"...when I connect my fathers side with my mother's side, then I'll feel like I've done some connecting."

Lol! That actually happened to me. My wife has a first cousin (once removed) on her mother's side and the cousin is directly related to me on my father's side. This cousin (who we didn't know) discovered it by looking at my tree as well as my wife's tree while she was browsing. She then contacted me with her observation. So that makes our son the person who actually shares her (both sides) as a blood relative. What's interesting is that this cousin's parents weren't from the same town. Her parents came from small towns that were 500 miles apart! It was just a fluke that they met each other when their paths crossed at a function they both attended.

3 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer
Think of the "tree" as a jigsaw puzzle. We've all done jigsaw puzzles as kids, right? Spreading out all the pieces on the kitchen table for weeks at a time. We know all the pieces will fit together eventually, but we just don't know how exactly, yet.

Often when working on a large jigsaw puzzle, we'll have several small clumps of connected pieces and several larger clumps of connected pieces, and usually one very large overall mass or framework of connected pieces.

That largest mass of connected pieces is the "big tree".
by Dennis Wheeler G2G6 Pilot (540k points)
selected by Joelle Colville-Hanson
Thank you - that's the image I needed to understand what people were talking about.

I guess I got hooked up so early on the tree the way some people talk about it I thought it was harder than it seemed to get on the tree.

Joelle, you’re learning WikiTree Latin. Big Tree, One Tree, Main Tree, Single Tree....

...and you are connected!

+10 votes
I believe the Big Tree refers to the universal family tree, since we are all connected. Each of our families are a Big Branch or section of branches on the big tree. Wikitree is working on getting as much research in one place as possible to create one Big Tree.
by Jourdi Cleghorn G2G6 Mach 2 (29.7k points)
+12 votes

The big tree is also the one tree and other names. It refers to the main tree that everyone tries to get connected to. You can see which of your profiles are not connected to the tree and are just fragments by looking at the Unconnected people entry under the Find pull down menu at the top right of your screen. New profiles are added to the list every morning so someone new might not show up. Also, if you haven't linked to any existing people you won't be connected. 

You will notice when you add people that a list of possible matches shows up. If there is a match, you need to use that person and not create a new one. Then you get connected to the main tree. 

I hope this clarifies things a bit.

by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (462k points)
I guess I still don't see how you know if you are part of  the one tree or just a really big fragment.

As was mentioned above, if you are "connected" to one of the known people, you are connected to the tree. At the bottom of my personal profile it says:

Doug is 30 degrees from George Harrison24 degrees from Bonnie Saunders and  22 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree.

That means you can get from me to one of those people through a variety of marriage, parents, siblings, inlaws  etc.  If there isn't a statement like this, you aren't connected to the tree yet. The more you add, the more like you are to find someone who is already in the tree and you will get connected.

I just looked at your profile and it says:

Joelle is 29 degrees from George Harrison23 degrees from Bonnie Saunders and  20 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree

so you are connected to the main tree. 

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