Connectors Monthly - August 2019

+12 votes

Here is some information for people interested in the Connectors Project.

Connection Status:

Connected, Unconnected, and Unlinked Profiles - August 2019

As August 1, 2019, 3,808,410 out of 21,027,338 profiles (18.1%) on WikiTree were not connected to the main tree. (Or, to put it another way, 81.6% of profiles on WikiTree were connected to the main tree.)

Connection Trend:

Connection Trend - August 2019

The percentage of connected profiles is up from 74.30% in March, 2016. And, in fact, that percentage has increased at least slightly every single month in all that time, so that's a tribute to the dedication of all connectors.

Unconnected IconWhether you have asked for the Connectors badge or not, if you've connected even one unconnected profile to the main tree, you should pat yourself on the back. (However, if you do ask for a Connectors badge, you will be able to see at a glance whether a profile is connected to the main tree, without having to scroll to the bottom of the page to see whether the connection box is there or not. See Chris' announcement about that for more details.)

Of the 3,808,410 unconnected profiles, 1,050,866 profiles (5.0%) had no links to any other profiles at all: no parents, spouses, siblings, or children.

Unlinked profiles happen for a number of reasons:

  • Some of them are for people who joined WikiTree and put up their own profiles, but chose not to build out their family trees for whatever reason.
  • Some of them are profiles that people have created for Notables, but haven't gone on to add any of those Notables' family members. Many of the profiles in the "Bronze" and "Silver" sections of the Notables List page are in that situation, and need to be connected to the main tree before they can move to the "Gold" section.
  • Some of them are leftovers from GEDCOM uploads which somehow got unlinked during the upload process. The Lost and Found Project was started to try to identify, source, link, and finally connect those unlinked profiles.
in The Tree House by Greg Slade G2G6 Pilot (431k points)

Unconnected Branches:

The top ten unconnected branches on the Connectors Chat page this month are:

Number Linking Profile Branch Size Location
1 Geok Kim-1 3,628 China, Malaysia?
2 Granda-20 1,889 Austria
3 Szczęsny-3 1,117 Poland
4 Nizamani-138 921 Pakistan
5 Kahana-1 895 Hungary, Romania
6 Coelho-167 871 Portugal, Brazil, Germany
7 Górski-224 849 Austria
8 Morda-16 832 Italy
9 Dietrich-1383 791 France, Germany, Switzerland
10 Fuk-12 695 Poland

As you can see, unconnected branches can be from anywhere. The Let others know what locations you are working on page now lists unconnected branches from 38 countries (and 52 states, territories, and the District of Columbia in the United States). You may also notice that a number of profiles which had been in the top 50 list for years have finally been connected, either during or since last month's Connect-A-Thon.


The Connect-A-Thon was the big news for connectors this quarter. The percent connected jumped as much in July as it normally moves in two, and we are now closing in on 82% connected. Also, while there was an increase in the absolute number of unconnected profiles on WikiTree, it was the smallest increase since June 2018.

Where to Find Profiles to Connect:

See the Places to find unconnected profiles page, with links to a number of places where you can find unconnected branches or notables, including all the "Can you help connect...?" threads in G2G which haven't been completed yet.

How to Connect Unconnected Branches:

There are a number of Hints and Tips near the bottom of the Connectors Chat page.

How To Connect To The Connectors Project:

  • The first place to look is always the Connectors Project Page 
  • You can also check out the Connectors Chat page and its sub-pages. There is content on each page, but also pay attention to the chat running down the right side of each page. Those chats (plus G2G) are our primary ways of communicating within the project.
  • If you haven't already used up all your G2G tags, make sure you add the CONNECTORS tag to the tags you follow in G2G, so that any threads with that tag will show up in your G2G Discussion Feed.

Previous Issues:

Improvement in Rate of Connected Profiles - August 2019This month, I have added a new measure: the rate at which the percent of profiles on WikiTree which are connected to the main tree increases each month. I figured that separating out the rate of improvement from the overall percent connected would make variations more visible, and that certainly turned out to be the case. The rate at which the percentage has increased each month has varied between 0.04% (in April 2018) and 0.36% (in January 2018). That's quite a difference, with the record high rate being 9 times higher than the record low rate.

Overall, the average rate of increase is 0.19% per month. The rate of increase last month was 0.23%, or 0.04% above average. I had been misled by the previous three months having increases of about 0.10% into thinking that last month's increase was about double the average rate, but taking a long-term view, while it was above average, it wasn't double the average.

Thanks again for this Greg! I love seeing these stats, and how our project continues to improve our global tree!
Just trying to live up to the goals of the project, fearless leader!
Always so great to see these graphs. Makes you wonder what happened in those three peak months?  I suppose it could be the upload of a large number of connected profiles, or the connection of a large unconnected branch.

I wonder what a trend line of total number of unconnected profiles would look like.  Just trying to think of a way to separate out creation (connected tree growth) v. connection of unconnected profiles?

For spikes like that, I would expect the connection of multiple large unconnected branches, or a bunch of smaller ones. But that's the problem with doing analysis like this, we can see the effects, but can only guess at the causes.

Unfortunately, the total number of unconnected branches is an almost uninterrupted upward trend. We did manage to beat down the total number once (in June 2018), but most months, it goes up, at least a little.

Unconnected Profiles - August 2019The reason that the percent connected keeps rising is mostly due to new connected profiles being added (or existing profiles being connected) much faster than new unconnected profiles are being added.

Connection Changes - August 2019

Thank you for putting these together!!!  Its interesting to see the raw numbers.  I often forget that we're talking about millions of profiles.

Ideally I think you'd have two teams working on both ends, one working on the oldest created unconnected, and then one working on the newly created.  Although, you don't necessarily want to jump on people who are just adding a tree and working their way back. It would be nice to find a way to set a target to try and flatten out the unconnected trend (or maybe keep it under 4 million).  But that may be totally unrealistic.

I wonder if encouraging people to start by finding their connection point at the top of the tree and work down to themselves (the way connectors do) might also help.  I often see little pods where it looks like people started, and then just didn't continue with wikitree.

Most people that I know either work on whichever unconnected branch is largest (to try to bring down the number of unconnected profiles as quickly as possible), or unconnected branches in a particular place (because they have access to sources for that place). Some people work on unconnected branches which contain last names that are in their own family tree, in case those unconnected profiles are related to them. Other people are very much into those challenges to connect various kinds of notables.

Personally, I don't much care which strategy people choose, as long as branches get connected. wink

I do believe that it's possible to drive the absolute number of unconnected profiles down. We've already done it once, and come pretty close a few other times. I've been kind of hoping that the Connect-A-Thon would give more people the connecting "bug", so we can start pushing that number in the right direction on a more regular basis. (Although right now, I'm moving it the wrong way: I'm trying to connect a former Commissioner of Yukon, and so far I've just been making his unconnected branch even bigger... sad)

2 Answers

+6 votes
Thanks for all your hard work.  I believe you will continue to see benefits from the Connect-A-Thon in the coming months.  In my particular case, my unconnected profiles went from less than 100 to over 400 due to the Connect-A-Thon.  I am still continuing to clear this up.  I am now at a  point where many small trees are now connected but still missing the big connection.  That's what happens when you work on a regional study instead of a family study.
by Gurney Thompson G2G6 Pilot (187k points)
+5 votes
Superior work on the stats and the visuals, Greg!
by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (2.1m points)

A big shout out to Carol for keeping the stats. (I always forget to check the numbers at the beginning of the month. She is super reliable.)

Also to Aleš, for his reports, and of course Chris, for the total numbers and unconnected numbers we rely on.

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