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100 Circles - more discussion

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 17 Dec 2020
Location: the global treemap
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These are discussions related to the project 100 Circles: A Geometry of The Tree.

Participants: Please initial and date your posts (or use the four tildes). Posts can be begun with an asterisk, or if they are replies to others' posts, they can be indented with the use of two asterisks. Alternatively, use the numbering method by following the existing format. Please select the relevant section for your post, or add a new heading if you are introducing a new subject. Finally, keep in mind that two people may be editing at once, which will cause problems, so for long posts you may wish to compose them off-line and paste them into this page.

Please note that this page is still under construction and the format may change as various ideas are tried.



The intent of this section is to make this page a central location for notifying project participants of useful updates to other pages in the 100 Circles series, thus reducing the need for e-mails.

The Outer Rim - Current

Current Outer Rim challenges. See also: The outer rim of the global tree and What shall we do with those Outer Rim branches? (G2G).

  • I have reworked the section about reconnections on the Outer Rim Page, reconstructing events. Hope I got it all. It does move fast. (Ekeblad-7 15:29, 20 December 2020 (UTC))
    • KJW, 20 Dec: Looks good. Thanks for reconstructing the whirlwind of connections, Eva!


I have hard time to follow-up myself. After two days off, I ran the magic query for Jean-Joseph yesterday night and find out that the furthest circles has moved a few degrees outward to Johann Georg Rohle and his wife. This new Outer Rim branch is made of new profiles (created Dec 17). I tried to run the magic query on Rohle-7 this morning but got a blank page. I'm afraid things are moving too fast for our modest task force to follow-up. We aim at a moving target indeed... Vatant-1 10:23, 22 December 2020 (UTC)
But it's fascinating! (It's alive :-) And yes, the magic query comes up blank when the profile is too freshly created. (Ekeblad-7 10:48, 22 December 2020 (UTC)) Addendum: I've never seen such a long horizontal connection path before!!
Maybe we should contact the PM to investigate how/why he got there.Vatant-1 13:09, 22 December 2020 (UTC)
Yes, do that (I think you are a better contacter). I have looked; the emigrants from the line were created last year, then the last few months a lot of families with inlaws within a certain timespan - not going a lot further back and not much forward in time. There has been a method to it. Should probably not be difficult to find another connection point by going forward. (Ekeblad-7 13:55, 22 December 2020 (UTC))
Just checked https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Largest_Unconnected_Branches to discover that this branch has been recently connected by N Gauthier, on Dec. 20. That means we need a better coordination with the Connectors project.(Vatant-1 00:13, 23 December 2020 (UTC))
I'm checking Ancestry and FamilySearch for Catholic records for folks in the nearest circles to Rohle-7. I have added a few children but nothing so far that looks like a connection. Lowe-866 20:40, 31 December 2020 (UTC)
I turned my attention to the circles around the DE->US immigrant Valentine Pfister and managed to shorten the chain by a step or two in the US. I think I'll turn back to the Württemberg Catholic records and hope for a marriage that will make a huge shortcut. Lowe-866 16:19, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
The diameter is currently 150 : Muhammad Zainul Abideen Zaidi is 150 Degrees from Johann Rohle. In the middle of this path the current center is William Curtis III (1592-1672), with no other furthest profiles than the ends of this path. Radius = 75. Round numbers, for once. And this William Curtis III belongs to the Great Puritan Migration. Too typical to be true :-) Vatant-1 20:17, 22 December 2020 (UTC)
No, no. The implausibly typical does happen now and then. I suppose we should not expect it to last. (Ekeblad-7 11:21, 23 December 2020 (UTC))
I managed to integrate these new events in the Outer Rim Page. Best way to find the three chunks of addition is to look from the Changes tab. (Ekeblad-7 12:08, 23 December 2020 (UTC))
The diameter is up to 157 from JG Rohle to Ali Imran Zaidi's father-in-law Khurshid Anwar Hamdani Lowe-866 16:20, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
February 2021 Update

When running the query during the past couple days, I noticed that distances to the outer rim have signficantly increased. For my focus profile, the maximum distance decreased from 95 (17 Nov 2020) to 89 (1 Feb 2021), only to increase to a value of 97 (6 Feb 2021). The figures have been similar for other profiles that I've checked. Does anyone have insights into the cause of the increase? Lavoie-802 6 Feb 2021 9:11 PM EST

This is linked to the work of Peter Pfister Sr. in the "Württemberg branch"; e.g., Joseph Held (abt.1830-). Furthest from Marie Stuart as of today are 13 profiles, all of them in that branch it seems, at distance 95. At the opposite side of the Württemberg branch is the Pakistanese outer rim branch with e.g., Faiz Ul Hasan (Khanum) Hamdani. Distance between those opposite branches is 171. Close to the middle of the path is Thomas Look (abt.1622-1675), a founder of Nantucket. He has an eccentricity of 86 (current radius) and a distribution of circles quite similar to our Focus Samuel Lothrop, so is central by two criteria : eccentricity and mean distance.Vatant-1 11:06, 7 February 2021 (UTC)


John the immigrant (Sedláček-155)
Karen found a Czech American line on Geni along the path to Tomáš Kratina. Tomáš and some Geni researchers have disproved John Sedlacek the immigrant's alleged parents from unsourced Geni, so those have been disconnected. A quick look at Newspapers.com for Sedlacek family newspaper records in Kolin, Louisiana, in John's late life did not turn up any leads on John's parents or hometown, so he has been set aside. We could get John's naturalization documents from Iowa (only the index card has been found) to find John's hometown and parents. John's family experienced discrimination in the Czech settlement of Kolin, Louisiana. His son Joseph was probably connected with an Indian school in South Dakota. Interesting stuff!
Karen is now casting about for other Czech paths to draw Tomáš closer. Lowe-866 02:13, 20 December 2020 (UTC)
I'm no longer looking at this area, so call me back if I can help. I don't know Czech research and was just mucking around on Geni. Lowe-866 22:21, 31 December 2020 (UTC)

The Outer Rim - Past

Each newly dethroned Lord (or group of Lords) of the Outer Rim is being placed at the top of this list. Thus by reading this section starting from the bottom one can see the evolution of the Outer Rim, which is in part due to the work of the 100 Circles participants. The history of the Outer Rim is also discussed here.


  • KJW, 1 Jan 2021: Update - As of New Year's Eve 2020, ha-Zaken, a Prague rabbi who died in 1539/40, was one of the three new Lords of the Rim alongside Johann Georg Rohle and his wife. Today Yehuda and most of his ancestors have been detached from the global tree as their linkages to Joseph ibn Naghrela at one end of a long agnatic line and the Maharal of Prague on the other were equally false.
That's the one who wasn't father of Bezalel Loew (Ekeblad-7 13:49, 31 December 2020 (UTC))
  • KJW, 19 Dec 2020: Solved. This proved to be a ghost based on a misreading of a tombstone in the Prague cemetery. The profile has now been merged into the real Bezalel Loew (father of the Maharal) who Eva mentioned below.
  • Bezalel Loew. No dates but is evidently Jewish and seems to hail from late sixteenth-century Prague.
    • Looks like the father of Rabbi Loew: Judah Loew ben Bezalel (Ekeblad-7 10:14, 19 December 2020 (UTC)) Although this is actually denied in the profile. (EE reading too fast again) There is another Bezalel Loew with a different father... This highlights a need to look into the claims of descent from the House of David
      • EE 20 Dec: This shortened path has now kicked in, with today's run of the connection script. I wonder when his false father, Yehuda (Zaken) ha-Zaken (-1540) will turn up.
      • KJW 20 Dec: Pretty soon, I suspect. He looks to be quite far out on the Rim.
        • Many thanks for sorting this out, Kelsey! Fun to see that we predicted his return and suspected false claims in the line, both of which turned out to happen. Now they should be pretty far from the edge of the galaxy for some time. (Ekeblad-7 08:56, 2 January 2021 (UTC))


KJW, 30 Dec 2020. These individuals are now, regrettably, detached from the global tree as there are conflicting accounts of the ancestry of Nawab Ghulam Muhammad Khan which seem at the moment unresolvable.

KJL, 6 Jan 2021: I see that Ali Imran's father-in-law Mr. Hamdani is now 157 steps from JG Rohle. The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding... (also KJs unite!)

A group of individuals at the edge of the Outer Rim, all lacking in dates or places:

  • Muhammad Zainul Abideen Zaidi. No geographical or chronological data.
  • Fatima Zahra Zaidi. Sister of the previous individual.
  • Masooma Zaidi. Father of the previous two.
  • Hassan Abbas Zaidi. Another member of this kinship group.
  • Shayan a Zainab Zaidi. Sister of the previous individual.
  • Iffat Zaidi. Father of the previous two.
    • Manager inactive since 2013. descent from the Prophet Muhammad - 44 generations without dates. Most profiles in the line are on green privacy (public, but we cannot edit). Profiles listed above are the immediate family of the manager.(Ekeblad-7 14:44, 19 December 2020 (UTC))
    • KJW, 19 Dec 2020: This will be a tricky one given the lack of editability and the fact that we seem to be working with a single, long agnatic descent from the Imam Hussain. Thoughts on how to proceed?
    • GL, 19 Dec 2020: John Atkinson has submitted the open profile request. Based on my experience, it shouldn't take long to get the releveant profiles opened.
    • EE, 20 Dec 2020: Yes, I also have good experiences of getting odd cases of greenlocks opened in bulk.
    • KJW, 27 Dec 2020: These profiles have now been opened down to Hashmat Ali Zaidi. Time to get to work!

Oudh (north India)

KJW, 19 Dec 2020: Safdar Jang has been brought in from the cold. He is 38-58 degrees from this week's featured profiles this morning.

  • KJW, 17 Dec 2020: I've done some preliminary work on our new Lord of the Rim. He is better known as Safdar Jang (1708-1754) and was nawab of Oudh in north India. We even have a contemporary portrait! Now that we've located him in space and time I'm much more optimistic that he can be looped back into the core of the tree.
  • KJW, 17 Dec 2020: One possible way to loop Safdar Jang would be through Shahzada Mirza Muhammad Sulaiman Shikoh Bahadur, a younger son of the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II. But are the Mughal emperors on WT?
  • KJW, 18 Dec 2020: I've identified two marriages of Safdar Jang's descendants with Anglo-Indians: Sahibzada Anjum Qadr with Kathleen David and Sahibzada Muhammad Yusuf 'Ali Mirza with a daughter of Havelock Martin. These are currently looking like promising bridges back to the main tree.
    • EE: Thumbs up, Kelsey!
  • KJW, 18 Dec 2020: After some work on my morning coffee break Safdar Jang should now be looped in via a rambling route through Calcutta to Huguenot lawyers on the Isle of Wight. We'll see what the new numbers are at the next update.


  1. BV: الشريف/ علي المغراوي الحسني  : What can be done for him?
    1. EE: Has not some contact been made? The profile has been edited and given a date. الشريف/ علي المغراوي الحسني
    2. BV: Indeed, I have contacted Abdul-Rahim Nizamani
      1. Exchange above on Dec 15.
  2. BV: As a clarification, our Arabic Outer Rim individual would appear to be the top of a traditional agnatic pedigree assigned to the eighteenth-century sheikh and muhaddith Ahmed Al-Malawi (1677-1767); Ahmed ibn Abd al-Fattah al-Malawi al-Azhari (1677-1767) The connection to the global tree then goes through his daughter Fatima (عائشة بنت أحمد الملوي المجيري الشافعي الأزهري) and her husband Muhammad Abu Hadi bin Ahmed Al-Gohary (c.1729-1801). These folk appear to have all lived in Egypt, but I'm struggling to find reliable documentation.
    1. Well ,documentation was found by Abdul-Rahim Nizamani, who also connected Al-Maghrawi to Muḥammad (بن عبدالله) ibn ‘Abd Allāh PBUH (abt.0570-0632). (Ekeblad-7 06:53, 18 December 2020 (UTC))

Missing person

What happened to Phillipp Wirtz? (EE 20 dec) (Note: Wirtz-25 was apparently one of the three points on the outer rim triangle around December 2-3, 2020. Bernard wrote of him in an e-mail regarding his triangulation method. - Kelts-7 18:30, 20 December 2020 (UTC))

Indeed! I thought profiles in WikiTree were never deleted? (BV, 20 Dec)
  • GL, 22 Dec 2020: Was he a living person? The profile could have been deleted if the profile was for a living person and the profile manager's account was closed
  • EE 23 Dec 2020: No, not a living person, although fairly recent. The account of the profile manager was already closed. The only thing I can think of is that somebody demanded deletion of the profile. Special:Delete
  • Mullins-2069 16:15, 4 January 2021 (UTC) If it helps, this was the branch I connected to the main tree in October. When I was making the connection, the profile manager's account was not closed at that time.
    • Mullins-2069 16:34, 4 January 2021 (UTC) Here is Wirtz-26 from the same gedcom import and previous profile manager. I'm assuming Wirtz-25 was considered living and removed when the account closed (or something like that). The missing profile has disconnected this Wirtz line from the Verkissen profiles I worked on.

First circles

See Current Foci on the 100 Circles page for a table showing the status of the current Focus Profiles.


  • I have taken a little break from adding profiles in Olof Andersson's first circles because I got interested in just exploring the circles for a bridge person. (Ekeblad-7 16:08, 18 December 2020 (UTC))


  • Carl Victor (Strid) Streed (1858-1924) is a profile I have noticed as a frequent bridge from Sweden to the anchors of the week since 2016. I am exploring his circles in a spreadsheet: here. Five circles done, working on the sixth; think I'll stop there. Now and then I look at the Circles tab in 50% zoom, just to see the shape of it. (Ekeblad-7 16:08, 18 December 2020 (UTC))


  1. EE 15 Dec: One would think that the bridges are profiles for people who moved from one context to another - as opposed to the proverbial farmer who married the neighbour's daughter, who was also his third cousin. In the Swedish network the very noticeable bridges are the emigrants, but a master smith's daughter who married into low nobility will also serve as bridge, without leaving Sweden.
    1. EE 15 Dec: About marrying close to home: "the proverbial farmer who married the neighbour's daughter, who was also his third cousin"
    2. BV: that's my grandparents
    3. EE: for me it's my great grandfather, he who moved out, became a school teacher and adopted a surname = Ekeblad. I don't know straight off how/if they were related, but he married a girl from home, from just across the fields, who was the little sister of the wife of an elder brother Pettersson who stayed at the farm.
    4. BV: (About bridges to nobility): Same in Breizh. See my ancestor Guillaume Jégou (1606-1669), le bâtard de Kervilio.
      He's in the 8th circle of Jean-Joseph.
      I'm pondering the idea of making him a new Focus. He'd be a good focus. I'd like to see more Foci/Focuses from the early modern period (16-18th centuries). I suspect we'd see different patterns for circles radiating out from then as opposed to the 19th century.
      1. EE: You can always explore profiles you find interesting by the magical query - it's not necessary to give them the "full treatment"
    5. GL: Guillaume Jégou has some interesting potential connection pathways. I see Barrin in the connections-I'm thinking that could be connected to Barrin-2
      Barrrin-2 connects fairly closely to the New France population, through a Bégon/Rocbert marriage 2 and 3 degrees away. He's currently 12 degrees away from Mars-121. I've been trying to get Marie a bit closer to the Barrin/Bégon/Beauharnois set of families, so far without success
  2. EE 15 Dec: We don't have anything like a formal definition of a bridge - we just notice that some connection paths appear very frequently when for example checking the anchors of the week. I have marked some of mine with a blue bridge image as primary photo which makes them stand out nicely in the connection finder - it limits the method to (mostly) profiles where I am the PM. Addition 18 Dec: this loose definition of a bridge is what I used here: Bridges from Sweden
    1. BV: There is a formal definition in terms of graph connectivity. It's called a cut set.
      Cut set (Wikipedia)
    2. EE (reading too quickly): So what I/we have been calling a bridge is usually not correct by the strict definition of a bridge.
      It's not all that often that excluding a single node will disconnect a subgraph.
    3. BV: A cut set is a set, that is in general more than one node.
    4. EE:OK, so what I have called a bridge is "actually" one of the nodes in a cut set.

A spinoff into paths from Italy to Sweden to Austro-Hungaria

  1. 15-16 Dec- EE: It (cutting a path by disconnecting a single node) could be done somewhere on Ali's one-liner graph; it could also be done where a connection has been found "artificially" through one long thin line, like I did with Gaetano Jaconelli. Connection of Gaetano Jaconelli. There is only one profile in each of his circles 4 and 5; I haven't written that into the page yet, but I should.
    1. KJW 15 Dec: Interesting that you also came across the rather strange dump of unconnected Italians in Sweden. I managed to connect one of these last year (actually from a Dalmatian family, if I recall correctly).
    2. EE: Margarita Valeria Dragoila Aloysia Vranyczany de Dobrinoviç (1878-1969)
    3. KJW: That's the one - thanks!
    4. EE:I got to know the content of that category fairly well - and that was one family I could never have done much with.
    5. KJW: I started working on it because I thought it would be quite easy, but the link to the main tree proved to be a long "telephone pole" connection through various families of minor Austro-Hungarian nobility (a group which isn't very well covered on WT at the moment).
    6. EE: Better a telephone pole than nothing at all!

Bridges in New France

Bridges from Jean-Joseph Vatant to Marie Stuart

I checked today the paths from Jean-Joseph Vatant to Mary Stuart, striking each time the 10th step. All "bridges" listed below are in the 10th circle of Jean-Joseph, which contains only 169 people as of today.

20 degrees through Jégou-36 (shortest path). Note that this path goes through only French profiles to the very mother of Marie Stuart.

Then striking Jégou-36 ...

25 degrees through Durant_de_Mareuil-2
28 degrees through Dampierre-36
30 degrees through Robillard-586
30 degrees through Saint_Jalmes-1
32 degrees through Pardieu-3
34 degrees through Ollone-16
36 degrees through Ollone-15
38 degrees through Salaun-5
38 degrees through Kervella-10
40 degrees through Jégou-26
42 degrees through Lesmais-4
45 degrees through Gondrecourt-1
45 degrees through Menez-1
48 degrees through Le_Goff-32
54 degrees through Dréo-4

Striking Dréo-4 no more connection.

Not sure what to do with that ... Vatant-1 20:11, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

Questions and suggestions


  • GL, 20 Dec 2020: Are we planning to have periodic G2G posts regarding outer rims and other 100 Circles posts? Starting another G2G post like this one once a month or quarter will help generate further interest from others.
  • JK, 20 Dec 2020: The list of previous 100 Circles G2G discussions, along with a few others that might be of interest, is here.

PPP Focus Profile

  • GL, 22 Dec 2020: I think it would be interesting to add Brigham Young as a PPP Focus profile. Due to his many marriages and children, he appears to have one of the lowest mean distances in the global tree, comparable to Samuel Lothrop (table below for comparison).
  • See Approximating the Center of the Global Tree space page. I thought it would be nice to have the tables for these reference profiles showing the development over time (for some time). (Ekeblad-7 09:29, 7 January 2021 (UTC)) This page is obsolete. (Ekeblad-7 10:40, 16 March 2021 (UTC))
  • I forgot that I had been working on these profiles on that page two months ago and started a new page: Closer - closer - Closest. Brigham Young (1801-1877) will probably overtake Samuel Lothrop Esq (1622-1700) any day now in the race for shortest mean distance. They are both very well situated in the Global Tree, but for Young there seems to be more ongoing work on adding related persons to the tree. Included on the page are two other LDS pioneers, who are also in the linked spreadsheet. Development over time is probably best kept to the spreadsheet.
    I also picked up Elizabeth (Tilley) Howland (bef.1607-1687), whose circles I had sampled in Thanksgiving week. There is not so much text in that section (yet) but there is a separate spreadsheet for Elizabeth and her children (husband added as an afterthought) It turned out that all of her children had shorter mean distances than their mother.(Ekeblad-7 10:40, 16 March 2021 (UTC))
Focus ID C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C10 C15 C20 PeakMeanupdate
Lothrop-29 27 202 954 3,996 15,397590,422 1,867,496 1,113,932 1517.5 2020-12-04
Young-93 124 457 1,293 3,665 10,353 533,992 1,974,495 1,176,986 1517.6 2020-12-21

New Focus? Victor Segalen

BV 9 Jan 2021: I'm very much tempted to start a new Focus, my fourth cousin twice removed Victor Segalen, for two complementary reasons.

  • Completion of Jean-Joseph's circles is at risk of becoming a bit tedious, if only by the sheer number of profiles, most of them unlikely to create new connections with "the center" in my lifetime. I was hoping to get some help from my cousins, some of them have joined WikiTree but their action so far is just to congratulate me for the job done, and add to the to-do list by discovering yet new relatives :-)
  • Victor Segalen was a fascinating writer, traveler, and proto-geopoetician, as Kenneth White calls him in this page. In other words, someone of whom life has been dedicated, through travel and writing, to connect the world, and singularly the extreme-occidental (celtic) and extreme-oriental (chinese) poetic views of the world. Moreover, Santa Claus had the rich idea to drop in my slippers the brand new edition of his works in the prestigious "la Pléiade" edition, helping me to "focus" ...

I had connected Victor's profile very soon after joining WT, in April 2019, but not worked much around it since. I'm back to it those days, have contacted a couple of his descendants and close cousins (closer than me, that is). His first circles are not much populated (small families) but branch towards several interesting directions.

  • Exploring branches in interesting directions sounds like a more rewarding strategy for shortening those "long winding paths" than filling circle by circle. One can, of course do a little bit of each. (Ekeblad-7 20:04, 10 January 2021 (UTC))

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Did you notice Bernard's new idea for tackling the circles of Focus Profile JJ Vatant?

It's on https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Paule%2C_An_XII_de_la_R%C3%A9publique - and the first part is an exploration of the 26 children born the same year in the same village as Vatant-5 to see how they are connected to the focus. They should be in his close circles, since there was a lot of endogamy.

I looked at the page when it was added as a See Also to the 100 Circles page - and was immediately inspired to do something similar with the 36 children born in the same year and parish as my focus, Olof, who also has a lot of endogamy in his circles. (The villages were just too small to pick a single village.) One thing I notice is that with the forest farmer families, I usually don't need to add all that many new profiles to connect a child. The smith families are a different matter. These were craftsmen in the iron production, on the verge of industry. These families moved from one foundry/hammer to another quite frequently and mostly intermarried with other smith families, with just a bit of intermingling with the "locals".

I just today moved what I had been working on into https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Olof_Andersson_in_the_global_tree

posted by Eva Ekeblad
Excellent, Eva!

The work on Paule, An XII de la République might attract the attention of the local and very active Centre Généalogique et Historique du Poher. My cousin Youen Kervella has loved the idea, and will promote it through his local contacts and relatives, more easily than me, living at the other end of France.

posted by Bernard Vatant
Answering Karen about "our universe is expanding".

Actually, it's not. Comparing circles distribution at different dates for different profiles, the global trend which seems to emerge is as following.

- The global population of "distant circles" (over 60) is slowly but steadily shrinking. - The greatest growth is happening in the already most populated circles. - The mean distance is steadily but very slowly also shrinking.

The Tree is growing in numbers, but not in size as measured by distances. It's getting more and more connected and more and more compact.

What we observe at the Outer Rim are chaotic movements of branches still loosely connected to the main tree. The work to reconnect them has a significant impact on the population of "distant circles", and certainly a very small one on global indicators (mean distance, growth distribution) for which the "background noise" of global WikiTree activity is the main factor.

posted by Bernard Vatant
Okay - I'm going to tackle the new Zaidi line this morning. We'll see where that puts us. . . .
This branch of the Sayyids checks out, unlike the first one. Or, at any rate, it matches with the oral genealogies recorded in the nineteenth century (for what that's worth) so we can't just lop it off the main tree and call it a day but will have to find some more ingenious linkage to bring it closer.
I see that Ali Imran's father-in-law Mr. Hamdani is now 157 steps from JG Rohle. The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding... (also KJs unite!) I was hoping to see that I'd tied a knot or two in the Württemberg branch, and I do see his path to Mr. Hamdani going through some of my edits, so that's something!
posted by Karen Lowe
edited by Karen Lowe
Glad to hear it checks out - even if that means we have a long line.

The PM was so happy to get his line connected.

posted by Eva Ekeblad
Picking up on Greg's suggestion of Brigham Young as an auxiliary focus - and also to highlight the quest for Centers - I have created yet another Space page Approximating the Center of the Global Tree, so far featuring three profiles with among the lowest mean distances (found by trial and error) and one of the least eccentric profiles (found by triangulation of Rim Lords).

There are linked spreadsheets (read only - but I think you can take down your own copy if you want to work on them).

posted by Eva Ekeblad
Happy New Year to all, to begin with.

I've been quite off this discussion lately, too busy with real family life. Coming back to it, I must say I feel a bit like I've opened a Pandora's Box, sort of. When I started the original page about Jean-Joseph circles, my idea was to set a new perspective on The Tree, leveraging tools allowing to assess distribution of distances (the magic query). Like Greg, I thought that maybe this research would help to bring the chosen Focus closer to the bulk of the tree, find new shortcuts (bridges) etc. Then I (we?) indeed got carried away towards this periphery and center fascinating questions. The neat result is that while we were playing with those, my work on Jean-Joseph's circles has almost completely stalled. I am about the only one to contribute to his circles up to the 15th. So I have to figure on what to focus from now on ...

posted by Bernard Vatant
Yes, Happy New Year to all. I'll post my thoughts on "what's the point" here, since responding to a long thread of comments does not always work well.

When I joined this project, my goal was to explore the circles of my focus profile, my second great grandmother Adaline Carlton. Referring to Bernard's "We have those circles, so what?" discussion on the 100 Circles page, I envisioned my work as an exploration of how my ancestor's connections branched out into the global tree over time. Later I realized it wasn't just over time, but that the lateral expansion, i.e. relatives of relatives during the same time period, might be more extensive. As the project developed, I could see that some of us were finding other things of interest--new focus profiles, long tails, the outer rim, etc. In particular, Eva created some charming free-space pages. That all seemed perfectly reasonable. After all, isn't genealogy a hobby? Shouldn't we all go in whatever directions we choose? And after all, there is no deadline.

A benefit of our work which I did not necessarily expect when we began is that we do seem to be making real improvements to WikiTree's global tree.

And just as a personal update--I am rather a laggard by comparison to many of you, but I am still plugging away at Adaline's second circle. One of these days I'll have it finished and update the table!

posted by [Living Kelts]
Happy new year! Yes, I've likewise become rather distracted by the periphery-centre question rather than working on my initial circles, though as Julie says there's something nice about having the freedom to allow our attention to wander and our goals to shift in the process of the project . . . .
Happy New Year, Bernard and all!

It is probably very obvious that I don't have a lot of family life to distract me - but I can reassure you that I had a very nice (outdoors) brunch with my children and grandchildren on Christmas Eve, and got some nice presents.

As for circles work bringing the Focus Profile closer to the Mountain, I think it depends on where you are - for JJ Vatant one would think there should be a good chance of finding new shortcuts.

I also like the observation made by comparing the results of the magic query for one person over time, that as profiles are added to the global tree, ALL connected profiles get closer, little by little (which would happen even it I did nothing, myself).

The circles work, with all its distractions, has certainly given me new insights about the Global Tree - and I agree with Julie that we are contributing to its improvement.

posted by Eva Ekeblad
I've just run the query on Rohle-7 and see that he has no less than *76* counterweights in the 150th degree! Their IDs are 28831261,28831317,28831437,28831511,28835460,28835484,28836211,28836221,28836228,28846112,28846146,28846156,28846174,28846182,28846213,28846235,28846457,28846466,28846486,28846497,28846510,28846523,28848658,28848708,28848761,28848815,28848891,28848926,28849092,28849159,28849244,28849255,28849289,28849306,28849342,28849356,28910983,28910995,28911016,28911029,28911047,28911057,28911064,28911070,28911076,28911083,28911091,28911099,28911117,28911134,28911171,28911189,28911809,28911823,28914934,28915001,28915021,28915063,28915105,28915153,28915328,28923173,28923188,28923210,28923217,28923309,28923606,28923623,28923814,28923834,28925610,28926342,28926447,28926482,28935391,28935409.
It's the same 75 Spaniards. I checked number against number in a spreadsheet. And I still count 75.

At 76 and 77 in the path from one of them to JG Röhle we find a brother and sister in 17th century Massachusetts: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Capen-45 and https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Capen-32


posted by Eva Ekeblad
I'm new to contemplating the middle. I see this midpoint of Capen-32 is a woman of Colonial Massachusetts less than 20 degrees from the North American celebrities of the week. So she is well connected. Does that mean this midpoint woman is not a target for further research, as adding connections for her is unlikely to pull in the ends from Spain and Württemburg? So we just point that out to say that, yes, these two endpoints are on two long branches from the center?
posted by Karen Lowe
As I see it it's actually the middle - or the center - we're after. There is just no good (=computationally cheap) method of getting straight to it. So we are exploring the "diameter" of the pile of circles (the tail of the distribution curve) and looking for the center halfway between the most distant and the secondmost distant. For a long time that center was shifting about somewhere in medieval Europe; it has lately been sliding towards early immigrants to America.

Somehow the center gets less attention, because it is so easy to get caught up in the mysteries of those very long paths. I have found it interesting to see the differences in WHY those paths are so long - like the long patrilineal lines in Asia going very far back in time versus the European countries that don't have all that full coverage in WikiTree, so that we have branched-out family trees, but with a bottleneck connection to the main tree. I'm still amazed at those 75 Spaniards all lined up at the same distance.

Since this thread is turning towards "what's the point", I'd like to mention that one of the things I'm working on (slowly and haphazardly) is to get Sweden a little better connected internally. It always irks me when my connection to a Swedish profile goes by way of America, so I have one small project adding kin of an uncle who came from a different part than the bulk of my ancestors. And while the circles of my Focus Profile get a bit boring by how close to home most of the people stayed, even very close to the present, I happily chase back to the ancestry from elsewhere in Sweden, when somebody married someone who came from 150 kilometers away. Yesterday I hit upon a whole, previously unconnected, cluster who had moved in yet another direction.

posted by Eva Ekeblad
I do the same thing! Each week when I have time, I examine the chains between myself and the featured profiles to look for shortcuts or faulty connections. I focus on the longer paths, so I wind up adding French or Dutch or German folks sometimes. Before I found you folks this was how I scratched my itch to connect. Sometimes I do this for the member of the week if I'm already close to everyone.
posted by Karen Lowe
I decided to investigate the path to JG Rohle much closer to the center and connected Martha Mae Rankin to her grandfather Anthony Rankin. Let's see what that does, as Anthony is several degrees closer to some of the featured profiles.
posted by Karen Lowe
I'd like to briefly mention my perspective on the point of the project. When I joined 100 Circles, I imagined that we'd each pick a focus profile, and work to add connection pathways to reduce the mean distance to the focus. For reference, we might refer to the foci of other members or to a couple well-connected project managed profiles. We are officially tracking project managed profiles Lothrop-29 and Stewart-6849. I had also mentioned tracking Young-93 above, which didn't receive a response.

I was surprised to see the amount of attention that outer rim profiles have received, as well as the idea of completing inner circles around focus profiles. I have found the conversations regarding the outer rim interesting, so I'll try to continue to follow the conversation even if I will likely leave working on those profiles to other project members.

posted by Greg Lavoie
edited by Greg Lavoie
OK. Separating my reply to Karen from the one to Greg didn't work as well as I thought.

Greg: I had planned to respond to you about Brigham Young, who is a very interesting complement to Lothrop; actually very interesting overall, circlewise, because of his extremely populous first circle. I was surprised to see that there seems still to be work to do on some of the descendant lines, even though he did not live all that far in the past. The thing is, I'm not sure what we are doing with the PPPed focus profiles. They may deserve more attention than they are currently getting.

MY understanding of the purpose when we started was to fill out the circles for my chosen profile and follow the development from week to week. I was never optimistic about this being a path towards drasticallly reducing his mean distance to other profiles. Which has so far been borne out by the fact that most of his close circles are "more of the same". Looking at some of the "bridges" in my tree reinforced my sense that getting my Focus profile closer to the "center" would involve work on the American side of the bridges, where I'm hampered by paths through private profiles.

I did notice that you had a different idea = working on connection paths for your focus rather than on circle filling. With my idea about (sense of the need for) better internal paths between the various Swedish clusters I'm moving in that direction. Hoping I'm not spreading myself too thin.

As for the Outer Rim. Yes it gets a lot of attention; possibly more than it deserves. Partly because of the drama - fast events, puzzling branch structures etc. And partly because of Bernard's idea about looking for the center in the form of the least eccentricity. (I HAVE asked if this isn't letting the tail wag the dog). Also, work on shortening these long paths takes coordinated efforts from people with competence in different areas, and so generates more communication than the solitary filling out of circles around a Focus profile.

posted by Eva Ekeblad
Sorry again. Still figuring out where replies go.

Edit: The system isn't all that elegant, but I think I'm starting to get it.

posted by Eva Ekeblad
edited by Eva Ekeblad
I think asking "what's the point" is always useful with a rapidly-developing, complex project like this one. I had originally imagined that I would be spending more time on the proximate circles of my focus, using the project as a way of knitting together and improving the coverage of Baltic-Germans on WT. In practice, while I've made some progress towards that, I've spent at least as much time chasing the outer rim and thinking far more globally about WT than I had before. Eva's probably right that the rim gets more attention than it really deserves, but I find the challenges it presents appealing as well as the demands it makes on researchers in terms of understanding vastly different document sets.
Sounds like a good idea, Karen.
posted by Eva Ekeblad
Sorry, I'm just trying this reply button again to see where the reply ends up. Hoping it will save me some confusion in the future. A comment like this may be OK for deleting.
posted by Eva Ekeblad
Eva, this will be my test. I'm replying to you, but Karen has already replied to you...

Update: So my post goes to the bottom of the list, but you can see from the differing indentations what the reply relates to.

posted by [Living Kelts]
edited by [Living Kelts]
I have been looking a little more at the 75 Spaniards, even though they will currently be in the third or fourth rank of longest distance.

I first ran the magic query on one of them, Miguel Bujanda. The diagram of the circles of his inroad to the tree is interesting: first a little hill, then a valley, another bigger hill and then a second valley before the climb to the mountain. They will all have the same shape.

Then I went through and looked up all of them. It's a very neat ancestor tree for the grandfather of the PM (up to seventh grandparents of the PM); all created in order. ONE couple in the 7gg-parents did not appear in the list of 75. This is (naturally) because they are one step closer to the Center, because the path out is from a spouse of a descendant, who links into this other, bigger tree (if I remember correctly). The third tab is the query on a bottleneck profile in the second valley.


posted by Eva Ekeblad
Say, how does one run the magic query? I wonder if I have nibbled away at Rohle-7's distance at all. I've been tinkering with the DE->US immigrant Valentine Pfister.

If it's a big hit on the server I don't mind waiting until the next person needs to check.

posted by Karen Lowe
edited by Karen Lowe
I'll answer privately, Karen.

Oops, that was less than 30 characters :-P

posted by Eva Ekeblad