La Belle Époque

Privacy Level: Open (White)

Surname/tag: Connect_1900
This page has been accessed 1,163 times.

The goal of this project is to connect profiles of people who were alive in or about year 1900, à la Belle Époque .

Preliminary discussion on G2G : Connectors, let's focus on 1900!



Let's start by this obvious fact, all of us have ancestors who lived through the year 1900, aware or not that it was la Belle Époque. The name and concept are very European, not to say très Français or even très Parisien. Its time span is usually set between two tragic episodes, la Commune de Paris in 1871, and outbreak of WW1 in 1914, with the year 1900 being considered as the apex. It was a time of awesome achievements in arts, science and technology.

This epoch was of course lived in various ways in various places all over the world, and most people did not see its bright side, far from it. In Europe misery was still widespread in both towns and countryside. Huge colonial empires were depriving a great part of mankind of basic human rights.

Many of us WikiTreers are old and lucky enough to have known their grandparents born in the 1880s, and even maybe some of the previous generation. 1900 is at the fringe of our living family memories and History. The diversity of origins among us should allow to shed light on all facets of this epoch, from the brightest to the darkest ones, from its most famous dwellers to the most obscure.

People with dates 18** - 19** already represent a fairly high proportion of all WikiTree profiles, and around 30% of connected ones. That comes as no surprise, since they are easier than more ancient profiles to identify, source, document, either by family or public sources. All of them are now dead, and most of them from long enough to be beyond privacy concerns.

The following plot shows the breakdown of connected profiles by ten-year period, from 1850s to 1950s, based on WikiTree+ data retrieved in Januray 2023. The figure for each period is the number of people found alive in the period, based on their birth and death dates. The same profile is therefore be counted in all periods she was alive, and people with only a birth or death date are not counted. Nevertheless, it shows that the most connected epoch in Wikitree is currently centered around 1900-1910.

Connecting more 1900 profiles is augmenting the odds for WikiTree newcomers to quickly stumble on one of them, and have their family branch connected right away, without having to track back centuries ago more and more dubious ascendants.

There is room for work! Connected WikiTree 1900 profiles are currently less than 10 million, and the world population in 1900 was over one billion ...

How to participate

All formal Connectors are of course de facto involved, even if they ignore this specific project! In the course of their work, they have certainly connected a lot of 1900 profiles without according a particular attention to it. For them as for anyone else, there are many ways to get involved. The following list is indicative and of course non exhaustive.

Check and expand the first circles

This is something anyone can easily do. Take one of your ancestors who was alive in 1900, and use the "My Connections" application to list her first circles. See for example the circles of Catherine Penanguer (1854-1944). On the 24 profiles at Degree 1, 14 were alive by 1900 : her husband, six children, seven siblings.

Check that no one is missing, and if the first circle is complete, move to circle 2, checking all four directions of connection : parents, children, siblings, spouse(s), and from there in-laws, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, first cousins etc. A lot of them will be living by 1900 and offer new starting points.

Note : "circles" is used here instead of "degrees", as in 100 Circles: A Geometry of the Tree.

Focus on a place or category

If you participate in a One Name or One Place study, you could check particularly the 1900 profiles, and expand from them, checking their first circles, as above.

1900 census and other archives

Check census, births, marriages, deaths records and try to connect whoever is listed there

Notables living in 1900


Many notables are to-be-connected, here is a list of some of them found in the results of a WikiTree+ query for Notables+Paris+France+unconnected.

The following have been connected since the launch of the project :


Greg Slade on the Unconnected Canadian Politicians page, has added a column labelled "1900", and put an asterisk in that column for each person who was alive in the year 1900. This initiative can be extended to other countries/places/categories.


2023 : "Synchronic circles" of Catherine Penanguer

Catherine Penanguer (1854-1944) was living troughout Year 1900, along with 14 people among the 24 of her first circle : 7 siblings, her husband, and 6 surviving children (out of the 13 she bore). Linked to those, 26 other profiles were found living throughout 1900 in Catherine's second circle, out of a total of 72 in this same circle.

How far can we extend the circles if we keep limiting the profiles in the paths to those who have lived throughout Year 1900?

Follow-up on the dedicated page : Synchronic Circles of Catherine Penanguer

This challenge can be taken with any initial profile living in 1900. Can you beat Catherine's figures?

2023 : The Champsaur Connection

Le Champsaur is a small valley in France, Hauts-Alpes. See

In the late 1800s, thousands of people (estimation about 5,000) left their villages in Champsaur to seek fortune in various parts of America, most of them in the USA, California, Washington, some in Argentina. This emigration was massive, about one third of the whole population left. Given the previous strong endogamy, most of those emigrants were parents or closely connected.

There are several branches of Champsaur descendants in WikiTree, but they were mostly created independently, and not directly connected to each other. They are in various quality shapes. Some profiles need to be sourced and expanded, etc. Work is in progress to connect all those branches together through their Champsaur families, with the help of excellent local access to data and sources.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of "bridges", emigrants born in Champsaur between 1850 and 1900 and settled with posterity on the other side of the ocean.

More profiles can be found under Category: Hautes-Alpes, Emigrants



Related projects

Project members

The following list is based on the preliminary discussion on G2G. Feel free to add or strike yourself, and/or specify places or categories you are likely to work on.

  • Login to edit this profile and add images.
  • Private Messages: Send a private message to the Profile Manager. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)
Comments: 5

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.
Dear Bernard,

Count me in! If we're thinking of notables from la Belle Époque, could I make a case for some sadly unconnected Russians (probably most if not all French-speaking!) all of whom rather nicely exemplify the Zeitgeist of the period:

Such a list could - and should! - be easily expanded.

All the best, Kelsey

posted by Kelsey Jackson Williams
edited by Kelsey Jackson Williams
Indeed, what a teasing list!
  • Kandinsky was already in my radar, not obvious at all to connect, but I already paid a tribute to his memory on the side project page : Circles and Bridges of Suzanne Gardahaut (1900-1992)
  • Cantor and Minkowski go straight to the heart of the old maths teacher ... I'll have a look at them ...

... Cantor : looks difficult even to start the first circle ... Minkowski : offers better perspectives, married in Strasbourg ...

posted by Bernard Vatant
edited by Bernard Vatant
Yes, I had noticed the lovely 'Circles' on Suzanne's page - it's what made me think of Kandinsky in the first place. I actually think Cantor might not be too hard. The Erik-Amburger-Datenbank ( will be a first port of call . . . .
Three Observations:

1. 1900 Census was US , UK was 1901 - ergo circa a year later but pinpoints whereabouts, family etc to same period; 2. UK not listed as involved (nor Ireland) where many US migrants came from? 3. My tree includes David Llewellyn (Lyn) Harding , a famous touring actor (stage and cinema) from Wales but with an International reputation by 1900, We have fair amount of detail of his life and family members. He was a Great Uncle. And for anyone seeking a challenge and supportive of us Newbies, there is the mystery of my Howard connections that seem to evaporate from the records before 1901 - see my profile for details of MGF and MGGF . Patty? Happy to extend out the transcripted tree for the 1900 members of my family ( based on MyH/FMP and LDS activity over past years) but have yet to get a grip on WTs copying in of sources. Thanks to Shirlea and others who have been most supportive.

posted by Phil Phillips BA Hons
Three answers :-)

1. Indeed. As written, "La Belle Époque" dates are at large 1871 to 1914. so we won't nitpick for one year. 2. UK not yet listed, yes, because no volunteer has moved forward so far, but this is a very recent project, so I suppose it will be covered at some point. And you are welcome to add you to the list of project members, it's open to all. 3. Indeed your great uncle David Llewellyn Harding would be a good connection challenge.

posted by Bernard Vatant