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Fran's Connecting How-To

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But connecting can be fun and also very rewarding, especially once you click on that last "save changes" button and realize you've just connected a tree with over 100 profiles!

Okay...first things first. Everyone has a different method of connecting, and I am here to share mine. There is not any right or wrong way - it's whatever works for you.

I'm trying to show that it is not necessary to create hundreds of profiles to make a connection, and that WikiTree+ can be your best friend (I can't stress that enough!).

First, just a quick word about identifying connected or unconnected profiles. If a profile is connected, you will see the connections to Henry VIII at the bottom of the profile, like this:

If you do not see King Henry's name, then that means the profile is unconnected. You can also identify the unconnected by a yellow puzzle piece next to the name, but only those with the Connector badge can see these.

So let's do this, are you ready? Good! (again, this is only "my" way of doing things.)

First, go to your desired unconnected list (you can find the links to individual counties HERE). I am using Lincolnshire as an example, but there are unconnected lists for every county, as well as the whole of England, or anywhere else on the planet, for that matter.

Here we have the main unconnected list page. You can work from anywhere you'd like:

If you click on any of the top numbers, you will see a list of unconnected profiles for that county only (the "unlinked" are unconnected, single profiles with nobody attached). But I'm going to see what the 1800-1899 profiles look like:

You can see the individual profiles, as well as the trees they are connected to. If you are connecting county-specific profiles, this is the best list to use:

I've gone back to the main page to see what the other trees look like. These trees that are listed on the left side are not county-specific, and are often inaccurate due to tree numbers changing. But I spotted an easy one - so for demonstration purposes only, let's see what Parfitt-181 looks like. You can see that the tree size is 118 profiles:

Once I click on the "S" (at the end of the "T S"), this brings up a list of every profile in that tree (again, this is often inaccurate. You will know right away if you see a bunch of profiles for Russia or Poland lol). (Please note: this particular PM did not add any locations (grrr). It took me a while to narrow down where these people were from):

Sometimes it's best to go for the less-common surnames, so you won't have to sort through hundreds of profiles. I am choosing Charles Thomas Panther:

Here we can see that Charles was born in Warkton, Northampton, England in 1839:

Now - in another window, open up WikiTree+ (this is the fun part). Click on "search" in the lower left side:

Type in what you would like to look for in the text box. In this case, I have typed in "connected panther Northamptonshire" (it doesn't have to be case-sensitive). This will bring up all of the connected profiles for that surname/location. If too many results pop up, the search could be narrowed down to "connected panther warkton northampshire". After you've done that, click on "Get profiles":

Hmmmm.....the first name I see is David Frederick Panther, born about 2 years earlier than our original Charles, and in the same location. Let's check him out, shall we?:

Well, this certainly looks promising! But first I'll have to do a quick search to see if my suspicions are correct. Fingers crossed!......:

After doing a quick FamilySearch, look what I've found! David shares the same parents as Charles, so we have a connection! (I actually found more sources, but am using just this one as an example) :

Now let's go back to our unconnected Charles and click on his father George:

We will click on "edit" and add the connected David Frederick Panther as a son for George:

And voila! We have just connected 118 profiles to the Big Tree, and George has gained another son!:

It usually takes about 24 hours (or until the next update) for the changes to take effect. But the next day, we can see that the puzzle piece is gone and this Panther family is now neatly connected :) :

Wasn't that FUN?

Tips and Tricks and Do's and Don'ts

  • The above example was a stroke of luck, connections are not always this easy but they do happen!
  • ALWAYS make sure any profiles you connect/create are properly sourced :)
  • Do your searching before creating a ton of profiles that may end up going nowhere. Look for not-yet-known spouses, siblings, parents, etc. Check the surnames and locations. Use WikiTree+ to your best advantage.
  • You don't need to work off a list. You can open up WikiTree+ and do a search for unconnected XXXX (whatever you are searching for) and in another tab, open up WikiTree+ again and do a search for connected XXXX. It's all about comparing the unconnected to the connected :)
  • Keep in mind that everyone works differently. Some people work solely with locations, and others work with just surnames. As long as everything is sourced properly and relationships are established, the outcome will be the same. So it's all good :)
  • Look for merges. Occasionally you may come across an unconnected profile for John Doe and find a duplicate who is already connected.
  • One thing I find very useful are the FamilySearch Trees. Use them for clues. It can be helpful to see all of the family members at a glance. If you come across a record and you see that it's attached to someone, go ahead and click on it - it may save you hours of searching, and if the tree is well-sourced and goes back in time far enough, you will often see that there are already early family members who have (connected) WikiTree profiles!:

  • Above all, don't give up! Once you get the hang of it, you will find yourself dealing with a fun new addiction - I promise!
Now - Let's get England Connected!!

Comments: 6

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Thank you Fran. Your step by step guide was very easy for me to follow. I am very visual so thank you for including the screenshots.


posted by Kathy (Urbach) Nava
Thank you for the step-by-step tutorial!
posted by Francesca Murphy
Great information. I’ve learned something new and exciting. Thank you.
Great write up Fran… one completely insignificant comment: the 'yellow jigsaw piece' I think is actually a 'blocky yellow stick man'. ;)
posted by Geoff Riley
Hahaha I never saw it that way. Maybe there should be another and we can have them hold hands once we make a connection :D
Thank you - that is very helpful information  :-)