Thursday, August 17, 2017

Using WikiTree to Find Relationships to Famous Persons

I received an email today from my cousin Laura - we share my great-grandparents, Thomas and Julia (White) Richmond.  One of her descendants is doing a school project on famous persons, and has Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the United States.

I found the easiest way to find the relationship information is to use any of the connected universal family trees - either WikiTree (free), FamilySearch Family Tree (free), or Geni ($$).  However, in order to use any of these services, the user needs to have a profile in the tree.  The target famous person needs to be in the tree also.

Here's how I used WikiTree to do this particular task:

On the WikiTree home page (, you can click on the "Find" link at the top right of the screen and then click on the "Relationships" link in the dropdown menu:

Before I clicked on "Relationships," I used the search box outlined in green on the screen above to find the Tree ID for Ulysses Grant.

There were 17 matches, and the 18th President was #16 on the list.  His Tree ID is Grant-468.  I knew that mine was Seaver-15.

Knowing the two Tree IDs, I then clicked on the "Relationships" link and entered the two Tree ID's into the boxes in the Relationship Finder:

When I clicked on the "Find Relationship" button, the program found a common ancestor and calculated my relatioohip to Ulysses S. Grant:

We are 7th cousins 3 times removed.  The closest common ancestors are Stephen and Tryphosa (Lee) Tracy, my 9th great-grandparents.

WikiTree also provides relationships to the famous person with other common ancestors.  At the bottom of the relationship screen above, you can click on the down arrow in the "Explore More" area and see the other common ancestors:

Mayflower passenger Richard Warren and his wife Elizabeth Walker are also common ancestors for me and Grant.

WikiTree is very useful for finding common ancestor relationships.  As always, the tree is only as good as the contributors make it.  My judgment is that WikiTree is the most accurate of the connected universal family trees, but it is also the smallest.  There are almost 15 million profiles in WikiTree.  It would be great if there were millions more.


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Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver

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1 comment:

Team Spice said...

Wow! I'm super inspired. I have not tried Wiki Tree but I'm paying to hold our family tree on Ancestry.

What is the best way to share all the information I've already developed on Ancestry?

I worry I have to replicate information too many times to ensure it is complete everywhere.

Thank you, cousin! I'm so appreciative of all that you do.