WikiTree Connections… Heros, a Warehouse, and US Presidents?

By Rodhullandemu – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

I participated in the WikiTree Connection from June 13-20, and it was so interesting to see all the connections they found for me. Before, I had 579 connections, but now I have 1845. That’s over a 318% increase—that’s amazing. Note the difference between the revealed number and what I see is that some of my numbers include living people. You can watch the reveal HERE. I had internet issues, so some of my responses were delayed. I was concerned I would lose connection, but that problem has been addressed. I’m crossing my fingers that it will help for the next Monday with Myrt on July 29th, 20204.

I can’t even imagine how big this could have been if I had been able to add my to my mystery lines like the Beaton Batten Mystery and the identity of my mystery French Canadian great-grandfather.

Before I get into the reveal and my comment about US Presidents, I want to tell you that I’ve put it on my To-Do List to learn more about WikiTree, whether it’s about my ancestors or about navigating the site. So watch for upcoming posts and YouTube videos.

At the beginning of the reveal, Greg Clarke shared maps showing the migration of my ancestors, which I still need to explore further. There were so many, but let’s get into the connections.

The WikiTree team shared some of my connections and their stories. Stories I wasn’t aware of before.

First was Gordon Foster Trudgeon, connected through my first cousin, twice removed, Elsie Shannon. Gordon Trudgeon is Elsie’s brother-in-law, and Elsie is my great-grandmother, Lily’s niece.

Greg made an excellent profile page about Gordon.

Gordon was born in Beaver Hills, Alberta, in 1921. In the summer of 1941, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in Edmonton, Alberta. On 31 July 1942, he earned the Pilot’s Flying Badge, attained the Sergeant (T) rank, and was classified as an Airman and Pilot.

In May 1943, Gordon was stationed in India as part of the Royal Air Force, India, first out of Karachi, then Allahabad, then Calcutta. In March 1944, he was stationed in Bombay. On 15 March 1944, Flight Officer Gordon Trudgeon went missing, along with his Navigator, and was presumed dead, killed in action. It wasn’t until January 1951 that Gordon’s parents were informed that the Missing Research and Enquiry Service had discovered the wreckage of his aircraft. (If you’d like to learn more about Gordon and the details of the crash and recovery, you can find that HERE).

Greg obtained all this information from a file available on the Library and Archives Canada site. This collection includes anyone who died in either WWI or WWII. You can see all the collections under the Military Records HERE. The extensive file included photos and other details, so if you have Canadian ancestors, you must check what records you might find here. I recalled a cousin of my grandmother’s, Lawrence Virgil Pimm, who died during WWII; sure enough, I found the records. So I have more reading to do.

The following connection they identified was Gertrude Middlebrough, my great-grandfather Francis Middlebrough’s aunt. What I found fascinating is that she likely worked at the Stanley Dock Tobacco Warehouse as a tobacco stripper. I was so interested because my great-grandmother Ellen Aindow, who married Francis, was listed in the 1901 England Census as 16 years old, and she was a tobacco packer. I’d never really thought about what that job was, but apparently, this meant she would pack the cask with tobacco and get them ready for shipping.

By Rodhullandemu – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

This building is mammoth. 1.6 million square feet, and it’s the largest brick warehouse in the world. It was built in 1901, and Gertrude and Ellen’s census information was from 1901, so this was perhaps a new job or location. If you’d like to see it close-up, Anna, who worked on the challenge, told me about a man who did a drone view of the warehouse, and you can watch it HERE.

There were more discoveries, but I’m still exploring these. If you’d like to check them out, you can find them HERE.

At the beginning of this blog, I mentioned that I might be related to some US Presidents. The WikiTree email I received looked at today mentions I have connections, so I checked it out. This is what I found.

I checked the paths of John Calvin Coolidge Jr., Stephen Grover Cleveland, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and John Quincy Adams. Most of them connected via my 2x great-grandmother, Caroline Amelia Jones, born in 1829 in Ogdensburg, New York. It’s only been in the last few years that I discovered who her parents were.

Solomon Jones and Sarah Storey’s profiles were just added during the Connection Challenge, so this Presidential view wouldn’t have been possible had I not had those ancestors added. I’m Canadian, so I checked for the July 1st (Canada Day) connections. First up was Donald Sutherland. I have a connection, but it’s not a direct path; I checked a few others and found nothing amazing. That might be a different story if I could break down my mysteries.

I encourage you to check WikiTree and see what you can find about your family. Whether you connect to the tree or not, it’s an excellent resource for your genealogy.

My thanks to all who participated in the Week #8 Challenge. I am in awe of the things you found.

If you’re not already a member of my pack (after all, many of you are Family History Hounds like I am), you can sign up here or click the form below, and you won’t miss a post. By joining, you’ll not only get updates on blogs, but you’ll also receive special offers from my genealogy friends, and they’ll all come to your inbox.

Comments are closed.