Sunday, August 19, 2012

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - My Ancestral Name Number


This week Randy Seaver, of Genea-Musings, issued a Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge in which we look at how "complete" our genealogy. Here is the challenge:

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (and I hope more of you do than participated in the SNGF Genealympics the last three weeks), is to:
1)  Determine how complete your genealogy research is.  For background, read Crista Cowan's post Family History All Done? What’s YourNumber?  For comparison purposes, keep the list to 10 generations with you as the first person. 
2)  Create a table similar to Crista's second table, and fill it in however you can (you could create an Ahnentafel (Ancestor Name) list and count the number in each generation, or use some other method).  Tell us how you calculated the numbers.
3)  Show us your table, and calculate your "Ancestral Name Number" - what is your percentage of known names to possible names (1,023 for 10 generations).
4)  For extra credit (or more SNGF), do more generations and add them to your chart.
5)  Post your table, and your "Ancestral Name Number," on your own blog, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status or Google+ Stream post.


It’s always interesting to look at the results of one’s research results statistically so this was fun for me!

I already had a 10-generation ahnentafel report compiled by my genealogy software program saved in a pdf file. I hand-counted the number of individuals in each generation; the numbers include ancestors for which I have only a first name or a surname. Here are the results:


Generation
Relationship
# Possible
# Known
Percentage
1
You
1
1
100.0%
2
Parents
2
2
100.0%
3
Grandparents
4
4
100.0%
4
Great-grandparents
8
8
100.0%
5
2nd Great-grandparents
16
16
100.0%
6
3rd Great-grandparents
32
20
62.5%
7
4th Great-grandparents
64
30
46.9%
8
5th Great-grandparents
128
22
17.2%
9
6th Great-grandparents
256
22
8.6%
10
7th Great-grandparents
512
24
4.7%
Summary

1023
149
14.6%

Less than 15% identified!

Although I have identified all 16 of my 3rd great-grandparents (the 5th generation), my numbers start dropping dramatically in the sixth generation. Part of the reason for this is I have been unable to identify many paternal ancestors (my “southern” line). A couple of my maternal lines, however, stretch back to the earliest days of Colonial America.

I can see that I have plenty to keep me occupied researching right here in the U.S. Someday maybe I’ll get to the point where I can cross the pond!




© 2012 Denise Spurlock

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