More Ancestors Found

It sometimes seems in the daily following of elusive ancestors that no progress will ever be made. And yet, when you lay it all out in a chart, year by year, some progress starts to be visible in the number of ancestors found.

Who Counts

I confess that there are no doubt some people on this chart who are counted as “found” when I have scanty information–perhaps only a name. In a woman’s case that may be only a first name because maiden names have a way of disappearing when a woman marries. However, in counting up the “finds” this year, I have tried to be honest and put a question mark on my tree in front of a name that is just a name without a story. And I have not counted those question marks.

Ancestry continues to tempt with their shaking leaves (hints of information possibly tied to a particular person.) And this year they came up with an even more insidious way to lead people astray. Now they show you “possible parents”. The catch is that Ancestry gives you no evidence to go with that “possible” and many if not most of those “possibles” were derived from family trees that were likewise unsourced. Sometimes I make a note of the name and try to track it down, but I’m not adding a person to my lineage if I have no proof.

Reading the Chart

In the chart below, I am the “child”. I am happy to have 100% of my ancestors through my Great-Great-Grandparents, but the percentage drops in half with my 3 times great grandparents. Unfortunately, the names I would most like to follow–my maiden name Kaser, and my mother’s maiden name Anderson–are the ones that are most elusive.. My father had a 2x great grandfather and a great-grandmother that defy tracing. And my mother had a 2x great-grandfather whose parents cannot be identified. And those three people snowball into the many, many others farther back that are missing from my tree.

However, to look on the bright side. How many people have the names of 17 of their 13x great grandparents? And besides, as much fun as enumerating ancestors found, I still have a blog-full of great stories about those ancestors. And that is the most important thing to me. For instance, just looking at the numbers does not tell you that nearly all these ancestors through the 12 or 13th generation are natives of North America or were the pioneer of their line. For that, you need to read the stories.

Ancestors by the Numbers

In this chart, the first set of numbers (after the possible number of each generation) is ancestors found as of July 2016. While I have been telling stories here for nearly five years, I only started counting finds for two and a half years. A Caveat–my math is really terrible, even when I’m working with a computer spread sheet I can make mistakes. So please forgive.

GENERATIONRELATIONSHIPNumber of People PossibleKnown # of People 7-2016PercentageKnown # of people 02-2019Percentage
1Child11100.00%1100.00%
2Parents22100.00%2100.00%
3Grandparents44100.00%4100.00%
4Great Grandparents88100.00%8100.00%
52X Great Grandparents1616100.00%16100.00%
63X Great Grandparents321650.00%2372.00%
74x Great Grandparents642133.00%3250.00%
85x Great Grandparents1282217.00%3426.50%
XRUNNING TOTAL2559035.00%12047.00%
96 x Great Grandparents256150.06%2610.00%
107 x Great Grandparents512210.04%380.07%
XRUNNING TOTAL102312612.00%18418.00%
118x Great Grandparents1024130.01%340.03%
129x Great Grandparents2048120260.01%
1310x Great Grandparents4096100380
1411x Great Grandparents819220370
1512x Great Grandparents1638400330
XRUNNING TOTAL327671530.00%3521.07%
1613x Great Grandparents3276800170
1714x Great Grandparents655360040
1815x Great Grandparents1310720000
1916x Great Grandparents2621440000
2017x Great Grandparents5242880000
2118x Great Grandparents10485760000
2219x Great Grandparents20971520000
XTOTAL41943031530.00%3730.00%

Thanks to Cathy-Meder Dempsey and her blog Opening Doors in Brick Walls, I was reminded that I had not checked my Ancestor score lately to see how many ancestors found. So, this one’s for you, Cathy.

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1 thought on “More Ancestors Found

  1. Cathy Meder-Dempsey


    Twitter:
    Thank you, Vera. You made some good observations about who to count and who not to count. I can honestly say that all of my children’s ancestors up to their 5th great-grandparents have been written about and are on my blog. I’m thinking about doing quick overviews for the 6th great-grandparents just to get them on the blog.

    Reply

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