Sunday, January 11, 2015

Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: My Ancestor Score

Today's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun was an educational exercise.  Randy asked people to compute their "ancestor score", the percentage of possible ancestors that they have found to date.

1)  Determine how complete your genealogy research is.  For background, read Crista Cowan's post Family History All Done? What’s Your Number? and Kris Stewart's What Is Your Genealogy "Score?"  For comparison purposes, keep the list to 10 or 11 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 Score" - 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 "Ancestor Score," on your own blog, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status post or Google+ Stream post.

I created an ancestor tree in FTM16 going back fourteen generations, to the lone 12th-great-grandparent for whom I have a name.  I then manually counted the number of individuals in each generation.  Here's the table with the results:

My Ancestor Score at ten generations is a mere 10.2%, as compared to Randy's 51.0%.  Going all the way out to fifteen generations as he did, it drops to a sad little 0.4%, where he has 6.5%.  I didn't even have 6.5% at eleven generations!  The big reason for those low numbers is that on my mother's side, which is Jewish, I know the name of only one fourth-great-grandparent and no one beyond that.  (On the other hand, I have names for fourteen of my sixteen third-great-grandparents on that side, which is actually really good.)  I wish I had some of those solid New England lines that are much better documented!

It will be interesting to revisit this next January and see how much farther back I've been able to go on some of these lines.


  1. I'm wishing for some New England ancestors, too! This was a really insightful exercise, wasn't it? I'm interested to find my missing 3x great grandparents. I'm missing 4 of them!

    1. Four isn't really that bad, at least in my opinion. I'm missing three, the two on my mother's side and one on my father's side. It's the 4x-great-grandparents where I drop off so badly: only fifteen total, not even a quarter of the possible names!


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