Saturday, July 30, 2016

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Female Ancestors' Ages at Death

The project for this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun is kind of an extension of one Randy Seaver did this past April, when he asked people to figure out the lifespans of their great-great-grandparents.

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission:  Impossible music, please!):

1) Review your pedigree chart (either on paper or in your genealogy management software program) and determine the age at death of your female ancestors back at least five generations (and more if you want to).

2)  Tell us the lifespan in years for each of these ancestors.  Which of your female ancestors in this group lived the longest?  Which lived the shortest?  

3)  Share your results in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or on Facebook or Google+.

So here are my female ancestors for whom I have at least approximate birth and death years in my family tree program:

• Myra Roslyn (Meckler) Sellers Preuss, 1940–1995, 54 years

• Anna (Gauntt) Strickland, 1893–1986, 93 years
• Lillyan E. (Gordon) Meckler, 1919–2006, 87 years

• Laura May (Armstrong) Sellers Ireland, 1882–1970, 88 years
• Sarah Libby (Brainin) Gordon, about 1885–1963, about 77 years
• Jane (Dunstan) Gauntt, 1871–1954, 83 years
• Minnie Zelda (Nowicki) Meckler, about 1880–1936, about 56 years

• Amelia (Gibson) Gauntt, about 1831–1908, about 77 years
• Sarah Ann Deacon (Lippincott) Armstrong, 1860–about 1927, about 67 years
• Martha (Winn) Dunstan, 1837–1884, 47 years
• Ruchel Dwojre (Jaffe) Brainin, about 1868–1934, about 66 years
• Esther Leah (Schneiderman) Gorodetsky, about 1874–1908, about 34 years
• Dobe (Yelsky) Nowicki, about 1858–1936, about 78 years

• Frieda (Bloom) Yelsky, about 1838–about 1898, about 60 years
• Jane (Coleclough) Dunstan, about 1811–1865, about 54 years

And that's everyone I have entered in my database.  I have more names and dates for the Gauntt lines, but I haven't had time to enter that information.

The longest lived I know about in those five generations was my paternal grandmother, Anna (Gauntt) Stradling, partner of Bertram Lynn Sellers, Sr., who lived to be 93 years old.  The shortest by far was Esther Leah (Schneiderman) Gorodetsky, wife of Victor Gorodetsky, who died at about 34 years old.

The average age for these 15 women (I have fewer than half the number Randy has!) is a little more than 70 years.  (Well, I used to have more, until I went and proved that Elmer was my grandfather's adoptive father.)  The averages for each generation are:
• Mother:  54 years
• Grandmothers:  90 years
• Great-grandmothers:  76 years
• Great-great-grandmothers:  62 years
• 3x-great-grandmothers:  57 years


  1. You did a good job. I found this a hard challenge but I learned a lot. I find the ages of the generations in the various posts that did the challenge to have some similarities as far as life span of women. My post link is back at Randy's challenge page.

  2. Thanks! I also learned from this exercise. I was very surprised to see that my grandmothers were the longest lived.


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