Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Who are all these people?

I was not surprised to find that I have confirmed the identity of only 9% of my ancestors over ten generations. I knew that this was a big job and that I had a long way to go.

But I was stunned by the actual number. If there are only 94 direct ancestors in my database, who are all the others?

The answer is obvious when you think about it. You were always outnumbered by brothers and sisters when you were young and now they dominate the family tree.

4Great grandparents836
52xgreat grandparents1551
63xgreat grandparents2455
74xgreat grandparents2919
85xgreat grandparents40
96xgreat grandparents47
107xgreat grandparents46

There is a mathematical way of determining how many more 11xgreat grandmothers you need to find. So there is a strong incentive to keep searching.

When looking for our ancestor's siblings, we don't know what we don't know. Was great grandfather John really an only child, or is there a tribe of brothers and sisters just waiting to be discovered?

The only conclusion to draw is that there is more than enough to keep me busy for the foreseeable future. So enough contemplation of "progress", let's get back to the records.

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