Saturday, January 4, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - What's Your Ancestor Score?

I don't much care for math - BUT - I love statistics!  I know, I can't explain it, it's just the way it is!

So when I saw Randy Seaver's latest Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, I had to do it!

His mission:

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.

And my report back:

1) Some of my New England ancestors are extremely well-documented back to England through the 1500s and beyond - other lines of mine stop in a brick wall in just a few generations.  So I created an ahnentafel report in my family tree software and counted away.  I had to do a separate report for my mother's and father's lines as my dad researches his side and so it's a separate record to be accessed by the software.

2) and 3) and 4) Here is a screenshot of my table.  I built it in Excel.  The percentage column is for each row with the total at the bottom.

 My ancestor score at the 10 generation mark is 6.45% - the numbers drop pretty quickly by generation 7!

My overall score for all 15 generations is just 1.37%!!  Pretty amazing when I feel like I have so many names - turns out I really don't!  :-)   It's really quite humbling - there's still so much out there.  One of the hardest things though is not just gathering names, but gathering the real proof that goes along with them - and that's been my main focus the last few years.  I don't want to waste time researching a line back that I can't really prove is my line when it comes under scrutiny.  I learned that from my application to the DAR.  :-)