Saturday, 21 January 2017

Ancestor Count 2017

A new year. A new set of goals.

Every January I ask myself the following question - Which ancestors am I going to research this year? I reflect on the ancestors I researched the previous year, and those I wanted to research but did not get around to. 

The past few months, I have seen a few geneabloggers post their Ancestor Count. Doing an Ancestor Count involves counting the number of ancestors you have identified in each generation, compared with the total number of people in that generation. It is a great way of displaying the number of known ancestors you have, however, it also highlights the generations that may be lacking your attention.

When I see people post their Ancestor Counts, I always think about doing one, but then I never do. It was Michael Dyer's Ancestor Tally last week that got myself into gear. If you would like further instructions on how to create your own Ancestor Count, Deidre from Twisted Twigs On Gnarled Branches Genealogy has a great how-to. Alona Tester's Ancestor Count has just popped up in my news feed too. 

What is my current Ancestor Count? Well, I did two. My Maternal Grandmother was adopted, so one includes her adoptive ancestors, and the other her biological ancestors. You will be able to tell which one I know more about.

You can see that once I hit the 7th generation - 4x Great Grandparents - the trouble begins. I do have names for a number of people in the 9th and 10th generations, but I have not proven them yet, so I chose to leave them out.  

When I include my Grandmother's biological ancestors, then numbers decrease. We know who her biological father is, but not her biological mother - the missing Great Grandparent. 

For most of 2016, I was working on the descendants of my ancestors' siblings. I was working my way forward as much as possible. In 2017, it is time to go back to the past. Hopefully, when I do my next Ancestor Count in 2018, the numbers will have increased.   


  1. Well done Caitie. And it makes sense to do two when you have adoptions involved.

  2. You can do it in one, Caitie. Instead of going from 4 grandparents to 8 great-grandparents, in your case, you go to 10 great-grandparents.

    My father's father died when he was young. His mother remarried and he was raised by his stepfather. So I always tell people that I research all 9 of my lines.


    1. Ahhh! I never thought of it like that! That's a good idea, thanks :)

  3. Did this a few years ago and now I must revisit. Thanks Caitie for the reminder...
    Ok if I share this???

  4. Looks like you're making good progress, Caitlin. Here's to happy researching in 2017 (and maybe learning the identity of your grandmother's biological mother).