One way to measure how far you’ve got with your family history research is to count how many forebears you can name at each generation.
I know the names of all my great great grandparents and all my husband’s, Greg’s, great great grandparents.
A useful statistic is the number of forebears you can name in the previous ten generations. The possible maximum, including yourself, is 1,023 individuals. [Cousins sometimes marry, so there might be duplicates.]
On my side of the family I can name only 22%, 230 of the possible 1,023. On my husband’s side I know the names of only 13%, 138. If I look at our tree from our children’s perspective the figure is 31%, 319.
When I did these sums two years ago I could name only 25%, 253, of our children’s forebears back 10 generations. Since then I have documented the names of 66 more. There’s a lot left.
|Generation||Possible number||Me||Greg||Children||me %||Greg %||
|3 grand parents||4||4||4||4||100%||100%||100%|
|4 great grand parents||8||8||8||8||100%||100%||100%|
|5 great great grand parents||16||16||16||16||100%||100%||100%|
|6 3rd great grand parents||32||24||30||32||75%||94%||100%|
|7 4th great grand parents||64||35||32||54||55%||50%||84%|
|8 5th great grand parents||128||45||22||67||35%||17%||52%|
|9 6th great grand parents||256||49||19||67||19%||7%||26%|
|10 7th great grand parents||512||46||4||68||9%||1%||13%|
|Score to generation 10||230||138||319|
|as a %||22%||13%||31%|
Some of my progress has been helped by DNA testing. I think DNA matching with cousins will be an important tool for finding my missing ancestors.
Several bloggers have reported on the completeness of their family tree as measured by this counting method. Among them are: