Saturday, January 10, 2015

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun ~ My Ancestor Score for January 2015

I decided to participate in tonight's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (SNGF) brought to us by Randy Seaver, author of Genea-Musings. Here's what Randy proposed for tonight's SNGF (shared from his blog):
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.
I thought this would be an interesting idea. I've seen this kind of thing before, but had never made an "Ancestor Name Chart" or figured out the "Ancestor Score" for my own family tree.

Here's my Ancestor Name Chart.

And here's my "Ancestor Score" for my family tree:
  • Number of known ancestor names = 405
  • Number of possible ancestor names = 1,023
  • Ten generation ancestor name score = 405/1,023 = 39.6%
In order to make my Ancestor Name Chart, I created an Ancestor Book Report using my Legacy Family Tree database. I then created a PDF of the report and counted the ancestors in each generation. I put that information in the Excel chart (above). Like Randy, I chose to exclude ancestors who didn't have a first name.

Through five generations the percentage stays at 100%. After that things start to go downhill. And my ancestral score isn't very high. I obviously have a lot of work to do. But, I suppose it could be worse. You see, I can't take the credit for finding all of the ancestors in my family tree. I was blessed to have inherited genealogy research from my father,
Jan Iverson, a lot of which had been done by a professional genealogist many years ago. The professional genealogist was hired by my paternal grandmother, Ingrid Gillberg, to help us with our Scandinavian lines.

I'm also blessed to have in my possession the excellent and very well-sourced three-volume family history books called Waterman Family, Descendants of Robert Waterman by Donald Lines Jacobus which provide priceless information about my Waterman ancestors.

Even with all of the wonderful genealogy research I've been given, there is still so much more research that needs to be done. This fan chart from
FamilySearch illustrates this. As you can see, there are holes in this chart that need to be filled. My mom is at the center of this chart. She's still living, so I blurred her name for privacy reasons.

What about you? What's your Ancestor Score?

Thanks for reading!

© 2015 Copyright by Jana Last, All Rights Reserved


  1. Nearly 40%, I'm really impressed. I didn't come anywhere close to that, but that just give extra room for improvement. I have charts with large hole, like you illustrate in your mum's line.

    1. Thanks Chriss! I'm a visual person so seeing charts is awesome. I have a larger chart with more generations hanging on a wall in our home. Lots of blanks spaces in that one, which means lots of work to do. :)

  2. You are way ahead of me, but that's ok. ;) I had 161 through the 10th generation. I'm still missing 4 of my 3x great grandparents... I hope to at least one of those this year!

    Anyway, I'm impressed with your numbers! Great job!

    1. Thank you Dana! I have a lot of work yet to do though. Hopefully I will be able to identify everyone in the 6th generation column by the end of this year and bring that number to 100%. :)

  3. Jana,
    I did this last year and scored pretty darn low. My husband's side was much better than mine. Guess I'll go and see if I've improved any since then.

    1. Hi Diane,

      This is the first time I've tried this. It is interesting. I'm hoping that if I do this chart again next year the numbers will be better. :)

  4. Intriguing - I've identified a measly 38, a slice of a fraction of 1,023. My late husband caught me into the web of online genealogical research. He identified sixteen generations in one family line - just imagine! His score can't be calculated in a heartbeat, like mine, but I appreciate your suggesting the use of a fan chart to learn how many he identified over the years. The score's sure to impress the grandchildren.

    1. Hi Cathy,

      Wow! Sixteen generations in one family line! Very impressive.

      Thanks for stopping by and for your comments!

  5. 470 out of a possible 1023. 46%. I did not include any persons for whom the surname was not known. So, that left out a lot of 17th and 18th century female ancestors. When I first started 20 years ago, I wanted to get as many people as I could and go as far back as I could. But, now I rather focus on the most recent 5 or 6 generations and really flesh out those peoples' lives. Recently I spent a few weeks deleting from my database a ton of poorly sourced individuals from my early name-collecting days. Felt really good do clean out!

    1. Great job! Yes, it's so fun to learn about our ancestors and their lives. Thanks for stopping by!




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