Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ancestors Known and Unknown

Recently some fellow genealogy bloggers have been demonstrating how the genealogical quest is never ending by counting up the number of direct line ancestors they have identified from the past ten generations. Some of the recent blog posts I have read include:
If someone had identified all their direct line ancestors back ten generations, they would have identified a total of 1,023 people, including all 512 of their 7 x Great Grandparents! And this only includes direct ancestors (not siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews etc.). Genealogy really is a never ending pursuit!

I have decided to see how many of my direct ancestors I know from my own 8 years of research, combined with my Mum's research since the late 1980s. The table that follows is a rough calculation as I have counted ancestors who only have names like 'Mary' or 'Ann' (with no accompanying surname) and are not yet completely verified. However, this gives me some idea of just how much more I still have to discover in the future.

I have identified approximately 132 of a possible 1023 ancestors from the past 10 generations. Similar to what Helen at From Helen V Smith's Keyboard said in her post, I know that a large percentage of my unknown ancestors are pre-nineteenth century Irish and therefore they will probably remain unknown due to the non-existence of many Irish records beyond that century. I definitely have a lot of English and Welsh family lines I have yet to research exhaustively though. It seems I will probably be researching for the rest of my life. I'm glad genealogy is such an interesting pursuit!

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