And I thought I was doing pretty well !!

Earlier today I came across a post that really got me thinking. The post was from Randy Seaver on his blog “Genea-Musings” which is at

This  post was a discussion and comments about the possibility of filling in your ancestry or pedigree chart completely back 10 generations starting with yourself as gen #1.  Seems fairly simple to do it or to come close, right?  Well, think again! In those 10 generations are 1023 people! Hopefully you don’t have a problem getting at least 1 (yourself) and most should be able to add their mother and father.  The idea is that you need both the first name and surname for every individual in your direct lines of descent. I knew I didn’t have all of them but thought I’d do fairly well, until I actually charted the info and started counting.  Here’s the breakdown of the 1023 by generation:

Gen 1-4         15 names

Gen 5             16 names

Gen 6             32 names

Gen 7             64 names

Gen 8             128 names

Gen 9             256 names

Gen 10           512 names

So, I ended up with 71 of the 1023 names which is 6.9 % !!  Whoa, that’s really awful!!  Now, I did use the family tree I have on which is lacking some names I know I have on several lines in the 7th, 8th or 9th generations so once I include those I’ll do a little better.  I once had those names in a family tree file but some how they didn’t get included when I created my latest tree and published it to  So, I’ll have to either find that old file and figure out how to add it to my tree or else I’ll have to type in all that info again!  Not looking forward to that!

What this has done is to make me rethink my present approach.  I’ve been concentrating on the Walton lineage of my tree since this was one I had the most information about and I’ve been trying to increase my information.  Lately I’ve been trying to find out about the various siblings in the 6th – 10th generations of the Waltons since mostly I have information about only 1 or 2 of the siblings in any generation even when I have a list of all the siblings. I still want to do that but I think I’ll also devote some significant time toward filling in the other lines of descent. First I’ve got to try to find the old family tree file and if not then start putting in a lot of info by hand. Either way I know I have lots of info and can add pedigree lines for the surnames of Hall, Putnam, Hutchinson and others.


About larrytom2

Older guy interested in genealogy and family issues.
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6 Responses to And I thought I was doing pretty well !!

  1. Sounds like we might have a lot of ancestors in common. I have Putnams and Hutchinsons from Essex County. I have some Waltons from Reading, too, but they aren’t ancestors, just cousins. I’ll have to tune in to your blog more often!

    • larrytom2 says:

      Heather: Sounds like it for sure. Several of my Walton ancestors and cousins started out in Reading before spreading out into the rest of New England and some heading west.

  2. It is a bit mind boggling when you start thinking about the numbers. I find it sometimes confusing to family members when I try explaining how their 6th g grandmother is related to them. Many just think of the male linear lines and get lost when I take them down a maternal track. Diagrams are the only way to show some to them.
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)

    • larrytom2 says:

      You’re right Theresa, and in my family my maternal line is the one I can best follow backwards. My father’s paternal line only goes a couple of generations and then it gets lost in Sweden. His maternal line is even shorter! Diagrams and charts are definitely the way to go. I put up a descendant chart last year at my mother’s 100th birthday party and it was a big hit! Lots of attendees spent time looking at it. I started it with my maternal grandmother and grandfather so all of my mother’s siblings’ offspring were shown so everyone could find names they recognized but maybe didn’t know exactly how they fit.

  3. Jim says:

    Welcome to Geneabloggers. I wonder what the odds would be of someone filling all their lines back ten generations. It might be better to go get a lottery ticket. I could never do that on my side or my wife’s side.

    Regards, Jim
    Genealogy Blog at Hidden Genealogy Nuggets

    • larrytom2 says:

      Thanks for the welcome, Jim. Frankly I’m surprised at how many comments were made. I didn’t realize being listed in Geneabloggers would bring such a great response!

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