Randy’s task this week was to determine your Ancestral Name Score — basically, what percentage of ancestors you can positively identify for 10 generations. For 10 generations, starting with yourself, that’s 1023 people.
I did the same exercise for both my side and my husband’s side, since I research both. The percentages in the chart include the numbers for the previous generations.
My husband’s Ancestral Name Score
This particular chart has increased considerably in the past few weeks as I’ve been able research my husband’s biological paternal grandparents (thank you Ontario open access adoption laws). I’ve added 14 names to his ahnentafel list in the last few weeks alone. Had I done this exercise at Christmas, the score would have been 6.5%. You’ll notice a significant drop in known ancestors after the 3rd great-grandparents. I have two words to explain that: Irish Immigrants. Most of his Irish families (and that is the vast majority of his ancestry) were Irish immigrants that came over between the 1820s and 1850s.
One of my goals this year, along with discovering my husband’s paternal family, is to try and take all these Irish immigrants and figure out where in Ireland they came from. That is involving a lot of collateral research, and in many of these cases I’ve already researched the obvious siblings and I’m needing to find undiscovered siblings — lots of research of families of the same name in the same communities. Some are related, some are not, some are still unknown. However, those that are related are proving very useful in this goal — two weeks into the year and I’ve already discovered an additional specific point of Irish origin.
My Ancestral Name Score
This is the one that surprised me. I’ve done very little research on my side of the family, certainly compared to the amount of time I’ve spent on my husband’s side, so I was a bit surprised that my score is higher. I usually spend a bit of time here and there when I’m tired banging my head on the table over Irish immigrants. There are only so many “John Kelly”s that I can take before madness sets in.
The research I’ve done is very thorough, but there are many lines that can easily be pushed back many more generations. The records are there, I just haven’t put in the research time yet. In fact, I could easily name an additional dozen known ancestors off the top of my head, but I haven’t put in the research time to prove them so I haven’t included them, including my dear Loyalist ancestors. For some reason, it feels a bit different to include an ancestor I haven’t researched and where there are known records than it is to include a “brick wall” ancestor where I’ve run out of paper trail.
My father did quite a bit of genealogy, and whilst I’ve not seen his research and it is not included in my numbers, I have talked to him about it. I hope to be able to include his efforts in the future, assuming we are able to retrieve the data. Much of my research was focused on the lines he wasn’t able to push back. Unless I caught on to something interesting, then it was all fair game. I’m a bit of a magpie in that respect.
My biggest stumbling block is my grandfather’s (informal) adoption. It leaves an awfully large hole in the family charts.
Saturday Night Genealogy Fun is a weekly challenge put out by Randy Seaver of the blog Geneamusings.
Copyright ©2015, Chriss Coleman