Sunday, January 11, 2015

Finding My Ancestoral Score

Family Tree, source:

Randy Seaver's topic for the recent Saturday Night Genealogy Fun was interesting.  He suggested we calculate our "Ancestoral Score".  In other words, how many direct ancestors have we identified by name?  It sounded like a different way to look at our research and a way I wanted to try.

After reading Christa Cowan's article (which started interest in this whole process), I got busy.  After trying to count the names on my family tree in Family Tree Maker, I soon decided that had to be a better way.  There was - generate an Ahnentafel Report in FTM, a report which listed my direct ancestors by generation.

Using a template similar to the one Seaver had in his post about Ancestoral Scores, I counted the names from my Ahnentafel Report and added them into my scoring template.  I was a real stickler in this and only counted an ancestor as being identified if I had both a first name and surname for an individual.  

Here is the data that determined my Ancestoral Score of having identified 18% of my ancestors.

DateGenerationRelationship# in generation# identified% identified
52 GreatGrandparents1616100%
63 GreatGrandparents323094%
74 GreatGrandparents644266%
85 GreatGrandparents1283628%
96 GreatGrandparents256208%
107 GreatGrandparents512265%

I can see this as a worthwhile activity to do annually.  It lets me know how I've progressed in identifying individuals in the past seven or eight years and also to see areas on which to focus some of my research in the future.  Printing out the Ahnentafel Report and highlighting names where I need to identify a spouse will give me a good starting place when I'm wanting to change my research focus for a while.  This way I really hope to find the names of those two 3GreatGrandparents for whom I currently have no hint of a name.  Meanwhile I'll still be plugging away with the Norwegian lines in my family for a while longer.  Perhaps next year's Ancestoral Score will be greater due to identifying more of my Norwegian ancestors, actually finding both a first name and a surname (or farm name) for some of them.

So what is your Ancestoral Score?

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