I was surprised tonight to look at the list Ancestry.com Family Tree databases in their Card Catalog and see the entries for:
* Public Member Trees -- Record Count - 128,050
* Private Member Trees -- Record Count = 38,904
Huh? My recollection was that there were almost 1 billion names in these Member Tree databases submitted by diligent genealogists in order to share their family trees with other ancestor-hungry researchers.
Hmmm, I wonder how many there are of the top names in almost any database. I put "Smith" in the Last Name field of the Public Member Tree search box:
And saw that there were over 4 million "Smith" entries in the Public Member Tree database:
I put "John" in the First Name field of the Public Member Tree search box, and found that there were over 44 million in the database:
So there are at least 44 million, and probably closer to 800 million, persons in the Public Member Trees, and likely about 30% of that number in the Private Member Trees. The About Ancestry.com corporate information page says "Over the past three years, our registered users have created over 11 million family trees containing more than 1.1 billion profiles."
Is all of this really important? In the larger picture - NO. They are "just numbers" but they don't make sense to this "numbers guy." But there is a consistency issue here - if "Records" = "Profiles" for the Member Trees (and they apparently do for the other family tree databases on the list), then the numbers should be about 700 times higher!