Friday, February 25, 2011

Dear Randy: Are all of the people in your family tree related to you?

Reader Mary asked in a comment to my post "Steadily Improving my Family Tree Database":

"Are all of your almost 40,000 names in your database related to you?" 

The short answer is YES, since we're all part of the human family, and I think that I only have persons that lived or are living in my database. 

Modifying the question to "Do you have a genetic link to all of the persons in your database" the short answer is NO.

Let me explain:  I have 39,719 persons in my database at present.  I did a tree count recently and found that there are 239 different "trees" in my database.  This means that, in addition to my own ancestral families and my wife's ancestral families, that I have many little trees (some only with two or three persons) and some fairly large ones.  The reason I have so many trees is that I've added data for a number of one-name studies - for Seaver/Sever, Carringer, Vaux, Buck, Richman, Dill, Smith, Auble, Bresee, McKnew and probably several others that I don't remember. 

About two years ago, I combined all of my "ancestral" trees into one large tree so that I had no duplication of effort.  This resulted in a lot of work to find and merge duplicate persons and eliminate, or enrich, duplicate Facts for merged persons.  But I'm glad I did it, I have one master database to use.

I used RootsMagic 4 to help me determine how many persons are in some of my ancestral families and the one-name studies.  The results:

*  Randy Seaver's Family Tree (includes collateral lines) - 37,210 persons

*  Randy's Ancestral families (20 generations, includes children of ancestors) - 7,280 persons

*  Linda's Ancestral families (20 generations, includes children of ancestors) - 790 persons

*  Robert Seaver (1608-1683) descendants - 7,390 persons

*  Martin Carringer (1758-1835) descendants - 440 persons

*  John Vax (1562-????) descendants - 2,250 people

*  Andreas Able (????-1752) descendants - 340 people

*  Peter Dill (????-1692) descendants - 570 people

*  William Buck (1585-1657) descendants - 880 persons

*  Jeremiah McKnew (1640-1700) descendants - 480 people

There are many overlaps between each of those "collections," since I, or my wife, have each of those "first generation" ancestors in our ancestry, and some of them share descendants.

There are 37,210 people in my family tree, which includes all connections, including my wife's ancestral families.  That's 93.7% of the persons in my database, so I'm related to almost everyone in my database either directly or by marriage.

I have many "unattached" Smith people in my database because I was searching for connections to my Devier J. Smith for many years.  I have many unattached Richman people in my database because I added every baptism and marriage of Richmans in Wiltshire from 1538 until 1850.  I have done quite a bit of research on my Elizabeth Horton Dill - if she is the one born in 1791, then I have 470 people in her ancestral family to add to my database.  I used to have connections to other families in my tree, but I disconnected them over time because I proved to myself that they weren't "mine," and they are still in the database. 

I attempt to define at least the spouse and children of the children in my ancestral families, and those are not included in "ancestral families."  However, those should show up in the descendants list above.

The list above doesn't come close to covering all of the persons in my database for some reason - I wonder why that is?

Thank you, Mary, for a challenging question!

1 comment:

theKiwi said...

The software called Genealogica Grafica can probably help figure this out.

I've used it in the past to quickly discover mass errors in a file, and the output of one such run is here

Scroll down that list to the section called

Gedcom consists of unconnected parts

to see that there are 878 different parts in the GEDCOM file that was based on.