Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:
1) Consider your Matrilineal Line (mother's mothers mother's, etc.) families - the ones from your mother back through her mother all the way back to the first of that matrilineal line in your family group sheets or genealogy database. List the names of these mothers, and their lifespan years.
2) Use your paper charts or genealogy software program to create a Descendants chart (dropline or graphical) that provide the children and their children (i.e., up to the grandchildren of each mother in the surname list).
3) Count how many children they had (with all spouses), and the children of those children in your records and/or database. Add those numbers to the list. See my example below! [Note: Do not count the spouses of the children]
4) What does this list of children and grandchildren tell you about these persons in your matrilineal line? Does this task indicate areas that you need to do more research to fill out families and find potential cousins?
5) Tell us about it in your own blog post, or in a comment to this post, or in a comment on Facebook or Google+.
1) My matrilineal line is:
* Sarah Campbell (1746-1838) had 9 children and 44 grandchildren.
* Betsey Rolfe (1766-????) had 6 children and 8 grandchildren*.
* Sarah Martin (1792-1860) had 8 children and 14 grandchildren*.
* Elizabeth Putman (1820-1895) had 14 children and 5 grandchildren*.
* Mary Jane Sovereen (1840-1874) had 5 children and 21 grandchildren.
* Georgiaanna Kemp (1868-1952) had one child and 1 grandchild.
* Emily Kemp Auble (1899-1977) had 1 child and 3 grandchildren.
* Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002) had 3 children and 5 grandchildren.
2) I did this task by doing a 3-generation dropline Descendant List in RootsMagic 6 (Reports > Lists > Descendant List) and counting the children (generation 2) and grandchildren (generation 3) for each person. Here's the first two pages for Sarah Campbell:
4) The list above tells me several things:
* I think that I have captured all of the children and grandchildren of each of these mothers only in the last four generations. The ones marked with an asterisk (*) need more work to find grandchildren of some of the mothers. This highlights research opportunities to add to my genealogy database some relatively close cousins who may show up in an autosomal DNA test.
* The first five generations on the list had 42 children, so 8.2 children on average. The last three generations on the list had 5 children, so 1.7 children on average.
* The 8 generations above had 47 children (average of 5.9), and 92 known grandchildren (average of 11.5).
* The number of children started reducing in the early 1800s for some reason - perhaps for reasons that are social, economic, religious, distraction, or relative fertility). I don't know the religious faith of all of these families, but I don't think any were Roman Catholic.
* A mother who dies in her child-bearing years really reduces the numbers (only Mary Jane (Sovereen) Kemp really has this problem). Early deaths of children in childhood or before marriage reduces the numbers of potential grandchildren.
* Once the families moved off the farm for a town or city, the number of children is reduced. (Georgianna Kemp, born in 1868, was the first one with a husband who was not farmer and lived in a place larger than a village of hundreds of people).
5) I did this here!
The URL for this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2014/01/saturday-night-genealogy-fun-how-many.html
Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver