Saturday, January 10, 2015

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Your Ancestor Score for 2015

Hey ahnentafelists (new genea-word!) - It's Saturday Night!!!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (and I hope more of you do than participated in the last several SNGF challenges), is to:

1)  Determine how complete your genealogy research is.  For background, read Crista Cowan's post Family History All Done? What’s Your Number? and Kris Stewart's What Is Your Genealogy "Score?"  For comparison purposes, keep the list to 10 or 11 generations with you as the first person.  

2)  Create a table similar to Crista's second table, and fill it in however you can (you could create an Ahnentafel (Ancestor Name) list and count the number in each generation, or use some other method).  Tell us how you calculated the numbers.

3)  Show us your table, and calculate your "Ancestral Score" - what is your percentage of known names to possible names (1,023 for 10 generations).

4)  For extra credit (or more SNGF), do more generations and add them to your chart.

5)  Post your table, and your "Ancestor Score," on your own blog, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status post or Google+ Stream post.

Here's mine:

1)  I did this by creating an Ahnentafel Report in RootsMagic 6 (Reports > Lists > Ahnentafel Report) for 15 generations, then saved it as a PDF, opened it, and counted, by hand, the persons on the list in each generation.  The numbers included duplicate persons (due to marrying cousins) and persons I had either a first or last name for.

2)  My chart (if you want a blank chart in Microsoft Word format, please email me!).

3)  My "Ancestor Score" for 10 generations is:

*  Number of known ancestral names = 522
*  Number of possible ancestral names = 1,023
*  10 generation Ancestral Name Number = 522/1,023 = 51.0%

4)  Extra credit:  For 15 generations, I have 2,123 known Ancestral Names, out of 32,767 possible, for an Ancestor Score of 6.5% for 15 generations.

It really helps, in my case, to have a New England ancestry for about 50% of my 4th great-grandparents.  All of those New England ancestors have English ancestors and those are the lines back to the 15th generation.

Note:  I counted only persons in my ahnentafel list that had at least a given name.  I didn't count persons with an unknown first name.  I disconnected my Smith/Bell line because I know Devier Smith was adopted.  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver


GeneGinny said...

Luckily I kept my table from last year's Ancestor Score, so this was an easy challenge. Here's my post:
Adding 7 names didn't change my overall score much.

Diane said...

Hi Randy...this is a great time to do this at the beginning of the year and then I can compare it with where I end up at the end of the year.

I also created a ahnentafel report in FTM2014 and then counted the number in each generation.

Possible People Identified People %
Generations Relationship No. Sum No. Sum Generation Sum %
1 Me 1 1 1 1 100.0% 100.0%
2 Parents 2 3 2 3 100.0% 100.0%
3 Grandparents 4 7 4 7 100.0% 100.0%
4 Great Grandparents 8 15 8 15 100.0% 100.0%
5 2nd Great Grandparents 16 31 16 31 100.0% 100.0%
6 3rd Great Grandparents 32 63 25 56 78.1% 88.9%
7 4th Great Grandparents 64 127 25 81 39.1% 63.8%
8 5th Great Grandparents 128 255 32 113 25.0% 44.3%
9 6th Great Grandparents 256 511 46 159 18.0% 31.1%
10 7th Great Grandparents 512 1023 49 208 9.6% 20.3%

Obviously I have work to do!!

Thank you for this challenge!

Judy Webster said...

I created an Ahnentafel report using The Master Genealogist, counted the names, and was so depressed by the result that I didn't bother creating the chart. :-) At 5 generations it's 81% but then falls away to 20% by generation 7, 7% at generation 10, and I only have 2 names in generation 11. It doesn't help that one grandparent and most earlier ancestors were on the opposite side of the world from where I live.

The Down East Genealogist said...

I started off my new blog, Pine Trees and Pedigrees, with this challenge last January, so I was eager to see how my score compared to last year's.

My 10-generation score is 220/1023 (21.5%), a decided improvement over last year's 169/1023 (16.5%). Going to 12 generations I have 280/4095 (6.8%), up from 206 (5.0%).

You can check out the complete chart at

Jana Last said...

Hi Randy,

Here's the link to tonight's SNGF post ~


Jan said...

My score was 72 out of 1,023 possible for 7%. I never gave this a thought before but it was an interesting exercise. Plenty to work on in 2015! I don't have a master database so needed to scoop up names from a handful of databases and that took most of the time. I've posted my chart at

Jacquie Schattner said...

This is an excellent idea. Did you create this in excel? I know this is asking a lot, but is there any way you would consider making the blank available so we can fill it in?

Janice Sellers said...

I posted my table on my blog at At ten generations I have 10.2%, and only 0.4% at fifteen generations. Any real gains I make will be on my father's side.

Anne Young said...

My score is 192, a possible 18.75% - plenty of work to be done :)

Dana Leeds said...

That took longer than I expected, but it is now done! I decided not to use percentages as that would look so small for me & it would take a long time to see any significant change. Instead, I just found my "number"... that is, the number of direct ancestors I've found through the 7x great grandparents. And, my number is: 161!

Here's a link:

Sally Knudsen said...

I also prepared mine in a spreadsheet last year, so it was pretty easy to compare. And hey, I found a few!

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

What an interesting thing to do! While I only have 10% overall, I'm so pleased to see the progress I've made, and I even have one 12th generation great-grandfather! This is helping me get ready to go to the Library in SLC. Thanks --

Char said...

I've kept a separate '1023'tree since 2013. It's still woefully shy on many lines (primarily after my 3rd G-grand paternal line), but my New England lines are almost 'up to par'.

By the 5th G-grand generation I only have 17 out of 64 .. at this point my % drops below 50% (17 of 64) and proceeds to drop further each generation back.

Another year, another ancestor or two !! (I hope)

Pam Carter said...

I did mine! You can see it at

I still have a long way to go!

Ellen Anderson said...

1 1, 1, 1, 1, 100%
2 2, 3, 2, 3, 100%
3 4, 7, 4, 7, 100%
4 8, 15, 8, 15, 100%
5 16, 31, 16, 31, 100%
6 32, 63, 19, 50, 79%
7 64, 127, 14, 64, 50%
8 128, 255, 12, 76, 30%
9 256, 511, 6, 82, 16%
10 512, 1023, 2, 84, 8%
11 1024, 2047, 2, 86 4%

To be fair, my grandmother spent about 20 years researching that side of the family so since I have taken up the hunt myself I haven't had much incentive to look at that side but at the same time I don't want to "cheat" by just adding what she found. So her files sit in limbo while I research the other side of the family.

Celia Lewis said...

Definitely late to the table here...
Up to 10 generations, out of 1,023 I have 165 individuals for a 16.13%

Up to 12 generations, out of 4095, I have found 262 total individuals, making it a 6.40%. Pretty respectable and slightly improved over last year. But this month alone, I've added at least 8 individuals and their details, and that's not showing in the totals. Next year, we'll see what's my score. Cheers.

D Prakash said...

I saw this last night, so I know I'm late to the party. At 10 generations I have found 18% of the names. I am at 97% of my first six generations, but the numbers of known ancestors drop off significantly after that. Still it's better than last year, when my number was 12%.

Heather Wilkinson Rojo said...

I'd love to participate but I can't figure out a way to count up all the ancestors on Family Tree Maker. Any ideas anyone?

Randy Seaver said...

Heather, the way I did it was to make an ahnentafel report (just ancestors), and then count the number in each generation, and put the number in the form. It's a brute force approach!

Took me awhile, but I got there.

Good luck -- Randy

CS Images said...

If any of your readers use Family Historian programme there is a report plugin that does this for you it is available on the Users Group forum.