Monday, May 9, 2016

Using Puzzilla to Visualize My Auble Family Tree Research

While I have been researching my Auble ancestral families, I have been adding my information to the FamilySearch Family Tree using RootsMagic 7 to add or match persons and to add or update vital and other information to the person profiles.

I have used in the past to visualize my research, and thought it might be fun to see how the Auble line is shaping up.  The About page at says:

"The Puzzilla Descendants Viewer is a combination of free basic services plus subscription premium services that help researchers see descendants in FamilyTree using compact symbols that reveal patterns of incomplete research and other work in collateral-lines. Names and details appear as you move the pointer over the symbols. Premium Services, available by subscription, provide hints, sources, possible duplicates, incomplete ordinances, search and other functions to help evaluate the quality of the research in the tree and add evidence to make it stronger."

I used the free Puzzilla system to see all of my Ancestors back 10 generations from myself in the FamilySearch Family Tree (note that I increased the number of Generations from the default 4 to 10 on the left side of the screen below):

I am the large node at the bottom of the chart.  My father's ancestors are on the left side and half the right side of the chart, and my mother's ancestry is on lower part of the right-hand side of the chart.

I wanted to see the descendants of John Abel (1756-1818) on my mother's side, so I zoomed in and found Johannes by running y mouse over the nodes.  When I did that, the name that I was hovering over was shown on the chart and also at the bottom of the left-hand side of the screen:

The small box on the screen provides the opportunity to see Descendants or Ancestors.  I want to see Descendants, so I clicked on that and saw all of the Descendants of John Abel (my 4th great-grandfather) for 6 generations:

The line from John Abel to me is a yellow line - I'm one of the blue guys at the bottom left of the screen above.  I can easily count up the number of descendants of John Abel:

*  first generation:  10 children (but some are duplicates)
*  second generation:  25 grandchildren
*  third generation:  36 great-grandchildren
*  fourth generation:  39 2nd great-grandchildren
*  fifth generation:  36 3rd great-grandchildren
*  sixth generation:  8 4th great-grandchildren

Of course, not everybody who is a descendant of John Abel is in the FamilySearch Family Tree, especially in the last several generations.

I was really interested in the descendants of Johannes Auble (1780-1831) - my 3rd great-grandfather.  I clicked on his node on the screen above and the chart filled out quickly:

My yellow line of descent now goes out to the left.  I have added quite a few persons to the Family Tree recently because of the will of Elizabeth Auble (1818-1899).  I have not found all of the living descendants in my generation yet or added them to the Family Tree, but I think I have found most of the descendants in my mother's generation.  The breakdown by generation is:

*  first generation:  8 children (6 had children).
*  second generation: 23 grandchildren (11 had children)
*  third generation:  11 great-grandchildren (9 had children)
*  fourth generation:  15 2nd great-grandchildren (3 had children)
*  fifth generation:  5 3rd great-grandchildren

Again, I know that not all of the last two generations are in the Family Tree, but I think almost all of the earlier generations are there.

One thing that strikes me on the last chart is that this family line had a lot of families with only one child, and for several generations in some cases.

Unfortunately, I don't think I have been contacted by any of these Auble cousins descended from Johannes Auble (1780-1831).  I have heard from at least two descendants of John Abel (1756-1818).

Using Puzzilla in this way can help a researcher see where the "holes" in the FamilySearch Family Tree, or in their own research, may be.

It would be neat if Puzzilla would provide a list of the number of descendants in each generation from the selected person so we didn't have to try to count them up.


The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at

No comments: