Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Comparing Generations

with 2 comments

In my random occasions dabbling with research into my family ancestry, I’ve too often limited my focus to a narrow few surnames at the expense of so many others. The case of not finding any evidence of a person I’m seeking should be enough to push me on to other lines of the family, but sometimes I can’t get myself to give up.

Something that has helped me to appreciate how many people’s blood we share is the display of doubling numbers for each generation above us in our family trees.

  • 2 parents
  • 4 grandparents
  • 8 great grandparents
  • 16 great-great grandparents
  • 32 great-great-great grandparents
  • 64 great-great-great-great grandparents

I’ve got names for all 16 great-great grandparents, but only 25 of 32 third-great grandparents.

It can get confusing sometimes to keep track of generations and relationships, especially when parent and children names can be the same or very similar. Since I was listing out the generations, I decided to make note of the range of birth years for each.

It’s interesting to see how much the range of years increases with each generation, but understandable with the increased number of people involved.

Cyndie and I can serve as an example of how the difference of birth year can be so great within a familial generation. There is a 17-year difference in the birth years of our parents. Cyndie was the first-born child of 20-year-old parents and I was the fifth-born child of 40-year-old parents.

The birth date ranges of my ancestors shows that one of my 3rd-great grandparents was born after one of my 2nd-great grandparents. No wonder I can get confused sometimes about who is who and in which generation they belong.

It’s a mind boggling trip to contemplate being equal parts of 32 or 64 people in a generation.

It would be a shame to neglect any one part of our history when looking at the rest. My next priority on the genealogy puzzle is to identify those seven missing 3rd-great grandparents. From the looks of it, has hints waiting to be investigated on several of them.



Written by johnwhays

February 11, 2022 at 7:00 am

2 Responses

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  1. I was 13 years old when GG’ma Barrett died!? You’d think I’d have some memory of her 🤷‍♀️


    February 11, 2022 at 1:15 pm

    • I know! How much interaction did you have with Gramma Helen? You think Minnie Church would have been at Mom and Dad’s wedding?


      February 11, 2022 at 4:09 pm

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