Saturday, January 4, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun ~ What's Your Ancestor Score?

For once I'm actually going to be doing a SNGF ON a Saturday!!  So here is our "mission" from Randy Seaver over at Genea-Musings:

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. 

1.) I created an Ahnentafel report with my genealogy software (The Master Genealogist) and then counted the number of people in each generation.

2.) Here is my chart:
 3.) My "Ancestor Score" for 10 generations is:
       Number of known ancestral names = 145
       Number of possible ancestral names = 1,023
       10 generation Ancestral Name Number = 145/1,023 = 14.2%

I didn't go for any extra credit so that's it for me!  I will admit that my number would be much lower is I only included ancestors that I felt were well documented.  I had done a similar exercise earlier and my score was lower but about a year ago I was put in contact with someone who had extensive information on my Nissan line and that really made the number go up.

So, I am far from "done"  ~ but that's what make genealogy so much fun!


  1. I'm getting {1, 2, 4, 8, 14, 25, 32, 26, 9, 6 }, or 127/1023, which is 12.4%.

    But I wonder if another index - calculated by lower weights given to the nearer generations - might be more informative. Whilst the percentage accurately reflects the proportion of direct ancestors found, this figure can only go down, and rather rapidly, as you increase the number of generations. Yet one feels that one should have a higher score the further back one finds one's antecedents.

    Something to do with the information value of the discoveries, perhaps related to some kind of Shannon Entropy?

  2. Oh my goodness Paul ~ I think you are beyond me now! I did lookup Shannon Entropy but there were too many squiggly things and letters and stuff ;-)

    I do get what you mean about weighting the score, but for me it's just a quick (and currently EASY) way to see that, "Oh, I have a lot yet to work on, not finished yet"

  3. I didn't see this on Saturday, but Sunday begins with an S. Here I go. . . .

  4. Don't worry Doris - I've done them as late as Monday...which at least has "day" in it!!

  5. Well that was fun!! My score is a sad 5.86%. I take solace in the fact I am 1st generation American on my mother's side with all of her family in Austria/Hungary, etc. Need to travel the Europe and England for research to get my score up ;-)

    1. I don't think your score is sad! It just shows how hard it can be to find our ancestors....oh, and a good excuse to plan overseas travel. :-)


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