In May 2018 I wrote in this journal about progress I was making on my family tree. The previous ten generations of my children’s ancestors have a maximum total of 1,023 people. How many of these, I wondered, could I name.

I found that I knew the names of only 319 (31%). Today, four and a half years later, I can name 384 (38%). This is 65 more, an increase of 26 on what I knew a year ago. I have yet to discover the names and other information about the remaining 639.

Ten generations takes you to your 7th great grandparents. Where I know their date of birth, most of my children’s 7th great grandparents were born in the late 1600s and 1700s. I know the names of 99 of the 512 ancestors of this generation. I don’t know very much more than the names of 44.

In recent years I have transferred the outcome of much of my research to WikiTree, a collaborative project intended to produce a single worldwide family tree.

In a post of 26 April 2019, the genealogist Kitty Cooper discusses why you should add your research to WikiTree. My research will be there as a resource for my cousins to use now and indefinitely into the future, safe, I hope, from accidental or malicious damage.

There are discrepancies between my personal research tree and WikiTree. For one thing, I have names of ancestors on my personal tree about whom I know nothing more. These people cannot be added to WikiTree until I have more information about them. When I add a person to WikiTree I provide source citations: I state how I know the facts being added and about the relationship of the newly-added profile to other people on the tree. Adding my family tree to WikiTree is an excellent way to review and verify my family history research.

When looking at the 1,023 individuals of the previous ten generations of our ancestors, I now have 313 recorded on WikiTree, 31% of the possible maximum. This is 55 more than the 258 recorded on WikiTree a year ago. I need to find more details for the 70 ancestors where I know not much more than the name and add them to WikiTree. The challenge remains to try to learn about the 639 ancestors missing from our tree.

Chart generated from Wikitree of my daughter’s ancestors

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