Sunday, August 19, 2012

SNGF: What's Your Number?

Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings posts a challenge every Saturday, and even though I usually don't check it out until Sunday, it's a treat whenever I get there to see his Saturday Night Genealogy Fun! Find this weeks challenge at:

In a nut shell, Randy's challenge this week is to do a total count on ancestors going back in a direct fashion and then a count by generation. Randy referred to Crista Cowan's post on the blog at
She has a handy chart that totals up the number of individuals possible in each of the generations. Cool. Sounds like fun.

So off I go to Mom's big chart on Family Tree Maker to see what her totals are for the 60,000+ ancestors she's identified. If you remember, Mom has been working on genealogy since the early 1970s, and me, well I'm a complete newbie, still after a couple of years:)

Now as luck would have it, I just saw Randy speak yesterday at the Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego's meeting. (Find them at: ) They always offer an excellent speaker so I go as often as life allows. Randy was super good and I was reminded once again that he's an engineer by vocation with that sharp analytical engineer's mind! Charts, graphs, critical thinking! It's all there. So I can see why this SNGF appeals to Randy. Go to his blog and take a look at his analysis of the challenge! Woah, Nellie! I'm impressed:)

Me, I'm more the liberal arts and humanities gal... and kinda dyslexic. So after making a chart by hand and counting back a couple of generations I started looking for a way to let Family Tree Maker do the work. Think I might have found it.

Open FTM and get yourself as the Home Person, which you probably are anyway. Then click on Publish in the bar at the top. BTW, I'm using FTM 2012. Look at Charts and Reports to find Relationship Reports. Then select the Kinship Report and click on Create Report on the right panel. When it opens, look on the right and find Individuals to Include. Click on the Select Individuals bar and that pops up a box where you can select the ancestors to include.

It ran the report for me and after printing it out and spending some time with it over a cuppa, I find that Mom has identified 264 out of a possible 1023 direct line ancestors back 10 generations to 7x great-grandparents... if I did it right and there are no guarantees there;)

Now if you go look at Randy's challenge and his analysis of his own ancestral situation he has it broken down by number of ancestors in each generation. I could sit with my report and count them up right now but I don't even trust myself to do that... so unless it's a report feature on FTM 2012 that's not gonna happen today! But I want to do it because I can see that it shows you in real numbers where your ancestors on your tree evaporate into the miasma of the past.

How interesting to do this!

Photo of the day from The Archive:

Catherine Elizabeth House Whetstone (1865 - 1947)
My Maternal GG Mother and Mom's Grandmother,
Photo taken 1932.

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1 comment:

  1. well done, Diane. I had to count mine by hand from a list...

    Thanks for the comments about my talk. I appreciate it!