taking a breather between genetic lines

by Andrea Elizabeth

It is amazing how many ancestors one has. If you go back 10 generations, which averages about 300 years (colonial times), you have 1024 8th great grandparents directly responsible for your existence, just as much as your parents are. Without one of them you wouldn’t be here. Before doing this research I had a more myopic point of view because I only knew a few surnames and so I assumed I had just a few direct lines. Added to that, the geneology programs on PBS only profile one or two ancestors, so you think these were solely responsible for where and when you came to be. Not so.

It works the other way too. If any given of those 8th GGF’s had only 2 kids, and most had way more, then each of them would have at least 1024 living descendants who could share information on the internet. Once you have a common ancestor, then the rest of the tree unfolds rather quickly by clicking on Ancestor Member Trees on sites such as ancestor.com. I only had to look at the provided census records for my great-grandparents to provide enough info to link to others’ trees.

According to the above article, after 10 generations there starts to be repetition of ancestors, and that’s why we don’t each have 2 trillion ancestors 40 generations back around the year 750 a.d..