Saturday, February 16, 2019

My 2019 Ancestor Tally: Harvesting A Bumper Crop

Ten generations ago - sometime during the 17th century - there were 512 people scattered across the earth for whom I have great affection.

They are (were?) my seventh great-grandparents, and without a single one of them, I wouldn't exist. And, let's face it, a world without Family Sleuther is a sad place indeed!

For the past two years, I've reviewed the preceding ten generations - through my seventh great-grandparents - and tabulated the number of ancestors I've discovered during my research.

The game was more fun in the early days when I was plucking the low-hanging fruit hand over fist. Now, the easy work is done, forcing me to climb higher and dig deeper and shed tears while howling hysterically into the night sky to surface names for ancestors who lived centuries ago.

Miraculously, in 2018 I had several big breaks, which significantly closed the gap on missing fourth great-grandparents. In total, I learned the parents of the following third great-grandparents, adding eight (!) new fourth great-grandparents to the tree:

  • John Flynn (I haven't written about the discovery of his parents yet, which came fast on the heels of learning that John had been murdered: A Trifling Quarrel Ends in Murder)

For those of you eyeing that tally compared to 2018, you'll note that it looks like I actually only found seven new fourth great-grandparents and not eight. Turns out Susan Day's father was not John Day, the name given on her death certificate, but actually Robert Day. So the slot remains identified but now with the correct name.

All told, 2018 was a productive year that yielded a bumper crop. New fourth great-grandparents led to ten new fifth great-grandparents and six new sixth great-grandparents (say that three times fast!).

Here's hoping 2019 yields another bountiful harvest (sorry, I'm milking this metaphor for all it's worth!).

How did your ancestor tally fare in 2018?

Ancestor Count 2018
Ancestor Count 2017


  1. Woohoo! I love that you were able to add several generations in one swoop. I know it wasn't as easy as it sounds. How about sending a bit of your Family Sleuther luck over my way, Michael.

    1. In a couple of these cases - the Stevens and Day lines - it was easier to add additional generations once I knew who I was looking for and where. It felt like a little icing on the cake.

      I'm happy to share positive research vibes! Happy hunting in 2019, Cathy.

  2. Nice work, Michael! It's been fun following your discoveries.