My Ancestor Score as of Valentine’s Day 2021

It’s time for my Ancestor Score! 

We would not be here without the ancestral couples who came before us. What better day to feature them than on Valentine’s Day. Nearly all of my ancestors were married, some cut it close, and two ancestresses never bothered to marry.

I’ve been writing about The Ancestors since I began blogging, going back one generation at a time. Generations 2 through 7 are complete except for one set of 4th great-grandparents. The 8th generation is off to a good start with nearly a dozen couples’ stories already written. Vital statistics, spouses, children, residence, occupation, ownership, military service, and miscellaneous biographical information were used in the stories.

There are close to 400 known ancestors in the next four generations – many have baptism, marriage, and burial records, some have more biographical detail,  while others may only be names gleaned from their children’s records.

In the past, I’ve kept track of the ancestors back to the earliest known ancestor in the 21st generation. This year I decided to count only the ancestors back to my 7th great-grandparents.

My Ancestor Score

Nearly 90% of my ancestors are known up to generation 8. The numbers go down significantly in the next two generations due to the brick walls in my paternal lines in the US.

New Names in the Family Tree

The name of Henry TREADWAY’s first wife was found this past year in a book with a series of sketches on early families of Steubenville and Jefferson County, Ohio, written by Mrs. Mary Donaldson Sinclair  (1862-1940) in the early 1930s, and published at that time by The Steubenville Herald-Star. The article included not only Henry TREADWAY’s wife’s name but also her parents’ names and where they were from. Three new names in the family tree (generations 7 and 8) need to be researched. Perhaps they will firm up the assumption that Henry TREADWAY and Sarah JOHNSON were the parents of my 3rd great-grandmother Sarah Ann TREADWAY. DNA matches to descendants of three other children of Henry have been found in one cluster and are the reason I’ve taken a closer look at available publications.

Henry TREADWAY and his wife are the 4th great-grandparents I mentioned above that have not yet been featured on my blog. I plan to take time to review the research I’ve done and, finally, write about them sometime this year.

My Children’s Ancestor Score

My children’s numbers are looking a lot better than mine as their paternal line is Luxembourgish. The 4% missing in the subtotal up to generation 8 is due to my DEMPSEY, DOSS, and COOLEY brick walls, as well as, one set of 5th great-grandparents that is unknown on their paternal side.

How do you keep track of your ancestors?

I learned this way of keeping tabs on the progress of genealogy research on Barbara Schmidt’s blog Connecting the Worlds in 2014. This is my 8th year doing the Ancestor Score on Valentine’s Day.

The posts from previous years can be found here:

© 2021, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

When I’m not doing genealogy and blogging, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful Luxembourg countryside.

21 thoughts on “My Ancestor Score as of Valentine’s Day 2021”

  1. Congratulations! That’s quite an impressive score. I don’t bother with mine as I know I’ve hit dead ends on several lines of my direct ancestors. Once the records disappear and the surnames as well, it becomes a futile effort. So my score probably hasn’t moved in years. Now if you count COLLATERAL relatives, that’s a whole other story!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t have what it takes to do a count of collateral relatives! I am not really too concerned about numbers anyway. 🙂 And if your work doesn’t meet those standards, whose would?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I don’t think there is a way to count the collateral relatives and I know you aren’t concerned with the numbers. The stories you are able to tell are more important. Who needs standards when we are doing the best we can? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for introducing this challenge, I’ve been reading your blog recently and thought I’d give it a try. is mine. I’ve had a lot of luck with Rabbinical lines and Norwegian bygdeboks with a ton of pedigree collapse that let me merge the same lines over and over (eg an 18th great grandparent might be my ancestor in up to 30+ ways). I wish you the best of luck finding more ancestors this 2021! It seems like an endless task because even with 5 thousand I still am only at 0.1%, but I think the fact that there is always more to research makes it all the more enjoyable. By the way, I found sort of a shortcut to do this rather than counting by hand, let me know if you’d like to know more! You could probably do this more than once a year to track progress if it wasn’t so arduous to count each ancestor by hand in the ahnentafel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jacob, for joining the challenge. The counting by hand is arduous! I found that I could use One2Tree on Ancestry to generate an ahnentafel and then subtract the number of ancestors at the beginning of a generation and at the end to get the number of ancestors in each generation. BUT my tree on Ancestry is not as reliable as my GEDCOM. What’s your shortcut?


      1. I like your shortcut much better, I’ll have to give that a try. I realized that most ahnentafel software generates a report that has certain unique symbols that only show up once per line like “:”, and that if I copy and pasted a generation into google docs and then control-f for the “:” symbol, it would count how many people there were in each generation. Your shortcut sounds like even less work! Ancestry is my preferred platform so that sounds very helpful.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve got some great numbers there. Half of my tree will forever remain as it is since the Slovak side were all peasant farmers and the church books only go back to the early 1800s. My maternal side has numbers more in line with yours. Doesn’t it feel good when we can document even one or two new ancestors? Happy Valentine’s Day, Cathy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post. I have an ancestral couple from Steubenville, OH. What years are covered in the book you mentioned? My family lived there around 1850 and a bit earlier. I’ll have to see how many ancestors I know, fun project.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for your Valentine post. Some day I should add up my ancestors. Have a brick wall on the ABENS side in Germany. Most of my wife’s side is in the US for many generations. My children should had a good percentage. I enjoy your blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

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