Tracing all branches back: Is it logistically impossible?

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john_dominic
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Tracing all branches back: Is it logistically impossible?

Postby john_dominic » 19 Oct 2005, 21:55

Ok, a question just crossed my mind.

Originally my idea was to trace all branches back as far as possible, and i'm making good headway, with all sides (pretty much traced back to city of origin before immigrating to the US (barring two examples which most of you should know)).

However, I came across something that sort of blew my mind, and made me step back a second:

If you remember from Algebra in school, each generation back has exponentially more people than the prior one, meaning:

Image

So, follow me on this.

If each generation, on average is 25 years apart (a fair estimate giving old and young births), that makes 4 generations a century.

So, that would make the number of family lines to research every century back go up by an exponent of four.

So, that would mean

Image

Now, I know lines would have to get criss-crossed somewhere, reducing this to a degree, but am I wrong in thinking that it's going to be impossble, given how much time it would take to do such a thing in your life?

I mean, if I was to do it to even 1600, it would mean i'd be tracing 32,768 lines (roughly, probably slightly less, given inevitable intermixing).

Now, unless my calculations are wrong, there's just not enough time to do this in anyone's life.

Thoughts?

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Essgee
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Re: Tracing all branches back: Is it logistically impossible

Postby Essgee » 19 Oct 2005, 22:21

A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step......

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mfjp
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Re: Tracing all branches back: Is it logistically impossible

Postby mfjp » 19 Oct 2005, 22:34

Since you seem like the ambitious type...

check this out!

Calculating Relationships in One Step
http://www.stevemorse.org/relation/calculator.html

have fun,
mfjp :P

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Marco
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Re: Tracing all branches back: Is it logistically impossible

Postby Marco » 19 Oct 2005, 22:54

john_dominic wrote:Ok, a question just crossed my mind.
.......
Now, unless my calculations are wrong, there's just not enough time to do this in anyone's life.
.......
Thoughts?


Yes, that's why I like genealogy, because it's by definition a never-ending task!
As for numbers I remember reading somewhere that very very few people have 1024 (10th generation) different ancestors.
You put 4 generations per century while I'd use 3 as a better estimate. The longest line I have in my family has 14 generations from 1560, the second longest has one generation and forty years less. On the average a couple had first child at 20 and the last one at about forty, so thirty years per generation seem a sound guess. Of course this is based on my data only, may be someone has better information?
Marco
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Re: Tracing all branches back: Is it logistically impossible

Postby DonnaPellegrin » 20 Oct 2005, 07:28

I am not a Mormon, but I agree with their philosophy on the subject. The Mormon's believe that tracing family history is a multigenerational project. You do what you can and leave the rest to the next generation to work on.

One other thing to keep in mind is that the farther you go back, the smaller the population and the more likely you will find that someone with common ancestry has done some of the work for you.
Donna Pellegrin

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Re: Tracing all branches back: Is it logistically impossible

Postby Essgee » 20 Oct 2005, 11:45

Quite true.....

You also find that the further you go back, the family tree begins to narrow once again. When you started there were two....and back so many genereations they move back towards two once again....Kind of get you coming and going!!!!

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Re: Tracing all branches back: Is it logistically impossible

Postby JamesBianco » 21 Oct 2005, 19:28

Just as a point of information, my grandmother was born in 1922.
Using the church records of Carini Sicily only..which date complete back to 1530, I have 780 Pages of ancestrial charts for her (not siblings, ONLY the direct bloodlines). At 4 generations per page you can imagine the number of ancestors. Also keep in mind, that in small towns, the farther back you go the more duplicate ancestors you find. For example I descend from one couple 6 times. I essentially have the names of 80% of all her ancestors back to the year 1600. The remaining 20% come from other towns which have not yet made their church records available. As someone said, many churches have not allowed the mormon church to microfilm. I am very lucky and thankful.

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Re: Tracing all branches back: Is it logistically impossible

Postby john_dominic » 21 Oct 2005, 20:34

JamesBianco wrote:Just as a point of information, my grandmother was born in 1922.
Using the church records of Carini Sicily only..which date complete back to 1530, I have 780 Pages of ancestrial charts for her (not siblings, ONLY the direct bloodlines). At 4 generations per page you can imagine the number of ancestors. Also keep in mind, that in small towns, the farther back you go the more duplicate ancestors you find. For example I descend from one couple 6 times. I essentially have the names of 80% of all her ancestors back to the year 1600. The remaining 20% come from other towns which have not yet made their church records available. As someone said, many churches have not allowed the mormon church to microfilm. I am very lucky and thankful.


Can you give me an estimate on:

A. How many people are there total?
B. How long did it take you to do this?
C. Did you do this through LDS or other means?

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Re: Tracing all branches back: Is it logistically impossible

Postby Riverrat » 07 Nov 2005, 04:59

My paternal grandparents came from the small comune of Carunchio, which never had more than 1500 people at any one time. Initially I was only tracing my immediate ancestry through the LDS Carunchio microfilm. However, with the internet posting of so much data (census, Ellis Island, etc), I finally figured "what the heck" and have been databasing the whole town from the LDS microfilm. Have also been tracking Carunchiese through Ellis Island records, following the immigrants to their American destinations through US Census, etc, and trolling genealogy websites to link up with other descendants of Carunchiese. My database now has about 15,000 people from about 1700-2005, and I am nowhere near completion. So follow the data where it takes you- it's a great hobby !!!


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