17 September 2017 was the day I sat next to my Grandma Deane as she took her last breath. It was such a privilege to be with her in her final moments.
In the days and weeks that followed, I would struggle to regain focus on my genealogy efforts. She was the person who got me started. She was my best cheerleader. Losing her was more than just losing a grandparent.
In an attempt to mark our combined efforts and refocus my work, I counted up all of my Maternal Ancestors. All of them because even though she divorced my Mom’s father long ago, Grandma still actively worked on gathering information for that portion of my tree as well as her own.
That Ancestor Count looked like this:
Just two months later I would update it again for myself. Not that the ancestor count had changed, but I realized I should have added the total number of individuals in my main tree. Ancestor or not, every bit of that effort helps push our trees back further. Descendancy work is oh-so-important too! Plus, I added a few personal goals to my chart.
Well, last week, as I began looking toward 2019 and considering my genealogy goals for this new year, I decided it was time to update my Maternal Ancestor Count again. Oh boy! What an exciting update:
The yellow headers indicate new columns and the green boxes show areas of increase. But these are the two big numbers to consider:
1 – My total Maternal Ancestor Count jumped from 155 to 209 in 2018! That is 54 newly identified ancestors in 2018!!
2 – My total individual count in my tree jumped from 8,810 to 10,019 in 2018! That is an increase of 1,209 people in 2018!!
Now let’s be clear about something – I AM NOT a “person collector”. I never click a button and import data from someone else’s tree on Ancestry. Each of those newly added people were added based on a record, based on research.
But let’s also be clear about something else – every single person we add to our trees is worth celebrating. We identified a person who is connected to us in some way and their story is part of our story. The more we build each ancestor’s FAN club – the closer we get to pushing our tree back another generation.
So I am celebrating over here!!
I added FIFTY-FOUR direct line ancestors in 2018!! That is more than one for each week of 2018.
Here is what 54 looks like:
And, I added 1,209 family members to my tree in 2018!! That is more than 23 individuals for each week of 2018.
Here is what 1,209 looks like:
I can’t wait to see where my count ends up at the end of 2019! My goal? Extend my chart and include at least one 10th great-grandparent.
2019 is here – let’s hit the ground running!!
What is your ancestor count?