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?
14 thoughts on “My Maternal Ancestor Count – 2018 Update”
My mother’s genealogy is in Family Search. My uncle produced a 14+ generation chart in the 1950’s. I was just a girl but I read that chart religiously. If I understand you correctly, am I to begin again & verify?? I can only hope you have time to reply. It’s okay if you can’t.
Oh, heavens no, no need for you to count up your ancestors if you don’t want to. It’s something I like to do to measure my own progress. When I started researching, my Mom’s side of the tree was quite empty. It’s very satisfying (and thrilling) to stop and count them all up on occasion to see how much I’ve learned and added to my tree. ❤️
Great work! What do the entries in the last two columns mean? HEM, FHD?
Thank you, Amy! Oh, good question. Those are the initials of my great-grandparents so I can see where I’m making the most progress/have the most work to do. HEM is Hope Estelle Maffit, FHD is her husband, Francis Henry Duval, and MBY is Mary Brown Young, wife of John Costello. And of course, JC isn’t even listed yet because he is the end of the line so far.
Thanks for the explanation!
You are welcome! 🙂
Funnily enough I’ve been doing something very similar – though you have had more success than I have. After more than 40 years research, I don’t often add new ancestors. 🙂
Well… two of those direct line ancestors were on one line and the other 52 were because I finally got my 3rd great-grandpa into France so that wall has not only tumbled, it’s keeping me crazy busy! (In a good way.)
I imagine that in 20 years, when I’m at year 40, I may very well be saying the same thing. But I’m going to happily ride the brick wall smashing for as long as I can. I also have the advantage of being only the second person to work on my Mom’s branch so it was pretty wide open when I started. I still have two very recent brick walls. I hope to make some progress on those this year. ❤️
As you know I do the Ancestor Count on Valentine’s Day. I don’t believe I will have such a large increase. Maybe I should get to work on preparing it. Congratulations, Amberly. I hope 2019 will be even more successful for you!!
Thank you, Cathy! Well… my increase for direct line ancestors would have only been two if it weren’t for my huge John Baptiste Jerrain breakthrough. 😉 It’s pretty awesome when a brick wall tumbles so well and in a place in the world where there are good records that are accessible online. I feel very fortunate!!
Oh! Those party hats (is that what they are?) are an awesome visual of all your hard work! Great idea and congrats!
Thank you, Lenore! Hmmm… I am honestly not sure what they are – just checked on my phone so I could see it bigger… it looks like a party horn with confetti and streamers. I use that little fella as my “CELEBRATION!” emoji. 😉
I love this spreadsheet but do you mind me asking what the abbreviations mean in the final right hand column? MBY – FMD – HEM?
Gill @book_magpie on Twitter
I don’t mind at all — those are the initials of three of my great-grandparents. It helps me track where I’ve focused my work. In 2019, all additions were on HEM — or Hope Estelle Maffit’s line. My fourth great-grandparent, John Costello, is stuck in earlier generations.