Randy Seaver's Genea-Musings blog for 7 March 2010 was a very interesting discussion about being able to document a person's ancestry back 10 generations. It's only taken me five weeks to get around to doing the calculations for my ancestry....
I counted myself as Generation 1 (Randy started with his parents each as Gen 1, but some of those who commented started with themselves as Gen 1 or even a child of theirs as Gen 1; so be careful comparing yourself to Randy, his commenters, or me). I only counted a woman if I had a birth surname and I only counted anyone of whom I'm very sure should be in my lines.
The first result is as expected: No, I do NOT have everyone back 10 generations. But, if I did, maybe this wouldn't be a fun hobby?!
I am solid through 4 generations, having all 8 of my great-grandparents, but in the 5th, I've lost parents for either of my 1850ish Irish immigrant great-grandparents. For the subsequent generations, the ancestors I claim are:
6th generation -- 3g grandparents -- 19 out of 32 possible or 59%
7th -- 4g -- 19 out of 64 or 30%
8th -- 5g -- 30 out of 128 or 23%
9th -- 6g -- 44 out of 256 or 17%
10th-- 7g -- 64 out of 512 or 13%
Overall, that gives me 203 out of 1023 or 19.8% accounted for through 10 generations. Randy Seaver reported that at the 7g level he has accounted for 56%! (He has a larger percentage of early New England heritage than I do.)
The furthest my HEGWER / RICHARDSON line goes is 6 lines all stopping at the 6th generation. CARR / CAUSIER has one line that makes it to the 10th generation, which I think is pretty spiffy given that they are my most recent immigrants. PORTER / DAVISON has several lines well past 10 generations and finding all of their lines to at least 10 seems very realistic. KEATING / DOOLEY are great-grandparents and I sincerely doubt that I will ever find parents for either of them, but I will keep trying!
I'll use the "SURNAMES" blog page that I started a bit ago to keep track of how these numbers go. Let me know if that Blogger page is interesting to you! May you all have great success getting to 10 generations!