Saturday, September 21, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - How Many Children/Grandchildren in Your Birth Surname Line?

Randy Seaver of has provided this exercise for this week’s fun:
  1. Consider your Birth Surname families - the ones from your father back through his father all the way back to the first of that surname in your family group sheets or genealogy database.  List the father's name, and lifespan years.
  2. Use your paper charts or genealogy software program to create a Descendants chart (dropline or graphical) that provide the children and their children (i.e., up to the grandchildren of each father in the surname list).
  3. Count how many children they had (with all spouses), and the children of those children in your records and/or database.  Add those numbers to the list.  See my example below!  [Note: Do not count the spouses of the children]
  4. What does this list of children and grandchildren tell you about these persons in your birth surname line?  Does this task indicate areas that you need to do more research to fill out families and find potential cousins?
  5. Tell us about it in your own blog post, or in a comment to this post, or in a comment on Facebook or Google+.

Here's my Spurlock line!

Ransom Spurlock (1807-1896) had 10 children and 62 grandchildren
  • Three children had no offspring
  • One child had 19 children
  • Remaining six children had an average of just over seven children each

John F. Spurlock (1850-1945)
John Fedrick Spurlock (1850-1945) had 19 children and 63 grandchildren
  • Two children did not live to adulthood
  • Remaining children averaged 3.7 children each

Jasper Jackson Spurlock, Sr. (1876-1940) had 4 children and 7 grandchildren
  • One son had no children
  • Other three children had an average of 2.3 children
  • Other two sons had only daughters

Jasper Jackson Spurlock, Jr. (1912-1978) had 3 daughters and 7 grandchildren
  • Three daughters had an average of 2.3 children

With the exception of my great-grandfather John F. Spurlock, family size seems to be about average for the time periods in which each man lived.

I have researched my Spurlock lines fairly well. Several of Ransom's children died before their children reached adulthood; widows remarried and information is scarce on a couple of the families. I continue to conduct descendancy research on a fairly regular basis, picking up bits and pieces of information about the collateral families.

My father had only daughters, so my own Spurlock line has "daughtered out" with no male children to carry the surname forward.

© 2013 Denise Spurlock


  1. It also tells me that overall our grandfathers had long lives, especially considering the time periods. Even Daddy and "Grandpa" were close to or over average. That combined with the Yawman lineage should make us immortal.

    1. We do seem to have longevity going for us on both sides -- immortality is the only way we can keep our Spurlock line going!