Randy Seaver of GeneaMusings.com has provided this exercise
for this week’s fun:
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.
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
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
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?
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
Three children had no offspring
One child had 19 children
Remaining six children had an average of just over seven
John F. Spurlock (1850-1945)
John Fedrick Spurlock (1850-1945) had 19 children and 63
Two children did not live to adulthood
Remaining children averaged 3.7 children each
Jasper Jackson Spurlock, Sr. (1876-1940) had 4 children and
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
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.
Randy Seaver, of Geneamusings.com, has provided the
following mission for this week’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun:
We're going to do a little bit of Semi-Random Research
tonight...what is your first name? [This is the easy part!]
Go to your family tree database of choice (you know, like
RootsMagic, Reunion, Ancestry Member Tree), and determine who the first person
in your alphabetical name index is with a surname starting with the first two
letters of your first name (e.g., my first name is RAndall, so I'm looking for
the first person with a surname starting with RA). [If there are no surnames with those first
two letters, take the surname after that letter combination.]
What do you know about this person based on your research? It's OK to do more if you need to - in fact,
How are you related to this person, and why is s/he in your
Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to
this blog post, or in a Facebook Status post or Google+ Stream post.
This semi-random research mission has provided me with source citations for information in my genealogy database. Here's how I got them!
My given name is Denise.
The first person in my database with a surname beginning
with “De” is John Richard Dean, born on 29 May 1865 in Arkansas, and died 5
March 1956 in Polk County, Missouri. I am not related to this individual; according
to my database, he was the husband of my 2nd cousin 4 times removed
Mary Isabella Hammontree.
Since there are no sources listed for any of the information
about John Richard Dean or Mary Isabella Hammontree, it’s clear that I entered
this information as a “newbie genealogist” before I realized the need for
accurate source citations.
I did find a photograph of John and Mary’s grave marker on
Findagrave which includes full dates of birth and death for each of them.
I did not locate a record to verify their marriage on 26
November 1886 in Greene County, Missouri. However, I did find a census record
for John R. Dean in the 1900 census with his wife Belle and four children. The
birth information for John and Belle is consistent with the information on the
tombstones; the enumerator noted that they had been married 14 years which is
consistent for an 1886 marriage.
My genealogy database now includes the source citations for
the information found! Yay!