How Complete is your Tree?

+16 votes
How many generations can you go back before you find your first missing Ancestor?
in The Tree House by Michael Stills G2G6 Pilot (380k points)
retagged by Keith Hathaway
I am missing only one 2nd great grand parent.  The father of Alonzo Culp is unknown.

My Maternal line ends at my Mother.

The first missing ancestors in my paternal line are 5th Great-Grandparents (6 entirely missing, and 3 positively identified by name but no vitals yet known)

More important to my view of 'how complete my tree is' is that for the 116 paternal ancestors that I have profiles for, I have 'reliable' sources for about 95% of the vital events (i.e. BMD), and I have identified 353 'other' children born to these ancestors.

15 Answers

+8 votes
My gg grandfather, John Spence, was born in Ireland, maybe Antrim County on November 12, 1810. So, far, I have not been able to find his parents.

Per the Spence surname is said to have Anglo -Scottish origins. One of John Spence's ancestors probably lived in the UK before migrating to the Emerald Isle.
by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (1.9m points)
Well Frank if YOU can not find him, he is going to be tough.  A trip to Ireland in the future?

I have 5 surnames that have the same Anglo-Scottish origins.  I have only one of them that hints at being from Ireland but my Ancestry DNA testing says I am 13% Irish.  Before I learned this, I went to Ireland in 2011, all my wife's grandparents were born in Ireland.  But her Irish appear to have been there a long time.  If I am right, my Irish kicked out her Irish.  We skipped Nothern Ireland while there but did go to Donegal, for her Boyle Ancestors.

I have Williams and Bell ancestors who lived in Monaghan County, Ireland for a few generations, but the Williams came from Wales to Ireland and the Bells from southern England. The Bells were thought to have lived in Scotland before they lived in Englnad. My Mr. Bell and Mrs. Williams Bell left Monaghan County, Ireland for Western PA in 1792.

+9 votes
Thanks to Dale Byers finding my grandfather's name a week or so ago, I now know all 4 of them and am only (???) missing 3 of my 4 great-grandparents.  I figure I set a record here for the fewest known ancestors.
by Gaile Connolly G2G6 Pilot (748k points)
Gail,  My mom did not know who her grandfather was.  Had never heard anything about him and had never asked.  I found him and an interesting story about his death.  He died in 1901 and my mom was born in 1933.  That was Alonzo Culp as mentioned in my opening question.
+8 votes
For me it depends. If it is my fathers line then it is defenatly back to him. If it is the branches attached to my tree then it is my Great grandfather on my moms side.
by Chris McCombs G2G6 Mach 4 (46k points)
Chris, your tree has a lot of "Privates" but it looks like you have all your 2nd Great Grandparents.
+8 votes
Complete to my 4th great grand parents, missing 8 for the 5th great grand.
by Claude Emond G2G6 Mach 1 (15.1k points)
Calude, all 4th Great grandparents.  That is great.  How far back in time does that go? Where are they from?
Borned in second part of 1700 and died in early 1800 for most of them (at least for the ones where I have found their birth certificate).

French Canadian, the church did a very good job of keeping records and 99% of the time when you find the marriage record you get the name of the parents.
+7 votes
Complete through 5th generation, 8 missing from 6th generation, breaks down after that point.  Interesting is that up through the 6th generaltion, all were born in North America.

My paternal line is well researched by others and WikiTree helped get me connected.
by Kristina Adams G2G6 Pilot (170k points)
+7 votes
I can not get past one of my 2nd great grandfathers that came from Germany & another from England.  Otherwise, with the exception of a few others, I've found most of the lines.
by Doug Lockwood G2G Astronaut (2.4m points)
+8 votes
My GG-Grandparents are all filled in. However, I'm missing two pair of GGG-Grandparents on my mother's side, and one on my father's side.

Then following that, my paternal Grandfather's line is well documented - FULKERSON goes back a long way with lots of research done.

My paternal Grandmother is not so strong - I'm missing the one aforementioned G-Grandparents for her, and only have one set of GG-Grandparents for her tree - LEAMAN

My maternal Grandfather needs work - missing 2 G-Grandparents on him, and only 1 1/2 sets of GG-Grandparents on his side have been found. - EVANS

And my maternal Grandmother is pretty good - only missing 1 1/2 GG-Grandparents there. - HICKS

Overall I'm pretty happy with where things look, but just in going through this, I can see there are gaping holes I need to address.
by Scott Fulkerson G2G6 Pilot (650k points)
+7 votes
I've got all my 3x great grandparents. I'm missing 16 (out of 64) 4x great grandparents (and actually 3 of those I have names for but haven't created profiles yet due to lack of dates, etc.).

Going that far back, my paternal (French Canadian) side is pretty much filled in. I've got some gaps on my maternal grandfather's side (English) because that brings me back to around 1830, where the records in England get a whole lot harder to search from the comfort of my computer chair. The gaps on my grandma's side (Canadian, a mix of Scottish, English, Swedish, German, and possibly Irish) are straight up brick walls. Which reminds me, I should work on those!
by Lianne Lavoie G2G6 Pilot (420k points)
Wow, Lianne! I'm jealous!!!
Hmm, more than a year later and not as much has changed as I'd hoped! I still have gaps for 11 of my 4x great grandparents. 7 of them are on my grandpa's side, in England, and 4 are on my grandma's side, in Canada.
+7 votes
Complete through 6 generations, a couple of fathers missing in the seventh due to "illegitimate" births, almost complete 8th (the families of the out-of-wedlock fathers), and then it starts dwindling.
by Helmut Jungschaffer G2G6 Pilot (478k points)
I'm jealous of you too, Helmut!
+6 votes
I lose a line when I get to my father's father's mother's father. She was illegitimate and no one anywhere has suggested who he was. Great-gran was born in the north of England in 1875, but her dad was definitely not english- she is mixed blood. we have always thought it was African by her features. Maybe he was a sailor on a ship.
by Susan Scarcella G2G6 Mach 6 (67.9k points)
+6 votes
I have all my 2nd great grandparents complete.  My 3rd great grandparents would be complete, too, if I could find the parents of Albert Stoll.  I have no idea where he was born in Germany before he immigrated to the United States, so he is a huge brickwall for me.  My Merritt great grandparents stop at the 3rd great grandparent level (another brickwall I am anxious to break through). I am pretty proud that I have filled out most of the 2nd great grandparents by myself with research.  Only three of them were known to me when I started.
by Kristin Merritt G2G6 Mach 1 (15.8k points)
+5 votes
For me, going back 5 generations (3x great grandparents), I'm missing only 4. I have research going for all of them, with names and possible dates for 3 of them. Need some additional confirmation before I feel comfortable adding them on to the tree.

But I'm also doing research for my kids' genealogy (i.e. on their mother's side). So overall it's a lot. I've had 2 breakthroughs just in the last few days.
by Eric Weddington G2G6 Pilot (182k points)
+5 votes
I have a complete tree seven generations before myself - though not yet all entered in wikitree. Then I run out of church records in some Swedish parishes, or someone moved far within Sweden without a very precise birth location given.

On some lines I have immigrated smiths - they all seem to go beyond seven generations when I check, but that is often thanks to the research of others.

No fathers unknown - there must be a few persons born premaritally, several have older siblings who were, but the fathers among my direct ancestors never ran away, it seems. I do have one suspicious case where one of my greatgrandmothers was born about two months after the wedding and there were no more children in a long marriage - I may be barking up the wrong branch there.
by Eva Ekeblad G2G6 Pilot (319k points)
+5 votes

I know at least basics about all of my GG-grandparents, and only two of them are brick walls (James Malcom Chadwick and Henry Kuhlman)

So I'm doing pretty well, but those holes (both born in the US) are driving me insane!

by Hans Gerwitz G2G2 (2.1k points)
+4 votes
My tree is complete through the generation of my 3G grandparents. The gaps begin in their parents' generation (my 4G grandparents). I have blanks for 16 of my 64 ancestors in that generation. I have a pretty good idea who some of those 16 ancestors were, but not enough of a basis to create profiles.
by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1m points)

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