Is there a standard estimated life expectancy?

+4 votes
123 views
Trying to grapple with this estimated date thing, which seems a bit odd to me, but I understand you have your reasons.

In many cases you're just going to have a parent's name--like from a marriage record that lists parents. So you might have a birth date for the child, and you can say that the parent was born at least 20 years or whatever before that.

But you need a death date too, else you can't add the person. Is there a standard lifespan guess--say 70 years? Of course, that's an estimate based on estimate--which your FAQ says to avoid, but your policies seem to require.
in Policy and Style by Jim Naureckas G2G Crew (800 points)
edited by Ellen Smith

4 Answers

+9 votes
 
Best answer
Jim, welcome to G2G forum.

You can add people to WikiTree providing only one of the dates, date of birth OR date of death.
by Rubén Hernández G2G6 Pilot (682k points)
selected by Shirlea Smith
+4 votes
I usually figure about 70 for death by old age, 30 for the average age of male parent at birth, 25 for female parent (mean intergenerational time). First marriage about 20-25 male, 15-20 female, apprenticeship 14-ish, minimum age for witness in common law 14, age of majority 21. A lot of it comes down to what kind of records you have. Age of majority is one of the best, I've found, since it significantly impacts legal records.

The point of it on here is so that there will be some date reference when it shows up in searches. It would probably be better if the date fields allowed a range option, but I guess this works.
by Anonymous Buckner G2G6 Mach 5 (51.8k points)
The problem is that all these rules-of-thumb are subject to place and time and, therefore, not especially useful without specific caveats.
Yeah, but my problem is I don't have hours to write posts. Take it or leave it.
Ben I have a very large number of people in my family that have lived far longer than your :estimate: by many years. That is the problem with guesses. Most of my fathers family  has lived into their 90's and even my mothers side has mostly lived to their 90's so I would say your guesses could be very wrong. Guesses like these have no place in good genealogy.
Yeah, I understand that not every estimate is correct. That's why it's called an estimate.

Most people ignore a blank, but are really quick to correct an error.  Estimated dates are really important to help sort out generations when the same name keeps appearing in a family - just be sure to explain your guess.

Every family has a different pattern; use your 'best guess' for your own family line (eg. some families typically have females married young).  I use age 20 for mother's age at birth of children, and often use the same year for each child (eg about 1925) . I always  About __year____ and 'guess" and an explanation.  

"Good genealogy" ???? anything that let's people know uncertainty is good; others are more likely to  help correct or research sources you couldn't find!  Collaborating on genealogy seems to be a somewhat new trend, and one I welcome!

+3 votes
To your specific point about having the parents' names from a marriage record but no more detail for them, my policy is to record the fact in the profile for the child but to not create the parents until/unless I can find additional sources for them OR if there are multiple children that can be connected to the same parents. Bottom line, be as expansive as you can in the bios, brevity is not a virtue!
by Chris Hampson G2G6 Pilot (105k points)
I have to agree with Chris on this, if you do not have a good birth or death date then creating the profile with guesses is not good genealogy.
If you wanted to do it right, you would use floruit dates like historians do, but it's a limitation of the database.
Well, we do have the before and after options, and, perhaps I'm lucky that in my area of research the baptismal/birth record does mention the fact that a child was posthumous so after the birth of the last known child is a good date. The use of floruit dates would require an additional datafield and probably be a major pain to the database architecture even though it would be nice to have the option.
+5 votes
You cannot estimate death date based on life expectancy. If it is not known, then the only estimate that you can make is that it is after the last sourced event.
by Lynda Crackett G2G6 Pilot (629k points)

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