Can you search for large families rich in either all male or all female offspring

+7 votes
I am a genealogist, but also a geneticist.  I'm interested in researching family trees that are unusually rich in either all male or all female offspring.  I have become aware that there existed a family in the Alsace region of France/Germany that is reputed to have had over 40 descendents across 4 generations (~1860-1940) with not a single male child among them.  Unfortunately, the identity of this family has remained a mystery.

Perhaps there are others?

Is there a way to interrogate the WikiTree database for descendent trees that are either exclusively or predominantly male or female over several generations?

Is this possible?  Could you run a search of that nature for me?  That would be very interesting indeed.

Best regards,

Dr. Matt Lohmeyer

in WikiTree Tech by M. Lohmeyer G2G6 Mach 1 (11.6k points)
retagged by Aleš Trtnik
I understand from a first correspondence with Aleš that there are quite a few families that might match an all-male/all-female descendency, but that this might be principally due to having incomplete profiles (e.g. only males being entered) rather than reflecting true single-sex inheritance...

To select for families where there is true single-sex descendency over many generations, it might be useful to apply a few additional search criteria:

1) Preference profiles with large numbers of children in any one generation (at least one family has >5) and without large gaps between births (decreases likelihood of omissions)

2) In the first instance, focus on families of all female inheritance (I think it’s inherently more likely for females to be omitted from the record than males)

3) Preference families where a large number of the profiles are owned (i.e. not orphan) - you’d expect them to be more likely to be complete - any you could contact the owner for verification...

4) Limit the search to a period where records are pretty uniformly complete for both sexes - say 1820’s to 1940's and profiles are public.

I wonder how many families remain...

3 Answers

+8 votes
Best answer
Hi, I found quite a few such cases Like
But I have a feeling that this is due to only male or female people being entered or recorded. You already found HEPBURN boys elsewhere.
I don't think having a manager will have any impact on the results. Setting a timeframe will make the query much faster. Now I am setting it to 1800-1950. Private profiles do not exist in my database, so they are already excluded.
I will prepare the possible results, then you need to establish if the data is complete and correct. I suggest that if you find a person with the other gender enter it on wikitree, so it will not be found in the future.
You have a nice preview of all descendants here. They should be all blue/red
I am running the queries now and I will post results later today.
by Aleš Trtnik G2G6 Pilot (733k points)
selected by Sheryl Moore
I prepared the list of all single gender trees.

Number in gender column means 1=male, 2=female

Enjoy checking the results.

Thank you Aleš - fascinating results. Not unexpectedly a lot fewer families with all female inheritance..

I've started researching the female trees - largest families first...

  • Hepburn-742 - disqualified - she also had at least two sons (have added these to wikitree).
  • Alsteil-1 - disqualified - 4 daughters, but lots of grandsons, which were private, so did not register as such in the search
  • Atherton-1319 - disqualified - has 1 private grandson
  • Elderman-3 - has a duplicated GG-child, one GGG-son and lots of male GGGG-kids
  • Rabe-99 nine female G-kids, but also a GG-son.
  • Madaj-110 - 6 GG-sons.
  • The Rawcliffe family looks interesting, but more research required there...
Clearly, the most impressive are the all male lines.. but I'll leave that till another day...

I can run the report again in a week or two, after you add missing profiles and new dump happens (on Sunday).
Quick first analysis:  the  "all female over 3-generations" families all turned out to have either males missing or males in the tree, but set to 'private', which seems to escape the search algorithm.

Of the male families, two absolutely stand out at first glance: the Samaha family and the Worden / Warden families in terms of the sheer number of children and the number of pedigrees.

Samaha appears to be principally recording males only with few dates, but the Worden clan extends over many many branches and generations and it appears that there is clearly something interesting going on.  The genealogy is not exclusively male - every once in a while a few girls pop up here and there, but the frequency of male births in the whole clan is astonishing...

Another very interesting family are the descendents of Damase Carpentier ( - closely researched only for the seventh son (whose line appears exclusively male over three further generations).  It would be interesting to investigate some of the other six sons to see if their branches are also exclusively male...

Anyone happy to explore with me?

Hi Aleš,

some years back, you ran a short analysis of single-sex families for me.  It's now two years hence - would you be able to run the same analysis again and drop a similar spreadsheet with all male and all female offspring into a Google spreadsheet as before. To limit the search, I'm looking for families where a couple has at least three same-sex children and at least three same grand-children of that same gender.

Would you be able to do that for me?

Many thanks!!

Updated. I added a new tab for 2023 data.

For my reference:

If ([Default].[g-Children Cnt].AsNumber > 5) Then
If ([Default].[Children Gender].AsString In "1", "2") Then
If ([Default].[Children Gender].AsString = [Default].[Gender].AsString) Then
If ([Default].[g-Children Gender].AsString In "1", "2") Then
If ([Default].[Children Gender].AsString = [Default].[g-Children Gender].AsString) Then
If ([Default].[gg-Children Gender].AsString In "1", "2") Then
If ([Default].[Children Gender].AsString = [Default].[gg-Children Gender].AsString) Then
Result = True
EndIf EndIf EndIf EndIf EndIf EndIf
Thanks so much, Aleš!!

Hours of genealogy fun ahead...

+6 votes
One caveat is that on Wikitree (and many other genealogy sites but especially this one as adding details can be time consuming) you often find families where not all of the children are added, even if they existed. People might add only their own line. (Which is not necessarily a bad thing as people will generally have more thorough and accurate information for their own direct ancestor.)
by Dina Grozev G2G6 Pilot (175k points)
Thank you, Grozev.

I agree, it would be hard to find all families with single-sex offspring, but I'm looking to find just one or two.  I'd be looking for large families of >4 children each across multiple generations that are all the same gender.

Can any of the admins help, perhaps with a dedicated search of the system?
+4 votes

Is! Interested in your idea.  I do have large family numbers.

Going back in time county Cork,  Irelamd
by Peter Curtis G2G6 (9.3k points)

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