Saturday, September 21, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun! (September 21, 2013)

This is the first time I have participated in the weekly “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun!” prompt on Randy Seaver’s well-known blog, Genea-Musings.  This week’s “mission” is as follows . . .

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+.

1.            My TEW surname line is as follows:

            Þ Henry Tew (1560 -  ?  ) had 2 known children and 4 known grandchildren

            Þ  Richard Tew (1605 – 1673) had 4 known children and 35 grandchildren

            Þ  Henry Tew (1654 – 1718) had 18 children and at least 9 grandchildren

            Þ  Richard Tew (1678 – aft. 1725) had 9 children and at least      grandchildren

            Þ  William Tew (1720 – aft. 1755) had 6 children and at least 8 grandchildren

            Þ  John Tew, Sr. (1746 – 1827) had 7 children and at least 12 grandchildren

            Þ  John Tew, Jr. (1784 – 1873) had 12 children and at least 16 grandchildren

            Þ  Adam Tew (1825 – 1908) had 6 children and at least 11 grandchildren

            Þ  John A. Tew (1853 – 1903) had 5 children and 4 grandchildren

            Þ  Arnold G. Tew, Sr. (1896 – 1958) had 3 children and 10 grandchildren

            Þ  Arnold G. Tew, Jr. (1922 -      ) has 4 children and 6 grandchildren

2. and 3.     I did this using my “Tew Family Tree” on as synced with my Family Tree Maker for Mac 2.  I counted the children and grandchildren I have entered for each male in my line.

4.            This exercise tells me several things (in no particular order):

>  I have clearly concentrated overwhelmingly on my direct line and have much work to do in tracking down the children of relatives – particularly the children of daughters who married and had offspring.
>  There is no real pattern in the number of children produced in each generation, but it does appear that large families of 9 or more children are a thing of the past.
>  While not immediately apparent in the bare statistics revealed above, my review of the data in my family tree confirms that the number of children who survived childhood has indeed increased dramatically since the advent of the so-called miracle drugs/antibiotics in the last century.
>  My male line has surprisingly few first names in it -- only six over twelve generations when I am included.
>  This exercise has shown me that I have more holes (or “research opportunities” as Randy calls them) than I thought I had in my surname tree.  I am missing more death and marriage dates and spouse maiden surnames than I thought.
>  The average lifespan of the males in my line since 1605 is about 67.2 years, but prior to about 1750 it was only about 54.3 years.  Since about 1750, the life expectancy has risen to just about 76 years and would be in the 80s but for the sad accidental death of my great grandfather when hit by a train in Providence, RI on his way to work in 1903 at age 50.  The youngest death in my male line is possibly at age 35, but the actual date of death for my 5th great grandfather is unknown. My father is the longest lived male in my line thus far.  He will turn 91 on Thanksgiving Day!  

            5.            I am posting here on The Prism and posting a comment about the existence of this post in the comments section of Randy’s September 21, 2013 Saturday Night Genealogy Fun!

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Image of Saturday Night Genealogy Fun! from Randy Seaver's weekly blog prompt at Genea-Musings.

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Copyright 2013, John D. Tew
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