great-great-great-great-grandparents

Great Great – Generations and Time

How long ago was 10 generations?

I’ve created a quick-glance reference chart of generations with the numbers of ancestors and rough time frames and year ranges at each generation, for my own use when traversing family trees. Note that the ranges get larger as we go back further – most families will fall near the center of each range on average. I’ve set 1960 as the base reference date (just because!). The next-to-last column that is labeled “#” has the number of direct biological ancestors at that number of generations ago.

How do we refer to our ancestors in a way that is clear?

Great-great-great-great-grandfather just doesn’t work. Donna Cox Baker has a great article titled “Multi-great style or the great-great-great tongue-twister” that helped me decide how to style my writing about ancestors.

Whether or not I am good at following it, I include below what I have decided on as “standard” labels in agreement with the above article.

  Years ago Dates Ancestors
Gen# from to from   to # Label
1 20 40 1920 1940 2 parents
2 40 80 1880 1920 4 grandparents
3 60 120 1840 1900 8 great-grandparents
4 80 160 1800 1880 16 2nd-great-grandparents
5 100 200 1760 1860 32 3rd-great-grandparents
6 120 240 1720 1840 64 4th-great-grandparents
7 140 280 1680 1820 128 5th-great-grandparents
8 160 320 1640 1800 256 6th-great-grandparents
9 180 360 1600 1780 512 7th-great-grandparents
10 200 400 1560 1760 1024 8th-great-grandparents
11 220 440 1520 1740 2048 9th-great-grandparents
12 240 480 1480 1720 4096 10th-great-grandparents
13 260 520 1440 1700 8192 11th-great-grandparents
14 280 560 1400 1680 16384 12th-great-grandparents
15 300 600 1360 1660 32768 13th-great-grandparents
16 320 640 1320 1640 65536 14th-great-grandparents
17 340 680 1280 1620 131072 15th-great-grandparents
18 360 720 1240 1600 262144 16th-great-grandparents
19 380 760 1200 1580 524288 17th-great-grandparents
20 400 800 1160 1560 1048576 18th-great-grandparents

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