NAGEL FAMILY HISTORY
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Just How Many Ancestors Do We Have?

 

There's two schools of thought. The first is the pyramid theory, simply each generation the number doubles. If you stack the numbers up they resemble a pyramid. You can see the numbers listed in the chart below.

The problem is the numbers go up so fast somewhere around 30 generations you've suddenly got more great grandparents than there's been people on earth!

To deal with that the diamond theory was developed. Somewhere around the 10th generation the numbers start to get smaller. Historically families were a lot bigger and towns were a lot smaller. If you have a situation where your grandmothers were sisters the numbers in the previous generation are reduced by two.

In the case of this theory the numbers can't be estimated as they vary with the relationships. The only way to know for sure is to identify ALL the relatives. A major task indeed. The progress I've made is documented in the chart below.

 

 

Generation

 

How Many?

I've found...

Percentage

1

Self

1

1

100

2

Parents

2

2

100

3

Grandparents

4

4

100

4

Great Grandparents

8

8

100

5

Great X2

16

14

87.5

6

Great X3

32

12

37.5

7

Great X4

64

17

26.6

8

Great X5

128

22

17.2

9

Great X6

256

22

8.6

10

Great X7

512

28

5.5

11

Great X8

1024

32

3.1

12

Great X9

2048

31

1.5

13

Great X10

4096

34

0.85

14

Great X11

8192

31

0.38

15

Great X12

16384

22

0.13

16

Great X13

32768

24

0.07

17

Great X14

65536

12

0.02

18

Great X15

131072

8

0.006

19

Great X16

262144

4

0.002

20

Great X17

524288

4

0.0007

 

 

Copyright © Kenneth A. Nagel. All rights reserved. The reproduction of anything in these pages for commercial gain or for personal use on commercial web sites is not permitted. Reproduction for personal use especially in family history matters is welcome.