First, Lisa asked us Where was your family in 1908? and provided a catalog of posts by genea-bloggers who responded in Snapshots of the World Back in 1908. Then Donna asked us 1808: Where was your family 200 years ago?
I had so much fun responding to Lisa and Donna with Where Was My Family in 1908? and Where were they in 1808? that I decided to go a bit further back in time, 300 years, to 1708. How many ancestors could there be living in 1708? In non-scientific terms, a bunch! LOL. We all know that with each generation, the number of ancestors is doubled - 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, etc. So many ancestors, so little time. We've all heard that before. Probably said it ourselves. But it is so true.
Well, I didn't really think I had information on too many ancestors back that far. Disclaimer: I haven't actually done research in original records on these ancestors myself. However, I have been fortunate and have found books and magazine articles that have been published on several of my lines going back to the immigrant ancestor. Some of those books and articles included very little documentation or sources, while others were quite extensive with their sourcing. I'm always amazed at the work that was done on some of these families back in the first half of the 1900's. Without computers, without copy machines; using index cards, typewriters, printing presses and hand-set type. Chances are, I probably won't pursue many of these lines, since they have already been "done" by other researchers. I would like to have the documents that prove the links between the generations but, honestly, it would be impossible to research them all. It really comes down to time and money. Choices have to be made. I rather enjoy the challenge of searching for families that haven't already been "done" but, I must admit, it is sometimes nice to find someone else has done the hard work.
But, I digress. Taking the time to explore my database is something that I haven't done for a while. And oftentimes after entering the data on a family I don't get back to them until I am contacted by someone else researching that family. As a result, I sometimes have a tendency to forget what or how much information I have on some families. It's been nice to have an excuse to explore the database.
So, I ran some reports, did some extrapolating, and found that, in my database, there are 68 of my ancestors who were living in 1708. Obviously, there are many, many more living then, I just don't know who they are! And it is highly likely that I never will, after all, there is only so much time.
A summary of who was living in 1708:
3 of 256 ancestors in the 8th Generation (5th Great Grandparents)Forty-four of those ancestors were born in the colonies: 10 in New York, 11 in Connecticut and 23 in Massachusetts. The others were all born in the "old" country, and some were still living there. The 3 ancestors in the 8th generation and one in the 9th generation were born between 1700-1707. Several in the 12th and 13th generations were born in the 1636-1638 time period. I don't have dates of death for all of them, but of those that I do have, 21 of them lived to be 70 years old or older (8 of those were over 80 and one was 91 years old at time of death). That amazes me, as I didn't think life-spans were much over 60 years in the 1600s and 1700s.
18 of 512 in the 9th Generation (6th Great Grandparents)
13 of 1024 in the 10th Generation (7th Great Grandparents)
15 of 2048 in the 11th Generation (8th Great Grandparents)
17 of 4096 in the 12th Generation (9th Great Grandparents)
2 of 8192 in the 13th Generation (10th Great-Grandparents)
Enough, already. It's been fun, but I really do need to get started on that long list of "goals" for this year that still awaits me.