Tuesday, October 20, 2009

SNGF - A Family's Increase

I have spent several days pondering Randy Seaver's latest edition of Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. This time the task is to calculate the descendants from a set of our great-grandparents, preferably with the most and determine the number in each generation. Here are his instructions.

As I was thinking about this I realized both of my grandmothers each had one sibling who had no children. I always have known this fact, but I never really considered that this was something in common between them. So then I began to think about my each of my grandfathers and it's quite a different story.

My Grandpa Fred's parents, Edward Joseph Harmon and Kate Nellie Arthur, had four boys of which three lived to adulthood. The descendants of Edward and Kate are as follows:

1. Children = 4 (all deceased)
2. Grandchildren = 7 (one deceased)
3. Great-grandchildren = 16 I think. This number includes my sister and me. Besides us, I've met perhaps only two others in this generation.
4. Great-great-grandchildren = I don't even know how many there could be. I know I have two children of my own that fit into this generation. I am aware of at least 5 others, but know there are more.
5. 3rd great-granchildren = I am aware of one baby born in 2008.

So on my Grandpa Lee McNeill's side, his parents Charles Lafayette McNeill and Della Winnie Grindstaff had five children of which four lived to adulthood. The descendants of Charles and Della are as follows:

1. Children = 5 (all deceased)
2. Grandchildren = 11 (3 deceased) I have communicated with two in this generation as well as the husband of another grandchild
3. Great-grandchildren = at least 8 known (me, my sister and my two first cousins plus 4 cousins of which I have emailed with one) I would expect there could be another 5-10 in this generation that I know nothing of. This also excludes any step-great-grandchildren in this generation of which I know of one.
4. Great-great-grandchildren = well again my two girls count here and a first cousin to me has three children. I know there is at least one other. This again excludes any step-relatives in this generation.

So what this tells me is that I have spent a lot of time focusing on the prior generations i.e. the deceased, but haven't focused so much on the living descendants. I have two reasons (read: excuses) for this. First, if you have read any of my prior posts on my McNeill ancestors, you will know that up until a few years ago we didn't know much about Lee's past. So there have been a lot of letters and emails (think of cold calling) done to try to make contact with some of the right descendants. That explains my paternal side, but on my mother's side (Harmons), I think the seven cousins all lived in such different locations around the United States and with limited funds it was difficult to get all of them together. However, it is my hope in the next year or two to have a mini-reunion with those six remaining cousins. Three of the six remaining cousins all live in a close geographic area that makes it easy to get together and we are only a few hours from them by car. So that leaves the two remaining cousins and the widow of the deceased cousin to come from Utah, South Dakota and Arizona. Think it could happen? We'll just have to see how persuasive I can be!

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