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 TRAHAN surname line is:
- Michael David Trahan (1955- ) has 3 children and 2 grandchildren.
- Benford Maurice Trahan (1935-2009) had 4 children and 7 grandchildren.
- Bienvenue Trahan (1908-2006) had 1 child and 4 grandchildren.
- Oscar Trahan (1889-1962) had 1 child and 1 grandchild.
- Theoville Trahan (1852-1915) had 22 children and ??? grandchildren.
- Delphin Stainville Trahan (1826-1865) had 10 children and ??? grandchildren.
- Michel Trahan (1785-????) had 13 children and ??? grandchildren.
- Athanese Trahan (1753-1835) had 11 children and ??? grandchildren.
- Michel Trahan (1728-1784) had 4 children and ??? grandchildren.
- Rene Trahan (1693-1733) had 7 children and ??? grandchildren.
- Jean Charles Trahan (1668-1727) had 12 children and ??? grandchildren.
- Guillaume Trahan (1611-1682) had 7 children and ??? grandchildren.
- Nicolas Trahan (1570-1669) had 8 children and ??? grandchildren.
3) See counts of children/grandchildren in list above.
4) The person with the most children is my 3x gr-grandfather, Theoville. He had 2 wives and one mistress. The list really shows me that I have a lot of research to do on the siblings of my direct line TRAHAN ancestors. I do not know all the grandchildren of many of my direct line ancestors. They did not seem to start slowing down with the number of children until the early 1900s with my gr-gr-grandfather, Oscar, who only had one child, who only had one child. I believe that my 7x great-grandfather, Michel, probably had more than 4 children, but the Acadian deportation makes it hard to follow family lines during this time period.