I decided to try to get an overview of where the lacunae in my grand-kids genealogy are. So I printed a 12 generation fan chart. It was immediately clear that most work was done on my own genealogy: all of the 64 ninth generation boxes were filled in, and 74 of the 512 12th generation boxes. Granted that there is a lot of ancestor duplication, they tended to marry cousins or other related people, as is common in small communities.
My husband’s chart is much less complete. His ninth generation only has 25 boxes filled in, all but two on his father’s side, there are 12 boxes on his father’s side filled in in his 12th generation. The dead ends tend to be people, who came from Germany to Amsterdam in the 18th century. Except for one line, his mother’s side does not go further than the seventh generation. All of these are Jewish, from around 1800 in Germany.
The grand-kids other grandfather is very spotty. His mother’s line is well documented, as she descends from Plymouth and New Netherland immigrants; 26 of her 32 ninth generation boxes are filled in, and 52 of her 512 12th generation boxes. The missing ninth generation are parents of women: Maria Amelia Buell (c. 1795), Fanny Barsley (c 1802), and Elizabeth Chevalin (c. 1819). His father’s line has only six boxes in the ninth generation, and ten in the 12th. That is a New Netherland line, which of course is well documented. The problem lines are from Germany (c 1800) and Ireland (County Down, c. 1850)
The other grandmother is the one where we really have very little information. No line goes further than seven generations. The problem is of course, that they are Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe in the early part of the 20th century. I don’t read Russian, Polish or Hebrew.
It is clear, that I need to do more research in Germany, and especially Jewish research. Hopefully there will be more Eastern European data coming online (of course the language problem will continue to exist). With Familysearch digitizing all their films, it might be easier to find German data.
Of course genealogy is not only about filling in the boxes, but I find the puzzles that result in filled-in boxes, very satisfying. Of course, I also try to find stories related to these names in the boxes, but they don’t fit in a fan chart. For that I have the website and this blog.