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Evaluating Progress

Have you ever looked at a chart or table someone else created to display their genealogy data in a different way and wondered what your own data might look like? For many people, this happened when Paul Hawthorne created a pedigree worksheet color coded by birth location.

Well, today, genealogist Yvette Hoitink published a way to color code one’s research progress in her blog, Six Levels of Ancestral Profiles – Level Up Challenge.

Basically, she used the numbers on an ahnentafel chart to create a spreadsheet. Then, she color coded each person based six levels of research progress.

Using her blog as a guide, I decided to see what my research progress looked like. Even though there is no ‘fine line’ dividing some of these levels from another, I simplified my levels to the following:

  • Level 0 – No Information – no color
  • Level 1 – Names Only – pink
  • Level 2 – Vitals – orange
  • Level 3 – Family / Census – purple
  • Level 4 – Between the Dash – blue
  • Level 5 – Exhaustive Research – torquoise
  • Level 6 – Biography – green

Below is my color coded ahnentafel using the above levels.

Below is my dad’s side of the above chart. I used their ‘ahnentafel’ number instead of their name so the chart would stay compact. (See Wikipedia article for info on ahnentafel numbers.)

Followed by my mother’s side of the chart.

This chart helps me see where I need to do more research. The following images turn the numbers of my 7th generation into names.

I wasn’t surprised by my results. However, this visualization will help identify future research goals.

4 thoughts on “Evaluating Progress

    • In my opinion, deciding which level (color) to use for each ancestor is an individual decision.

      For those colored green on my chart, I have taken the info I have on them in RootsMagic and created a narrative report.

      In my case the ‘between the dash’ usually includes land records, obituaries and marriage announcements. I can’t put a ‘strict’ definition on exhaustive research, but I’ve researched the siblings for most of the people I’ve placed at this level.

      I have added two larger images to make it easier to see how my chart was colored.

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