Have you heard someone say that they have finished their genealogy? Often times, the individual making this statement had a specific goal in mind and they have completed that goal. Unfortunately, most genealogists will admit that ‘being done’ is an impossibility. That’s likely because these genealogists realize the exponential aspect of one’s family tree.
Thus, having an ‘incomplete’ tree is pretty common – particularly as one goes back further. Recently, The Legal Genealogist wrote about a tool available to subscribers to the DNA Painter site to analyze the completeness of a tree in her post, Reconsidering the Match.
A check of my tree for completeness on the DNA Painter site revealed that indeed, my tree is NOT finished.
For those who are not DNAPainter subscribers, there is another way to check the completeness of one’s tree. This method requires the use of the free FamilySearch tree with oneself added to the tree.
By looking at the fan chart for oneself, it is easy to see whether all 4th great grandparents have been identified by looking at 7 generation fan chart.
Switching to each of one’s parents as the primary person allows viewing of the tree thru 5th great grandparents.
I actually prefer to use the FamilySearch tree to see how complete my tree is. That’s because not only can I count the gray boxes but I can see where my tree is incomplete.
Unfortunately, using the FamilySearch tree to determine completeness relies on some assumptions:
- First assumption: that the FamilySearch tree is accurate thru at least 7 generations.
- Second assumption: that I have all of these ancestors in my working tree.
Even though those are MAJOR assumptions, I do rely on this view of my tree to see my ‘holes’. If I want more ‘100%’ on the DNAPainter Tree Completeness tool, then I have work to do to identify those missing ancestors!