Genealogy Score


Your mission, should you decide to accept it (and I hope more of you do than participated in the last several SNGF challenges), is to:

1) Determine how complete your genealogy research is. For background, read Crista Cowan’s post Family History All Done? What’s Your Number? and Kris Stewart’s What Is Your Genealogy “Score?” For comparison purposes, keep the list to 10 generations with you as the first person.

2) Create a table similar to Crista’s second table, and fill it in however you can (you could create an Ahnentafel (Ancestor Name) list and count the number in each generation, or use some other method). Tell us how you calculated the numbers.

3) Show us your table, and calculate your “Ancestral Score” – what is your percentage of known names to possible names (1,023 for 10 generations).

GenerationRelationshipPossible #Possible TotalIdentified #Identified TotalPercentatge
41x Great815815100%
52x Great16311631100%
63x Great3263316298%
74x Great641276312598%
85x Great12825510823391%
96x Great25652215238574%
107x Great512102319057556%

At generation 5, I am 100% but that drops to 56% by generation 10. So how can I improve my score?

  • Figure out my SMITH ancestors — I have at least 2 different SMITH lines in generation 7.
  • Research — I have not researched some of these lines in the last 20 years.

Blogging Goals

When you were in high school did you think of yourself as a writer? I know that I definitely did NOT visualize myself as a writer. I remember a time during my career when I was composing a letter thinking I never would have imagined having to do so much writing in my career. And I have to admit that during that career, I became pretty good at technical writing – or writing those directions.

And then came 2021 when I published a blog post almost every day. When the year started, I didn’t have any specific blogging goals. My goal was to blog more consistently. To help me achieve that goal, I decided to

  • share family pictures in ‘Throwback Thursday’ posts
  • use Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun as a blogging prompt for Sundays – prompts posted on Saturday evening on Randy’s Genea-Musings site)
  • use Amy Johnson Crowe’s 52 ancestors in 52 weeks blogging prompts for Saturday posts. (2021 Themes)

Since I’m not a ‘creative’ writer, I found the 52 ancestors writing prompt difficult at times. Thus, I quit worrying about using that prompt and just blogged from my research activities.

What helped me accomplish these blogging goals was learning to SCHEDULE my blog posts. Instead of writing every day, I simply wrote when I had something to share. Unsure of the ‘best’ time to post, I decided to make my posts available at 6:45 am central time. I kept a simple calendar in my bullet journal where I would write down (in pencil) the title of a post for when I planned to have it published. Sometimes I found writing a post that would be of little value several days out. When this happened, I scheduled that time sensitive post for the next day and moved all the scheduled posts to make room for this timely post. Thus, the need for using pencil to fill in my calendar.

As I determine my 2022 genealogy goals, I’m also setting some blogging goals. For 2022, I’m going to have specific ‘topics’ for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

  • Friday Finds — pulling information to share from my digital and paper files from the early days of my research
  • Saturday Tidbits — sharing historic articles from local (Nemaha county) newspapers (where I currently live) and possibly from Yates Center, Dodge City and other papers where my ancestors lived
  • Sundays — Saturday Night Genealogy Fun prompts
  • Monday thru Thursday — sharing my current genealogy activities

Christmas Memories

#Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

 Calling all Genea-Musings Fans:  It’s Saturday Night again – 
Time for some more Genealogy Fun!!

Come on, everybody, join in and accept the mission and execute it with precision. Here’s your chance to sit on Genea-Santa’s lap (virtually) and tell him your Christmas genealogy-oriented wish list:
1) What are your most vivid memories of Christmas times past?  People, Church, Presents, Santa Claus, Shopping, whatever.

My memories from childhood revolve around Christmas day, particularly Christmas morning. Santa would have come overnight leaving an unwrapped present under the tree for each of us kids. Our stockings would be filled with candy and oranges. When we got up we could play with our gift from Santa, but the rest of the presents were off limits until my grandparents arrived. Although it seemed like we had to wait ‘forever,’ they usually walked in the door before 7:30 a.m.

Even though presents were at our house, Christmas dinner was at my grandparent’s house. Dinner consisted of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy. I’m sure we had a vegetable like green beans but they would have been cooked on the stove with bacon and onions and not in the oven with cream of mushroom soup.

We had sweet potatoes, but again not cooked in the oven with marshmallows. Instead we had ‘candied yams’. The sweet potato was cooked, and sliced ahead of time. On Christmas day, the slices were dipped in butter and then sugar and fried.

Another dish that graced the table of my childhood was scalloped oysters. I remember one Thanksgiving or Christmas when us kids were forced to take a small amount and just taste it. When none of us liked the scalloped oysters, the adults must have decided they didn’t have to share their ‘precious’ scalloped oysters with us because we never had to take any after that.

Dessert was always pie: pumpkin, pecan or cherry — all made by my grandmother.

As an adult, one of my favorite experiences has been attending Candlelight Christmas Eve services at Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. Even though most churches have a Christmas Eve service with the lighting of candles and singing of Silent Night at the end of the service, this service is unique. Their service incorporates darkness, contrasting darkness and the light Christ brings into the world. With a focus on being the light of Christ, all Christmas Eve donations are given away to support children and families in need.

Another favorite ‘adult’ memory is of the night my brother, sister-in-law and I walked around Sar-Ko-Par Park in Lenexa, Kansas near my mother’s assisted living facility. The beauty of the park on that cold winter night and the lights was truly a moving experience.

Dear Santa


I hope I’ve been a good genealogy elf this past year.

  • I’ve worked hard to research my 3rd and 4th cousins.
  • I’ve tried to share the family pictures I have on my Throwback Thursday blog posts.
  • I’ve uploaded many of those pictures to FamilySearch so that they can hopefully be preserved into the future.
  • I’ve shared many of my findings on my blog.
  • I participated in the ‘community preview’ group for RootsMagic 8.
  • And best of all, I successfully completed my 2021 genealogy goals.

So, dear Santa, I’m asking for some Santa magic. Dear, dear Santa, could you please

  • Help me locate records tying the early settlers of Garrard county, Kentucky – particularly the Crawford families — to their Virginia roots.
  • Help Ancestry use their computing power to use all those 3rd and 4th cousins I’ve added to my tree to expand my DNA ThruLines to identify common ancestors for my DNA matches
  • Keep covid at bay so that my husband feels safe traveling to do genealogy research
  • Grant all of Randy Seaver’s genea-santa wishes so that everyone in the genealogy community can benefit.

Research List


It’s Saturday Night – Time for more Genealogy Fun! 

 Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to: 

1)  Which ancestor(s) are at the top of your research list, and why?

Even though I’ve taken a break from my Crawford research to do descendancy research on my other lines, James Crawford is at the top of my research list. Much of my research of James Crawford has been shared on this blog. I would like to figure out the following for James:

  • Identify his parents
  • Figure out how I’m related to the other James Crawfords of early Garrard County, Kentucky especially since their descendants are on my yDNA match list. (See Untangling James Crawfords)
  • Figure out how I’m related to Edward Crawford of Overton, Tennessee (See Crawford yDNA)

Beyond that, I’d like to document my relationship to my potential patriot ancestors.

In the meantime, I’m still working to document the descendants of my 3rd great grandfathers on my mom’s side of the tree.

Genealogy Stats


It’s Saturday Night – Time for more Genealogy Fun!

 Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to: 

1)  If you have your family tree research in a Genealogy Management Program (GMP), whether a computer software program or an online family tree, figure out how to find how many persons, places, sources, etc. are in your database (hint:  the Help button is your friend!)

2)  Tell us which GMP you use, and how many persons, places, sources, etc. are in your database(s) today in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook comment.

I use RootsMagic 8 to manage my genealogy research. I keep my data in one file. That file contains

  • 20,318 people
  • 6,701 families
  • 63,821 events
  • 8,536 places
  • 5,165 sources
  • 22,397 citations
  • 10,273 media items

Since I keep all of my research in one file, I have quite a few ‘bushes’. Many of my bushes are the result of my Crawford research. Sometimes, these ‘bushes’ are people of the same name living in the same area as my ancestors. These bushes may also be the result of FAN (friends, associates and neighbors) club research. By looking at the ‘count trees’ data, I find that my primary tree has 17,751 people. Thus, I have over 2,500 individuals in the bushes in my file.

Migration Maps


Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to: 

This SNGF is based on the Migration map that my friend J. Paul Hawthorne made on Facebook on 18 November.  He used Birth dates and Places for his paternal line. 

1)  For this week’s SNGF, make your own migration map for whichever surname or ancestral line you want.  Use a World Map or a country map.  Choose birth, marriage, death, or migration year to put the spots on the map and label them with the year.

To create my maps, I followed Randy’s suggestion and downloaded a map from wiki commons and then used powerpoint to add the lines and labels.


My Crawford research is stuck in the area of Augusta county, Virginia where there are several different CRAWFORD families, each with sons named James. According to records from Ohio, my James Crawford was born in 1772 in Virginia. James married Sally Duggins in 1799 in Garrard county, Kentucky. Records place James in Preble County, Ohio in 1811 where there is another James Crawford who was also born in Virginia about 1770. This James was married in Lincoln County, Kentucky in 1793.

By 1831, James’ son Nelson had migrated to Warren County, Indiana. Nelson either migrated with the other James Crawford and his family or followed them to Indiana.

In 1884, Nelson’s son, Washington Marion Crawford (my ancestor), migrated to Dodge City, Kansas. Washington Marion was following his older brother, James, who had migrated to Dodge City in 1878.


Like my Crawford ancestors, my BRILES ancestors were early Kansas settlers, actually arriving prior to statehood. Alexander Briles and his family migrated from Randolph County, North Carolina to southern Coffey County, Kansas prior to 1858.

The BRILES family has deep roots in Randolph County, North Carolina. Conrad Briles (Broils) filed papers to purchase land in Rowan county, North Carolina in 1763. He is listed on the tax records in Randolph county in 1779. In 1784, his will was probated in Randolph County, North Carolina.

Conrad was a member of the second Germanna colony. He arrived in Virginia with his parents in 1717. The family migrated from Oestisheim, Wuerttemberg, Germany.

In North Carolina, the surname took on the BRILES spelling while those who stayed in Virginia took on the BROYLES spelling.


Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to: 

This SNGF is based on the 100 Word Challenge ( that school children around the world have participating in over many years.  They are given a word or phrase to write a story about in exactly one hundred words.  

1)  Write a story using the phrase “Grandparents are important because” in 100 words.

My grandparents were an integral part of my life growing up. Besides being role models of their Christian faith, the greatest impact they have had on my life is encouraging me to research my roots.

Grandma Crawford initiated this journey with her desire to know where her grandmother, Julia  Harding Hutchinson was buried. Both of my grandmothers shared everything they knew about their roots as well as their husband’s roots. They also shared the family photos and items they had saved over the years.

Now almost 40 years later, I’m thankful for that nudge to begin my genealogy journey.


The Geek Me

It’s Sunday morning and I just saw Randy Seavers’ #SaturdayNightGenealogyFun blogging prompt! For me, it is a complicated topic – so here goes.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:
1) I am a slave to my computer – how about you?  What is your computer history – what have you used, when did you get it, what did you do on it, etc.?

To be upfront, I have no formal training with computers or databases. However, over half of my teaching career was spent working with computers. To say that I was self-taught is also not correct. Along the way, there were a lot of people who either helped teach me or allowed me to watch and question them as they worked.

It all began as a sophomore in college when I worked as a chemistry lab assistant. At the time, the chemistry department and the math department shared a programmable computer. I didn’t know anything about programming computers and had only heard the older lab assistances talking about their computer classes using punch cards.

However, I heard enough to know that if I could learn to program the computer, it could help me grade a particular lab report. Even though this was just chemistry II, one of the labs was a quantitative analysis lab requiring the students to do a lot of calculations. This was before calculators, so the only tool I had to check those calculations was my slide rule. Thinking this ‘magic’ machine we shared with the math department would do those calculations for me, I talked a senior into helping me learn to program the computer so I could enter the data and it would spit out the results. Knowing that I spent hours learning to program, I likely didn’t save any time.

My second hands-on came around 1983. The high school had just purchased three computers. My husband had chaired a committee that included a math teacher (John Roach) and a member of the community (Dave Lauer) to evaluate our options and make a recommendation to the board as to which brand to purchase. Let’s just say that some of the companies fell down on the job and the winning presentation was Commodore. The first purchase was for three PET computers. I was not on the committee and really had nothing to do with these PET computers. However, we had a very snowy week where it started snowing (and blowing) on Monday and continued to lightly snow and blow a lot the rest of the week causing school to be cancelled for most of the week. During the mornings, my husband would drive me thru the drifts in the parking lot so that I could work on entering my classroom inventory into the computer. (I was teaching biology at the time, and the inventory was extensive.)

Shortly after that, my husband and I purchased our first home computer, a Commodore 64. According to my husband, this computer cost $500 plus $500 for the monitor and another $500 for the printer.

In 1985, I transitioned from the biology classroom to the school library. Around 1992, the library was automated and the first ‘network’ was introduced into the high school. Even though the computer classroom was using Commodore 64s, the library used DOS based computers. I had NO knowledge of DOS, let alone computer networks and am very thankful for the patient salesman who did that initial install!

At some point, the school switched out the Commodore 64s for Apple IIGS computers. These computers were still ‘stand alone’ computers and only located in the computer classroom.

In 1998, my teaching contract changed. I was no longer just the school librarian but also the technology coordinator.

That means the school had computers outside of the computer classroom and likely had implemented a network, which I was tasked to manage. Our first network was a token ring network with Novell servers. The computers used an early version of Windows. Over the years, the school transitioned from token ring to Ethernet and implemented wireless networking. When Google for Education became available, the school quickly adapted it. Thus, our Groupwise email server was replaced by gmail accounts and our web server and the sites it hosted were replaced by Google sites. Towards the end of my career, the building transitioned again, this time to MacIntosh laptops when the building became a 1 to 1 building where each student had their own computer.

At home, we converted from our Commodore 64 to an Apple IIE computer. I believe my first genealogy software was PAF for this Apple IIE. Outgrowing the storage capacity of that Apple IIE, we purchased a DOS computer and I had my genealogy work converted to PAF for DOS.

In my early days of using PAF, it was simply the entry of birth, marriage, death and burial dates along with connecting people into families. PAF was a great program for the time, but I wanted something to allow me to keep better track of the sources I was using. After researching several programs, I transitioned to The Master Genealogist.

About the time of my retirement, support for The Master Genealogist was discontinued. Even though some are still using The Master Genealogist, I elected to convert my genealogy work to RootsMagic. When RootsMagic’s TreeShare was released, I used RootsMagic to connect my computer database to my Ancestry tree. I recently upgraded from RootsMagic 7 to RootsMagic 8 and am learning something new about this powerful software on a regular basis.

Because I had no formal training with computers, I took advantage of the learning opportunities of the time to learn from others. In my early days of computing, this involved e-mail listservs and computer conferences. In the genealogy world, I took advantage of nearby genealogy conferences when they fit in my schedule. However, it was the genealogy listservs and message boards that provided constant learning opportunities.

Today, I am still learning. However, Facebook groups, YouTube videos, blogs, webinars and Zoom meetings have become my go-to resources to learn more about genealogy tools and research.

Congrats Randy

In case you missed it on Monday, Randy Seaver of the Genea-Musings blog posted his 15,000th blog post on Sunday, Oct. 31.

Many of Randy’s posts help keep us informed of ‘genealogy news’. His weekly posts include

  • Added and Updated Record Collections
  • Added and Updated Record Collections
  • Genealogy News and Education Bytes
  • Best of Genea-Blogs

Besides these regularly scheduled posts, Randy keeps us informed about launch dates for newly released records and ‘freebies’ offered by the various genealogy companies.

Randy also uses his blog to share his research. Whether transcribing records, pulling images from his files or sharing genealogical reports, Randy’s post represent hours upon hours of research.

And, who can forget that Randy is the face behind all of the ‘Saturday Night Genealogy Fun’ posts.

In honor of this fabulous achievement, Ancestry is working with Randy to offer his readers a chance to win a membership. For details about this contest, see Randy’s Genea-Musings Contest post.