I have decided that I would like to be able to use Family Historian to produce lists of individuals based on certain criteria, such as a list of all those men who might have served during the First World War.
To be able to produce these queries I need to have an idea of the lifespan for each individual and for this I need to have a birth/baptism event and a death/burial event for each individual.
I have been taking a look at how much work would be needed in making sure that I know where and when everyone was born. It looks like I have quite a bit of work to do.
Out of a total of 1797 individuals currently in my database there are 769 people (42.8%) without birth dates and 845 people (47.0%) without a place of birth. The discrepancy between the two is not really surprising, there are many occasions where there is not clear evidence where a person was born, even if I have a date of birth.
The situation with baptism events is not quite so good, there are 958 people (53.3%) in my database without baptism dates and places.
The fact that the number of dates and places match is consistent with the fact that all the baptism records are all coming from the same source (parish registers) so they should match, however the birth records come from a variety of sources, some providing only dates and other dates and places.
The good news is that there is only a partial overlap between the births and baptisms which means that there are only 379 people (21.1%) without a date for either their birth or baptism.
I am not sure yet where I shall focus my attention, the 379 people without a birth or baptism date is the obvious place but it might be better to tidy up the existing data first before adding any new data.
I am proud of the fact that my ancestral roots run deep in Sussex, but just how much of my ancestry stems from Sussex. Just to satisfy my own curiosity I decided I would try and analyse where my roots come from.
Using the place of birth or baptism for my 4x great-grandparents, I summarised the English counties that they came from (to the best of my knowledge none of them were born outside of England). Then using Microsoft Excel I came up with a simple pie chart that would illustrate the figures, the resulting chart shows quite clearly where my roots lie.
It is only a very simple chart, I could probably have spent ages tweaking it, but it is only meant to give a basic idea, and I think it does that quite well with it’s huge great chunk of Sussex ancestors. Approximately two-thirds of my 4x great-grandparents were from Sussex. If I took this further and grouped together the southern counties of Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey and Kent you would find almost 80% of my 4x great-grandparents.
So what does this prove, not a lot really, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I have inherited any of the traits of my Sussex ancestors, any more than those of my Gloucestershire ancestors. I does show that I haven’t strayed far from the homes of most of my ancestors, and they themselves didn’t stray far either. Of course there is still the annoying ‘unknown’ segment, there is possibly one Scottish ancestor within there, and I am sure as I go further back I will eventually find some foreign blood.
All these statistics are based on the best information currently available. If I wanted to be more sophisticated I could probably further refine it by using an earlier generation where known (so one 5x great-grandparent would equal 1/128 of my roots) and eliminate the unknowns by using a more recent generation. However, I think I probably have better things to do with my time than playing with numbers and pie charts.