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Oldest Ancester

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  • Oldest Ancester

    I don't understand how to enter 'oldest ancestor' information. For my father's line, do I enter only the fathers? I only have 2 generations on my father's father line (father and grandfather). On my father's mother's side I have 16 generations back. So which 'oldest ancestor' do I use? And of course I have a similar situation in my mother's line where the grandparent branches are unequal.

    Thanks for any info,

    Eric, the rookie.

  • #2
    Earliest Known Ancestor for paternal is indeed your father's father's father's father, etc. as far as you have found for your ancestry. So, in your case, it is your grandfather at this point. You can change it later, as you find earlier ancestors in that line (a great-grandfather, etc.). This is the same for your Earliest Known Ancestor for your mother's line (mother's mother's mother's mother, etc.), back as far as you've been able to find.

    Do not put a male for your mother's earliest known ancestor, which is a mistake that many people make. Only go up the direct paternal and maternal lines (see images below): a male for paternal, a female for maternal. Do not put your oldest ancestor if he or she is not in the direct line (not your father's mother's side for your father's earliest paternal ancestor).
    Last edited by KATM; 3 October 2019, 10:25 PM.


    • #3
      I find that getting in the habit of using "patrilineal" and "matrilineal" for these direct lines helps to reduce confusion.


      • #4
        Yes, those are the proper terms and are best for less confusion. ISOGG has good pages for definitions of patrilineal (as part of patriline) and matrilineal (as matriline), as well as showing the paths of DNA inheritance.


        • #5
          Thanks for clearing that up. That was what I had guessed but 16 generations is so much more impressive than two generations

          Again, thanks all


          • #6
            To add another point, it's important also to add all the surnames and locations you know, from all your ancestral lines. These will show up with your name, in the far right column of the match lists of your matches.

            I don't know if you've done the Family Finder test, but it's still good practice, and very very helpful for your matches, to add these names and places. I would recommend entering the surnames in alphabetical order, and in all capital letters. You can add the corresponding locations in upper and lower case. Alphabetical order will make it easier for your matches to find surnames in which they may be interested, and all caps will make the surnames stand out from the other text (location names) when scanning the list.

            Here's an example:
            CORBIT (Co. Kilkenny, Ireland) DONNELLY (Ireland to NYC) HOBAN (Co. Kilkenny, Ireland) KELLY (Co. Kilkenny, Ireland) KERWICK (Co. Kilkenny, Ireland) LEE (Co. Kilkenny, Ireland)
            Last edited by KATM; 4 October 2019, 11:52 AM.