Do the Math – How Many Ancestors Do I Have?

Sometimes you just need a simple answer to the question:   How many ancestors do I have?   There's a mathematical formula for figuring out how many ancestors you have at each generation. x=2n  

x is the number of direct-line, biological ancestors you have;

n is the generation back from you.

So, one generation back, x=2¹ or x=2, you have 2 ancestors, your biological parents. You may also have adopted parents, step-parents,  etc, but for the purpose of DNA matches, we're concerned with biological ancestors you may have inherited DNA from. As a general rule, this formula shows the largest number of ancestors you could have.

At some point, you'll have pedigree collapse and this formula no longer applies, but it works well for the limited number of generations we examine in most of our family history work.

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Are We Cousins? How to determine your degree of cousinship with a DNA Match

There are tons of relationship charts floating around the web and they each serve a useful purpose...         but ISOGG, the International Society of Genetic Genealogy, has a simple formula for understanding and naming your fundamental relationship to another person.   This isn't intended for direct line relationships, Parent-Child, Grandparent-Grandchild or even some collateral line relationships such as Aunt-Niece, Uncle-Great Nephew, etc. It works, but those relationships are already nicely named.* This formula is for all types of collateral line cousins; DNA matches you don't quite know how to name.   You may need to draw a family tree to diagram your relationship with another person. With that in hand, the ISOGG Wiki formula will tell you your degree of cousinship.   A family tree diagram showing my relationship to a recent DNA match. We're both related to my great-great-grandfather. He's my great-grandmother's sister's s…
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Last Two Days to Sign up for Lifetime Access to the Save Your Photos Summit

If you haven't yet signed up for the September Special, Save Your Photos Summit, from SaveYourPhotos.org, DO IT NOW! Select Join the Summit.   "Registration is open until September 30th. When Save Your Photos Month is over, we'll close registration. Once you've signed up, you'll have lifetime access to the content!"     If you like FREE handouts, webinars, and printables, you have two more days to sign up!!! It's the second Saturday in fall and you're probably not interested in Organizing and Protecting Your Old Photos, an E-book on Digital Backup Basics, a printable Digital Photo Organizing Checkbook, etc TODAY. Me neither. I'm going out to prune shrubs, harvest the garden, and visit family. But take 5 minutes and sign up for this free Summit so you'll have unlimited, lifetime access to these great tools. I went to a contributor's website to find a link I could share for a great handout included in this Summit and even on her personal websit…
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