My research parameters
Work it out: each person has two parents, four grandparents, eight great grandparents - we're up to 14 so far. Add a fourth generation - 30; and a fifth - 62... Here is a spreadsheet calculation for "normal" 20 generations (approx. 500 years) compared with what happens when first cousins (sharing grandparents) marry - about 25% fewer aggregate ancestors at 20 generations. Even distant cousins will make a difference. Most family trees have several such marriages.
Family trees can get out of control! If you follow every branch and twig it is an endless quest. Each person has potentially 2,097,150 parents/grandparents/etc in 20 generations (about 500 years) and that is before you start adding aunts, uncles, cousins, additional spouses, etc. [Fortunately, many people have married their cousin however distant and that reduces this number considerably!]
I follow these basic parameters in my research:
- The starting point is my mother and father. The first goal is to establish their pedigrees (their ancestors) and their descendants.
- I am then interested in the siblings (aunts and uncles of varying degrees) at each generational level.
- This flows through to the siblings' descendants if they are part of the main pedigree. I am primarily interested in any descendants of John Royes (c1745-c1780?) and James Roy (c1805-?).
- Where information is available on the web I prefer to provide links to those web sites rather than replicate the information on my own.
- I follow the pedigrees/ancestors of my children's and my own spouses.
- I follow certain historical links - eg, early Hougham researcher Marion Hurley Pratt, the relationships between the Dukes of Normandy and English royalty, family migrations to Australia and New Zealand...
- I am happy to put information on line for branches I am not directly interested in but where a relative is prepared to maintain the data and keep me informed.
- I am interested in, but do not actively pursue, the presence of the Royes and Roy names in Australia.