The Spread of the Generations

The recent birth of a cousin resulted in a new great-grandchild for one set of my great-grandparents, Fred and Tena (Trientje) Janssen Ufkes, of Bear Creek Township, Hancock County, Illinois.  I’m the oldest great-grandchild at the age of 49. The youngest is less than a year old.

The birth got me to thinking of how much “spread” there is in the ages of  their great-grandchildren. I’m not much one for “busy work,” but it might be an interesting exercise to determine how much age spread there is for my other sets of great-grandparents’ great-grandchildren.

It is not nearly as much as it is for my Ufkes great-grandparents.

My other great-grandparents do not have nearly a fifty-year range in the ages of their great-grandchildren: most ranges (for my family) are close to twenty-five years.  The ages of their children and grandchildren are fairly close together.

How much range is there in the ages of the great-grandchildren of each set of your great-grandparents? Do you even know the names of all the grandchildren of your great-grandparents and the years in which they were born? That in itself may be a good research activity. Those are people who may be good candidates for a DNA test–depending upon what you know and what you don’t know about other generations in the family.

Then there’s the nearly fifty-year age spread again. There are two of my great-grandmother Ufkes’ great-grandchildren who are old enough to remember her (Fred, her husband died in 1960 well before our memory banks were being created) because we were alive when she was and lived in the same location. The other great-grandchildren have no memory of her and do not remember her.

There’s another reminder to think about the “older” generation in the family who may remember people that you do not.

And in some cases that older generation may be the same generation as you…only older.

Or you may be the older generation yourself. In which case you better get writing those stories down.


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