Monthly Archives: April 2016


A week or two ago, genealogist Paul Hawthorne had a little idea that quickly went viral. He wanted to create a chart of his ancestors for five generations, color-coded to show only their places of birth. In no time, it seems, everyone was posting their own versions on FACEBOOK or their blogs or other social media.

See Paul’s blog from 26 Mar 2016 on Geneaspy here:

Of course, I had to play too. Here’s mine.

5 gen birthplace

That 5th generation, for me, consists of ancestors born between 1825-1850 or so. Take it one generation further back, and half of those New York lines were in Germany. Half of those Ohio lines were in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Vermont.

As a genetic genealogist, I appreciate that Paul’s example is encouraging us to look at places, not just names. A lot of times, our DNA matches come from a common ancestor in a generation where we don’t have a name yet. I think I’ll tweak my spreadsheet to hold 6 generations, add column headers that indicate a date range, and add counties. When I have a DNA match, the spreadsheet will be easy to share. Whether or not we have a common surname, if we can see that we both have ancestors in, say, Tuscarawas County Ohio ca. 1800-1825, and no common locations on any other lines, then we have a lead to pursue!

New leads are always welcome!

(c) Ann Raymont 2016