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Direct ancestors

  • 2 November 2015

Receiving my AncestryDNA results prompted me to look again at family history research relating only to my direct ancestors. I had thought I was doing quite well – with one line going back ten generations to my 8x great-grandparents. However, because of the doubling of numbers at each generation, we all have mind-bogglingly large numbers of direct ancestors.

Of my potential total of 2046 ancestors over ten generations, I know the names of only 119 of them, or just under six per cent. Twelve of these are women whose maiden names I don’t know. However, as regards autosomal DNA (measured in the AncestryDNA test), going further back than my 4x great-grandparents, from each of whom I’d expect to have 1.56 per cent of my DNA, will make it increasingly unlikely that I have inherited any DNA from a specific ancestor.

My eight great-grandparents (from each of whom I should have inherited about 12.5 per cent of my DNA):

Isaac Williams1863-1937born Wolverhampton, died Swindon, Staffordshire
Harriet Corns1866-1929born Wombourne, died Swindon, Staffordshire
Samuel Jones1849-1937born and died Pattingham, Staffordshire
Sarah Ann Smith1854-1923born Greensforge, died Pattingham, Staffordshire
Albert Crump1868-1937born and died Wolverhampton
Rosanna New1865-1940born and died Wolverhampton
Henry Moore1867-1937born and died Wolverhampton
Ann Haden1872-1956born and died Wolverhampton

My 16 2x great-grandparents (from each of whom I should have inherited about 6.25 per cent of my DNA):

Isaac Williams1839-1891born Rawmarsh, Yorkshire, died Swindon, Staffordshire
Sarah Baldwin1841-1914born Greets Green, died Swindon, Staffordshire
Charles Corns1840-1912born Wombourne, died Swindon, Staffordshire
Sarah Bromley1838-1919born Wombourne, died Swindon, Staffordshire
Thomas Jones1804-1853born Ellesmere, Shropshire, died Pattingham, Staffordshire
Ann Turner1806-1886born Blymhill, died Pattingham, Staffordshire
William Smith1832-1886born Claverley, Shropshire, died Pattingham, Staffordshire
Elizabeth Chambers1831-1902born Wombourne, died Codsall, Staffordshire
Henry Crump1833-1908born and died Wolverhampton
Elizabeth Carrier1832-1911born and died Wolverhampton
Benjamin New1835-1891born and died Wolverhampton
Sophia Hipkiss1832-1911born and died Wolverhampton
Timothy Fern1844-1911born and died Wolverhampton
Selina Moore1848-1916born and died Wolverhampton
James Haden1831-1901born Stourbridge, died Wolverhampton
Harriet Mary Gell (alias Henstock)1836-1907born Nottinghamshire, died Wolverhampton

30 out of my 32 3x great-grandparents (from each of whom I’d expect to have inherited about 3.125 per cent of my DNA):

James Williams1803-1871born Church Aston, Shropshire, died Wilden, Worcestershire
Charlotte Summerhill1814-1884born Saul, Gloucestershire, died Wilden, Worcestershire
John Baldwin1812-1889born and died Stourport, Worcestershire
Mary Jones1810-1867born Yarpole, Herefordshire, died Stourport, Worcestershire
Frederick Corns1812-1853born and died Wombourne, Staffordshire
Harriet Powney1818-1889born and died Wombourne, Staffordshire
Robert Bromley1806-1859birthplace unknown, died Wombourne, Staffordshire
Sophia Baker1811-1864born and died Wombourne, Staffordshire
James Turner1783-1822born and died Blymhill, Staffordshire
Margaret Hortonborn 1785born Blymhill, Staffordshire
Richard Smith1801-1874born Worfield, died Claverley, Shropshire
Elizabeth Price1807-1842born Shropshire, died Claverley
Edward Chambers1787-1863born Kinver, Staffordshire, died Greensforge, Staffordshire
Ann Williams1789-1860born Rudge Heath, Shropshire, died Greensforge, Staffordshire
George Crump1803-1864born and died Wolverhampton
Mary Ann Birdborn abt 1814born Wolverhampton
Richard Carrier1800-1861born Worfield, died Claverley, Staffordshire
Elizabeth Dobson1802-1864born and died Wolverhampton
William Newborn 1801born Wolverley, Worcestershire
Maria Williams1799-1851born Trysull, died Wolverhampton
John Hipkiss1801-1846born and died Wolverhampton
Lucy Smith Inscoeborn 1805
John Fern1816-1887born Braunston, Northamptonshire, died Wolverhampton
Ann Hales1819-1897born and died Wolverhampton
Joseph Mooreborn 1804born Warwickshire
Elizabeth Cookborn 1807born Wolverhampton
Edward Yeadon1787-1854born and died Stourbridge
Elizabeth Watkinsborn 1792born Stourbridge
Abraham Henstock1816-1884born Derbyshire, died Wigan, Lancashire.
Elizabeth Gell1818-1892born Derbyshire. Died Lancashire,

The missing two names are the parents of Thomas Jones, who was born in Ellesmere, Shropshire c. 1804 (there are four baptisms of a Thomas Jones there between 1803-1806).

Out of my 64 4x great-grandparents, I have the names of 33. Each of these should account for 1.56 per cent of my DNA.

William Williamsliving in Church Aston, Shropshire, 1803
Marywife of William Williams
Stephen Summerhill1792-1862born Saul, Gloucestershire, died Kidderminster, Worcestershire
Anne Niblett1794-1875born Westbury, Gloucestershire, died Kidderminster, Worcestershire
Thomas Baldwin1779-1849Worcestershire
Sarahwife of Thomas Baldwin. Died between 1819-1841.
James Jonesborn 1786born Worcestershire. Died between 1841-1851
Jane ?Daviesborn 1789wife of James Jones
Joseph Corns1780-1855born and died Wombourne, Staffordshire
Elizabeth Meredithborn 1778born Sedgley, Staffordshire
John Powneyborn 1796born Wombourne, Staffordshire
Sarah ?Davies1790-1847died Wombourne, Staffordshire.
Edward Baker1781-1851died Wombourne, Staffordshire
Nancy/Ann New1786-1849buried Pattingham (abode Ounsdale, Wombourne), Staffordshire
Walter Turner1749-1833born and died Blymhill, Staffordshire
Ann Fletcher1751-1797born Weston-under-Lizard, Staffordshire, died Blymhill, Staffordshire
Richard Smith1757-1834died Worfield, Shropshire
Ann Blaney1756-1837died Worfield, Shropshire
Thomas Crump1778-1847died Wolverhampton, Staffordshire
Ann Brooks1781-1849died Wolverhampton, Staffordshire
Thomas Dobson1766-1843died Wolverhampton, Staffordshire
Elizabeth Foxall1769-1845died Wolverhampton, Staffordshire.
Edward New
Benjamin Williamsdied 1805died Trysull, Staffordshire
Sarahwife of Benjamin Williams
Charles Inscoe
John Fernc. 1777-1833born ?Northamptonshire, died Wolverhampton
Ann Faulks
William Hales1794-1860born Broseley, Shropshire. died Wolverhampton, Staffordshire
Maria Astburyborn 1796born Birmingham
William Yeadon1747-1828born and died Old Swinford (Stourbridge), Worcestershire
Elizabeth Cookwife of William Yeadon

I only have the names of eight of my 128 5x great-grandparents, from whom I’d expect to have inherited 0.78 per cent of my DNA.

Stephen Summerhillborn 1745
Sarah Cratchleyborn 1756born in Dursley, Gloucestershire
William Niblettborn 1757born in Huntley, Gloucestershire
Elizabeth Cowmeadowborn 1758
Richard Corns1735-1807born and died in Wombourne, Staffordshire
Mary Wortondied 1808died in Wombourne, Staffordshire
Thomas Turnerborn 1709born in Blymhill, Staffordshire
Rebecca Morrismarried Thomas Turner in Weston-under-Lizard, 1747
John Foxallmarried Mary Turner at Wolverhampton 1763
Mary Turnermarried John Foxall at Wolverhampton 1763




  • hi Tracey…interesting post and got me thinking! Totalled up my direct ‘known’ descendants and got 76 plus and one or two possibles!

    Have been recently helping my sister in law to investigate her Crump line and have got it back four generations – all Birmingham based!

    Best wishes Bev.

  • Greetings from a fellow genealogy researcher and member of the the Geneabloggers Tribe. just came across your site courtesy of Geneabloggers Tribe. I need to tot up my known as opposed to potential ancestors too.
    I have forebears from Whitmore, Staffordshire.
    from the antipodes

    • Thanks, Anne. I found it quite a useful exercise to do as it really focused my research, especially on women’s maiden names. It’s also handy to have a post that lists names and places as it makes it easier to contact DNA matches and see if they can spot a link with their research.
      Good luck with your research, and thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

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