Sunday, November 18, 2007

Two Memes: 161 and Can You Top This?

There are currently two memes circling the genea-blogging world. The first is the 161 Meme, and I've been tagged by both Jessica Oswalt of Jessica's Genejournal and Chery Kinnick of Nordic Blue for this one. In this meme, you're supposed to go to page 161 of the book you're currently reading and list the 6th sentence on that page. Then you tag five other bloggers to do the same. Well, I'm not currently reading a book, really, which is very unusual for me...usually I have two to four books on my night table. I just finished up Bryan Sykes's The Seven Daughters of Eve, as I'm going through Blaine Bettinger's list of recommended books on DNA. But that title has been returned to the public library. My current reading material is the stack of letters my mother wrote from Alaska to her parents in Michigan from 1966 through 1978. I've just finished up 1970 and will start on 1971 tonight. I guess I could include Kimberly Powell's The Everything Family Tree Book, which I've been referencing since this summer. I'm using it as a guide and recommended reading material for my Intermediate Online Genealogy class coming up this winter, so I'm using it a lot as I write up my curriculum. Page 161 is the beginning of Chapter 13: Branching Out, but there are only four sentences on this page, which summarize the chapter. The last sentence reads, "Religious records, newspapers, obituaries, Social Security records, occupational records, and school records are examples of alternative records that can fill in missing gaps or verify information that you've already found."

For the 161 Meme, I then tag the following five people:
The other meme was started by John Newmark of Transylvanian Dutch, and is called "Can You Top This?" Its purpose is to list your most prolific ancestor. John's great-great-grandfather had 22 children with three wives. He gives you extra credit if you show a screen shot from your family tree program to illustrate your ancestor's feat.

Now, John doesn't mention how many children each of his Great-great-grandpa Every's wives gave birth to, but I'm betting that my Abigail FORD outdid his ancestor's wives, even though the total number of children was less than his male ancestor's. My 8th-great-grandfather, Elder John STRONG (c. 1605 - 1699), had 17 children with two wives. His first wife, Margery DEANE, died after giving birth to their second child, who probably died at birth:

His second wife, my ancestor Abigail FORD, gave birth to 15 children, including my ancestor, Samuel STRONG:

So I may not be able to top John's male ancestor, but can anyone out there top my female ancestor?


John said...

You're right, I can't top that. Samuel's first wife had 4 children, and the other two wives split the remaining 18 evenly.

Apple said...

15 is the best I can do too. Just thinking about being pregnant that that many times makes me cringe!

Miriam said...

Hi, John! Chris Dunham topped me with a female ancestor who bore 20!

Apple, I agree with you. Fifteen times of being pregnant, fifteen times of giving birth (with no epidurals...ouch!), and about 30 years of nursing...whew! No thanks!

Anonymous said...

Anyone with French-Canadian ancestors will have quite a few who had more than 15. I simply can't imagine how they adequately fed and clothed that many. Those poor women!!

M. A. said...

Hi Miriam,
I can't top that yet either altho I do have French Canadian ancestors and their families are huge.
My question to you is, however, how did you get your RootsMagic program to show all the children on your screen? Are you using a large monitor? I have my info on my laptop and can only see about 8 kids at a time; have scroll bars to see the rest.


Miriam said...

Hi, M.A.,

Yes, my desktop's 19-inch monitor shows all the children, but my laptop's monitor only shows a few...I, too, have to scroll down to view all the children in a large family, when using my laptop.

barbara said...

Hi Myriam,
This is interesting! I'am sometimes tagged with memes on my personal blog, but this is my first for genealogy.
I hope that it OK if I put the last book I finished rather than what I'am currently reading.
I'am not reading anything at this time.

No problem for the second meme either. I'am only up to my great-great-grandparents, but one pair does win hands down!

See you soon .°

Chery said...


Thanks for playing along with the 161 meme. I can't top either you or John in ancestral productivity, so there's no use trying!

T.K. said...

I've finally done the 161, Miriam... er, I mean, cousin Miriam...

Anonymous said...

My Grandfather George Nelson with my Grandmother Caroline Tesdahl Nelson had 18 children. 14 lived to adulthood.