Following on from Randy Seaver’s 8 August Saturday Night Genealogy Fun where he asked people to list their 16 great grandparents [sic] (it should be great great grandparents), and figure out what percentage of each ethnicity/nationality they are, I thought of a twist on this that I’ll suggest he offer next week (since far more people read his Musings than read my Ramblings).

The proposition is to figure out the percentage of your nationality/ethnicity you are at each generation back starting with yourself, with the aim of identifying at what generation you became 100% of the nationality that you identify with today.

So for me

  1. born in New Zealand = 100% Kiwi
  2. both parents born in New Zealand = 100% Kiwi
  3. 4 grand parents born in New Zealand = 100% Kiwi
  4. 8 great grandparents – now it’s a mixture:
    • 1 great grandparent born in Australia
    • 2 great grandparents born in New Zealand
    • 2 great grandparents born in England
    • 3 great grandparents born in Scotland
    • = 12.5% Australia, 25% Kiwi, 25% English, 37.5% Scottish
  5. 16 great great grandparents – less mixed now:
    • 10 great great grandparents born in Scotland
    • 6 great great grandparents born in England
    • = 37.5% English, 62.5% Scottish
  6. 32 great great great grandparents – now the list is not completely known:
    • 17 great great great grandparents born in Scotland, plus 1 almost certainly = 18
    • 8 great great great grandparents born in England, plus 2 almost certainly = 10
    • 2 great great great grandparents probably born in Ireland[1]
    • 2 great great great grandparents unknown – their daughter was born in England[2]
    • = 56.25% Scottish, 31.25% English, 6.25% probably Irish, 6.25% Unknown

[1] – I haven’t tracked down Peter Mulvey’s parents yet, but in the 1841 and 1851 Census for Haddingtonshire where Peter was born, a large number of the Mulveys listed indicate born in Ireland.

[2] The births of Thomas Jennings and Ann Burgoigne have not been actively searched for yet.

So how many generations of this can you complete for your family, and how far back can you go and still be 100% of the nationality you identify with today? For me it’s 4 grandparents all born in New Zealand. Their parents were born in New Zealand, Australia, England and Scotland.


Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings asks:

  1. List your 16 great-grandparents (of course there are only 8 great grandparents, so since he mentioned 16 I’m assuming great great grandparent) in pedigree chart order. List their birth and death years and places.
  2. Figure out the dominant ethnicity or nationality of each of them.
  3. Calculate your ancestral ethnicity or nationality by adding them up for the 16 – 6.25% for each (obviously, this is approximate.

So mine can be seen here

The results are:

8 Paternal great great grandparents are all Scottish

6 Maternal great great grandparents are English

2 Maternal great great grandparents are Scottish (something only fairly recently discovered – I’d always “known” that my mother’s ancestry was all English).

So the end result is that at the great great grandparent level I’m 10/16 (= 62.5%) Scottish and 6/16 (=37.5%) English.

Of course since I was born in New Zealand of New Zealand born parents I consider myself 100% Kiwi!!

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