Sunday, August 24, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: How Many Children/Grandchildren in your Matrilineal Line?

Carrie, over at "Under the Nut Tree Genealogy" participated in an older Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge today. This post, from January 18th of this year, is titled "How Many Children/Grandchildren in Your Matrilineal Line?" I thought I'd participate as I didn't have a blog in January. Here's the challenge:
  1. Consider your Matrilineal Line (mother's mothers mother's, etc.) families - the ones from your mother back through her mother all the way back to the first of that matrilineal line in your family group sheets or genealogy database. List the names of these mothers, and their lifespan years.
  2. Use your paper charts or genealogy software program to create a Descendants chart (dropline or graphical) that provide the children and their children (i.e., up to the grandchildren of each mother in the surname list).
  3. Count how many children they had (with all spouses), and the children of those children in your records and/or database. Add those numbers to the list. See my example below! [Note: Do not count the spouses of the children]
  4. What does this list of children and grandchildren tell you about these persons in your matrilineal line? Does this task indicate areas that you need to do more research to fill out families and find potential cousins?
  5. Tell us about it in your own blog post, or in a comment to this post, or in a comment on Facebook or Google+.
So, here goes!
Headstone of Lenora Dickson & her husband, Matthew
Posted by Wilda Graves Patterson at FindAGrave
My matrilineal line is (note: I'm not including spouses)
  • My mom (still living): 3 children, 2 grandchildren
  • My grandmother, Ethel Evelyn (Dickson) Kaechle (1915-2004): 7 children, 13 grandchildren
  • Martha Lenora "Nora" (Ward) Dickson (1885-1916): 5 children, 15 grandchildren
  • Sallie Harriett (Dickson) Ward (1860-1960): 9 children, 41 grandchildren
  • Lenora "Nora" J (Mays) Dickson (1823-1909): 9 children, 30 grandchildren
I decided to skip the spouses & just do the direct line. So, the direct descendants of Lenora (Mays) Dickson in my line are: 111 people! (I hope I counted this right...)

My grandmother was born near Perry County, Tennessee and grew up there. She moved away when she married my grandfather. Her mother, grandmother, and great grandmother were all born and are buried in Perry County.

"Does this indicate any area I need to work on?" Yes! I need to work on the children of Lenora (Mays) Dickson. I have yet to identify her parents, though I've narrowed it down to a few probabilities from the Mays families in the 1830 & 1840 censuses. I see some of these children have hints, so I'm off to explore!

Do we share common ancestors? I'd love to talk! Please write me at


  1. Hi, Dana,
    You and I are fourth cousins, descended from Matthew James Dickson and Lenora Mays. Our great-great grandmothers were sisters. I'm descended from the son of Mary Elizabeth ((Dickson) Dickson) Sutton and William Porter Dickson: Addison Hall Dickson

    Let me know if you'd like to chat sometime.

    J. Wallis Sholar

    1. Wallis, Thanks for leaving your contact information. I'm glad you found my blog & look forward to talking with you!


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