Gene Notes

Some random and some not-so-random thoughts on family history.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Talk About a Generation Gap!

Last week, cousin Karen over at Genealogy Frame of Mind posted about her grandmother Annie Ansley nee Nix. Because Karen and I are born in the same decade, one could normally expect our prior generations would be similar in birth years.

Do I hear a resounding "NO THEY ARE NOT!" And this is why. According to Ancestry, the average generation is about 25 years between the birth of someone and their first child. I know for a fact that my family blows that out of the water - except for my parents who married at the ages of 21/22 and had their first child at 22/23. Karen's line has a much smaller generation gap. Mine, with the above exception is a bigger generational gap. Karen's grandmother was in fact 5 years older than my mother.

Mom - b 1924 - Her parents  Charlie Zimmeth b. 1888 and Luetta Meyer b. 1894 and m. in 1922
      Charlie's parents August Zimmeth b. 1839 and Augusta Cleasott b. 1849  and m. in 1871
      Luetta's parents, Joseph Meyer b. 1869 and Amelia Knost b. 1867 and m. in 1892

My grandfather Charlie Zimmeth was the youngest child of the youngest child. Grandpa was married 3 times, with only my grandmother, the middle wife, bearing him any children.

At any rate:
      August's parents - Josef Zimmeth b. 1796 and Catharine Boegler b. 1796  They were married in 1817.
      Augusta's parents - Christian Kleesaat b. 1814 and Wilhelmina Zabrack* b. 1827.  m. bef 1849.

You can see that my mom's family certainly doesn't fit that 25 year generation.

When I am researching lines, I try to be a little more generous than 25 years in researching generations. After all, my targets may be working on a second or third marriage. I widen the generational gap to encompass a 20 to 40 year timespan. This is especially important when you don't know the birth order of the children. I knew that my grandfather was the youngest of the eleven children of the August & Augusta Zimmeth line. Likewise, I knew that my great grandfather August Zimmeth was the only child of his parents born in America, making him the youngest. He was also the eleventh child.

I remember at family events - okay at my grandfather's funeral - being introduced to my mom's cousin Geordie and thinking, whoa, is she old! Sorry Geordie. At the time Geordie was just shy of her 76th birthday, 14 years younger than her uncle Charlie and 21 years older than my mom! The only cousin my mom had on the Zimmeth side who was her contemporary was her cousin Celestine Zimmeth, who was 2 years older. Maybe someday I will write her story.

*Zabrack. I am still working on this line. I've been told the name is probably wrong - I got it from a baptismal record for Augusta Zimmeth, who was baptized as an adult Catholic convert. I still haven't found her using any variation up to and including Zehrbach. Previous posts on this line can be found here and here.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

1 comment:

  1. I still think it's weird that Jim's parents were 20 years younger than ours!