There are literally millions of living people who can trace their ancestry to the pioneers in this book. It surprises many to recognize how many descendants a couple just eight generations ago have, and surprises ever more to understand the genetic isopoint and , the most recent common ancestor (MRCA), both explained later in other portions of the final book.
The genealogies are arranged in three basic fashions— genealogical data, ancestral images, and biographical narratives. The genealogical books, which began publication in 1995 as the Thompson Family History, house the tirelessly researched facts which the history is based upon. Currently, the completed genealogies cover ten generations, that’s 64 books for the eighth generation alone! Some other lines extend as far was twenty generations. All told there are over 3,000 ancestors— direct-line relatives—and over 10,000 total relatives with 3,050 cited sources and 8,100 researched sources. Keep in mind the books are ascendancies, not adding in collateral relatives, which would exponentially inflate these numbers.
The mission of the genealogy books is five-fold. The first goal is to continue to extend the lineage to link to as many relatives as possible. Second, to amass photographs—as a face can tell a thousand tales—as so much can be learned from them. The third goal is to document the medical background of the ancestors, so the children can lead a healthier life. The fourth goal is building of narratives from this amassed information, producing a readable experience of the ancestors and their lives. The final goal is to reach as many relatives as possible. Since all lines extend over ten generations, every time we add another couple, we add thousands of more living cousins! All of this is to allow the current living relatives to better understanding of the heritage and therefore lead a healthier life and have more productive relationships.
Our first two genealogy books up to generation five were published in 1995. The Thompson Family History, a mere 3,200-word genealogy and Our Own Flash & Blood, containing 75 photos. The most recent publications spanning to generation ten, contain narratives with over 285,000 words and 1,500 scanned images—840 images, 500 photos, 227 tombstone images and 37 DNA scans.
Thanks to my parents, my sisters and my children for the knowledge and support; to my history teachers and professors and to Ray from Pennsylvania State Library for his early tutelage. Additional thanks to my hundreds of cousins, near and far, who have donated their time as well as their long-toiled family histories and to every clerk, registrar, cemetery manager, LDS employee, ancestry.com staff and others who researched in places that couldn’t be visited. This book is truly the love of thousands.