Bringing the Number Of Our Ancestors Into Perspective

Have you ever stopped and thought about how many ancestors you have in a given generation? As we go back each generation, the number of our ancestors double, becoming an astoundingly large number. Take a look at the following table I put together to get a picture of how fortunate we are to be alive. The table includes an estimated year in which our ancestors were living. Can you imagine the sequence of events and chance meetings that had to take place in order for our parents to meet and give birth to us?

* This table is based on the assumptions that you are 30 years old, no incest took place in the family, and a new generation was produced every 30 years. The first generation starts with you.

Generation No. of Parents/Ancestors Est. Year
2015
1 (You) 2 1985
2 4 1955
3 8 1925
4 16 1895
5 32 1865
6 64 1835
7 128 1805
8 256 1775
9 512 1745
10 1,024 1715
11 2,048 1685
12 4,096 1655
13 8,192 1625
14 16,384 1595
15 32,768 1565
16 65,536 1535
17 131,072 1505
18 262,144 1475
19 524,288 1445
20 1,048,576 1415