walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

How Long Am I Going to Live?

This isn't so much genealogy, as something I was able to think about as a result of having done genealogical research.

My sister and I were chatting about a variety of things recently and I told her I was working on our Hamlin ancestors. I noted that the rumors of further cousin marriages were turning out to have some basis in reality and also that, fortuitously for us, our duplicated ancestors tended to live a really, really long time. I forget exactly how she asked the question, but she essentially wanted an appropriately weighted average (to deal with our duplicates) of how our ancestors lived. And it occurred to me, hey, I have enough information to do that for several generations.

So, if my sister and I are generation zero (I've counted this a little differently in posts in the past, when I've treated our children as zero), here are our averages.

G1: still alive, so a conservative average (if they both died this year) = 76
G2: all dead (most recent 20 years ago) = 76.5
G3: 69.75
G4: 68.375
G5: almost 62

The fractions aren't meaningful -- they don't reflect months because I rounded to years. They reflect the results of dividing by 8 or 16 or whatever. It's worth pointing out that in G4 I have several ancestors dying in their 30s and 40s, and in G4 I have several dying even younger. There is one person whose death year I do not know, even to a close approximation (in G5 -- I didn't do G6 in part because too much information is missing). I do not have cause of death for a lot of these ancestors, so I don't know what happened. Part of why I have not been diligent about collecting this information is because my sense is that my ancestors live a ridiculously long time.

What about my husband?

For a variety of reasons, he does not have as complete information, but here is what I have readily available:

G1: living, a conservative average = 74.5+
G2: 70.75
G3: 72.375

R. is the oldest child; I am a third child -- that's the difference in G1 (his parents are younger than my parents). He had smoking grandparents; I did not, which may well explain G2 (also there was at least a case of polio in one of his grandparents, altho my maternal grandfather died of mesothelioma, so you know, anomalies happen).

I may scrounge around a little and see what turns up in his G4 and G5. The one pattern that stands out is that his mother's father, and the men going up that line all died in their late forties/early fifties (fortunately, his maternal uncle escaped whatever that jinx was). It would be an interesting exercise to work this out for others in my tree and see if there's any kind of predictive value at all; I suspect not.

If anyone knows a source for age-at-death-of-reproductive-adults from past generations, I'd love to see it; I'm having trouble coming up with comparator values.
Tags: genealogy

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