California Settlers Genealogy Reference GENERATIONS About/Contact
last updated 25 Sep 2020

This is not a generic generation chart. It is based on my great grandparents (generation 6) all early California pioneers or born in California.
Birthdates range from 1830 to 1866 for them.
Thomas McBride b. 1839 & Martha Finley b. 1856, Lewis Leroy King b. 1855 & Annie Hellar b. 1862, Jonathan Sikes b. 1830 & Caroline Woodley Palmer b. 1848, Benton Thomas b. 1866 & Susan Guard b. 1863.., all the authors Great Grandparents).

Generation 1 is my and my cousins grandchildren born from 1978 to 2019.
The average length of a generation varies from 26 to 35 years. Shortest and Longest spans over a 5 generation sample.:

A generation averages 30 years over the 300 years from 1670 (Gen 12) to 1970 (Gen 2).
i.e. The middle child is born when their parents are 30.
There is a wide range because my Mother was the oldest in her family and my Father was the youngest.
The 9th and 10th generations span a greater range because I have data on more people in those generations.

Birthdates by Generation and Immigration Dates

We can go back to generation 22 with supported documentation in Admiral Stout's book The Clan Finley.
See 13th and 14th Century Ancestors

Note: The count of immigrants above is for ancestors of the 8 family lines in generation 6. e.g. the 30 Sikes immigrants listed between 1600 and 1649 are 30 of the 128 generation 13 G-G-G-G-G Grandparents of Jonathan Sikes, only one of which (Richard) was a Sikes. We have identified only 33% of the immigrant ancestors of 8 families here so there are a lot more than those shown. The later a family arrived the fewer entries they have in the immigrant list. e.g. Thomas McBride, the generation 6 ancestor we started with, was an immigrant himself (Scotland to Canada in 1851 and to Calif in 1870), so there are no other McBrides in prior generations.
See fan charts.

Representative Debra Haaland a Native American congreswoman from New Mexico says she is a 35th generation New Mexican of the Pueblo of Laguna tribe, so we are relative newcomers to North America.

Our earliest immigrants to America:
Joseph Cobb (Gen 15) came to Jamestown in 1613
George Soul (Gen 13) came on the Mayflower in 1620
Rodger Guard (Gen 15) came to what is now Main in 1634
Richard Sikes (Gen 13) came to Dorchester, MA prior to 1639.
To find how many greats are in your relation, Subtract your generation from the person you're interested in and subtract 2 (Parents and Grandparents). e.g. Joseph Cobb *Gen 15) is my (Gen 3) 10th Great Grandfather.

At ancient Finley ancestors we can go back 135 generations to Adam and Eve, with hypothetical genealogies from Macbeth in 1005 done by monks trying to get in good with kings by doing their genealogies.

See Builder, Boomer, X, Millennials, ... at DonsNotes

Because women tended to get married earlier, maternal lines have more generations in a given time. e.g. Anna Price (an ancestor following a purely maternal line) was born in 1750 and is generation 10; Thomas McBride (a paternal line) was born in 1749 and is generation 8.
Also the age differences between the youngest and oldest children, which can be 15 years or more in the 18th and 19th centuries adds up over several generations. e.g. James Finley (b. 1783) is generation 8 when going back thru the Arthur Thomas McBride (children born 1905-15) line but generation 7 when going back thru the Shadrach Gladney (children born 1899-1905) line.

Birth-dates (As we've added families some of the date ranges have grown from what's below.)
It was based on generation 6 (the authors great grandparents) here is quite a bit of overlap because of the range of births of children in that generation and age of marriage differences before and after.
Gen Median  Range
  1       1978-2019
  2  1971 1949-1998
  3  1945 1922-1970
  4  1915 1896-1933
  5  1883 1865-1895
  6  1853 1839-1863
  7  1820 1789-1845
  8  1798 1749-1822
|Gen   Range
|  9  1729-1805
| 10  1698-1764
| 11  1673-1735
| 12  1637-1709
| 13  1590-1668
| 14  1567-1655
| 15  1540-1620
| 16  1515-1573
| 17  1483-1538
|Gen   Range
| 18  1442-1503
| 19  1420-1470
|  See Finley Ancient Roots for
|  speculation on dates below.
| 30  950-1000
| 57  14 AD
| 98   1700 BC
| 125  2,350-2,900 BC Noah
| 134  3760 - 5200 BC Adam
Each generation averaged from 32-42 yrs. up to Noah.
Generations from Adam to Noah were several hundred years according to the Bible. Because your number of ancestors doubles each generation (2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great grandparents), after about 30 generations (1000 AD) the number of a persons ancestors exceeds the world population. The fallacy in this argument is that prior to 100 years ago a lot of people married 2nd and 3rd cousins, so lines tend to merge quickly as you move back.

Generations Numbers on Ancestry Pages Here | Top

There are two numbering systems used on the ancestry pages here.
1. Generations starting with the first immigrants moving forward in time. We assigned these to match up with published genealogies. These vary from family to family because of the different dates of immigration.
2. Generations moving back in time from about 2000; (Children born at the beginning of 2000 are in the middle of generation 1 and the beginning of generation 0.) This makes the settlers and the first generation born in California Generation 6.

Generation 6 ancestors were born between 1839-1863. Their average family spanned 20+ years (from youngest to oldest child). We centered the genealogies here around this generation, so the generation boundaries spread out as you move forward and backward from generation 6. For example the median birth-date for generation 2 is 1971 which is Gen X, however there are about 200 generation 2 descendants of these California Settlers with birthdates from 1949 to 1998. The median birthdate for generation 3 (the Great Grandchildren of the settlers) is 1945 which is on the builder/boomer boarder line. Generation 3 birthdates range from 1922 - 1970, so some spill into Gen-X. See Generations at DonsNotes

GenDatesNumber - Places
61839-18634-Calif., 1-Scotland, MO, OH, PA
71795-18423-MO, 2-OH, 2-Scotland, 2-PA, 1-England, IN, KY, MA, MD, NY, TN
81774-1816(81% known) 4-Scotland, 3-(KY, PA), 2-(England, CT, MA, MD, TN, VA) 1-(AR, MO, NC, OH) 6-?
91729-1805(58%) 8-Scotland, 4-(England, TN) 3-(PA, VA) 2-(CT, KY, MA, NC, NJ, RI, SC) 1-MD, 30-?
101698-1764(44%) 16-Scotland*, 8-England*, 5-(CT, PA) 4-(MA, NJ, VA), 3-NC, 2-(Ireland, MD) 1-(Germany, NY, RI, TN) 71-?
111673-1735(36%) 32-Scotland*, 17-England*, 10-MA 7-CT 5-PA 4-(Germ., VA), 3-(MD, Ireland) 2-(NJ, NY) 1-(NH, RI, NC) 166-?
* The high number of Scottish ancestors is a result of Thomas McBride comming fairly recently, so all his ancestors (even though we can only identify 4 past generation 8) are assumed to be Scottisn (Note: DNA studies show many may be Irish). We probably have many more English, Irish, German and Duch ancestors, but have run into dead ends in the US so don't know the country of origin for many who have been in the US longer.
5 - my Grandparents, 6 - G Grandparents, ...
See Immigrants.


Native American Cultures20,000 BC -
Age of Discovery 1492-161014-18
The Colonial Period1610-1763 10-13
The Revolutionary Era 1763-1789 9-10
The Growth of a New Nation 1789-1830 8
Expansion and Sectionalism 1830-1850
The Civil War and Reconstruction 1850-1877
The Industrial Revolution and the Progressive Era 1877-1913
The First World War 1914-1920
The Roaring Twenties 1921-1929
The Great Depression 1929-1939
The Second World War 1939-1945
Post War America 1946-Present
World History

See Also:
Relationship Chart
When Families Immigrated to the US
Ancient Finley Ancestors
U.S. History
History of Transportation & Communications to California (1839-1914)
Characteristics of Generations