Sunday, March 21, 2010

Correction to "Confessional Quick Hits" (March 18), Quick Hit (1)

In my report on the number of ancestors to be examined if one searches one's ancestry back 20 generations, I calculated that the number to be examined was 2 to the 20th power, or 1,048,575 people. That is incorrect – that's only the number of people in the 20th generation. The aggregate number of people to be examined in all generations is (2 to the 20th) + (2 to the 19th) + (2 to the 18th) + . . . . + (2 to the 1st). The actual number of ancestors back to the twentieth generation – counting your parents as the first generation – is 2,097,150.

Your Plainsman apologizes for this gross error.

No comments: