Less is More

It sounded so absurd the first time I became aware of this phrase about a third of a century ago. It was on a sign along Marriottsville Road in Howard County, MD, and it definitely caught my attention. It’s so counterintuitive, and it seems to defy logic. How can less be more?

I just experienced an example that shows how less can clearly be more, much more.

I’m always aiming for the kind of strategic additions to the Family Forest that produce big changes with only a little input. In this case, just deleting a person produced a huge change that personally relates to possibly tens of millions of living people.

An ancestor chart of Lady Elizabeth Gascoigne had only 2 boxes filled in, her and her father. Her sisters, Anne & Dorothy Gascoigne have 79,720 boxes filled in on a 20 generation ancestor chart, and 1,068,803 boxes filled in on a 30 generation ancestor chart.

Although Elizabeth correctly showed up on the family page with her sisters, she was incorrectly attached to a duplicate entry of her father, Sir William Gascoigne. All I had to do was to delete the duplicate of her father, and instantly, everyone downstream of Elizabeth now has an additional million-plus fully-sourced boxes of their ancestry mapped out.

Lady Elizabeth Gascoigne was said to have married Sir George Talboys (Tailboys, Tailbois, etc.) before 1493. She could have had hundreds of descendants who were each producing families in the early 1600’s. If others are correct in saying that a single couple that lived in the early 1600’s can have a million descendants living today, it seems reasonable to believe that Lady Elizabeth may have tens of millions of living descendants.

For all of those descendants (and there are a large number of them) who have multiple ancestral pathways leading to Lady Elizabeth Gascoigne and her husband, Sir George Talboys, this one simple deletion means that two million or more of their additional ancestral connections are now mapped out in the Family Forest.

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