Knowledge of Grandparents' Names

Even if a person were not a family history researcher, you might guess that everyone could provide the first and last name for their grandparents. From a recent survey conducted by, it appears approximately 1/3 of Americans can not name their grandparents. In America’s total 2018 population of 326,766,748 that is approximately 100,000 million who couldn’t provide the grandparents’ names, even if the grandparent were still living.

Well, one reason … younger people have only known their grandparents as Grandma, Nana, PaPa, Grandpa Joe, Grandma Sally, etc. Another reason, families are spread all over the 50 states and overseas. So there may not be daily contact.

Another reason could be a large number of single mothers or single fathers raising their children, maybe only one set of grandparents are known.

Also, family size over the recent decades has declined. It use to be there were a set of parents with 6 to 8 children. Many times the grandparents also lived in the household or nearby. Without additional contact with aunts and uncles nowadays, less might be learned about family members.

For older Americans not knowing a grandparent’s name could be because those grandparents (especially males) were killed in World War Two, Korean War, or Vietnam War. For old Americans, they may not know a grandparent because that grandparent died at an early age (not as long a lifespan). My own example, my grandparents on my mother and father’s side had all passed away years before my birth.

Immigration is also a factor, if your parents were born in another country and then came to America, the grandparents may have remained in the homeland.

So it is an eye-opener and makes you realize you want to make sure all family members know their grandparent’s given and last names. 

Photos: Three generations of the Cook family in 1944; grandparents-grandchildren; 1920s-3 generations and Four Generation Photo 1908: John O’Donoghue 1835-1920, his daughter Catherine (O’Donoghue) Nash 1864-1933, her daughter, Colia (Nash) Burns 1886-1918 and her son Marlow Burns 1908-1964

Related Blogs:

What Do You Call Your Grandparents?

National Grandparent Day

Grandparents on Facebook?

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