A person’s family history includes a thorough study of not only one’s ancestors but also the siblings and children of any given couple. Of course, their story is not complete without a good understanding of the places they lived, the laws in effect at the time and the local and national events that inevitably shaped and affected their lives.
Each generation doubles the number of direct ancestors
Everyone has 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great-grandparents, 16 great-great-grandparents and so on. By the time one reaches 10 generations, there are 512 grandparents. Most likely these 512 direct line ancestors had additional surviving children who generated additional offspring. These are your cousins. Chances are you have a lot of them that you are totally unaware of.
This sample timeline provides a glimpse of what 10 generations might look like.