People have thought using numbers for a very long time (arguable point emphasizing the intuitionists' school's view - see Brouwer, for one), The computer can be a boon to that sort of thing.
Too, people have fun, even genealogists. How else will they suffer the tedium (again, arguable, as all sorts of other means can be found)? -- Have you noticed the proliferation of genealogy blogs (look at Randy's list - see below)? Of course, this is such an addition.
Now, that being said, I ran across Randy Seaver's Genea-Musings, today (had been there earlier, but the difference, today, was that I got caught - one needs to be teflon'd to avoid being entrapped in the sticky web). He had used the Saturday Night Genealogy Fun as motivation to show his number. In brief, the idea is to count how many ancestors are known up to a generation, in this case, 10, or further back. His post has a table that shows the accumulative count by generation.
In the comment section of Randy's post, many researchers reported their numbers. The range was wide from 83% (more later) down to the teens. Randy's number was 52.83%. In other words, of the 1023 ancestors (which might be duplicated due to intermarriage), he has identified 541.
Crista Cowan seems to have started this, back in August of 2012. Her number is a little lower (the 30s). The largest count that I saw was Yvonne's who claims a whopping 82.7%. In other words, she knows 846 of her 1024 ancestors through generation 10.
Earlier, I had mentioned that Princes William and Harry had 100% known up to about generation 8 with only a few holes after that (based upon a quick read, in a library, of a book that showed their heritage). It's nice to see this same level of filled-in tree can be found outside of the ruling royals (after all, the story is that they have to be aware in order to remove possible interlopers).
So, now, given that. I have been working on some trees that include Thomas Gardner of Salem. On a quick count, I figured that the number, to date, would be close to 50%. See the image.
Disclosure: This represents about four years of work that, in part, leveraged off the work of others (nod, of course, to ancestry.com and rootsweb.com).
Now, in looking at Thomas and Margaret, how many of these charts could be written up today? Granted, they would only be two of five-hundred-and-twelve (one-thousand-and-twenty-three, from your parents back) ancestors for that generation.
That, then, brings up how important it is to know about the collateral families in one's tree. We want to get out to about three or so generations and, then, get a count of such. That is on the task list to be done prior to the next major milestone (see 400th).
Remarks: Modified: 09/01/2014