I've got a character whose name needs some sort of number on the end (IV, V, etc.) because his family, particularly men with his name, comprise a hugely important part of the backstory (he's doing family research, so he'll eventually figure out this significance). Here's my problem: The most crucial ancestor to this story (starts a tradition which the story focuses around) was in his 40s-50s around the turn of the 20th Century, and he was the First. I can't figure out what number to give my MC, who was born in 1983, knowing the average human generation is 25 years. Any thoughts?
I'm slightly befuddled, but, OK, let's say that Joe I is 45 in 1900. So he was born in 1855. Let's say that all the Joes have sons at age 25. So: Joe I: Born 1855. Joe II: 1880. Joe III: 1905. Joe IV: 1930. Joe V: 1955. Joe VI: 1980. You can add and subtract years to make this less suspiciously tidy, but I'd say that you have Joe VI or, if the Joes tend to have children at a slightly older age, Joe V.
If you know approximately when John I (example) was ~25 and had a kid, you should be able to figure when John II would be ~25 and when he had a kid - ~25 years later. If you're assuming each John is 25 years after the last, just add them up until you reach your mc. Am I missing something? John I - 45 in 1895, 25 in 1870 John II - born 1870, 25 in 1895 John III - born 1895, 25 in 1920 etc Right? I don't know if it's wisest to assume each generation would've had kids at the same age, but you can ballpark it like this. By my quick reckoning your mc is probably the fifth or sixth. eta: Dammit, @ChickenFreak.
I'll do some more brainstorming and get back here tomorrow with more useful information. I appreciate the help thus far!
Okay! I've got it! I basically just sat down and did some math; I won't bore you with it here, but the patriarch was 48 in 1900, and had his son in 1870 at age 30. This leads all the way down to my MC, the Sixth, who was born in 1983. Thanks for the help, everyone!
Do you perhaps mean "had his son in 1870 at age 18"? The math: If he was 48 in 1900, then he was born in 1852. So dates and his age would be: 1852: 0 years old. 1870: 18 years old. 1882: 30 years old. 1900: 48 years old.