On The Extinction Probability Of a Family Name

  • Dzaan S. K. Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Mkar, Gboko
  • Onah E. S. Department of Mathematics, Statistics & Computer Science, University of Agriculture, Makurdi
  • Kimbir A. R. Department of Mathematics, Statistics & Computer Science, University of Agriculture, Makurdi

Abstract

This study investigated twenty different family trees to identify the factors that determine the extinction probability of a family name the most, using the birth-and-death process theory. It is only the male descendants that were considered since all the families studied are patrilinear, i.e., only the males propagate the family name. The study showed that, out of all the attributes of a family tree, the birth rate and the death rate are the most directly related to the extinction probability. Contrary to what one expects, the mean number of offspring per individual does not seem to have a direct effect on the probability of extinction.