Decoding the Numbers: Genealogical Numbering Systems

If you have read a genealogy publication or explored popular family tree software, you have likely seen numbers assigned to individuals in family trees. What do these numbers mean? Why are there so many different numbering systems?

This article will introduce you to the most commonly used genealogical numbering systems and how you can utilize them in your writing. For a more in-depth discussion on these numbering systems, please refer to NGS’s Numbering Your Genealogy by Joan F. Curran, Madilyn Coen Crane, and John H. Wray, edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills. This book goes much more in-depth about the various systems used in genealogical writing and covers non-traditional families. It is available in the NGS store.

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