12 March 2016

Genealogy by Numbers

To me, there is something too static and statistical about genealogical numbering systems.  I know they are meant to be useful when discussing my mother's mother's mother's mother's father's mother's father's father's family history, for example, but I am not really sure if giving that person a number would help my research at all.

In most of the usual numbering system I am apparently considered to be number one. I am the first generation.

My father is number two.  My mother is number three.  They are the second generation.

My siblings are also considered to be the first generation.  It seems odd to me that they would not be on a tree meant for future generations to examine.

Things become even more complication when cousins are mentioned.  One of the most overwhelming aspects of family history research is to work out where all the siblings and cousins fit in!

For example, I have recently discovered another page about my Huntingdonshire Ginn ancestors.  It matches the information I have acquired elsewhere.

I already know there is a document online about the Cole line of my family.  A while ago, I helped to discover more about that branch of the family tree, in London and Surrey.  I found that several ancestors had the name of Welcome Cole, though I am not yet sure if a current American author of that name is a distant relative or not.

You may already know that I often feel overwhelmed by all the distant and long-lost cousins suddenly popping up in my family tree, especially through contact with their descendants.  Working out how to put together a full family tree on paper, or even on a screen, is proving difficult for me.  There is so much information to include.

I may decide to develop my own genealogical numbering system.  The ones I have researched seem to complicate things.  I want a system that will make it easier for me to understand family relationships and the geographical features of my ancestry, and the ancestry of my husband.

Here are a few of my earlier blog posts mentioning cousins:

A postcard from a stranger

Something quite marvellous

Treasure troves

At the seaside - part one

Genealogical biographies

Ancestral scatterings

In memory of generations past

The probate debate

So many cousins

Town ancestors and country ancestors

Finsbury Park and London family history

Molenbeek and me