APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2008-04 > 1208678548
From: Worth Anderson <>
Subject: [APG] NGSQ Style: Lettering pre-American generations: why bother?
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 2008 01:02:28 -0700 (PDT)
Below are three questions about the NGSQ style and "multiple immigrants and non-emigrating collaterals."
I'm working on a group of ethnically German families who lived in the 1800s on the territory of today's Poland. Different descendants immigrated at different times: some in the 1830s to Volhynia, in Ukraine; some in the 1860s to Russia (and then on to Canada around World War I); some directly to the United States in the 1890s. At the end of World War II, most of the remnants resettled in Germany, although a handful of Polonized descendants still live in Poland.
Thus, I have both problems identified by John H. Wray in his NGSQ article, "Numbering your Genealogy: Multiple Immigrants and Non-emigrating Collaterals:" (1) collateral lines that remained abroad; (2) multiple immigrants in various generations.
Wray proposed a combination of upper- and lower-case lettering for non-American generations that is functional, but strikes me as cumbersome. It also suffers from the problem that the backward lettering of the pre-American generations still has to proceed from the earliest immigrant, even if that immigrant is of less interest to the overall work than another.
Wray's solution was NOT applied in a recent article in a scholarly journal that presented the same issues: Frederick J. Nicholson, "Hydes of England," The Genealogist, vol. 20, No. 2 (Fall 2006), pp. 131-183 (although not using the system in that article also seemed to produce some numbering oddities). In fact, I can't recall reading any article that actually made use of the Wray system.
Here are the questions: First, why bother with making a textual distinction between American and non-American generations at all? It seems like this convention is a holdover from the days when the NEHGR was pretty much the only genealogical game in town, and the NEHGR's subject matter tended to persons with several generations of American descendants and limited known European ancestry. In my case, it is exactly the opposite. Why not just start with the earliest known generation as the guy with "superscript 1"?
Second, do any journals other than NGSQ use the Wray method?
Third, the Wray article was subsequently lightly edited and republished in Curran, Crane and Wray, "Numbering Your Genealogy: Basic Systems, Complex Families and International Kin," National Genealogical Society Special Publication No. 64 (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2000). That book seems to be out of print, and I have read on this list a new edition is expected soon. Does anyone know if the new edition will change the recommended handling of these situations?
Worth S. Anderson
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|[APG] NGSQ Style: Lettering pre-American generations: why bother? by Worth Anderson <>|