TMG-L Archives

Archiver > TMG > 2000-01 > 0948474989

From: "Mills" <>
Subject: Re: TMG-L: FGS vs Narr
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 11:16:29 -0600

> The National Genealogical Society has a small pamphlet by Joan Ferris
> Curran, "Numbering Your Genealogy - Sound and Simple Systems" ($5, I
> think). This explains all the major numbering systems and some of the
> variants. It is a reprint of an article in the NGS Quarterly of a few
> years ago and is an excellent tutorial on the subject. It does not devote
> a lot to the Henry system, but it does give a good explanation if it and a
> variation or so.

In case anyone is interested, NGS has just sent to press a new edition that
more than doubles the size of this "small pamphlet." The new work is:

Joan F. Curran, Madilyn Coen Crane, and John H. Wray, _Numbering Your
Genealogy: Basic Systems, Complex Families, and International Kin_
(Arlington, Virginia: NGS, Special Publication no. 62, 1999). $6.40 (NGS
members), $8 (non-members) plus $1.50 shipping.

By way of background: After Curran (the author of the H & R Block family
history and umpteen others, as well as a long-time officer of the New
England Historic Genealogy Society) did her guide to the 4 most-common
systems (NGSQ, Register, Henry, and Sosa-Stradonitz), the NGS Quarterly
published two sequels that addresses fundamental weaknesses in all the
systems--basically how to handle step-kin, adoptions from within the family
and outside it, situations in which families had multiple immigrants in
different lines and different generations (hence, all can't be treated as
Ancestor no. 1 in the traditional format), situations in which we want our
genealogies to include not just descendants of the immigrant but also
descendants of the siblings and cousins who remained in the "old country,"

Although Crane and Wray developed (with the help of Curran and others) this
amplification for the NGSQ System, it is adaptable to the Register System as
well. In fact, the new "guidelines for authors" issued by Newbury Press (New
England Historic Genealogical Society's "vanity" press) actually recommends
that the NGSQ System amendments be applied to the Register System when
treating complex families. (That, of course, adds an amusing twist--given
that some folks insist upon calling the NGSQ System the "modified register"
system, the above NEHGS recommendation now makes the Register System a
"modified NGSQ." )

In any case, there is currently no other source that explores the issue of
genealogical numbering as completely as the Curran-Crane-Wray guide.


- -------------------------------------------------
Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
Editor, National Genealogical Society Quarterly

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