Numbering Systems in Genealogy

by Richard A. Pence

The de Villiers/Pama System

Copyright 1995 by Richard A. Pence - Posted with Permission

A system much used overseas, primarily in South Africa, is the de Villiers/Pama system. The following information regarding the system was written by Steve Hayes of South Africa amd sent to the authori in 1991.

The de Villiers/Pama system was invented by Chris. de Villiers, who used it in his published work Genealogies of Old Cape Families. published in the 1890s, I think, and revised more recently by Dr. Cor Pama. The same numbering system is now being used in a new work called Genealogies of South African Families, by Heese & Lombard, published by the Human Sciences Research Council.

The original ancestor you start numbering from is a. Every subsequent generation takes the following generation letter, so the children of a are b, the grand children c, and so on. Each child is given a number - the oldest is 1, the second 2, and so on.

So the children of a are

  b1 
  b2 
  b3 
Their children are
  b1 
   c1 
   c2 
     d1 
   c3 
     d1 
     d2 
  b2 
   c1 
   c2 
and so on. Thus the third child of the second child is b2.c3

Sample of the de Villiers/Pama System

Descendant Report for Thomas STOOKE
a Thomas STOOKE 
. b1 John STOOKE, Born ??? 1592, Died ??? 1642 at age 50 
. . c1 William STOOKE, Born Feb 1619, Died 30 Apr 1677 at age 58 
. . . d1 William STOOKE, Born 13 Jan 1656, Died 31 Oct 1676 at age 20 
. . . d2 James STOOKE, Born 10 Nov 1659, Died 6 Nov 1677 at age 17 
. . . d3 John STOOKE, Born 6 Oct 1662, Died ??? 
. . . d4 Francis STOOKE, Born ??? 1665, Died 6 Jul 1704 at age 39 
. . . . e1 John STOOKE, Born 3 Dec 1691, Died ??? 
. . . . e2 Mary STOOKE, Born 3 Aug 1693, Died 7 Aug 1694 at age 1 
. . . . e3 William STOOKE, Born 4 May 1698, Died 30 Jan 1735 at age 36 
. . c2 Marie STOOKE, Born Sep 1622, Died ??? 
. . c3 Nicholas STOOKE, Born ??? 1624?, Died Jul 1710? at age 86 
. . . d1 John STOOKE, Born Jan 1660 
. . . d2 Mary STOOKE, Born Apr 1664, Died Apr 1664 at age 0 
. . . d3 Grace STOOKE, Born Apr 1665, Died Jul 1689 at age 24 
. . . d4 Nicholas STOOKE, Born Apr 1668, Died ??? 
. . . d5 Susanna STOOKE, Born Mar 1670, Died ??? 
. . . d6 Mary (?) STOOKE, Born Jun 1673, Died ??? 
. . c4 George STOOKE, Born Jul 1626, Died 23 Jul 1629 at age 3 
. . c5 John STOOKE, Born ??? 1628, Died ??? 1696 at age 68 
. . c6 Edward STOOKE, Born Sep 1631, Died Sep 1699? at age 68 
. . . d1 Edward STOOKE, Born ??? 1656, Died ??? 1727 at age 71 
. . . . e1 Mary STOOKE, Died 16 Sep 1686 
. . . . e2 John STOOKE, Born ??? 1687, Died 13 Jun 1760? at age 73 
. . . . e3 William STOOKE, Born 23 Feb 1691, Died ??? 
. . . . e4 James STOOKE, Born ??? 1696, Died 1 Jul 1741 at age 45 
. . . . . f1 Anne STOOKE, Born ??? 1728, Died 4 Oct 1775 at age 47 
. . . . e5 Thomas STOOKE, Born ??? 1700, Died Dec 1789 at age 89 
. . . . . f1 Mary STOOKE, Born Jul 1733, Died ??? 
. . . . . f2 James STOOKE, Born Sep 1736, Died ??? 1768 at age 31 
. . . . . f3 Elizabeth STOOKE, Born Mar 1738, Died ??? 1761 at age 22 
. . . . . f4 John STOOKE, Born Jan 1739, Died 13 Jun 1760 at age 21 
. . . . . f5 Thomas STOOKE, Born Oct 1742, Died Dec 1784 at age 42 
. . . . . f6 George STOOKE, Born Jan 1744, Died 10 Dec 1814 at age 70 
. . . . . f7 Martha STOOKE, Born Dec 1746, Died ??? 
. . . . . f8 Francis STOOKE, Born ??? 1748, Died ??? 
. . . . . f9 Grace STOOKE, Born Jun 1750, Died ??? 
. . . . .f10 Thomas STOOKE, Born Dec 1834, Died ??? 
. . . . e6 Edward STOOKE, Born ??? 1701?, Died 8 Jun 1752? at age 51 
. . . . . f1 John STOOKE, Born Mar 1730?, Died ??? 
. . . . . f2 Edward STOOKE, Born Jan 1732?, Died ??? 
. . . . . f3 William STOOKE, Born Nov 1735?, Died ??? 
. . . . . f4 Elizabeth STOOKE, Born Apr 1739?, Died ??? 
. . . . . f5 James STOOKE, Born Jun 1742?, Died ??? 
. . . . . f6 Grace STOOKE, Born 9 Jun 1745, Died ??? 
. . . d2 Grace STOOKE, Born 4 Nov 1658, Died ??? 1683 at age 24 
. . c7 George STOOKE, Born Sep 1633, Died ??? 1637 at age 3 
. . c8 Thomas STOOKE, Born Sep 1633, Died ??? 
. . c9 Susan STOOKE, Born ??? 1635, Died Nov 1649 at age 14 

This page is http://www.saintclair.org/numbers/numdvp.html, created by Mike St. Clair from material written and © Copyright by Richard Pence - Posted Here with Permission. The information is from file: numbers3.txt - Dated: 23 January 1994. You may direct comments on the pages contents to: richardpence@pipeline.com. Send comments on the format of this document to: mike@saintclair.org.

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