by Richard A. Pence
The Last Word on Numbering Systems
Copyright 1995 by Richard A. Pence - Posted with Permission
It comes from yet another DIGEST reader: "A truly honest
statement. As a genealogy teacher, I am sick unto death of people
coming up with yet another numbering system. Gilbert Doane gave a
numbering system in 'Searching for Your Ancestors' for pedigree
charts that as worked for me for 20 years without renumbering.
(One of the few genealogists I know that has never had to redo.)
The Register system works just fine. Why change it? Computers
need numbers for their own use. Numbers as supplied by Personal
Ancestral File work just fine for the computer. Why try to make
the computer compatible with anything else? Genealogy programs
that print pedigree charts do not print books. Change for change
sake is a pain in the neck as far as I am concerned. I do not
like to waste my valuable research time trying to figure out how
another enterprising author dreamed up the 'ultimate numbering
THE AUTHOR'S LAST WORD
I've learned that genealogical numbering systems is a topic on
which EVERYONE has an opinion. I've got my opinion; I respect
those of others. I offer these thoughts in support of my opinion:
- The Register and Record Systems - try as I might - badly
confuse me. Both in trying to write material using either of them
and in trying to follow a genealogy written with them.
- Computers are good at assigning numbers. Take a look at the
code above your name on a mailing list label if you don't believe
me. That number may mean something to a computer and even,
perhaps, to someone who manages the mailing list. It doesn't tell
me a heck of a lot. Neither do the numbers assigned by a computer
to my genealogical database. If I assign the number, it has meaning
to me and it might even make it easier for me when I'm entering data.
I prefer being able to look at the number and being able to say,
"Oh, yeah, he's a descendant of the Adam Pence who lived in Scott
County, Kentucky; a third great grandson." It even beats getting
the chance to power up the computer and having it figure that out
- The main thing - as I heard a librarian plead one day - is
don't make it so complicated that you confuse your reader. I've
done that, so will quit.
This page is http://www.saintclair.org/numbers/numlastw.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.
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