It is a format for filling in a blank ancestry chart designed by a man calledReginald Henry, an author, and is quite different from other methods such as theRegister or Modified Register Systems.
June 17, 2015
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What is the purpose of the ahnentafel form?

Use this form to make your ahnentafel or, in other words, a list of your direct ancestors in a fixed sequence of ascent.

How do I fill the ahnentafel form?

List yourself as No.1, list your father as No.2 and your mother as No.3, your paternal grandparents as No.4 and No.5 and the maternal grandparents as No.6 and No.7, and so on, back through five generations. Apart from No.1, who can be male or female, all even-numbered persons are male, and all odd-numbered persons are female.

The number of any person's father is double the person's number, and a person's mother is double the person's number plus one.

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Instructions and Help about ahnentafel number form

Hi, I'm Penny Stratton, Publishing Director at NEHGS. In this video tutorial I'll show you how to use genealogical numbering in an Ahnentafel or ancestor table. Ahnentafel is German for ancestor table. It begins at or near the present and moves back in time, often to the earliest known ancestor. It uses a mathematical numbering system that allows readers to quickly find a direct line of ancestry. Each person in an ahnentafel is numbered. The subject of the ancestor table—let's say it's you—is number 1. Your father is number 2, and your mother is number 3. Your father's parents are numbers 4 and 5; your mother's are numbers 6 and 7; and so on. The father always has an even number and the mother an odd number. Mathematically, you can find the parents of someone by doubling a person's number. To find the father you multiply a person's number by 2 and to find a person's mother, you multiply the number by two and add one. And to find someone's child, you divide the father's number by 2. Let's look at a published example: to find the parents of number 57, Rachel Welsh, I multiply 57 times 2 to find her father's number and multiply 57 by 2 and add 1 to find her mother's. I can then flip through the book until I find number 114, George Welsh, and number 115, Nancy Cannon. Note that every number needs to be accounted for. So even when names aren't known, we give the numbers or a range of numbers—as you see here for numbers 116 and 117. In a sense, you can think of the ancestor table as a multigenerational chart turned sideways to read vertically. You're going back in your ancestry, generation by generation. I hope you've found this video helpful. For more information on how to write and publish your family history, visit our Online Learning Center.