Ahnentafel numbers are a precise number system that we use to number our direct ancestors on our pedigree chart. The word “ahnentafel” is a composite of the German words, ahnen meaning ancestor and tafel meaning table or list. The ahnentafel numbering system is also to compile ascendant genealogical research using the Sosa-Stradonitz System.
The method of determining the ahnentafel number of a direct ancestor is based on multiples of two. To begin we start with the base (first) individual of our pedigree chart (generally oneself) and assign the number 1. The father of the first individual (number 1) will be assigned the number 2 (multiply 1 by 2). His father (the paternal grandfather of number 1) will be 4 (multiply 2 by 2). The father of number 4 will be number 8 (multiply 4 by 2), etc. Therefore, the number of every father on your pedigree chart will be a multiple of 2 (an even number).
To determine the ahnentafel number of the man’s appropriate spouse (your direct ancestor), simply add 1 (one) to his ahnentafel number. The mother of the first individual on the pedigree chart will be 3 (the father’s number, 2, plus 1); her father will be number 6 (3 x 2),; and her mother will be number 7 (number of her father, 6, plus 1).
Let’s consider the pre-printed pedigree chart that may be downloaded as a PDF file (from Google Your Family Tree Dan Lynch
What follows are images of two pages of a pedigree chart illustrating appropriate ahnentafel numbers.
Chart 1: Numbers that have been added in “maroon” are the “chart” numbers. On this chart the ahnentafel numbers are already provided (individuals 1-15). I’ve added male and female silhouettes to reinforce the concept that the male ahnentafel numbers will be a multiple of two (even number) while the ahnentafel numbers of females will be odd numbers. The only exception is if the base (or first individual) is a male, in which case the ahnentafel number is 1 (one).
Chart no. 2 (two): Again the chart numbers are designated in maroon. Because the ahentafels are not the same as the printed numbers on the pre-printed chart, I’ve chosen to use green to show the appropriate ahentafel numbers.
© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.
 A pedigree chart is a “schematic drawing of the bloodlines that connect you to each of your direct ancestors” [See Helen F.M. Leary, editor. North Carolina Research: Genealogy and Local History (Raleigh, North Carolina: North Carolina Genealogical Society, 1996), 604. Hereinafter cited as Leary, ed., North Carolina Research.]
 Leary, ed., North Carolina Research, 611–612.
The post card image shown herein is part of shared Flicker collection, Keene and Cheshire County (NH) Historical Photos, by the Keene Public Library and the Historical Society of Cheshire County.
Fiske Hall as depicted in the postcard at the right is from the era when the school was called Keene Normal School, by the time we entered her hallowed halls the building was adorned with ivy.
Jane Page Hawkins (now Jane Goland) and I resided on the second floor of Fiske Hall, second room from the left. Our neighbors, Joan Roberts and Phyllis Woodward (no relation) became good friends. Joan and Phyllis resided in the first room from the left.
The small room contained a bureau, 2 twin beds, two very small open faced closets, desk and 2 chairs. We adorned the beds with bright red-corded Bates bedspreads (similar in appearance to the plissé bedspread offered by the Vermont County Store today. We purchased some bright red tightly woven cotton fabric at the Mill End Store located in an old mill building off West Street not far from the Ashuelot River (probably currently part of the Cotton Mill Marketplace Shopping Center) for a curtain to cover the front or our closets.
We also had a portable record player. Yesterday we reminisced about some of the music we liked—the Kingston Trio, the Platters, and similar faire. How we laughed at Tom Lehr’s satire. You remember, don’t you? “Be Prepared [The Boy Scout Marching Song],” “I Hold Your Hand In Mine, Dear,” and “The Hunting Song.” I was a secondary science and math major so particularly enjoyed Lehr’s “Lobachevsky.”
Speaking of majors, Jane began her matriculation at Keene State as an elementary teacher. However after tackling Dr. Peter’s elementary math course and Etta Merrill’s art class (today Ms. Merrill would be so proud of Jane’s great drawings and paintings), she changed her major as a second semester freshman to English. She adored Professor Malcolm Keddy. Although I managed to stick with it, I nearly succumbed to Professor Kinney’s total mean and hateful bias towards women in his mathematics and/or science classes.
Keene State was a very small school. If memory serves us correctly there were only 777 students (including graduate students) when we were there. By second semester we lost several who were not able to adjust to being weaned from their families.
Keene State has come a long way, baby!
© Linda Woodward Geiger. All rights Reserved.
I’m writing this as I wait for my hostess to waken. I’m spending a couple of days in Venice, Florida, with my college room-mate and her hubby, Jane (Hawkins) & David Goland. As usual, I’m up early (4:30 am) and am trying to be a thoughtful guest. It may be hard to believe, but there are not many folks who enjoy the early morning hours as I do.
When my Mom left me off at Fisk Hall on the Keene State campus in early September 1959, I was petrified. You see, I’d stayed with the family of Eleanor and Elmer Lewis while working at the Knotty Pine Grill in the Weirs between my high school graduation from Walpole High School and entrance into Keene State as a freshman.
Eleanor and the Lewis children, Robert and Debbie, lived in their lovely cottage at the Weirs during the summer and Elmer would join them on the weekends. Elmer and his Dad owned a drug store in Westborough, Massachusetts. One weekend he arrived with exciting news. Jane Hawkins of Westborough would be attending Keene State as a freshman and had just learned that her roommate would be Linda Woodward – Hey, that would be me! Can you imagine the excitement. Eleanor and Elmer related all kinds of details of the beautiful, gregarious, popular high school senior who would be my room-mate. I was pretty much, the opposite, shy, and sort of “book-wormish.” I settled in while dreading the moment Miss Home-Coming Queen would arrive.
She arrived in mid-afternoon, but was rather sedate. While the Lewis’ had been telling me all about Jane, they had also told Jane something of me—quite, studious, and industrious. Jane was quaking in her boots! We were very reserved for about the first 30 minutes or so. I don’t recall, but I expect it was Jane who broke the ice. It wasn’t long before we realized that we would not only get along, but that we would really like each other.
Ah, what memories… I’m sure that more memories will be forthcoming during the next couple of days.
There is never a good excuse for not remembering to wish our friends a happy birthday or plesant salutations for various holidays. However, some of us get caught up with every day family affairs and work and are not always wonderful about remembering to send out a “snail mail” paper greeting.
With that in mind, a clever friend who did not send me greetings on my recent entry into the septuagenarian club gave me a late birthday card for my 70th as well as a second card for my 80th, stating that she did not wish to be late sending me a card for that special event. That tickled me and I couldn’t resist sending out the following tweet
That tweet was automatically shared with my Facebook account.
I’m sharing the comments made on Facebook – all from my family of genealogists and historians.
It just goes to show that top notch professionals do not always look at evidence in the same manner. It depends on the context. However, I’m thankful that most did not think I appeared to be 80 years old.
For Immediate Release January 16, 2012
Indians, Squatters, Settlers and Soldiers in the “Old Southwest” A Conference for the Nation’s Genealogists
January 16, 2012 – Austin, TX. Registration for the 2012 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, scheduled for August 29 – September 1, 2012, in beautiful Birmingham, Alabama, is now open. This year’s conference theme is “Indians, Squatters, Settlers and Soldiers in the ‘Old Southwest’,” and the local host is the Alabama Genealogical Society (AGS).
This year’s FGS conference offers an exciting opportunity for anyone interested in researching their family history. Over 175 educational sessions and 13 luncheons are designed to balance the needs of genealogists at all levels, exploring a variety of records, strategies, and other tools available to those interested in researching their family history. Special sessions include a wide variety targeting members and leaders of genealogical and historical societies. In addition, special events, such as the Alabama Genealogical Society Opening Social at the Alabama Theater, the FGS Evening Social at the historic Sloss Furnaces, Spotlight on Societies, and daily sponsored lectures provide an excellent environment to meet and network with others interested in family history and genealogy.
Session sponsors include FamilySearch, Ancestry.com, findmypast.com, the National Archives and Records Administration, and others.
• Librarian’s Day: On Wednesday, August 29, 2012, ProQuest is sponsoring a full day of sessions designed for librarians, archivists, and other information professionals serving family history researchers.
• Conference Sessions: A wide variety of genealogy-related lectures and workshops for all experience levels. Topics include Southern research, Settlers and Indians, soldiers, strategies and techniques, technology, and writing.
• Special Events: Include the AGS Opening Social at the Alabama Theater and the FGS Evening Social at the Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark—all providing an excellent environment to meet and network with others interested in family history and genealogy. This exciting week of genealogy closes with a Farewell Brunch on Sunday.
Press Release – FGS 2012 Conference Registration Is Open January 16, 2012
• Exhibit Hall: Filled with a wide array of vendors and organizations, Cyber Café and lounge area sponsored by RootsMagic, and a special Spotlight on Societies area will showcase local and regional genealogical and historical societies.
There are more activities and research opportunities too numerous to list. However, you can learn all about the 2012 FGS Conference and register for this exciting four-day event at http://www.fgs.org/2012conference. Be sure to also visit or subscribe to the FGS Conference Blog at http://www.fgsconferenceblog.org for more information and travel advice. We look forward to seeing you in Birmingham in August!
Learn More and Stay Connected
• Visit the Conference News Blog: http://www.fgsconferenceblog.org
• Follow the Conference on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/fgs2012 and on at http://www.twitter.com/fgs2012
• Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau at http://www.birminghamal.org
About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)
The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS Forum magazine (filled with articles pertaining to society management and genealogical news), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference — four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more visit http://www.fgs.org.
Released by Beth Ashmore, 1 February 2012
The Jean Thomason Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce the recipient of the2012 scholarship is Durham Hunt. Durham is a Library Assistant IV in the South Carolina Room of the Greenville County Library in Greenville, South Carolina. He has been in this position since August 2003, after having worked 10 years as a Reference Librarian. Durham spends an average of 100 hours each month helping patrons primary and secondary sources on South Carolina, focusing primarily on Greenville and the Upstate.
Press Release. Boulder, Colo., February 1, 2012
MOCAVO UNVEILS NEW PRODUCTS AND GENEALOGY CONTENT AT ROOTSTECH
Historical Record Storage and Sharing, iPhone and Android Apps, Discovery Stream
“With these new features, Mocavo has evolved into a primary resource for genealogists and family historians to research and share their stories,” said Cliff Shaw, CEO of Mocavo. “Our goal is to host all of the world’s free genealogy content, to make new discoveries an everyday occurrence and to put more research tools into the hands of family historians.”
Curt Witcher of the Allen County Public Library, one of the largest genealogy libraries in the world, said, “The Allen County Public Library is thrilled to have our digitized Genealogy Center materials at Mocavo. For 21st century genealogists, it’s all about the experience—and Mocavo provides a fresh, exciting search experience that returns remarkable numbers of relevant results. And it’s only going to get better from here.”
Historical Record Storage and Sharing Platform
For the first time ever, genealogists have a platform to self-publish high-resolution documents that are automatically digitized using OCR and made searchable – all for free. Mocavo users will be able to upload historical records like photos, books and documents to their accounts. Records can be uploaded several different ways: via a Web browser, Mocavo’s new smartphone apps, by email, or through the popular Dropbox service. Mocavo users retain full ownership of their records, can delete them at any time, and control whether or not their records are shared with the public.
iPhone and Android Apps
Mocavo’s new iPhone and Android smartphone applications enable users to take pictures of historical records, photographs – even entire books – and have them automatically uploaded to Mocavo’s historical record storage and sharing service. Users can also perform Mocavo searches and access their Mocavo accounts through the smartphone apps. Mocavo’s apps are in the process of being approved and will soon be available for download; demonstrations are available at RootsTech. Mocavo expects the apps to be available for download within the next 30 days.
In addition to creating a powerful search engine for family history, Mocavo wants to connect andempower the social discoveries made by genealogists every day. The stream will deliver a constant source of new user-generated content in a fashion similar to the Facebook newsfeed or Pinterest. Whether users are uploading family trees and documents, or finding positive matches on the search engine, Mocavo wants to bring these interactions to light and begin a truly social moment for genealogy.
New Content Additions
In addition to these important new capabilities, Mocavo announced three new additions that will add important family history collections to its vast index. New collections include the Allen County Public Library’s Internet Archive records, the US Social Security Administration’s Social Security Death Index, and the World Family Tree developed by the popular Geni family tree service.
“Our mission is to find the world’s family history records and make them easily accessible to thegrowing legions of genealogists and family historians,” said Shaw. “The Allen County Public Library data, SSDI, and Geni are only the beginning – we want to work with every genealogy content creator, be they big or small, to help them bring their content online and make it searchable for free.”
Visit Mocavo at the RootsTech Conference in Booth 440 in Salt Lake City February 2-4.
Mocavo operates the world’s largest free genealogy search and seeks to index and make searchable all of the world’s free genealogy information. While Mocavo.com discovers new sites every day, some of the existing sites searchable on Mocavo.com include genealogy message boards, state and local historical societies, the Library of Congress, National Archives, Ellis Island, Find A Grave, the Internet Archive, various U.S. state archives, and thousands of genealogy sites built by individuals.
For more information, visit www.mocavo.com or http://www.mocavo.co.uk/