Finally, for those unfamiliar with the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ) format, the format may seem confusing at

A Brief Explanation of

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) Quarterly System -

Descending Genealogy




The numbering system used exclusively on this website is the National Genealogical Society (NGS) Quarterly System – Descending Genealogy, with minor modifications. It is based on Numbering Your Genealogy – Sound and Simple Systems, by Joan Ferris Curran, Special Publication No. 59, National Genealogical Society, Arlington, VA, 1992.


This system assigns a number to each infant, whether or not that child is known to have left any descendants. The first person in the lineage is, by definition, “1.” Each descendent child is assigned a number, in sequence, beginning with “2.”, “3.”, etc. This number may change, however, if newer information is added to the lineage. One of the modifications used on this website is that each child also receives a special “RN” number (in bold), e.g. “RN=1234”, which links this individual to my master computer database. This “RN” will never change! The only exception is that any unnamed child will be designated “No RN”. Always refer to the person’s “RN” whenever contacting me.


If a child has descendants, it is designated with a “+” preceeding the number. This signifies that the lineage of that child, along with its sequence number and its specific “RN”, is continued in the follow-on generation. Each generation is distinctly separated, e,g, “Generation One”, “Generation Two”, etc.


In lineages where there are emigrants, the NGS Quarterly System designates the emigrant as “Generation One” and the generation of his parents, who did not emigrate, as “Generation A”, and the generation of his grandparents as “Generation B”, and so forth, referred to as the “Pre-American generation letter”.


The superscript number (or letter in the case of pre-emigrant generations) is placed after the last name entry prior to the surname to the denote the current generation, e.g. John Paul 2 Jones.  Following the individual’s name, his direct lineage is provided using only the first and occasionally middle name, if desired, followed by the superscripted generation number or letter, e.g. (John Paul 2, Robert 1, James A, Charles  B).


When descendant children names are entered, a “Birth-order number” is entered prior to the child’s name.


If no further information is known about an individual or further clarification is deemed necessary, annotations are appropriately made.


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