Oct 132013

From Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun
1)  Do you know what a “Henry Number” is?  It is a descendant numbering system from a specific person.  The Wikipedia article for Genealogical Numbering Systems describes it as:
The Henry System is a descending system created by Reginald Buchanan Henry for a genealogy of the families of the presidents of the United States that he wrote in 1935.[3] It can be organized either by generation or not. The system begins with 1. The oldest child becomes 11, the next child is 12, and so on. The oldest child of 11 is 111, the next 112, and so on. The system allows one to derive an ancestor’s relationship based on their number. For example, 621 is the first child of 62, who is the second child of 6, who is the sixth child of his parents.  In the Henry System, when there are more than nine children, X is used for the 10th child, A is used for the 11th child, B is used for the 12th child, and so on. In the Modified Henry System, when there are more than nine children, numbers greater than nine are placed in parentheses.”
2)  Go to your first known ancestor with your birth surname and calculate your Henry Number from that person.  Show each generation of your line of ancestors with your birth surname with their Henry numbers.
3)  How did you calculate the Henry numbers?  What do these numbers tell you?
4)  Tell us in your own blog post, in a comment on this blog post, or in a Facebook or Google+ post.

2) So I decided to give Randy’s challenge a go as it sounded interesting, even though the Henry system is not used that much here in Australia.

1                            William Smith (c1781-1834) 53 years
14                          George Smith (1815-1870) 55 years (4th of 10 children)
144                        Alfred Smith (1840-1916) 76 years (4th of 7 children)
1445                      Herbert James Smith (1875-1941) 66 years (5th of 6 children)
14454                    Leslie Smith (1915-1944) 29 years killed in WW2 (4th of 4 children)
144541                  David Smith (1940-2003) 73 years (1 of 1 children)
1445412                Helen Violet Smith (1964 – living) (2 of 3 children)

The Henry system is a useful way of following your family line. I played a bit more and looked at age and total number of children. Longevity is not common on this line! Also interesting to see the change in family sizes over the years.

3) I followed my name back through my database in The Master Genealogist. 

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