Saturday, October 12, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - What is Your Birth Surname Henry Number?

It's Saturday Night - 
time for more Genealogy Fun! 

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

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.

Here's mine:

2)  My first known ancestor with my birth surname of Seaver is Robert Seaver (1608-1683).  Here is my Seaver line with their Henry numbers.

1                       Robert Seaver (1608-1683)
11                     Shubael Seaver (1640-1730)*
112                   Joseph Seaver (1672-1754)*
1121                 Robert Seaver (1702-1752)*
11214                Norman Seaver (1734-1787)
112142              Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816)*
1121424            Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825)*
11214243          Isaac Seaver (1823-1901)*
112142431        Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922)*
1121424311      Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942)*
11214243115    Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983)*
112142431151  Randall Jeffrey Seaver (1943-living)*

*  Denotes a son who was the eldest son that married and had children.

3)  I created a Descendants Narrative Report (874 pages!) in RootsMagic 6 using Robert Seaver as the starting ancestor, requested 12 generations, picked the Henry Number option, and then traced my line through the report (I was on page 16).

Amazingly, each one of these males were the eldest son that survived and had children.  For instance, Joseph Seaver (1672-1754) had an older brother, Robert Seaver (1670-1672) who did not survive childhood, so Joseph was the eldest surviving son with children.  Norman Seaver (1734-1787) had two older brothers who did not marry or survive childhood, so Norman was the eldest surviving son who had children.  What this means is that if Robert Seaver (1608-1683) had been a King, then I would be the current King, assuming succession through only males.  

In order to have an accurate Henry Number report, a researcher needs to have a complete list of children in each ancestral family, and know their birth order.  I think I have done that in my own Seaver line.  

Their are five persons in my Seaver line that were the first-born child, and two more that were the second-born child.

4)  I did!

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


Yvonne Demoskoff said...

Great activity for a quiet Saturday, Randy. Here's how I did:

Helen V Smith said...

Here is my go. It is always interesting to look at the data.

GeneGinny said...

Thanks, Randy. I needed something to do to divert me from watching the UW Huskies get crushed by the dreaded OU Ducks. Here's my contribution:

Shelley Bishop said...

Thanks for another fun challenge, Randy. Here's what I came up with:

Marshall said...

My birth surname is the shortest line I have, due to the whole "born at sea" thing with my great-grandfather.

So, (I believe) that my Birth Surname Henry number is 121.

My grandfather was the oldest (living) child.
My father was the second child
I am the oldest child.

The only uncertainty there is that in the 1910 census, my great-grandparents are listed with "5 children, 2 living" (after 0/0 in 1900). But since he was born in July 1901, it's a reasonable guess to say that he was first. (It is a guess, though).