Blank Ancestry Chart – The Henry System and your Blank Ancestry Chart
A blank ancestry chart can be filled in using a number of different methods, but one system that you may not have heard of is called the Henry System. It is a format for filling in a blank ancestry chart designed by a man called Reginald Henry, an author, and is quite different from other methods such as the Register or Modified Register Systems. In this article we'll explain the mechanics of the Henry system and how it can be used to fill in a blank ancestry chart.
How the Henry System Will Enhance Your Blank Ancestry Chart
The Henry System is what is known as a descendancy method of filling in a blank ancestry chart. A descendancy is different from a pedigree chart in that it depicts every descendant of a person. This includes siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, half-brothers and sisters, adoptees, and so on. As you can imagine; that list will be quite extensive, so a comprehensive system for displaying that data in a blank ancestry chart is required. Enter the Henry System, it will look like this:
1 Jonathan BURNS
11 Mary Eleanor BURNS
12 Simon Hetherington BURNS
Cindy Lucia BURNS
11 Mary Eleanor BURNS
111 Reginald Mark SIMONS
112 Cynthia Marie SIMONS
113 Harold Maurice SIMONS
114 James Fitzgerald SIMONS
As you can see, this system is quite different form others like the Ahnentafel System. Here the number identifies the blood-line descendant of a subject, as well as the lineage back to Number 1. Each number is a subtle identification number which indicates order of birth and the number of generations removed from the person beginning the descendancy. This is very practical when preparing data to enter into a blank ancestry chart. At first it may seem complicated, but let me illustrate using the listing above.
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Jonathan BURNS as Number 1 begins the descendancy. He will be the first person you enter into your blank ancestry chart. His first child was Mary Eleanor BURNS. Mary’s number repeats her father’s and then gives her birth order, thus her number is 11. She would be the second person you would enter into a blank ancestry chart using this method. If you’re still not clear, consider that the 4th child of Mary Eleanor BURNS was James Fitzgerald SIMONS. His number will repeat his mother’s (11) and add a number indicating his birth order. That’s right it’s 114!
In the Henry System, the descent comes down from either males, or females, but based only on blood-line descendants. Therefore, the spouses who marry into the family are not entered into a blank ancestry chart using this method. The Henry System is unique in that an ID number for anyone you do enter into the blank ancestry chart is possible. This can accelerate identification of any individual that you enter into your blank ancestry chart using this method. For example using the number:
To read this number and identify the ancestor in the descendancy, you begin from right to left: the 6th child of the 4th child, of the 8th child, of the 9th child, of the 4th child of the 4th child of Number 1.
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The greatest benefit of using the Henry System to fill in a blank ancestry chart is that you can quickly identify relationships between members within it. One drawback the Henry System has is that if there were more than 9 children in a generation, it is not possible to enter them into a blank ancestry chart using this method. It is a great way of organizing the ancestral data you accumulate during your ancestry search, and will speed things up when it's time to enter that information into your blank ancestry chart.