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Tuesday's Tip - Ahnentafel Numbers (Beginner)

Ahnentafel Numbers

Tuesday's Tips provide brief how-to's to help you learn to use the Legacy Family Tree software with new tricks and techniques.

Ahnentafel Numbers (Beginner)

In a previous article, How to Create an Ahnentafel Report, I explained how to strip down an Ancestor Book Report to create a whole new report which is a great reference tool.  I spoke briefly about the Ahnentafel numbers that are in the Ancestor Book Report. The numbers preceding each ancestor's name follow a set pattern and they are easy to calculate. You will always be #1 in the report, your father will be #2, and your mother will be #3. You can look at anyone on the chart, no matter how far back in time, and calculate what their father and their mother's numbers will be. If you double the person's number you will get their father and if you double their number and add 1 you will get their mother. But what about calculating in reverse?

Someone sent me an email asking about these numbers. This person had numbers that are pretty large because his pedigree goes back many generations. The Ancestor Book Report/Ahnentafel Report does label the generations but just looking at the numbers doesn't tell you that path of the relationship, or do they?

If you have never visited Stephen P. Morse's Webpage you have been missing out. He has an eclectic collection of some of the most useful information/tools to help with your research. One of his tools is Decording Ahenentafel Numbers in One Step.

Here is a screenshot from my file:

Ahnentafel Numbers
(click image to enlarge)

If I run number 1299 through Steve's calculator I get:

Relationship: father's mother's father's father's father's mother's father's father's mother's mother

What fun! You can of course get a more detailed look at the path by using Legacy's Relationship Calculator which will be a focus of a future article. You can get a sneak peek by going to Tools > Relationship.


Find tech tips every day in the Facebook Legacy User Group. The group is free and is available to anyone with a Facebook account.

For video tech tips check out the Legacy Quick Tips page.  These short videos will make it easy for you to learn all sort of fun and interesting ways to look at your genealogy research.


Michele Simmons Lewis, CG® is part of the Legacy Family Tree team at MyHeritage. She handles the enhancement suggestions that come in from our users as well as writing for Legacy News. You can usually find her hanging out on the Legacy User Group Facebook page answering questions and posting tips.



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