The Register System uses both common numerals (1, 2, 3, 4) and Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, iv). The system is organized by generation, i.e., generations are grouped separately.
The system was created in 1870 for use in the New England Historic and Genealogical Register published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Register System, of which the numbering system is part, is one of two major systems used in the U.S. for compiling descending genealogies. (The other being the NGSQ System.) This Register system numbers each individual person once, but lists their names twice; once as a child in the context of their parents and siblings, and then again as an adult in the context of their spouse (or significant other) and children. Tracing lineage becomes very easy if you use the number of an adult in one generation, and then look up the same number in the child column; this gives you the parents of your person of interest (subject). In the same manner you can trace grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on. More extensive illustration of this Register system can be found in the overview of Gena Lee Theiss’ book: Descendants of John Higdon and Millicent 1657 - 1998.
The general description of the Register System at the top of the page, in part, and the sample generic chart on the left above is adapted from Wikipedia: Genealogical Numbering Systems. The sample Higdon chart on the right is adapted from the genealogical register report starting on page 263 of Descendants of John Higdon and Millicent 1657-1998, by Gena Lee Theiss.
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