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Conventions Used in This Site

Some of the conventions used in this family tree listing may be unfamiliar, so this introduction will explain how it is organized and the meaning of the different parts.

First, let’s take a look at how a name is shown. Here is a typical full name:

This woman’s maiden name was Helen Josephine Brooks. Nick names or commonly used names, such as Josie, are surrounded by quotation marks. Adopted names, such as Gamel, are shown in curly brackets. A woman's married name is the most common type of adopted name, but there are other examples of adopted names, such as when a person adopts a new name upon entering a religious order or changes the spelling of their family name.

The name is normally followed by the life span in parentheses. In this case Helen was born in 1879 and died in 1946. Sometimes, instead of a death date you will see the letter D (meaning that the person is dead but I don’t know the date). In cases where the birth date is not known, a date is estimated from other known dates. For example, a birth date written as “est. 1860” means that it was estimated to be 1860; the true date may differ by ten years or more, but this will give you a rough idea of when they were born.

People who are not known to be dead have the phrase “Living” or “May be living” instead of a life span. In addition, common names, nick names, and adopted names (including married names) are not shown for living people. See the page on privacy issues for more information on the treatment of living people.

Personal Numbers

Finally, every person has a unique personal number shown in square brackets. In the example above, Helen’s personal number is 209. This personal number is like a social security number, and uniquely identifies a person, even if they have the same name as someone else. For example, we have a lot of men named John Winter in my family, but you can tell them apart because they all have different personal numbers. You will sometimes also find other identification numbers shown with a person's description to help you connect these people to the people in other listings. Social Security numbers (shown only for people who have died) are assigned by the U.S. Social Security Administration. Ancestral File numbers are from the Mormon Church's Ancestral File database. Einwohner von Berus numbers are from the book “Die Einwohner von Berus vor 1850”. Einwohner von Altforweiler numbers are from the book “Die Einwohner von Altforweiler vor 1850”.


The descriptions include references to the sources for the information. These source references are at the end of a line and always begin with a colon (:). Near the top of each description, I list the main source for that record. Any information that does not come from the main source has a separate source reference. Simply click on a source reference to see a listing of the source.

Surname Index

The Surname Index is an alphabetical index of all family names occurring in the family tree listing. You can look up a person by any of their surnames. For example, Helen Brooks, who was mentioned earlier, would be indexed under both Brooks and Gamel.

Moving Around

This family tree is rather large, and I have added some special features to help you move around. At the top and bottom of most pages, there is a set of links like those at the bottom of this page. These links will take you directly to important pages. And you will often see little purple arrows, like this Return to Top. Click on these arrows and they will take you to the top of the page, where you will find the set of links. You can try it with this arrow.

Our Ancestors

To get an overview of the tree, take a look at some of the ancestor charts. Sometimes a person's name in the detailed listings has a representation of an ancestor chart next to it. That means that this person is listed in one of the ancestor charts. Clicking on the symbol will take you that person in the corresponding ancestor chart.

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Prepared by Don Gentner - 24 Jun 2002