JDA's Familytree -- Explanation of Pedigree Format

This pedigree has a somewhat different format from many other pedigrees. Click on the topic of interest:

  1. Why is the pedigree so confusing?
  2. Why is Mary Sutton's mother shown as poss. Mary Howard (guess)?
  3. What are the pedigree features ?
  4. Why is the Index so big ?
  5. What's with the bizarre symbols? ... like ==&=> [ 202 ,Hg,RD,]
  6. Who are the ``Marked Ancestors'' ?
  7. Why are some people shown in PURPLE instead of BLUE ?
  8. How are Alternate Identities shown ?
  9. What are the other Uncertainty Indicators ?
  10. Why is Noah shown as a certain ancestor ?
  11. Thanks for adding the entries like the following to the Index !
        MISNIA     or     MISNIE     ---     (see   MEISSEN)

DISCLAIMER:     Please please PLEASE do not consider my information to be authoritative. If something looks wrong it probably is. If my site has any value, it is just ease of navigation through the ancient pedigrees. Inquiries about my 19th-century ancestors are welcome, but I have nothing to contribute about medieval times: If you find an ancient pedigree of interest, research it elsewhere, or consult my Sources.

1. Why is the pedigree so confusing ?

One reason the format may be confusing is that I strove for tersity, leaving each pedigree page without explanatory comment.

Each pedigree page consists of six sections:

  1. The person's name and, perhaps, additional information (title, nickname, alternate spellings, very brief historical note)
  2. Vital statistics e.g., birth place, date and cause of death.
  3. A scrambled list of children, possible children, and other parents shown for those children. This part may be very confusing: the children are in no particular order, ``Wife/Husband'' really means different-sex parent of child(ren), and alternate parent lists are incomplete and misleading. Remember to Click on the child of interest and examine his or her pedigree. This will usually clear up any ambiguity. Other confusion is that important children may not be shown at all! Usually just children who have descendants in my database are shown. (Sometimes a child not otherwise in the database is mentioned in an alternate, unclickable color.)
  4. A short list of famous descendants. This is explained here. (When there are no famous descendants, the word ``Male'' or ``Female'' usually appears in place of the list.)
  5. The individual's pedigree. This is the most important part of the page, and the part that depicts most clearly the genealogical relationships shown in the database. The father's pedigree is shown, followed by the individual's name in a large font, followed by the mother's pedigree. (Ignore for now the peculiar codes at the far right of the pedigree.)
  6. An (optional) list of descendants famous or otherwise. (This part is given just in case it helps you navigate quickly towards a person's descendant of interest.)


2. Why is Mary Sutton's mother shown as poss. Mary Howard (guess)?

This is my personal pedigree: This may help explain some idiosyncrasies. Thus, the experts are probably certain who Mary Sutton's mother is, but because I've not encountered the appropriate web-page yet, I show her as ``possible.''

I'm trying to grow the pedigree in a rapid semi-organized fashion, and leave notes to myself throughout it. (It seems best to make these notes visible on the public website.) Someday I'll check Mary Sutton's mother, but the To-Do List is already very long.

Another problem is that my uncertainty indicaters tend to be inflated:


You show Konrad IV von WEINSBERG as born ``by 1269'' and his father Konrad II as dead ``by 1264.'' Can't you move back the birthyear for Konrad IV by a few years?

That would seem logical, except for one big problem. Much of the data in my database is WRONG. I take this data off the Internet, and sometimes birthyear estimates vary by more than a century, believe it or not! Maybe Konrad IV really was born in 1269 and Konrad II's deathyear is shown incorrectly. Or maybe Konrad II is the grandfather, not the father. You see? I know the data is unreliable, but if I try to correct it haphazardly, I'm likely to just add more errors.

3. What are the pedigree features ?

The family tree, which contains about 88,000 distinct (sometimes fictional) individuals, should be mostly self-explanatory. Since only my direct ancestors (or certain other individuals with living descendants) are included in the database, lists of spouses and children will not be complete. gAK!! Jamie hasn't updated this file for YEARS! There are 360,000-plus individuals by now. as I write in early 2018.

Hover Window

Let the mouse-driven pointer pass across the following name: Charlemagne. (You don't need to click.) As the pointer passes, you should see additional information about that individual in a yellow window. This feature may save you the bother of clicking on a name just to determine his birth and death years. You still may need to click on an individual to get maximum information. On the other hand, for individuals with more than one child in the database, some information (e.g. uncertainty indicators) may apply only to one child: that information will appear in the relevant pedigrees but not on the parent's webpage itself.

King George I (and other Famous Descendants)

Each individual's pedigree will show his or her relationship to King George I (first King of England's Hanover Dynasty), if he or she is George's ancestor, possible ancestor, or the sibling of a possible ancestor; i.e. a phrase like ``HM George I's 7-Great Granduncle'' or ``Poss. HM George I's 13-Great Grandmother'' may appear. Because a person may be related to King George I in more than one way, and because of uncertainty indicators in the database, the relationships may not always seem fully consistent.

New in Version 20.2: the relationship may be shown for First and Second Cousins as well; see discussion in next section.

King George I is just one of dozens of people to whom a relationship may be shown:

As of Version 17, two people have been removed from the descendant lists:

Relationships are not always shown; mention depends on the following rules:

Cousin relationships to Famous Descendants

Beginning with Version 20.2, a "famous descendant" may be mentioned even if the relationship is first or second cousin (up to 50 times removed), nephew, grandson, etc. Such a relationship is never shown when an ordinary ancestral relationship for any "famous descendant" is shown as described above. Moreover, only one such cousin relationship will ever be shown. A first cousin relationship will be shown rather than a second cousin (and nephew or lineal relation rather than fist cousin), but when two or more "famous descendants" have the determined first (or second) cousin relationship, which is shown depends on a priority ranking. This ranking of the "famous descendants" to determine which cousin is shown is slightly different than above: Jullus, George I, Ferdinand I, Charles VI, Lady Diana, Prince Charles, Churchill, U.S. President, Louis XVII, Agnes Harris, Osawatomie Brown, Juan Carlos of Spain, Philippe of Belgium, Manuel II of Portugal, Henri of Luxemburg, Margrethe II of Denmark, Beatrix of Netherlands, Constantine II of Greece, Carl XVI of Sweden, Harald V of Norway, Wilhelm II of Germany, Umberto II of Italy, Gen Pierpont Hamilton, Albert II of Monaco, and finally, Jamie Allen myself.

Ancestors, spouses, children

The ancestors, spouses and children are shown as in any pedigree. Lists of spouses and children are not complete -- normally only those who are my ancestors are shown. Large pedigrees are continued on to other pages.

(In a few cases -- when the person is famous or lived recently -- the list of children includes one or more individuals not otherwise in the database.)


It is easy to follow an ancestral lineage towards the past: just click in the pedigree. To make it easy also to follow a descendant lineage towards the present, a list of descendants is provided at the bottom of most of the pedigree pages. Only one generation is provided on any pedigree page, e.g. all the 5-great grandchildren.

Any list of descendants here will be incomplete since the database contains only my ancestors. Many of the descendant lists will have a single name.

4. Why is the Index so big ?

One individual may have several different surname entries in the index, if he used multiple surnames, or had a surname-like title. Although many of these surnames will be misspelled or otherwise wrong, the feature may make it easier to find people.

To further the scope of this index, a few occupations are used as index entries for the ``surname'' index --- EMPEROR, MONARCH of Ireland, PHARAOH of Egypt, Saint, Magna Charta Surety, BRETWALDA of Anglo-Saxon Britain --- and nicknames --- MAWR (`the Great'), `(the) MIGHTY., WLEDIG' So far, the indicated examples are the only major instances of such special ``surnames'' I've invented, but I also include several inventions of other hobbyists, e.g. `the (mythical) TITAN, and `of EGYPT.'

Also provided is an index by forename. Unlike with surnames, only one spelling of the forename is used to create an index entry for each individual. The forename entry is provided even when the individual also has one or more surname entries.

If you don't find an individual, look at some of the nearby index entries. They may suggest an alternate spelling of surname or forename.

There are many thousands of surnames altogether; that's after the surname variant canonicalization, so for example each of the following combinations would be counted just once:

Of the surnames, almost 1500 have ``see'' or ``see also'' pointing to them; that doesn't even count the many cases like TALVAS/TALVAISE where the variants are close enough alphabetically to obviate need for the ``see.''

Please alert me if I've made two surnames equivalent which shouldn't be. (As for equivalences I've missed, I deliberately passed up several, seeking the least index confusion.)

The index is divided into 94 pages some of which are quite large. Perhaps I should use more pages, or switch to a three-level index. I figured my approach may be acceptable -- even more convenient -- with today's high modem speeds, but e-mail and tell me if I'm wrong.

Prepositions like `de', `von' etc. are deleted from the surnames in the index. They would cause trouble; for example Agnes de Metz (the wife of Ludwig von Looz) is shown as Agnes von Metz in German genealogies.

Here's some more information about the index, extracted from one of my ``Newsletters:''

There are several reasons why a surname might be spelled multiple ways:

In addition to surnames, the surname index contains a few special headings. These can be seen by clicking ``Nicknames / Occupations'' on the main Index page so I'll just mention the ones new with Version Six:

Please write and tell me if I've conflated two surnames which should be distinct.

5. What's with the bizarre symbols like

       Margaret MARSHALL
  +        ==&=> [ 202 ,Hg,RD,&]

When a family tree is continued to another webpage a symbol appears to synopsize that person's ancestry. We see that Margaret Marshall's pedigree goes back a further 202 generations -- this includes ``possible'', ``improbable'', and ``Alternate'' links, but does not ``improbable Alternates,'' nor abstract ancestors like ``hypothetical First Speaker of Irish.''

One also sees certain capital letters, in this case `H', `R' and `D'; these codes refer to Hugh King of France (b. ca 941), Rurik of Novgorad (b. ca 815), and David King of Israel (b. ca 1032 BC). That the codes are shown in upper case means that all three are marked ``probable'' in the database (though in fact lineages to David are often suspect). A `g' symbol also appears; lower-case refers to ``possible'' descent -- here from eGbert III the Great.

(There were Jewish patriarchs in relatively recent times who showed pedigrees to David but, as far as I know, none of these have shown up as ancestors of British Kings or the other people in my database.)

One also sees two colored blotches: a cyan (aqua) arrow on the left and a pale bluish-white glyph on the right. The cyan arrow shows Heremon and Clovis as certain or probable ancestors; the pale bluish-white glyph shows that possible ancestors also include Jat/Geata and Cyrus the Great.

Well, here are the details....

(Unnamed or speculative generations collapsed into a single node (``NN ... NN'') are counted as a single depth unit.) When a person's pedigree contains alternate clickable ancestors (``OR:'' indicators), such alternates (when not marked as ``improbable'') are also considered in the calculation of the pedigree depth (and other symbols explained presently).

(Due to a software deficiency, 255 is the largest depth unit that can be displayed; greater depths will be shown as ``255.'' This case didn't arise until Version 5, where I show seven generations (of Gods) before Adam the First Man. As of Version 7, Martha Allen on my own Pedigree Page shows depth 255 which should be 257. On Prince William's page, there is only slight overflow: Olga Romanov really has depth 256, Cynthia Hamilton is really 261, and so on.)

After the number, a very abbreviated list of ancestors may appear; ``C;;Yt'' for example, means that Charlemagne, Abraham, and, possibly, Olaf Tree-Hewer all appear in the indicated pedigree. These codes for the ``marked ancestors'' are listed in the next section.

Four ancestors are shown with color instead of a letter code. When two or more of these four people appear in the person's tree, the colors are combined additively as shown in the following table.

Colors based on Four ``Pivot'' Individuals
ColorArrow FormulaPivot Ancestor(s)
black arrow ====> (None of the four)
gray arrow ==&&=> King Cyrus II the Great  (founded Persian Empire, liberated Israelites)
red arrow ==&&=> Jat aka Geata  (legendary progenitor of Gothic, Nordic and Anglic Kings)
green arrow ==&&=> Heremon, Second Monarch of Ireland
blue arrow ==&&=> Clovis the Great, (united Franks, first King at Paris)
light red arrow ==&&=> Cyrus the Great and Jat/Geata
light green arrow ==&&=> Cyrus the Great and Heremon
light blue arrow ==&&=> Cyrus the Great and Clovis
dark yellow arrow ==&&=> Jat/Geata and Heremon
dark purple arrow ==&&=> Jat/Geata and Clovis
cyan arrow ==&&=> Heremon and Clovis the Great
light yellow arrow ==&&=> Cyrus the Great, Jat/Geata and Heremon
light purple arrow ==&&=> Cyrus the Great, Jat/Geata and Clovis
light gray arrow ==&&=> Jat/Geata, Clovis and Heremon
pale mint arrow ==&&=> Cyrus the Great, Jat/Geata, Clovis, and Heremon

(One other possible combination doesn't happen to occur in the database.)

Note: Beginning with Version 24.2, the Green color code is also shown whenever there is descent from Nemedius Machta (founder of Ireland's mythical Nemedian Dynasty) , even without Milesian ancestry.

Each individual has two colors, depending on whether possible links are considered. The more inclusive code (always the brighter color) appears as a single ``&'' on the far right. The stricter certain-links-only color forms the ``==&&=>'' at the left.

Two of the pivot individuals are fictional, and at least one is so ancient as to make any link improbable. How then can it make sense to speak of ``certain'' descent from the mythical Monarchs of Ireland, or the legendary progenitor of Germanic Kings?

Answer: to get alleged descent from Heremon you just about need descent from an historic King of Ireland, and to get alleged descent from Geata you need descent from an historic King of Germanic folk. Alleged descent from ancient Kings of Persia is often obtained via descent from the Byzantine (or Roman) Emperors. (The descent of Kenneth MacAlpin 1st King of Scots from Kings of Dalriada is regarded as doubtful, but I make descent from Kenneth good enough to get the Green Heremon code.)

6. Who are the ``Marked Ancestors'' ?

To make it easy to navigate back towards a person's famous ancestors, some ancestors are indicated directly in the pedigree. There are three groups of such marked ancestors: (a) eight post-Merovingian Kings descended from Clovis, (b) four ``major pivot'' pre-Carolingian ancestors, (b) ten other ancient ancestors who predate or are not descended from Clovis. (The way the four ``major pivot'' ancestries is signalled was explained in the preceding section.)

Please Note:   I've left the old documentation in place for now, but Beli Mawr ('B') is no longer treated as a Marked Ancestor.
Marked Ancestors
Symbol Possibility
Name of Ancestor Further Implicit Ancestors
E e England's King Edward III, b 1312 NWHAGC ; IJKZ ;
N n ENgland's King HeNry III, b 1207 WHGC ; IJKz ; tpXBDY
via wife:   A ; ; RVmQ
S s Scotland's King Robert Bruce (le BruS) , b 1274 WHGC ; IJKz ; RvTpxBqDY
via wife, son-in-law:
a ; ; m
W w William the Conqueror, King of England, b 1027 C ; iKz ; tmpxq
via wife:   G ; J ; BDY
H h Hgh Capet, King of France, b ca 941 C ; jKz ; mbdy
via wife:   ; i ; tpxq
A a Alphonso the Great, King of Asturias, b ca 848 ijKz ; XBqDY
G g EGbert III the Great, King of Wessex, b ca 775 JK ; pBDY
via wife:   ; iz ; xq
C c Charle-Magne, first Holy Roman Emperor, b 747? ijkz ; xbqdy
==&&=> & (i) Heremon, Second Monarch of Ireland, (legendary) via wife:   dy
==&&=> & (j) Jat aka Geata  (progenitor of Germanic Kings), (legendary) y
==&&=> & (k) King Kclovis the Great  (first King at Paris), b 466 bdy
==&&=> & (z) King Cyrus II the Great  founded (Zoroasterist) Persian Empire, b ca 600 BC y
R r Rurik of Novgorad; united Russia, b ca 815 ijz ; pxbqdy
V v Venedobel, Leader of Magyars, b ca 780. The early Magyar princes are descended, in some traditions, from Attila the Hun (and from the Chou dynasty of ancient China!) iz;   xbqdy
T t Olaf Tree-Hewer, King of Thule (ancient Sweden), b ca 682 ijz ; bqdy
M m Mohammed, the Prophet of Allah, b 570 QY
P p Ygerna, b. ca 452, mother of Arthur Pendragon. King Arthur was immortalized in many tales of Camelot. iz ; xBqdy
X x Constantine the Great, Emperor of Rome, b ca 270 (1st Christian Emperor, his sign was X) iz ; bqdy
B b Beli Mawr the Blessed, b ca 99 BC y
via wife, dau-in-law   d
Q q Qahtan ibn 'Adib, Ruler of Sheba, b ca 830 BC  
D d David, King of Israel and Judah, b ca 1032 BC Y
Y y Abraham, received Yahweh's Covenant, b ca 2052 BC  

For the purpose of this discussion, the codes of the four ``pivot ancestors'' are I, J, K, and Z. (In the pedigrees these ancestors are shown with color codes, not letters.)

Since King Edward III is descended from William the Conqueror, Hugh Capet, etc., when `E' is shown the `WHAC ; ZJK ; RVtxqDBY' markers are omitted -- they would be redundant. You may see something like ``[eC;;]''; this means that descent from Edward III uses a link which is merely ``possible,'' but an alternate descent from Charlemagne is ``probable.''

In the frequent code ``[C ; K]'' the K seems redundant, since all arrows pointing to Charlemagne incorporate the Blue Merovingian color code. The explanation is that Charlemagne's descent from Clovis is uncertain (a ``k'' symbol is appropriate rather than ``K''). The code ``[C ; K]'' thus implies that a non-Carolingian link to Clovis exists with no uncertainty indicators.

In a few cases, a ``possible'' link is promoted to a ``probable'' link. For example Ragnvald Eysteinsson has possible descent from King Olaf Tree-Hewer, via both his father and mother. I assume one of those descents is correct and treat Ragnvald as a probable descendant of Olaf.

Several of the ``marked Ancestors'' are mythical, but the codes may nevertheless be useful. For example, genealogies involving King Arthur Pendragon may be partly fabricated, but still based on a valid descent from fifth-century Brythonic kings.

7. Why are some people shown in PURPLE instead of BLUE ?

(In addition to the Blue and purple discussed next, new with Version 32.1 there is a light purplish blue used to mark some Presidential ancestors.)

To encourage you to click on their names! In most cases this is because that person's pedigree page contains a link to a webpage elsewhere on the Internet with his/her biography. Although that external link is shown only on the pedigree page, every instance of the person's name is colored PURPLE so you know an external webpage is available.

Some of the long lineages in the pedigree warrant a special comment, but the comment is shown on only one page. In that case, the person whose page has the general comment will be shown in RED-PURPLE even if no external link is provided.

Hundreds of my ancient noble ancestors have on-line biographies, but I've been too lazy to provide many links.

The ``marked ancestors'' mentioned in the preceding section are also emphasized: They are shown in a larger BLUE-PURPLE font.

8. How are Alternate Identities shown ?

Here are some examples of complicated or confusing pedigree pages:

The individual's name, dates, etc:

Egidia (Jill Jean) STUART (STEWART)

 My 19-Great Grandmother.    Born:  1316?    Died:   by 1406
She had two husbands and at least two children:  Husbands:         Hugh (Sir) EGLINTON ,       James (Sir; de) LINDSAY
 Children:     Isabel LINDSAY ,   James (Sir) de LINDSAY
Here is the confusing part.  Possible Child:     Elizabeth EGLINTON
 ( Alternative Mother of Possible Child:     Agnes MURE )

Here, Egidia Stuart's webpage is mostly self-explanatory. Agnes Mure (the alternative mother) will have similar notations on her page, as you can see by clicking on her name above. (Then click ``Back'' to come back here.) Elizabeth Eglinton will have both possible mothers shown in her pedigree (as will Elizabeth's descendants). Alternate spouses are not shown. Here we can guess from the surname of the ``Possible child'' that Hugh Eglinton is the relevant husband, but his page does not show Egidia Stuart as a possible spouse. (Sorry for that; just trying to keep the webpages simple and uncluttered.)

Elizabeth Eglinton may be a child of Egidia Stuart, but she may be a child of Agnes Mure instead. This controversy arose simply because Hugh Eglinton had two wives and sources differed as to which mothered Elizabeth.

Click on Elizabeth Eglinton and see that the two pedigree shows both alleged mothers. (As explained below, you will see that the parents of Agnes Mure are unknown, but Egidia Stuart has an alleged pedigree going back to Adam.)

Some ``Alternate Identities'' are a bit more complicated. In the following Hugh de Montgomery shows up both as a husband and a possible child! There's no incest going on, it's just contradictions in ancient records (or conflicting deductions from them).
The individual's name, alias, dates, etc: This individual lived 1000 years ago and the records are very confused.

Josceline TORFULUS
   aka Josseline (HARCOURT) de PONTAUDEMER

 Poss. my 27-Great Grandmother.      Born:  985?    Died:   1058?
She seems to have two husbands in the database, but no certain children:  Husbands:     Roger de MONTGOMERY ,   Hugh (Viscount) de MONTGOMERY
There are two possible children, and three alternative mothers for them. Sorry -- they aren't matched up; you'll need to click on the possible child to find out which mother is his alternative.
Note that Joscelina Torfulus herself appears as an alternate mother! There was presumably only one such person, but sources show different pedigrees for her.
 Possible Children:     Roger (II; de/van) MONTGOMERY ,   Hugh (Viscount) de MONTGOMERY
 ( Alternative Mothers of Possible Children:     poss. Emma ,   Joscelina TORFULUS )

Here's one final example. William I de Warenne, a Lieutenant of William the Conqueror who became ``the richest Englishman ever'' after the Conquest, has a disputed pedigree. Rudolph de Warenne may have been his father or grandfather.

Rudolph (Ralph Rodulf) de WARENNE
   aka Ranulph I de VARENNES

 Poss. my 27-Great Grandfather.      Born:  France 998?    Died:   1074+
   Wife:       Beatrice de VASCOEUIL
Rudolph's (possible) son Ralph shows up also as an alternative father (for William I de Warenne).  Possible Children:     Roger de MORTIMER ,   Ralph de WARENNE ,   William I de WARENNE
 ( Alternative Fathers of Possible Children:     Hugh Aimerie THOUARS (de COUTANCES) ,   Ralph de WARENNE )

If you click on William I de Warenne now, you will see a ``skip this generation?'' indication shown for the father in his pedigree.

Spouses are not shown, even when in the database, unless they share a certain offspring with a pedigree subject. For example, the Pedigree of Mary Boleyn does not provide a link to King Henry VIII, even though, as you will see if you click on Mary's son Henry, King Henry is Henry Carey's possible father. (I have no opinion on the vicious rumor that Henry Carey was a bastard, but couldn't pass up the opportunity to put King Henry VIII in my pedigree as ``possible 15-great grandfather.'')

When sources differ on a person's parentage, I mention both possibilities, except where one can be eliminated, e.g. by impossible dates. In about 720 cases I give an alternate pedigree for that individual, which can be accessed by clicking on the alternate link shown in a different color: OR: John DOE. (In about half of these cases, the alternate name is the same as the main name: an alternative pedigree is provided for the same individual.)

Another 700 cases are shown in a slightly different color, or: John DOE. There's little difference in meaning between ``OR: '' and ``or: ''; in the latter cases I just haven't provided a clickable link (often because the parentage of the alternate individual is unknown). In about 260 more cases, there is a self-explanatory (skip this generation?) indication.

Sometimes an alternate name is preceded by ``aka'', aka John DOE, rather than or: John DOE. The ``aka'' form (not given a special color) means a second name for the same person; the ``or'' form implies uncertainty of identity. I've probably got some `aka's which should be `or' and vice versa.

When alternates are siblings I do not provide ``OR: '' or ``or: ''. Instead the choices for given name may be just shown in parentheses. Sorry that it isn't clear whether these are, instead, nicknames or middle names --- my sources weren't always clear either.

Another common source of disagreement in the published genealogies is adding or deleting an extra generation. Thus someone's children may show up as his grandchildren or vice versa. In my pedigrees I generally include the extra generation in the pedigree, but include a ``(skip this generation?)'' comment. Unfortunately, the list of possible children then ends up incomplete.

Sometimes, when the extra generation is certainly wrong, the comment will read ``(skip this generation!)'', that is with a ``!'' instead of ``?''. (I could just omit the extra generation, but one of my goals is to record even the bad genealogical links which show up in some sources.)

9. What are the other Uncertainty Indicators ?

The ``OR: '' and ``or: '' phrases imply uncertainty. Various other almost self-explanatory phrases implying uncertainty also appear in the pedigree, also in a different color: --

prob. -- sources imply likelihood.

poss. -- some sources indicate possibility.

prob. not -- a sourced allegation that seems very implausible. These guesses do not affect the ancestry symbols.

(speculation) or (guess) -- an unsourced allegation that seems very plausible.

poss. not -- an unsourced allegation which does not affect ancestor symbols.

(skip this generation?) -- some (or most) sources give this individual as the brother rather than father of indicated child. Note that his ancestors are ancestors of his ``child'' in either case.

(skip this generation!) -- same as preceding but all reputable sources show the individual as brother, not father.

(skip?) -- spouse of a ``skip this generation'' parent; her ancestors may not be ancestors of her ``child.'' (In almost every case, the ``skipped generation'' is on the father's side.)

Another type of indicator, not presented in a special color, is remarks like ``poss. same as John Doe. q.v.'' These are similar to ``speculations'' but no link is added in the pedigree.

Sometimes an ancestor is considered certain but the first name or surname is in doubt. When a part of a name is in doubt it may be shown with a question-mark: ``Alice (?) de VERE.'' When the surname is in doubt it may instead be enclosed in parentheses with a comment: ``Alice (poss. de STANFORD).''

There are about 100 ``speculations,'' 260 ``skip this generations,'' and, (not counting those which are also marked ``or: '' or ``speculation'' etc.) about 350 ``prob.s,'' 900 ``poss.es'' and 200 ``prob. nots.''

The possibility/certainty indicators in my database are very very crude and mustn't be trusted. I'm sure in many cases I indicate uncertainty where there is none, and fail to indicate uncertainty when I should. (I'm trying to improve my data and will be grateful for any help, but progress is likely to be slow.)

10. Why is Noah shown as a certain ancestor ?

You will note that Noah of the legendary Ark is shown as my 87-great grandfather with no ``Poss.'' qualifier. This means not a single link in one chain of descent from Noah to myself has a ``poss.'' qualifier! How can this be? Most people agree that Noah's family details are mythical, or that Noah never existed at all.

The answer is that, although much of the lineage to Noah may be fabricated, I could not point to a specific link that is wrong. Logically I should mark every link in the ancient genealogies as ``poss.'' or ``prob. not'' but that would clutter up the pedigrees to no purpose. Anyone using my website to trace their ancestry back to Noah must have some interest in the biblical lineages, whether they ``believe'' them or not.

How about David ben Jesse, first King in Jerusalem? No one doubts that he is a historic figure, but is he really your 84-great grandfather?

Answer: Many of the links in my database are wrong -- they should be marked as ``poss.'' or even ``prob. not.'' If/when I get these all corrected, King David will probably be ``demoted'' to just a possible ancestor.

However, King David almost certainly is my ancestor, and yours too, probably in billions of distinct ways! This may seem surprising, but it is just a mathematical fact. If we have many millions of ancestors, it is a consequence that most of those ancestors will have millions of descendants.

This is not to say, of course, that every ancient person has a billion living descendants -- most have none at all! For example, William Shakspere of Stratford, perhaps the greatest writer of all time, had three children and four grandchildren, but no further descendants.

11. Thanks for adding the entries like the following to the Index.

    MISNIA     or     MISNIE     ---     (see   MEISSEN)

No problem. It took some time, so I hope it makes it a little easier to use the index.

But please be aware that the sets of alternate spellings are not complete -- you still may need to poke around and exercise ingenuity to find the person you're looking for.

I'd like to add more aids like
    PRUSSIA     or     PREUSSEN     ---     (see   HOHENZOLLERN)
but to keep things simple I mostly restrict alternates to cognates.

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