Somehow years ago I generated a report (a text file) that listed every person in a Personal Ancestral File (PAF v5) or GEDCOM file by their generation. I only had PAF to work with (and was also playing with a network analyser called Pajek), but I can't find such an option in PAF. How would I have done it?

I've attached here a screenshot of the old file, opened in Notepad, so you can see what information had been generated. The second column (of single-digit numbers) are generation numbers, going from the youngest generation as 1 to oldest generation as 11 (in this dataset). The *.rep file extension might be a clue as to what generated it.

This is not my family tree, it is from anthropological research. So I am not interested in solutions that report on my personal kindred - I'm not in the dataset. In fact, although the names in the dataset are all linked, they belong to multiple descent lines, so any kindred-based solution (e.g. "tell me about all of Mary's ancestors") will not work. Somehow I had stumbled upon a report-generator that took all 671 names in the dataset and returned their generational ranking. What might I have used way back all those years ago? What might I use now (preferably without buying anything)?

enter image description here

  • Having played around with Pajek again (after many years), I think that the *rep file I posted the screenshot of, has the same 'look' as other reports generated by Pajek - although I can't now retrace my steps to make a "*rep" report like this. On that basis alone, I believe now that I must have generated it somehow in Pajek. But how? In the meantime, I have found GeneaQuilts, implemented now in Gramps 5.0.0 Alpha as an add-on, 'QuiltViews'. It doesn't produce the print-out list of individuals but it is very good at structuring large datasets by generation. It will do what I need for now.
    – IanS
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 1:01

1 Answer 1


I am not entirely sure how you can calculate a generation number without an root descendant unless you are expecting to set the most recent descendant as generation 1 and you can guarantee that there are no shared ancestors between lines. Having shared ancestry means, of course, that ancestors could have multiple generation numbers and therefore could not meet your requirements if you are looking for "the" generation number. Gigatrees (http://gigatrees.com) [I am the developer] has built-in support for generation lists, which show generations in reference to unique root descendants. You could generate separate generation lists for each root to get a complete picture.

Since you did not indicate where your requirements came from, it might be useful to know that Gigatrees also supports descendant lists, which are simply generations lists that show all generations between a common ancestor and a root descendant, and kinship lists, which show all generations between and including spouses/partners and their most recent common ancestor(s).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.