I have searched the web for instructions that may help a non-genealogist read a Modified Register Report (NGSQ System), but none of them show how to fully utilize the number system. They all seem to focus on a theme of "how the report is created" (no interest to my audience), rather than "how to trace a single family line" through a book of 5000+ cousins.

Does anyone know a generic instruction set for use in these reports? Ideally it would be understood by 12-year-olds and 90-year-olds alike.

  • 1
    would appreciate any input is not exactly a question.
    – Fortiter
    Commented May 19, 2013 at 11:50
  • Perhaps re-word to question along lines of "Are these instructions suitable for layman?" Also, are you able to include a link within your Question to what a Modified Register Report is?
    – PolyGeo
    Commented May 19, 2013 at 11:56
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    "What do you think of my document?" is really only of interest to one person, more so as the key content is in a link (prone to link-rot) not in the question.
    – user104
    Commented May 19, 2013 at 13:32
  • @PolyGeo I'm not sure that would help, as it's still soliciting opinions that are unlikely to be backed up by facts or references or personal experiences (genealogy.stackexchange.com/faq). If my action as a moderator wasn't binding, I'd be voting to close.
    – user104
    Commented May 19, 2013 at 13:34
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    I've edited this to make it less of a poll/request for writing advice on your own instructions and thus (I hope) of broader interest and less likely to be closed. Don't forget, you can always self-answer with your own instructions (although preferably not a link-only answer).
    – user104
    Commented May 20, 2013 at 13:56

1 Answer 1


http://www.genealogyone-on-one.com/f/Doc_J.pdf Alright. If you look at the above link as you read my explanation, you should be able to understand this.

The NGSQ report I have linked you to states "Descendants of William Pugh". This means that he is the oldest person listed in the document. It also means that the primary information contained in the document will be about his family, not about people who married into the family.

Alright, now on to the interesting stuff...

Generation 1: is the older generation. Generation 2: is the younger generation.

For the purposes of explaining the meaning of the diagram, lets begin with Generation 1. This will be easier if you highlight your relatives.

On the document I have sent you a link to, William Pugh and Lucy Pugh (nee Anderson) are the parents to the children listed in Generation 1. They are the grandparents to the children listed in Generation 2.

Parzade Pugh is listed as 2. i. in Generation 1. She is also listed as 2 in Generation 2. Her husband is listed in the paragraph with her...

Their children are listed under them. Ambrose Pugh is listed as 4. iii. in Generation 1. In Generation 2, he is listed as 4. He was married twice, but only had a child with Patience Thomas.

Basically, you just follow the numbers. They will lead you where you need to go. Any extra information provided is just the gravy on top of the mashed potatoes!

For example, Ambrose Pugh was also married to Matilda Davis. Although they had no children so she cannot be part of your lineage, it is still an interesting fact.

Patience Thomas' parents are listed, again an interesting fact, but not part of the lineage they are immediately discussing.

Honestly though, use your highlighter to show your ancestors. Use one color to show each person and their spouse through two generations. Switch your highlighter color for new people... You'll probably want a bunch of colors! Also highlight interesting facts such as the parents of those who married into the family (use one color for interesting material).

I hope this helps! If I can be of further assistance to you, please do not hesitate to let me know.

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