Outlines of descendants of specific individuals, ancestors or cousins
Author: R. A. Davis
Date: May 2007
The ODT section presents a separate page for each family,
with an index page to help locate all the subordinate pages.
Each family page contains one or more subfamilies,
which all bear the same surname, but may or may not be related to each other.
An older page, Outline Descendant Tree (ODT): Report Format,
although wanting updating,
remains largely valid.
- Ancestral families
Ancestral families are listed in the index in boldface and all upper case.
Other families are listed in normal font and mixed case.
- Ancestry views
These links from the ODT index page TOC will show my total
Two choices of presentation:
- Ahnentafel form.
(One very large page.)
- Tree form (a/k/a pedigree form) on WorldConnect
- Data arrangement
The names of all the families are laid out alphabetically,
with an AlphaNavBar attached to the bottom*
of the window.
Click on a name to go to the ODTs for that family.
Click a letter on an AlphaNavBar to jump to the part of the table with names beginning with
- Name popup
Hovering over a name will pop up
1) the 3- or 4-letter prefix used in forming the reference numbers for that family, 2) the count of subfamilies, 3) the range of dates represented in that family, and 4) a list of recognized spellings of the name.
- Summary statistics
Placed at the bottom of the index page, below the table of families,
this is a summary of statistics about my genealogy.
There is also a small table, Champion cross-pollenators:
pairs of families with the most inter-marriages --
i.e. the most-connected families.
The ODT pages
The key is: These are outlines.
The initial numbers on each line (and the indentation) indicate the
by a prefix letter, e.g. A1, C4.
The numeric part numbers the individuals within each family group;
The letter designates the generation w/r/t the base individual at the top of the sub-family.
The title for the page includes the base surname and the range of dates found in that family.
Table of Contents
The ODT table of contents has some complexity, so is described here.
Its elements are:
Each ODT page consists of one or more subfamilies.
A subfamily is a collection of descendants of a single individual
who may or may not be related to other subfamilies on the page.
In addition, there is an invisible strip*
down the left edge of each subfamily division.
Hovering your mouse cursor over this strip will pop up the subfamily name.
The invisible strip is about 3mm wide.
- Navigation aids
- Numbers the subfamily
- Link to the top of the page
- Link to the previous subfamily
- Link to the next subfamily
- Link to the summary of inter-family marriages
If the subfamily is recently new or changed, a change flag
will be appended here.
The relationship of the focus individual (at the head of the ODT) to myself
is presented in red to the right of the navigation aids.
FAQ 13 explains the notation.
The title for each subfamily takes the form:
nnn Descendants of name [dates].
The name may be the head of this subfamily or a spouse of same.
The birth and death dates*
of the focus individual are appended to the title.
e.g. John4,3,2 Collins, 2Thomas1
This represents the pedigree from the focus individual
(the first named)
of the present subfamily in a common notation.
If the pedigree is more than a single individual,
it will be an Easter egg link*
- Surnames are underscored and carry to the right.
- Superscripts represent the generations removed from the immigrant, who is numbered "1".
Generations ancestral to the immigrant are numbered alphabetically, "a", "b", etc.
- If the immigrant is unknown, or does not appear in the pedigree, superscripts are not used.
- If the same given name appears in successive generations, this will be indicated by multiple superscripts attached to that name.
- The final name (on the right) will have a subscript number prefixed.
This indicates uniqueness;
that is, individuals in different pedigrees
(if more than one subfamily)
who are the same person will have the same prefix subscript.
to the Annex, showing that same pedigree.
Annex data may be more complete than shown on the ODT pages.
This is the unique name for the present subfamily.
The first part names the family,
and the second part (if needed) is used to make a unique name.
(This is actually the name for the associated .prn file on my PC.)
- the green box
The green box locates the present subfamily within my entire pedigree.
It sketches the progression of families from my own,
through my ancestral families, to the subject family.
The box is divided into two sections, upper and lower.
- Upper part
- Ancestral trace.
The upper row sketches my pedigree from myself to the target family,
or to a common family ancestral to both myself and the target family.
- The pedigree is to be read left to right.
- The pedigree is in the form of a list of families beginning with my own (DAVIS).
- Each family name is a link to the subfamily ODT for that name.
- Each family name has superscripts identifying the generation numbers (in the pedigree)
of individuals from that family.
- The superscripts number the generations from left to right.*
- The superscripts are links to the individuals at those points in the pedigree.
- Lower part
- Collateral trace
If the subfamily is an ancestral one, this row will be empty.
Otherwise, the row will contain a list of family names representing the
pedigree from the target family
(which is presented on a white background)
to the same common ancestral family identified in the upper row.
Each family name is a link to that subfamily.
The green box can be used as a handy visual header for each subfamily.
The ODT for this subfamily begins just below the green box.
These list individuals from this page in several groups,
collected at the bottom of the page.*
Individuals in these lists are keyed (linked) to their locations in the
ODTs by sequence numbers: [subfamily:seq].
- Ancestors and Immigrants
- Individuals who are ancestors (of myself) or immigrants
- Inter-family Links
- Summarizes links (marriages and the like)
between individuals of this family with individuals of other families,
- Persons of Note
- Individuals mentioned in my
Celebrities et Cetera
- Principal Sources*
- The principal sources used in gathering the data in
this ODT are briefly listed in order of relevance, most relevant first
(relevance being denoted by numbers of citations to that work).
Each source includes a link back to a more detailed listing in my Sources page for this family.
- Surname inventory*
This section of the ODT page is an accounting of every surname used thereon.
If a surname appears more than once, the count is included.
Surname variations are lumped into one.
Surnames with above average counts are flagged as frequent fliers.
Surnames that are part of my family
-- i.e. have ODT pages --
to those ODT pages.
People with name aliases*
are indicated by a thin blue dashed underline.
Mouse-over will pop up the alias.
Note that the alias surname is delimited by slashes (//).
Further note that sometimes you will find an alias with surname /Z/.
These are to help me locate the heads of families for certain reports.
Some aliases are included in the name itself,
as CLINTON alias FIENNES
or POLIGNAC later GRIMALDI,
the latter example indicating a permanent name change.
- Special annotation*
- Attention may be drawn to certain individuals
by marking them with a special numeric font, such as this (❶).
The significance of such annotation will usually be made in a
Noted people are marked by placing their name on a colored background, like this:
ROOSEVELT, Anna Eleanor, author, diplomat
The background color is the same as that of the CELEBS collection, and the name is a link to there.
- Change flags ()*
- Mouse over these for detailed date information,
telling when the flagged item was added or changed.
- Data arrangement
The data for each ODT subfamily are laid out as an outline, i.e. depth-first.
Each person is immediately followed by the descendants of that person before going on to his/her siblings.
A1. focus person
B2. second son
B3. third son
is an outline
These are the salient characteristics of each data entry, which may be split across several physical lines.
- An asterisk
in the left margin identifies ancestors.
A hollow bullet
here marks individuals who may belong to another of my families.
I use these marks to help spot potential links to other families.
The initial numbers are the generation numbers for those individuals.
Individuals in each family are numbered*
(1. 2. 3., etc.).
Second (and subsequent) spouses reset the numbering for their offspring.
The generations are indented, as is common for an outline
by letters indicating the generation, e.g. A, B, C.
A color coding has been added to aid in locating family members.*
- A plus sign (+) in place of a number indicates a spouse of a preceding person.
- A number in brackets, , before the name identifies an individual that either 1) appears more than once through intermarriage, or 2) has more than one spouse (or partner).
The number is a link to the next instance or spouse, where the same bracketed number will link to the next instance.
These numbers form a ring, i.e. the last one brings you back to the first.
- Name. [title] Surname, given names[, suffixes]
Surnames are always capitalized.
- b. (born) date place
- d. (died) date place
- #: ID identifier. Unique across the site.
- m. (married) date place (for spouse only)
Where specific dates are unknown, the items b., d. and m. may be replaced by related abbreviations, such as bp., d.um. mc., as shown in the general document
Abbreviations and Acronyms.
- Mother: (identified for spouses only)
- Father: (identified for spouses only)
- The meta-data tags for birth, death and married
may be replaced by other common
abbreviations as outlined in FAQ#7.
- The meta-data tags for birth, death, etc. are set in an italicized serif font.
All dates are presented in this format: (de mmm yyyy), e.g. (09 Jan 2000).
This form combines brevity with unambiguity.
In cases where actual dates are unknown it is useful to bound the possibilities
by supplying an estimated date. Careful estimated date ranges can facilitate
future researches. Ranges are usually compiled from other known facts, such as
the dates for burial (death will usually have preceded this date), baptism
(which customarily shortly follows birth) or other known dates. A bounded range
(from-to) is preferred to an unbounded range (e.g. Bef. 1999)
because of the unbounded nature of the latter. A death date estimated as
"Aft. 1800" is technically bounded on the upper end by today's date,
but the true date is likely much earlier than that!
Range (e.g. yyyy-yyyy)
After, Before, About
Double Dates (e.g. 1543/44)
These estimates indicate that the event occurred during the period when
two different calendars (Julian and Gregorian) were in simultaneous use.
The first year is the Julian, or Old Style (O.S.), year, and the second
is the Gregorian, or New Style (N.S.) year, For a reasonable explanation
of double dates, see "
These are estimates because the format does not account for the
difference in days between the two calendars.
Other special death date forms include the following, which are useful
when exact dates are unknown:
- Duplicated individuals
There are occasions when the same individual may appear more than once in an ODT.
For example, when cousins marry, each partner appears in their respective place in the
outline as dictated by parentage, and each appears as the spouse of their partner.
In a manner similar to that for multiple spouses,
the two appearances of each partner are connected by a unique number in [square] brackets.
- ID Identifier
This is a unique identifier for an individual across the entire site.
It consists of an alphabetic prefix of 3 or 4 letters associated with a family followed by a numeric: DMIL13
If the individual belongs to a different family, representing an intermarriage (or other dalliance), the reference number will be rendered in the right margin, with an arrow
standing in its place in the text.
The identifier in the margin will be a link to that individual on his/her proper family ODT page.
- The index to the these pages may be had by clicking the appropriate
link on the Indices: line at the top of any page.
- Mistresses, etc
Mistresses and other non-marital associations are indicated by
a marriage date of Not Married.
The supplemental identifier lines identify them as Wife of
or Husband of
even though that designation is somewhat approximate.
- Multiple spouses
Second and further spouses are introduced by the special informational line as shown in the illustration at the right.
Besides the text, they are connected to their spouses (and each other) by a unique number
in [square] brackets.
If a particular person has three spouses (say), that person and the second and third spouses will all have the same identifying number in brackets.
(The first spouse is easily identified by placement next after the relevant family member.)
As shown by the selecting cursor in the image, these identifying numbers are all
links to each other.
That is, each one links to the next and the last links back to the first.
Notes are distinguished by having styling like this element,
and may be placed:
- before all the subfamilies -- pertaining to the whole family
- at the top of a particular subfamily -- pertaining to that subfamily only
- among the individuals of the ODT -- pertaining to a particular individual or group of descendants.
- Page layout
ODT pages are laid out in several sections:
- The ODTs, one for each subfamily.
- (Easter egg)
of each individual is a link to his/her parent.
- Places in the US and Canada are generally represented as
locality, county, state.
The state (or Province) is abbreviated using the common postal abbreviations, as listed
Also listed there are the common UK abbreviations.
- Dates and places are suppressed for individuals who are
suspected to be living.
- Spacer lines
A blank line will be inserted between individuals when the generation number changes.
The tends to chunk the data into comprehensible bits.
This is further enhanced by providing these separator lines with
a special background†
These spacer lines are numbered*
on the right,
these being the sequence numbers of the next following individual.
These numbers admit easier correlation of online and printed reports.
The Ahnentafel Page
The Ahnentafel is one of those odd pages, outside the normal structure.
Each row of the table (Ahnentafel means "ancestor table" in German),
representing one individual in my ancestry,
has these columns, left-to-right:
At the end of the table are some notes.
The Ahnentafel is linked from the ODT index page.
- "<" (backward navigation to child)
Click here to find the child of this parent corresponding to this position in the structure. The same parents may have produced more than one child in my ancestry, in which case, each place where that parent appears will lead back to a different child via this link.
- ">" (forward navigation to parent)
Click this link to find the parent(s) of this person. If no parents are listed, or if this is a duplicate branch, this symbol will be null. Otherwise, the link will bring you to the father of this person. The mother, if listed, will be the next higher numbered person (i.e. N+1).
- Ahnentafel number
- This is the Ahnentafel number for this position in the tree.
- Relationship to base
This shows the relationship to the individual at the root of the tree,
i.e. who has Ahnentafel #1,
- Fa - father
- Mo - mother
- G - grand
- GG - great grand
- # - number of "great" repetitions, e.g. "3G" = "great, great, great"
If your browser supports it, hovering the mouse cursor over this field will reward you with a display of the path vector from the root to this point in the tree. The Fs and Ms in this string represent the words "father" and "mother", respectively. For example, the string FFM represents "father's father's mother". For readability, spaces are inserted in the string at every fifth place. Note that this is the path vector to a place in the tree, not to an individual. If an individual appears in more than one place in the tree, each of those places will have its own unique path vector.
The unique identifier for this individual.
This is also a link to that individual in the ODT for this family.
The full name of this individual, with the surname highlighted.
If this is the root of a branch duplicated earlier,
the name will be replaced by a link to that earlier branch.
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