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Teresa Coffman
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« on: November 12, 2015, 10:03:51 PM »

For North American Bixbys, there exists a lineage book written by Willard Goldthwaite Bixby in 1914, which documents all the descendants he could find of Joseph Bixby, who came to Massachusetts in 1638 from England.  Most of us from the U.S. and Canada will probably find we connect to that lineage book.  How accurate is the book?  Who knows?  

Since it was published over 100 years ago, in order to connect to someone in the book, you have to track your immediate Bixby genealogy back four or five generations.  When you search the book for your ancestor, keep in mind that if they were living in 1914, or in the few years before that while he was writing the book, there might not be a huge write up in the book about them.  They might be someone he heard about or someone who contributed some information, but it's a bit premature to write a big biography for someone just starting out in life, for instance.  My great-grandfather Benjamin Bigsby exists in the book in a footnote, where he is listed as a source for a piece of information on that page.

Here is the book in public domain:
A Genealogy of the Descendants of Joseph Bixby 1621-1701 of Ipswich and Boxford Massachusetts who spell the name Bixby, Bigsby, Bysbee, Bixbee, Bigsbee, or Bygsbe and of the Bixby Family in England Descendants of Walter Bekesby 1427 of Thorpe Morieux, Suffolk

Willard Bixby used a generational numbering system I am calling the Bixby ID number.  For those of us who descend from Joseph Bixby, I'd appreciate it if you could determine your own Bixby ID number, using the system in the book.  I haven't figured out how that's going to be useful, but I just know it will be at some point.  He explains it in the early pages of the book, but here's my explanation:

He started with Joseph, who gets number 1

Joseph's children all have two digit numbers because they are generation two from Joseph.  They are numbered by birth order in the second digit, so the first three children are numbered 11, 12 and 13.

Joseph's grandchildren all have three digits in their number, because they are the third generation from him.  That third digit counts them by birth order to their Bixby parent.  So Joseph's first child, number 11,  has four children numbered 111, 112, 113, 114, etc.

The position of the digit tells you how many generations from Joseph the person is and the value or number in that position gives you the person's birth order in their own family.  The numbering system uses letters if a family grows beyond 9 children, and they arbitrarily started putting a decimal after the fifth digit, I think to improve readability.

So what number are you?  :-)  I am 18691.N6121
« Last Edit: November 22, 2015, 12:18:01 AM by Teresa Coffman » Logged
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