Including variants e.g. MERFLET(T); MARFLETE; MARFLIT(T); MARFLIGHT, etc.
Family History

A Guide to the Family Tree

A GUIDE TO THE FAMILY TREE: This page was last updated
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Work on compiling a history of the MARFLEET (including variants) Family began in 1974. At that time there was very little information available on how to proceed and the Tree and methods of referencing are those which have been developed over the years to accommodate the tremendous amount of information and detail which has been uncovered. Many may find what they consider curious if not serious flaws in the system which has evolved and it should certainly NOT be taken as a panacea for use in all compilations of a family tree - but the system serves well the application for which it has slowly developed. The gleaning of information of various sources has not been the effort of one person nor indeed of one particular branch of the family. The compiler acknowledges without reservation that without the assistance and hard work of many people the results would in no way be as complete or definitive as they may be currently displayed.


In the referencing system which has evolved, every person who has been given the surname MARFLEET (or variant) at birth or by adoption is given a unique reference number. This reference number may consist of six or ten alphanumeric characters. Six if the person identified is male or female and did not marry or have MARFLEET issue and ten when there is evidence of MARFLEET issue. A spouse will always take the reference of their respective partner. The various sections of the reference numbers are described:

e.g.      Reference No.     =     A.025B-042
                                  ¦¦ ¦ ¦¦ ¦
  Family Tree reference letter ---+¦ ¦ ¦¦ +---- Sibling reference
                                   ¦ ¦ ¦¦
            Separator (period) ----+ ¦ ¦+------ Separator (hyphen)
                                     ¦ ¦
              Parent reference ------+ ¦ 
               Position letter --------+

------Forms six character reference-----¦

------Forms ten character reference---------¦

  • Family Tree reference letter:
    This may be any of the following letters: A,B,C,D,F,G,J,K,L,P,X or Y. (These letters have no particular significance other than for identifying a branch.)
  • Separator (period):
    In most cases this separator will be a period (.) although in certain circumstances it may be an underscore (_) or a backslash (\). (e.g. when the reference is used as a file name.)
  • Parent reference:
    This will ALWAYS be a three digit number and in the case of the earliest person on a particular tree, has no particular significance other than an identifier. In all other cases, it will be the same as that person's parents' sibling reference.
  • Position letter:
    In general this will show the person's position within the parents' children. However, on a few, rare, occasions when a particular child has been located subsequently they then take the next available letter and thus appear out of sequence. Similarly, if as the result of further research, it has been found that a person has been wrongly attributed to a particular family and they are subsequently removed, there may instances where the letters are not consecutive. The letters 'I' and 'O' are NOT USED to avoid the possibility of any confusion between 1 and I , and 0 and O.

  • This completes the reference number for a person without MARFLEET issue.
    If there is issue:
  • Separator (hyphen):
    A separator in the form of an hyphen is used before the sibling reference.
  • Sibling reference:
    This will normally be a three digit number but may on occasions be a two digit number preceded by a letter. In such instances the letter indicates that the sibling information will be found on an different tree. e.g. -J45 would signify -J.045.

  • This completes the reference number for a person with MARFLEET issue.


    The Family Tree (as published) consists of five coloured sections. The white section contains the page control sheets and other miscellaneous information. The green section contains the tree for Generations E to K (approximately 1500 to 1709). The yellow section contains the tree for Generations K to Q (approximately 1680 to 1889). The blue section contains the tree for Generations Q to W (approximately 1860 to 2069). The pink section contains a list of Abbreviations, the codes used to identify the location of a particular event as entered on the Family Tree.


    The original significance of the reference number system related to biographical page numbers. Since computerisation this system is no longer relevant but because there are in excess of 5,000 names on the Family Tree the Reference Number has been retained to identify individuals. (The referencing system is detailed above.) Finding a particular person on the Family Tree will, hopefully, be easier to accomplish if the Reference Number is known. All of the initial searching in such a case will be carried out in the column of reference numbers which appears in the centre of the page of the Family Tree. Firstly, ensure that the Tree reference letter matches that of the person required. If the reference includes a Sibling Reference, it will be easier to look for this Sibling Reference in the right hand side of the column. Each Reference Number, consisting of the combination of the Parent Reference and the Sibling Reference is unique, even without the Family Tree reference letter. For example, the reference 025C-042 will ONLY appear in the 'A' Tree. Consequently, if the Sibling Reference can be found within the Tree reference letter, the respective Parent Reference MUST be correct. If the full reference does not include a Sibling Reference (there are no known children), then the Parent Reference must be found in the section following the Tree reference letter and the period (.).

    For marriages a complication arises if there is more than one marriage. In the case of a male the number, if more than one marriage, is indicated within the round brackets () following the 'x' (times) which will be found in place of the date. e.g. mard (x2) indicates the person (male) was married twice. In the case of a female the indication will be found in place of the abbreviation 'mard' and will follow the single lower-case letter 'm'. Numbers in round brackets () indicate that the female married a MARFLEET and the number is HIS marriage. e.g. m(2) indicates that the female married the male WHO HAS THE SAME REFERENCE NUMBER and that it was his second marriage. If the number is located within periods, it relates to HER marriage. e.g. m.2. indicates that it is the second marriage of the female.

    The 'died' column, including date and location, is replaced by the spouse name (SURNAME Christian name) when a female marries.

    Following the died location column is a three character column. In this column the character @ indicates a male MARFLEET; $ indicates a female MARFLEET; and ^ indicates a female spouse. The two figures indicate the age at death (where % appears it is 100 added to the next digit, e.g. %3 = age at death 103). If the age is not known but it is certain that the person has died then + appears in the units column. Occasionally there may be an additional column based on C****** where any or all of the *'s may be replaced by a figure between 4 and 9 in the respective postion. This is an indication that the Census Return (between 1841 and 1891) for that particular year (6 = 1861 etc.) has been located.

    Moving to the left of the Reference Number column is the column of initials of Christian names, a line of dots then leads to the person's name (If the surname is not included, it implies that the person is a MARFLEET or variant spelling). We are then in what can be described as the Family Tree proper!

    Along the top of each page of the Family Tree is a series of dates in 30-years spans and a generation letter. e.g. 1770-99N. This indicates generation N covers the years 1770 to 1799. In general (though for various reasons, not always) a person's position on the Family Tree will be determined by their date of birth and will appear directly under the respective year-span. In the given example, a person born between 1770 and 1799, generation N, will be directly below this year-span. It will be noted that the sections of the Family Tree cover overlapping years. i.e. The first section (green) covers the years 1500 to 1709 (generations E to K), the second section (yellow) covers the years 1680 to 1889 (generations K to Q) and the third section (blue) covers the years 1860 to 2069 (generations Q to W). This overlap means that people born within generations K and Q each have a double entry, K in the green/yellow sections and Q in the yellow/blue sections. In such cases the partial Reference Number in the first section terminates with the hyphen separator indicating that the entry is duplicated in the following section and can be found using the first part of the Reference Number. e.g. if the full Reference Number is A.012C-020, a person (Edgar Frank) born in 1884 (generation Q) appears in the yellow section where the Reference Number is A.012C- and he may be located in the blue section beginning A_012.Q\ under the full Reference Number. It will be seen that for each person, with the exception of the first on a page as detailed above, their name will be preceeded by a series of further Reference Numbers. These Reference Numbers are those for, respectivly, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, etc. By following across the page left, the Reference Numbers of antecedents may be determined and by then continuing up the page the first name will be that of the spouse and, dependant on the number of marriages involved, the direct-line ancestor may be determined by continuing upwards until a cross match is found with the ancestor with that Reference Number.

    In reverse, a family may be determined by moving down a particular generation. e.g. Benjamin, Reference Number A.004F-005, was born in 1798 (generation N) and he married Frances LEPPARD (note that ancestors of the spouse are not recorded here), below Frances appears a column \004F-005\. If the column is followed downward until a name appears after the final \ the children of Benjamin and Frances can be determined. In this particular case it is necessary to follow down the next pages also until the following are located: Benjamin A.005A-007; Thomas A.005B-008 (note the second marriage); William Phillip A.005C-009; Frances A.005D; Emma A.005E; Marianne A.005F; Elizabeth  Sophia  A.005G; Stephen  A.005H; Alfred A.005J-010: When another name appears in this column we find Benjamin's brother Stephen A.004G-006.

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