The Zook Code
People with our surname, referred to on this website and in my book, are assigned codes beginning with the first letter of the given name of their immigrant ancestor followed by family position numbers for descendants in succeeding generations. For example, U215 Nancy Zuck is the fifth child in her father’s family. Her father (U21) is the first child in the family of his father (U2), and U2 is the second child of immigrant Ulrich Zug. For families larger than nine children, lower case letters are used for the younger children: a = 10, b = 11, etc. For example, the code for Phoebe Zook (M4d) tells us that Phoebe was the thirteenth child of the fourth child of immigrant Moritz Zug.
The codes provide a valuable means to refer to a particular Jacob or Mary among a group of many with the same name, particularly if they are unmarried and birth dates are unknown. Over 600 Johns, 200 Davids, and 500 Marys with our surname lived in America before the 1900s! An alpha-numerical sort on codes brings families together.