McCargar Genealogy and History

The McCargar Database

The McCargar database is not yet available online. However, we have made available a list of surnames appearing in our database, assembled from the names of spouses, spouses' parents, and non-McCargar descendants. If you are looking for information on a specific McCargar or someone you believe was related to a McCargar, send your query to:

Note: Due to privacy policies on official documents, we do not have much information on living McCargars. We do not track current addresses of living McCargars.

The McCargar Code

When Fred S. McCargar prepared the first McCargar family roster in 1934, he employed an alpha-numeric coding system that he had taken from another source (we don’t know the original source). The system has carried through succeeding rosters, and has become affectionately known as the “McCargar Code”.

The code uses one letter for each generation, with the letters representing the birth order within each generation (‘A’ for first born, ‘B’ for second born, etc.). The number of letters in an individual’s code indicates the number of generations since the earliest recorded McCargar. If the individual was not born a McCargar (i.e. the child of a female descendent), his/her code is constructed of lower case letters (‘a’ through ‘z’). Spouses use the same code as the descendent with a number appended to represent the marriage (‘1’ for first marriage, ‘2’ for second marriage, etc.).


Wayne McCargar’s code is BHDGBAA, which means he’s a seventh generation McCargar. The code breaks down as:

B - Thomas McCargar (younger brother of Joseph)
H - Philander (Thomas’s eighth child)
D - Soloman (Philander’s fourth child)
G - Philander (Soloman’s seventh child)
B - Charles (Philander’s second child)
A - Harold (Charles’s first child)
A - Wayne (Harold’s first child)

Wayne’s wife is coded BHDGBAA1.

The McCargar Code was ideal for maintaining an ever-expanding roster as it made adding new members (and new generations) a trivial matter of simply expanding the code. The code was also informative in itself since it contained the individual’s direct ancestors’ codes, which made finding the ancestors extremely simple. If a member was found to be out of birth order (for example, new information changing the birth date), updating the affected members' codes became a bit more complicated since their descendants' codes had to be updated as well. However, only one letter in each person’s code had to change, not the entire code.

With the advent of the computer, the McCargar Code has almost become obsolete. Users can now search for individuals by name, display a lineage as a graph, and add or reorder individuals with the click of a button. We have maintained the McCargar Code within our database, but we use it primarily as a quick identifier for differentiating individuals with the same name. Of course, the computer automates generating and updating the code as we add or modify records in the database.