Membership Number ending "A"

 Member
 Posts: 89
 Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2008 4:03 pm
Membership Number ending "A"
What does the "A" mean after the members number?
kmalone wrote:What does the "A" mean after the members number?
It just means the digit after 9. The last digit of a membership number is a check digit. The particular algorithm that is used has 11 possibilities, and these are 09 and A. So on average, 1/11 of the membership numbers end in A. Because the last digit is a check digit, the first 10 digits of a record number will never match the first 10 of any other member's record number.

 Member
 Posts: 89
 Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2008 4:03 pm
Alan_Brown wrote:It just means the digit after 9. The last digit of a membership number is a check digit. The particular algorithm that is used has 11 possibilities, and these are 09 and A. So on average, 1/11 of the membership numbers end in A. Because the last digit is a check digit, the first 10 digits of a record number will never match the first 10 of any other member's record number.
Wow that simple huh?
I thought my made up story to my son, when he asked, was better... something along the lines that it was too sacred to talk about.. :D
My membership record ends in an A. I was baptized overseas. Not sure if this is the reason. That's the only reason I can think of.
I tried to order garments online one time and they sent me an email to call in because the automated system could not verify my records. They said it was because I was baptized outside of the US (I am a US citizen living in the US now). They did not mention the "A".
I tried to order garments online one time and they sent me an email to call in because the automated system could not verify my records. They said it was because I was baptized outside of the US (I am a US citizen living in the US now). They did not mention the "A".
 Mikerowaved
 Community Moderators
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 Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 12:56 am
 Location: Layton, UT
Alan_Brown offered the correct answer above. We have many in our unit with an "A" on the end of their membership record and most were baptized here in Utah. Being baptized outside the US and having an "A" on the end are not related.
I hope you can get your ordering issues worked out.
I hope you can get your ordering issues worked out.
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.
This is actually a very common method of verifying the validity of a number. It is used for ordering books, medical records, and Church records. Most hospitals have an algorithm that assigns patient ID numbers based on such factors as birth date, gender, possibly ethnicity, etc. Theoretically, if you knew a hospital's algorithm, you could unravel the Medical Record Number to identify some basic information about the patient (don't worryidentifying information, such as names, addresses, or SSN are not permitted in the algorithms).
The last digit in an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is actually a check digit. A standard ISBN is 10 digits long. To obtain the tenth digit, the first nine digits are treated as a vector of length 9, and the cross product of that vector and the vector 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 is calculated. This cross product may be any number from 1  10, but since 10 is not a single digit, when 10 occurs it is replaced with X.
The ISBN's are produced in this way because it reduces time wasted by ordering errors. When an order comes in to the warehouse, they simply check the number against the algorithm. If the last digit is valid, they know to process the order. If the last digit is not valid, then they know the number given is erroneous and they can immediately notify the client.
And that concludes our excessively detailed history of indexing people for today.
The last digit in an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is actually a check digit. A standard ISBN is 10 digits long. To obtain the tenth digit, the first nine digits are treated as a vector of length 9, and the cross product of that vector and the vector 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 is calculated. This cross product may be any number from 1  10, but since 10 is not a single digit, when 10 occurs it is replaced with X.
The ISBN's are produced in this way because it reduces time wasted by ordering errors. When an order comes in to the warehouse, they simply check the number against the algorithm. If the last digit is valid, they know to process the order. If the last digit is not valid, then they know the number given is erroneous and they can immediately notify the client.
And that concludes our excessively detailed history of indexing people for today.
nutterb wrote:The last digit in an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is actually a check digit. A standard ISBN is 10 digits long. To obtain the tenth digit, the first nine digits are treated as a vector of length 9, and the cross product of that vector and the vector 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 is calculated. This cross product may be any number from 1  10, but since 10 is not a single digit, when 10 occurs it is replaced with X.
Lest anyone be misled: although that's the basic idea, there are several differences between the above and the actual ISBN algorithm. You can find the actual algorithm in the Wikipedia article check digit. I note this correction because I mention the ISBN algorithm later in this post, and my statement applies to the actual ISBN algorithm, not the above.
But the actual topic of this thread is Membership Record Numbers (MRNs), not ISBN. The important concepts regarding the MRN check digit are:
 The check digit is the last digit of the MRN.
 The check digit algorithm uses modulo 11 arithmetic, so the last digit may be 10 mod 11, which is represented by the letter "A".
 There is an algorithm that can use the check digit to verify the validity of an MRN.
 The validity check is of course not 100% accurate, but it will catch simple digit transpositions or single errors in digits, and thus is helpful in catching simple data entry errors.
 For MRNs that start with 3 zeroes and ISBNs that start with 2 zeroes, the algorithm is the same (except ISBN uses "X" where MRN uses "A").
 For MRNs that have any nonzero digits in the first 3 positions, the part of the algorithm used for the first 3 digits is different and a bit more complex.

 New Member
 Posts: 5
 Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:41 am
 Location: West Valley City, Utah, United States
Has anyone else using the new FamilySearch had problems registering members whose record numbers end with "A"?
One of the members in the ward is having difficulty registering because the blanks for the member number won't accept a letter.
More importantly, has anyone had this problem and been able to solve it?
One of the members in the ward is having difficulty registering because the blanks for the member number won't accept a letter.
More importantly, has anyone had this problem and been able to solve it?
Vince1981 wrote:Has anyone else using the new FamilySearch had problems registering members whose record numbers end with "A"?
One of the members in the ward is having difficulty registering because the blanks for the member number won't accept a letter.
More importantly, has anyone had this problem and been able to solve it?
Registering for New FamilySearch works just fine with membership numbers that contain the letter A. The fields for the membership number accept the letter A with no problem. I have tested this with both an uppercase and lowercase A, and it worked as expected.
So if a member is having difficulty registering, it must be a problem other than the letter A, at least according to my testing (which I just confirmed 5 minutes ago).
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