Membership Number ending "A"

Discuss basic duties of stake and ward clerks, including where to begin.
kmalone-p40
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Membership Number ending "A"

Postby kmalone-p40 » Wed Jul 09, 2008 6:13 pm

What does the "A" mean after the members number? :confused:

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Jul 09, 2008 6:18 pm

kmalone wrote:What does the "A" mean after the members number? :confused:


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 0-9 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.

kmalone-p40
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Postby kmalone-p40 » Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:20 am

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 0-9 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.. :rolleyes::D

pbhanney
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Postby pbhanney » Fri Jul 18, 2008 7:36 am

My wife's membership number ends in an "A." When we had our last temple recommend interview the member of the bishopric who interviewed my wife wondered what it was for. My wife quickly said: "It stands for 'Amazing.'"

kylehart
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Postby kylehart » Sun May 24, 2009 7:06 pm

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".

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Sun May 24, 2009 7:34 pm

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. ;)
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

nutterb
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Postby nutterb » Wed May 27, 2009 6:07 am

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 worry--identifying 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.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed May 27, 2009 10:15 am

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:

  1. The check digit is the last digit of the MRN.
  2. The check digit algorithm uses modulo 11 arithmetic, so the last digit may be 10 mod 11, which is represented by the letter "A".
  3. There is an algorithm that can use the check digit to verify the validity of an MRN.
  4. 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.
And if you want to get even more detailed:

  1. 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").
  2. 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.

Vince1981-p40
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Postby Vince1981-p40 » Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:50 pm

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?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Nov 05, 2009 5:15 pm

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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