Fingerprint Classification Systems Compared

Primary Fingerprint Classifications come in the form of a fraction, such as 1/13, 23/2, etc. The numerator and denominator of the fraction are arrived at by adding values associated with each of the 10 fingers.

Whenever a Whorl Pattern appears in a finger, the associated value of that finger is added to the base value of 1. The major differences between the American and Henry Systems are the values which are assigned to the each of the fingers and the manner in which those vaules are accrued.

To demonstrate the difference, we will make up a set of fingerprint patterns.

Fingerprint Patterns (Example):

   ................Thumb..Index...Middle..Ring...Little
  |----------------------------------------------------|
  |.Finger.Number|...1...|...2..|...3...|...4...|...5..|
  |.RIGHT.HAND...|.......|......|.......|.......|......|
  |.Finger.Pttrn.|.Loop..|.Loop.|.Arch..|.Whorl.|.Loop.|
  |--------------|-------|------|-------|-------|------|
  |.Finger.Number|...6...|...7..|...8...|...9...|..10..|
  |.LEFT.HAND....|.......|......|.......|.......|......|
  |.Finger.Pttrn.|.Whorl.|.Loop.|.Whorl.|.Loop..|.Loop.|
  |----------------------------------------------------|

The Henry System adds up all the values in each of the EVEN numbered fingers where a Whorl appears. This number is used as the Numerator. Then all of the values for the ODD numbered fingers where a Whorl appears are added and used as the Denominator.

Henry Classification Values:

   ................Thumb..Index...Middle..Ring...Little
  |----------------------------------------------------|
  |.Finger.Number|...1...|...2..|...3...|...4...|...5..|
  |.Finger Pttrn.|.Loop..|.Loop.|.Arch..|.Whorl.|.Loop.|
  |.Finger.Value.|..16...|..16..|...8...|...8...|...4..|
  |--------------|-------|------|-------|-------|------|
  |.Finger.Number|...6...|...7..|...8...|...9...|..10..|
  |.Finger Pttrn.|.Whorl.|.Loop.|.Whorl.|.Loop..|.Loop.|
  |.Finger.Value.|...4...|...2..|...2...|...1...|..1...|
  |----------------------------------------------------|

The above example would have a Henry Classification of 15/1.

Looking at the even numbered fingers, you find Whorls in:
fingers number 4 (value = 8), 6 (value = 4) and 8 (value = 2).

The numerator is: 1 (the base value) + 8 + 4 + 2, which equals 15.

There are no Whorls appearing in any of the odd numbered fingers, so the demominator would be:
1 (the base value) + 0, which equals 1.

Together, these numbers form a Henry primary Classification of 15/1

In the American System, the Primary is arrived at similarly, but the finger values are added for the Right Hand first, followed by the Left.

American System of Classification Values:

   ................Thumb..Index...Middle..Ring...Little
  |----------------------------------------------------|
  |.Finger.Number|...1...|...2..|...3...|...4...|...5..|
  |.Finger Pttrn.|.Loop..|.Loop.|.Arch..|.Whorl.|.Loop.|
  |.Finger.Value.|..16...|...8..|...4...|...2...|...1..|
  |--------------|-------|------|-------|-------|------|
  |.Finger.Number|...6...|...7..|...8...|...9...|..10..|
  |.Finger Pttrn.|.Whorl.|.Loop.|.Whorl.|.Loop..|.Loop.|
  |.Finger.Value.|..16...|...8..|...4...|...2...|.. 1..|
  |----------------------------------------------------|

Looking at the fingers in the RIGHT Hand, you find a Whorl in the number 4 finger which has a value of 2.

The Numerator would be:
1 (the base value) + 2, which equals 3.

The LEFT Hand has Whorl Patterns in fingers number 6 (value 16) and 8 (value 4). v

The Denominator would be:
1 (the base value) + 16 + 4 which equals 21.

The American System Primary of the above example would be 3/21.

For a Henry Classification Primary to match an American System Primary, whorls must appear in all 10 fingers (32/32) or in no fingers at all (1/1).