Friday, May 8, 2020

BEGINNERS TIP: Pedigree Chart and Family Group Sheets

An excellent way to get started - and to attack brick walls - is to complete what's called a Pedigree Chart or Ancestral Form. Use one of these to start with yourself on the left and moving generation by generation left to right. Enter the parents', grandparents', great-grandparents' names, date and place of birth, marriage, and death. See how much You can fill in, and then talk to other family members to see if they can help fill in the blanks.
Pedigree Chart (Source:
This provides a preliminary framework for your research. You may not know - or be able to fill in - all the information. However, it provides a great starting point.
For each couple, you can then download and complete a Family Group Sheet for each person and spouse. (Separate sheets are to be used for multiple spouses.) You use this form to family records an individual, the spouse, and all the children of that relationship. Some family group sheets include other information, such as occupation. If you have more children than will in the couple's relationship than there is room for on one family group sheet, use one or more additional sheets for them and keep them together for that family unit.
Family Group Sheet (Source:
Pedigree Charts and Family Group Sheets are used in tandem to complete what you know AND what you have located in the way of other reliable evidence of the name, locations, dates, and other facts. They will create a familial picture from which to so other research. Again, you may not have all or be able to initially find all this information. However, these forms are an excellent starting point for individual and family research.
You will find at a huge list of links to these and other genealogical forms at Cyndi's List ( Some are simple downloadable and printable PDF files. A few are downloadable forms for Windows and Mac. In any event, make use of the invaluable forms to graphically represent individuals and families. You'll learn what you do know And target what you need to investigate.
Once you've completed these forms, then is the time to begin searching for original documents that can verify (or refute) what you have entered. And remember to talk to all your relatives and obtain as much information from those people as possible in the process.

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