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Beginning Genealogy Lesson #26
Family Group Sheets

DearREADERS,
There are two basic forms your computer's genealogy program can generate for you, namely the family group sheet and the pedigree chart. One may also buy more decorative blank forms. However, since all information needs to be entered into the genealogy program anyway, why not let the computer do the print-outs for you? We discussed getting organized using forms, and many have written to ask more about these forms. We'll take the family group sheet this week and tackle the pedigree chart next week. 

Here are some sample family group sheets which you can view on the internet:

Ancestor's PBS Television Series:

Everton's Family Group Sheet Form

Rory's Family Group Record:

SourceGuide(tm) by the LDS Family History Library:

You will notice the common elements of each form includes:

Husband's Name
Birth Date Locality
Christening Date Locality
Marriage Date Locality
Death Date Locality
Parents
Wife's Name
Birth Date Locality
Christening Date Locality
Marriage Date Locality
Death Date Locality
Parents
Child #1's Name
Birth Date Locality
Christening Date Locality
Marriage Date Locality
Death Date Locality
Spouse
Child #2's Name
Birth Date Locality
Christening Date Locality
Marriage Date Locality
Death Date Locality
Spouse
Child #3's Name
Birth Date Locality
Christening Date Locality
Marriage Date Locality
Death Date Locality
Spouse
Child #4's Name
Birth Date Locality
Christening Date Locality
Marriage Date Locality
Death Date Locality
Spouse
Sources:

 

 

 

 

Consider that the parents, whether married or not, are listed with all children, living or deceased who were a product of the union, including adoptions. Step-children are not listed here, but on another family group sheet where both blood-related parents are listed. Also note that dates for events are augmented by locality information. 

Citing sources of information for each individual can become quite lengthy, something not easily accommodated by the preprinted forms.  However, good source documentation is the mark of a great genealogist. Take care to include the name of the archive or library where the information was found, as well as call number or microfilm number. In the case of certified copies of vital records be sure to included the official file number.  Genealogy management programs overcome the documentation problem by printing out variable sized family groups sheets for those ancestors with lengthy source listings.

Many beginners object to adding the information on the siblings of direct line ancestors. However, it is widely accepted that when reviewing a family group sheet, many clues are unearthed by noting the birthplaces, etc of the other children in the family. One can begin to map a migration pattern for the parents, providing additional ecclesiastical and government jurisdictions to look for documents. Often aging parents are found in the household of a married child, hundreds of miles from their former hometown.

Its also necessary to show the number of children to paint a clearer picture of each family unit's life and times. Many of us are humbled to see what large families our ancestors fostered. Often children died in infancy. The emotional impact of this on your ancestors cannot be underestimated. 

Family group sheets provide concise reports of family unit structure and are a basic method of sharing our genealogical data with others. 

Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
Daily Genealogy Columnist
America Online Keyword: roots or myrtle
www.dearmyrtle.com 

For further reading:

Cyndi's List - Supplies, Charts, Forms, Etc. http://www.cyndislist.com/supplies.htm  

 

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