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Family historians rely on a number of organizational tools, including commonly used forms to record their research efforts and findings. Even though most genealogical software programs will export your findings into such formats, it is important to understand how each works and how they can be organized to best support future research. The following templates will help you organize your research, save you time, and present your information in a consistent and accurate way.
A family group sheet provides a snapshot of each nuclear family and records pertinent information about each family member. This information may include:
Download our family group sheet.
A multi-generational chart provides a road map of your ancestors and includes basic information about each couple: full name and date and place of birth, death, and marriage. Each person on the chart receives a number. The subject of the chart is number 1; the subject’s father is 2, the mother is 3; the father’s father is 4, the father’s mother is 5; etc. Each chart is assigned a number and cross-referenced to connect charts and generations. Thus, every ancestor receives a unique number that can be used as shorthand or for filing. E.g., 3:6 refers to chart number 3, person number 6. Download our five generation chart.
Research logs are an excellent way to keep track of the research you have already accomplished. They contain a list of every source you consulted—and whether your search was successful or not. Handwritten or typed, these logs help prevent duplicate searches and lookups. Download our research log.