History, Research

Family Trees

Hello all! I want to mention that I made a video showing and explaining some of the features of Ancestry on the library’s YouTube channel. You can access my video here. It is an introduction in how to search for records in the Ancestry database with a few examples.

I also briefly discussed how to start creating a family tree as a record keeping tool. You can find the downloadable documents that I prefer here for different types of pedigree charts and family group sheets. But Ancestry also has their own documents that can be printed out or filled in digitally.

Pedigree charts are the documents that actually look like a branching tree where you begin with yourself and move backwards through the generations. It is standard practice that fathers are placed in the top bracket (or odd numbers depending on the sheet you use) and mothers in the bottom bracket (or even numbers). The family group sheet is a type of record that displays entire family units with just the parents and all children.

When filling out names, the last names of individuals should always be written in all caps. Another common practice to consider when filling out these documents is the formatting of dates. When you write the dates of events like birth or death, you should follow the convention of Day Month Year. The month should also be shortened to the first three letters to save space. A few examples would be 19 May 1991, 4 Jul 1776, or 14 Apr 2020.

If you fill everything out digitally, naming files as you continue, organization won’t be that challenging. When recording information on paper forms, there are features on these sheets that help you. You have the option to number the sheets to connect appropriate records along your pedigree charts to help keep everything in order.

Creating your family tree with the basic information you know is the best way to start your research. You can begin filling in the gaps as you start searching for your ancestors’ records.

Any personal questions, comments, or requests for assistance can be made to me by email: rvoyles@lindenhurstlibrary.org

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