Large or Small They Chart Your Family

Blank pedigree charts accommodating 4 to 15 generations can be purchased. The four-generation pedigree chart is the most convenient to work with in your day-to-day research. The more generations on the chart, the less room there is for data about individuals.

Some decorative pedigree charts are suitable for framing. They can be fan shaped with the lines radiating out from you at the center. Some are in the form of a tree with limbs and branches representing family lines. Still others have spaces for photographs. While attractive as wall art, these charts are too large to be useful as research aids.

Filling in the Pedigree Chart

Completely fill in as many of the spaces on the pedigree chart as you can. If you know an individual's middle name, write it out rather than use the initial. Put nicknames in quotation marks after the given name. Use women's maiden names, and if they are not known, use a blank parenthesis, such as ( ). When known, geographic places should indicate the town or township, county, and state. Write the dates with the day first, the month written out next, and all four digits for the year.

Because the pedigree chart is an instant guide to your research, keep it up to date so you can follow the clues. Add new information as you find it, and correct the information as you uncover errors.

Pedigree charts cannot stand alone as evidence of your ancestors. They are research tools, not the end result of your research. Look at the pedigree charts as notes to yourself to show at a glance where you are in your pursuit of your family history.

Pedigree Pitfalls '

Pedigree charts have no space for source citation. Therefore, they should not be disseminated unless accompanied by an attached sheet with full citations keyed to the information on the chart, or a family group sheet, which does have citations.

Genie Jargon ^

The family group ^ sheet is the form used to record information on a family unit. It is neither an ascendant chart, nor a descendant chart. It is merely a form on which all the members of one family can be listed (not just your ancestors).

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