These worksheets are examples of forms used to organize your genealogy research. Use the research calendar and the correspondence log to keep a running summary of what you have accomplished. The research calendar shows you at a glance the records you have checked in reference to a particular surname and problem. Looking at the list, you can quickly determine whether or not you have searched a particular record and what the results were. The research calendar is meant to be an overview of your work, rather than the place for detailed notes. The correspondence log is a record of your letter writing. Scanning the list, you can quickly see to whom you've written and what the response was. For more on these two forms, see Genealogy: Recording Names and Places, and Transcribing and Summarizing Genealogical Documents.
Use the pedigree chart as a sketch of your bloodline. Here is where you record the bare-bones statistics on your ancestors. Once you have filled in the chart with what you know, you can develop a research plan to find the missing information. The family group sheet is the form used to record more detailed information for the people on your pedigree chart. Family group sheets are the foundation for organizing the information you collect. Complete at least two family group sheets for each individual on your pedigree chart. On one family group sheet the individual appears as a child and on another as a mother or father. (An individual with more than one marriage should have a family group sheet for each marriage.) Pedigree charts and family group sheets are not the end products of your research. They are tools to help you organize your findings. See Pedigree or Family Tree Charts for more on pedigree charts and family group sheets.
Also included is a checklist of questions for interviewing relatives. You'll think of others as you devise your own lists for each interview you conduct.
More on: Family History and Genealogy
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Genealogy © 2005 by Christine Rose and Kay Germain Ingalls. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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