Organizing Info Lesson


There are two main forms (tools) used in genealogical research. All the research that you do is controlled and preserved on these two forms. The first is the Pedigree Chart, the other is the Group Record.



Begin by filling in your Pedigree Chart with YOU as the first person on the chart and your father as No. 2 and your mother as No. 3. When placing names on the chart, put the SURNAME (last name, family name) in all capital letters [for example: John Clay PENNINGTON]. This makes it easier to determine with which family or group this person belongs at first glance.

Now, using the information you gathered around your home, fill in the blanks on the Pedigree Chart. Use birth certificates to fill in birth dates, birth places and also, in the case of others, to determine the names of the parents. When filling in dates decide on the format you intend to use and ALWAYS use it. The easiest and most commonly used by genealogists is day, month and year [for example: 28 June 1809]. Consistency will keep you from accidentally incorporating errors into your information. Uniformity helps others who view your work to be able to accurately determine the dates in your information. Since we do this work, not only for ourselves, but for many others it is VITALLY IMPORTANT to always work for accuracy.

To continue filling in dates and information on the Pedigree Chart you may need to use many of the other sources you located while searching your home and interviewing your family members. Good information may be gleaned from family Bibles, family letters, wills, Land Deeds, Military Records and many other sources which record names and dates. Information may also be obtained from talking to older family members. Be very careful with this information, as it may introduce incorrect information into your research. If you are sure to verify and document the dates and information obtained from other people, then it can be a great aid in helping further your research. Just be sure to verify ALL information and NEVER pass on or share as FACT data that you have not verified. It is much easier to be sure all data is accurate in the beginning then to try to track down an error and correct it. Once an error is put into a record, no matter how hard you try, it just seems to keep "popping up".



Each person on the Pedigree Chart now needs to be placed on TWO Family Group Record sheets. On one record they will be listed as the Parent with their children and on the other they will be listed as a Child with their parents and siblings. Except for the names and information about siblings, the information on the individual may be obtained from the Pedigree Chart. Follow the same procedure as for the Pedigree chart, making the SURNAME all capitals and keeping all of the dates in the same format.

Once you have put all of the information that you have or have found onto the Pedigree Chart and the Family Group Records, you are ready to set up a system to begin your research. You will now need to find the sources of the facts and information that you are missing. The next page is a helpful way for you to organize your work and it will assist you in keeping your records orderly to make researching easier and more effective.

Please go to the next page for more help to further your work.

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