Tracing Your Family History – #2 The Family Group Sheet

The Family Group Sheet is used to record what you know (and learn) about all members of your family. As it says on the top, make several blank copies of this form as you’ll need a lot of them.

It’s fairly self-explanatory. Begin by filling one out for your family. Enter you and your spouse in the proper spot – women use your maiden name. Then answer as many questions for each item as you can. If you have more than three children, make an additional copy of this form before you complete it. Then change the number “1” to “4” and continue. Children should be listed in descending order from the oldest to the youngest.

Now take another blank form and fill it out for your parents. On this sheet you’ll list you and your siblings, again with the oldest first and then in descending order. Sorry to get so elementary here, but now you see how many forms you’re going to need. A Group Sheet needs to be prepared for everyone in your family. That means your married children, your brothers and sisters, your aunts and uncles, your cousins, and so on.

While much of this information can be learned from other family members, it is very important that you obtain at least copies of every document which proves or attests to the information obtained. You are looking for certificates of births, marriages, and deaths; wills; probate records; early family correspondence; war records; pension records; family Bible information; and anything else which would enhance the knowledge and understanding of your family.

We’ll be discussing many of these records in future posts. For now the important thing is to be as accurate and thorough as you can be regarding dates and places, especially when you get to older generations. Spelling of names is important. Where a couple was married and when is very important. If possible, do include the township and county.

More next time. Drop me a note if you have questions.

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