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Family History for Kids

Charts and Forms

Family record. N.P.
Family record. N.P. No date recorded. Popular Graphic Arts. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

There are many kinds of charts and forms to record and organize your family history. Organizing this way helps us analyze what we've found and decide where to look next. It makes it easy to see what you know and what you still need to investigate.

You can print out a chart to fill in, or you can create your own. Most genealogists use pedigree charts and family group sheets for basic research, and create tables for advanced analysis. Blank, fillable fan charts and pedigree charts are available commercially. Filled charts make good gifts for any occasion.

Note: All good researchers know the importance of using credible sources of information and of citing their sources so that future researchers can retrace their steps and have confidence in the integrity of their work. So it is important that each time you find a new source of information about your family's history, you are careful to document exactly where (in which book, record, website, etc.) you found this information.

There is no one right way to cite your sources. Just try to be consistent. If your source was a talk with your grandfather, you can say so, and include the date of the conversation (and keep the notes or recording of your conversation too, if possible, for your family's records). If your source was a book or website, then note its title, author's name, and page number or web address, as well as the date it was published (for websites, the date you accessed it). You will find more tips about how to do this on the FamilySearch Wiki: Cite Your Sources External .

You can use the ideas here to customize a chart for your family, or design your own.

The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are included when available. Ask your librarian to help you find these, or similar, books in your local library.

Here are some links to charts that you can download and print from your computer. You can use these as examples for your own creations, or you can print them and fill them out with the information for your family. Don't forget to include your sources!