Genealogy Forms

Genealogy Forms

Researching your roots isn't just about finding out new information; it's also about presenting your information in a way you can use and understand. This is where genealogy forms can come in handy. There's no denying the thrill that comes with uncovering a long-lost relative or finding out a little-known fact about your ancestors, but knowledge is nothing if you can't find what you need when you need it.

Family Tree Chart

A family tree chart is a form that shows the ancestors for a given individual. This type of form usually only includes direct ancestors, such as parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. A tree chart is a simple representation with lines from one individual to the next. This printable tree chart includes four generations.

How to Use This Form

  1. To use the chart, simply click on the link.
  2. Input your family's information into the fields, including as much detail as possible.
  3. Save the file.
  4. Print out the completed tree chart.

If you need help downloading the chart, check out these helpful tips.

Why It's Helpful

Including a tree chart in your files can help you see how individuals are related to one another. It's helpful to create a tree chart for each branch of your family. Then you can keep the chart handy in your genealogy binder as you conduct research.

Tree charts are also great for sharing your work with other family members. If you're not intimately acquainted with the research, family relationships can get very confusing. You can help take some of the mystery out of genealogy when you present your work this way.

Pedigree Fan Chart

Similar to a tree chart, a fan chart also shows direct family relationships. However, it is shaped like a partial circle or fan with rings for each generation. The advantage of fan charts is that they can display more generations than pedigree tree charts. This fan chart includes six generations.

How to Use This Form

  1. To download the chart, click on the link.
  2. After the file has downloaded, print the form.
  3. Starting with the "handle" of the fan chart, write the name of an individual in your family. Include other information as well, such as the individual's birth, marriage, and death dates.
  4. Above that person, write the information for each of his or her parents.
  5. Continue adding information for each generations on the rings of the fan.

Why It's Helpful

In addition to showing more generations than a typical tree chart, a pedigree fan chart allows you to record as much or as little as you would like. If you don't know the dates or full names for some of your ancestors, you can still include them in the chart. There won't be any awkward blank lines.

Fan charts also make lovely gifts. Print out the chart, and use a fine-tipped calligraphy pen to create an heirloom for a new baby or a newlywed couple.

Family Timeline

A family timeline shows events that happened over a set period of years. To get a better understanding of the course of events for your family, you can print out this timeline and fill in the details from your research.

How to Use This Form

  1. Click on the link to download the form.
  2. Enter your family's name and the year range.
  3. Print out the form.
  4. By hand, label the timeline with the specific years you are covering.
  5. Add in important family events, using lines to connect those events to their location on the timeline. Include births, deaths, marriages, immigrations, and other important facts.
  6. Consider adding historical context by including historical events as well. Wars, economic events, and other factors can help bring your family timeline to life.

Why It's Helpful

Although it can take a little time to fill in the timeline, you'll find that this form is wonderful for understanding the context of family events. For instance, you may know that your Irish ancestors immigrated during a certain time period, but the timeline can help you see that the immigration coincided with the potato famine.

A timeline is also a great way to communicate your family history to other people who aren't quite as well-acquainted with the information. This type of visual representation is interesting and easy to understand, even for the novice.

Family Record Chart

A family record chart or individual record sheet can help you keep track of detailed information about your ancestors. This free printable family record chart has places to record information about a family group with two parents and up to seven children.

How to Use This Form

  1. Click on the link to download the form, then print it.
  2. Fill in the family name. This is the surname or last name.
  3. Fill in the parents' names on the lines for "Father" and "Mother."
  4. Fill in the father's occupation and the name of his parents. Do the same for the mother.
  5. Complete the basic information for both the mother and father. This should include their birth, marriage, and death.
  6. For each child, fill out as much information as you know.
  7. Note sources for all information where appropriate.

Why It's Helpful

Because they contain so much information on a single sheet, family record charts are ideal for organizing facts about a family group. If you create one for each ancestor and his or her family, you'll have a handy back-up should anything happen to your electronic files.

Family record sheets are also a great way to record census information or birth records, death records, or other important genealogical data. Take a blank form with you when you go out to do your research.

Cemetery Research Log

If you've ever searched a cemetery to find your ancestors' tombstones, you know how rewarding this type of research can be. You can find out a lot of very important information from a headstone, but you need a place to record it. This printable cemetery research log is perfect for recording your finds.

How to Use This Form

  1. Download and print the cemetery research log.
  2. Take the log with you when you tour the cemetery. After you find the headstone you're looking for, take a few moments to fill it out.
  3. Record the name and location of the cemetery, as well as the section and lot number. These will help you find the stone again.
  4. Record all information on the headstone, including birth and death dates and any inscriptions.
  5. Draw the stone on the form so you know what to look for if you try to find it again.
  6. Record any nearby stones and whether or not you've check the cemetery records and taken a photo.

Why It's Helpful

While you will probably take a photograph of the headstone, a visual record like this doesn't capture all the necessary information. You also need to use a form to record the details on the stone and its location, allowing you or one of your descendants to find the stone again at a later time.

It's a good idea to keep several blank cemetery research forms in your binder so they are handy when you need them. That way, you don't have to worry about finding a place to plug in your laptop to make an entry onto the form. If you come across something you want to record, simply fill out the form by hand.

More Online Sources for Printable Forms

You can find printable genealogy forms on many websites, but all forms are not created equal. Forms should be available in PDF format and should be easy to read and use. You can find more free genealogy forms at the following sites:

Have Some on Hand

Regardless of where you get your genealogy forms, you'll find they are a helpful tool in charting the history of your family and ancestors. Be sure to have a selection of printed forms on hand when you visit important research sites or attend your next family reunion.

Genealogy Forms