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AfriGeneas Juniors Genealogy Forum

Intermmediate Genealogy For Younger People

Welcome to the next step in Genealogy.

If you have already worked the Basic Genealogy Page, or have experience in some genealogy work, then this is the page for you. If you just want to refresh your memory you are welcome as well.

Here is a list of the subjects we will cover on this page.

Forms to use in your Research
The Pedigree
Family Group Sheets
Time lines
Research log
Correspondence log
Organizing your Search.
Pick a goal(s) of your search
Keeping Records
Writing Letters
Maps How do they help?

Forms to use in your Research
The Pedigree

What are the Pedigree for? Pedigree charts only record information about your direct-line ancestors, that is, from you to your grand parents, to your great-grand parents, and so on. These charts are available usually in four, five or six generation varieties. This is the basic form to show the lines in your family. You can use this to trace all the Surnames that you are researching at a glance.

They are the identification of the direct ancestors of one person. The person who is in the line marked #1. ID numbers are helpful to connect to others on other pedigree charts. A man's ID number is always double the ID of his children. All male names are in the upper position of each pair. This makes them all even numbers. All females are odd numbers, with her number being one higher than that of her husband.

Click here to see an example of a Pedigree chart that has been filled out.

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Family Group Sheets

You will need one Family Group Sheet for each of your names on your Pedigree Chart. This is the more detailed record of your research. A family group includes parents, children, and the spouse of each of those children. It is the record that you will be using most to keep track of the compiled information on each individual on your Pedigree Chart. If you have read the Basic Genealogy Page you will have already started a scratch Family Group Sheet in your notebook. All you will need to do now is to move the information you gathered onto a copy of one of the Family Group Sheets on the Forms Page.

Fill this in as completely as you can for the person you are making each sheet for. This will also include any of your aunts and uncles from both your father's and mother's sides of the family. But you will not give them a # from your Pedigree chart. You can Place the # of each person that is on your Pedigree Chart onto the Group Sheet for easy reference. This will help to organize your search when you are researching.

You will also want to note where you get your information on this page as well. You can place a statement that you got it from a personal interview and the date of the interview. Or you can write the type of document that you got the information from.

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Time Lines

Time lines are not a major genealogy tool but they help you to make sure that the information you have on the person is in the correct time frame. So you don't accidentally place a birth date that would make the person born after another important date in their life. Or so you don't have conflicting dates with other information you gather.

You fill these out starting with the persons Birth date and then adding each major date after in chronological order until you get to their death date. This helps to insure that you have a corresponding date with someone else's research, so you can match the dates. This makes matches more accurate and information passed more correct.

This is not one of the forms that you will have to have for your research, but it is a helpful one. So think about using it to help you to keep more accurate records.

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Research Log

You will use the research logs to keep a record of every record you search, no matter how insignificant you may feel it is, and regardless if you find what you're looking for. Each entry should be dated so you know when and what was searched for. That way, if you searched a record for only one person's birth date, you know to go back someday and look again. You never know it might contain someone else's information as well. This includes any information you may collect on the internet as well. So don't forget to track all your research. It will save you doing the same thing over.And sometimes you may need to use so-called "negative proof" (effectively a list of all the unsuccessful searches you have done) in order to convince yourself that, because of the absence of evidence to the contrary, some particular supposition should now be taken to be correct.

Record each search on a separate entry. Don't wait until later to enter the information; you may forget important details. Use standard abbreviations (b for born, d for died, m for married, c for circa). Don't use homespun abbreviations. Abbreviations are often confusing when you go back to review your notes. Remember you will be using these to reference when you are organizing your research. They also can lead to inaccurate information.

A good research log includes the following pieces of information:

Who are you researching
Objective of the research
Where are you conducting the research
The date of the research
Documents used in your research and their corresponding numbers if applicable
A place for comments on your research

Click here to see an Example of a Research Log.

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Correspondence log

The correspondence log is where you keep track of all the letters and email that you write to others. It is also where you keep track of all the letters you receive from others. You need one of these for each family group sheet that you have as well. You will need to give each piece of correspondence a number. These can have letters of the alphabet prefacing them.

Like this: A-1, A-2, A-3, et.

These need to be on both the correspondence log and the letter or email. So you can use this to reference when you are going back over your letters and responses, this will help to locate them quickly and easily. You can print out a copy of the log on the forms page.

A good correspondence log includes the following pieces of information:

Date you sent letter
Date you received letter
Who you were writing too
What information the letter was searching for
The correspondence number

If you would like to see an example of a correspondence log Click Here.

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Organizing your search
Pick a goal(s) of your search

Pick one of your ancestors from the pedigree chart and identify which questions you want answers to about that person, such as, "when and where was she/he born?" Decide what you want to learn. Make sure your goals realistic and attainable. There are several questions that Pedigree charts ask that you can research.



So just pick one thing you want to search. Only one thing at a time. this will make the bigger job of the whole search, look like a lot less. This can also narrow down your location of where you are going to go to when you start the search.

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Keeping Records

One of the most important things you can learn is how to keep your records organized for your search. This will make the whole process easier and more productive. This is also the way you can do a lot of your work for school. Try to keep the records set up so you will not get them mixed up. Make a folder for each person on your pedigree. In this folder you will place:

A family group sheet.
A research log
A correspondence log
Later you will add:
Any mail you receive
Any notes you make during a research at the Library, or Court House
Any copies of important documents
Any photos that you may be lucky to find
A Page with your Goals and when you have completed them
(this is not a must, but it helps)

It will also help if you number the folders like the numbers on your pedigree. #1 for you, #2 for your father, #3 for your mother, et. and keep them in this order for quick reference.

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Writing Letters

You will need to learn how to write a letter to do several things, like ask for a copy of a birth or death certificate. You will also need to write letters to request look up from a library or Genealogical Society, or other correspondence. There are just a few points to remember when you are writing.

Try to make a short and to the point letter.
Don't ask for whole families just ask for one or two names at a time.
Offer to share any of your information you have gathered.
Remember to send a self addressed stamped envelope.
Keep a copy for your self so you can reference it if needed.

Make your letter look something like this:
200 S. Main St.

Denver, CO.

2 Jan. 1999

Mary Smith

505 Peach Rd.

Aurora, CO

Dear, Ms. Jones.
I am researching my DOE, family line. I am the Daughter of John Quincy DOE. I need to find the birth date of James Lynn DOE. my paternal gr grand father. He lived in the Denver area about 1903 and I need to know when his birth, and marriage took place. I have an Obit form the Denver paper of the time. It states his death but not his birth. It was abt. 1870.

If you have any information to help fill in the blanks it would be appreciated. I have enclosed a self addressed stamped envelope for your reply. I am willing to share any DOE family knowledge that I have already gathered.

Thanking you in advance.

Mary DOE Smith.

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Maps How do they help?

Why do maps help with genealogy? Well, they can tell you a lot about the counties that surround the one you are researching in and also older maps can show you a glimpse of history.County boundaries changed frequently. While a person may be living in a county we know today, that location may have been in a different county when our ancestors lived there. They can also give you clues to migration route, and show you why your ancestors may have decided to leave one place and move to another.

OK, how do they tell you all this? Well, if you look at the new maps they will show you adjoining counties that you can look for more information in. But if you look at older maps then you will see when counties were formed and what counties they were created from. and if you can find a political map (that is one that shows population) you can see how populations have shifted over the years.

This information comes from:
COKidsGenWeb Project

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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