Publishing Your Family Tree

Genealogy software is very nice to keep things organized and efficient, and a full filing cabinet of paperwork is a good way to store all your data, but neither have the same satisfaction as looking through a professionally bound and printed book filled with your family tree. Not only does it look and feel better, it make it very simple to share what you have with others. So have you thought about getting your own genealogy book published? (more…)

15 Mar 2013

Tiny Tafel Reports

A typical family tree can have thousands of names, dates and places in it which can make it a little cumbersome to keep all the data conveniently listed for quick use. Different types of charts and tables are common in genealogy, including the compact Tiny Tafel report. Most genealogy software programs will generate these for you as they are not usually something you make up yourself.

The nature of the Tiny Tafel report is a summary of surnames in your list of ancestors, and though it works better with a computer, it can be handy for you as a person too. It shows you the date range where your various surnames are found. So if you had such a list with you at a library, you’d be able to see immediate what dates you should be concerned with. (more…)

15 Mar 2013

Creating a Family Scrapbook

how to make a family scrapbook

Put together a great family scrapbook for your genealogy materials

Photos and documents tucked away in a binder are fine for storage but sometimes you want a more visible and attractive way of displaying your family tree collection. A genealogy scrapbook is an ideal option.

The Book
First you need to get an appropriate book to do your scrapbooking in. There are many varieties out there since the scrapbooking hobby is so huge. If there is a chance you will have additional material to add once you start, which is often the case with any ongoing family tree research, you will want to get a book with removable pages or even a 3-ring binder style of book.

If you are going to be scrapbooking a part of your family that is basically finished, you can use any type of book with or without fixed pages. There are more styles available like this so you might have more fun with your scrapbook if static pages are fine. In any case, get a book of good quality that has acid-free pages. (more…)

14 Jan 2013

Ahnentafel Charts

I use these charts frequently here on the site as a lovely and compact way of sharing a line of ancestry for certain people. It’s easier to manage than a drawn out pedigree chart that graphically links parents and children or a full family group sheeet. So if you’re seeing these ahnentafel charts around, you’ll want to make sure you understand them.

These charts are great to hold dozens of generations in a simple numbered list. It only holds direct ancestors for one specific person. The term “ahnentafel” is German for “ancestor table” if the name intrigued you. (more…)

16 Dec 2012

Pedigree Charts

To follow with my ongoing organizational theme, here is the second of those basic genealogy forms that you will want to have on hand to keep your records on track: pedigree charts.

The family group sheets from last week, organize your information as a series of family groups. Alternatively, the pedigree chart follows your direct ancestral line (parents, grand-parents etc), and looks like your usual family tree format, with pairs of branches leading from one person over the generations. Siblings, cousins, aunts, or uncles are not listed, just parentage. Various formats will give you space to note down birth and death dates, and possibly more. (more…)

15 Dec 2012

Family Group Sheets

On another page, I discuss how to  organize your documents. So I really should give you the proper forms you need to follow my ideas. These are the family group sheets that I use to create an index on the front of each of my folders.

Unlike the tree-shaped pedigree charts, these forms are used to document one entire family rather than show a lot of connection with your other ancestors. They have the father and mother featured at the top, with their parents indicated. Then all of their children are listed below. (more…)

15 Dec 2012

Getting Organized

A never-ending topic for genealogists, how to deal with all the notes, files and papers that quickly accumulate when you are doing your family tree research.

Keeping track of the information itself isn’t that difficult, especially if you are using a good genealogy software program. If you’re not, it’s still reasonable to organize your family tree with pedigree charts and family group forms.

But what will soon take over your desk and your life, isn’t the information itself, but all the paper. Newspaper clippings, all kinds of certificates, letters, photos, maps and more photocopies than you can shake a stick at. It’s the documentation that will bury you. (more…)

15 Dec 2012