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.
I used to have links to several different sources for free pedigree charts but they were constantly going dead as other sites moved their files around or stopped offering the pages for download. So I have created a good format myself and you can get that here.
Click on the image to the left, or here to download a PDF file of the chart. You can print out as many copies as you want. You’ll need the Adobe Acrobat Reader (also free from Adobe), though most computers these days have a PDF reader already built-in.
I like to have as many generations on each sheet to reduce the number of pages I need, so it is a compact format. There are 5 generations and space for birth and death dates. The arrows mark where you write in your ancestors names. You number the chart at the top left, and use the other # spaces to indicate where the last generation continues on their own charts. There is no room for birth or death dates for the last generation on the page, but you can record that information on the next chart where that person continues. I’ll have more on using pedigree charts later. It should be fairly simple though.
Even if you aren’t really keeping track of your genealogy research on paper, these forms are very helpful for quick notes or to have a handy page of ancestors for when you are doing offline research away from a computer. They also make great cover pages or indexes to help keep other sets of paper files organized.