Below is a list of different types of charts and forms which may be useful to
your research. Some forms have sample images or links to online forms freely
available for your use, and others can be created by using a genealogy database
Forms and Charts for Organizing Information
- An Ahnentafel (German for Ancestor Table) is a written
out version of a pedigree chart. Each generation is presented and separated from
the next by a line, space, or some other divider. Ahnentafels are useful for
presenting direct line ancestries.
- Alphabetical surname list:
- A list of individuals you are actively
searching, alphabetized, with basic birth and death information can be a helpful
checklist when searching through indexes, queries, and databases. Surname lists
are also helpful when you want to exchange information with other researchers in
- Biographical outline (chronology):
- If you have more than one or
two pieces of information on an individual, it can be useful to create a list of
major events of that person's life. Such outlines can display exactly what
information you have and what information is missing.
- Cemetery log:
- A great worksheet to take
with you when researching cemetery records, or visiting a cemetery in person. Cemetery
logs can also show families, collateral lines, and friends since many people were buried in
clusters. Figure 1 shows a sample cemetery log (38K download).
- Correspondence log:
- Just as a research log shows you what
resources you've searched, a correspondence log details your communications with
other researchers, archives, societies, and other resources. Your correspondence
log can include names, dates and subjects, or you can be a little more detailed
and note any expenses, results of the correspondence, and surnames of interest.
As with the research log (described on the next page), the correspondence log can
be adapted for Internet use by including entries for e-mails to interested researchers.
Figure 2 shows a sample correspondence log (7K download).
- Family group sheet:
- One of the most frequently used charts, the
FGS presents information about a family in an easily read format. Sources can be
entered on the back side if room is limited on the front. Blank FGS can be used
as worksheets when researching.