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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 program.

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 a library.

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.

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