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Genealogy How-To
 Getting Started
 Getting Organized
 Developing Your Research Skills
 Sharing Your Family's Story
 Reference Guide
 Biography Assistant
Free Genealogy Classes
 Beginning Genealogy
 Internet Genealogy
 Tracing Immigrant Origins

Family Finder
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Index to Notes and Handouts:
If you attend many society meetings, classes, or lectures you probably receive lots of handouts. Since most handouts don't apply to any specific family, remembering what handouts and notes you have can be difficult. An index, organized alphabetically (if possible) will give you an "at a glance" reference to what sources of information you have.

Marriage log:
Another handy index to take with you when researching, or searching online sources, a marriage log displays information about the bride and groom for a specific location. You can adapt the form to your needs if you wish to cover more than one location on a form. Figure 3 shows a sample marriage log (32K download).

Migration trail map:
Very few of us have ancestors who stayed in one spot for many generations. Migration trail maps display everywhere your ancestors lived, which is useful when trying to locate specific locality resources. A migration trail can also lead you to further information about the forces which drove the families to move (war, land opportunities, crop failures, or just itchy feet). You should be sure to check out each stop for collateral lines and extended families. Figure 4 shows a sample migration trail map (32K download).

Pedigree chart:
Another one of the most frequently used charts, a pedigree chart (aka lineage or ancestral chart) displays generally three or four generations of ancestors for a specific individual. Although supplemental information (birth, death, and marriage info) can be added, the pedigree chart is not the place to record sources. Blank pedigree charts are useful as worksheets when researching.

Relationship chart:
If you are confused about how one individual is related to another person, or group of people, a relationship chart will tell you their relationship. There are several relationship (cousinship) charts available online, but for multiple relationships, use a genealogy database program to generate a chart. Relationship charts can be very helpful when you have two ancestral lines which inter-marry.

Research log:
Research logs can be divided by individual or surname, as you desire. Logs should be taken with you when you research, and every item you search should be entered. This may seem like a lot of work (especially for those resources in which you find no information) but a detailed research log can be used as a roadmap to show you what resources you've checked, and what results you found there. You may adapt a research log for use on Internet as well; notations of what web sites, indexes, and databases you've searched can be helpful, as well as listing those sites and newsgroups to which you have submitted a query. Figure 5 shows a sample research log (67K download).
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