Mommy Blog Expert: Free Family Tree Pedigree Charts Where to Get Them & How to Fill in Your Relatives Info

Friday, September 30, 2016

Free Family Tree Pedigree Charts Where to Get Them & How to Fill in Your Relatives Info


Genealogy
Part 2 in a Series



How to Fill Out Your Genealogy Pedigree Chart

by Joan Stewart Smith, Guest Blogger
Stewart Communications
If you've ever wondered who your ancestors are, there's no better time than now to find out – especially with the plentiful genealogy online resources available for you to tap into.   When you start your family tree research, the first step is to fill out your pedigree chart, one of the most widely used standard forms in genealogy. 

But not many people are sure what a pedigree chart looks like or how to complete it properly, although it's quite simple once you learn about it step-by-step. The word “pedigree” brings to mind dog breeds and racehorses, but the shining star of your pedigree chart is you. The 8-1/2 x 11-inch pedigree chart is basically a family tree turned sideways instead of upward, giving you a snapshot of essential info about your direct lineage. At first glance, anyone can follow the pedigree chart’s path between you and your direct-line ancestors, and check out their names, dates and places of birth, marriage and death (“BMD”).


DAR PEDIGREE CHART
Free Downloadable Pedigree Charts
Where do you find a blank pedigree chart? You can download this free printable pedigree form from the Daughters of the American Revolution DAR.org, which you can fill out by pencil. 

Another good option is to use this no-cost interactive PDF form from Brigham Young University's Public TV & Radio Stations BYUB.org to fill out on your computer. 

Now that you have the blank chart, you’re ready to start. Remember this first step of your quest is only to fill in the information that you already know, so don’t be frustrated if you think you should know more. You’ll start your detective work later when you ask other family members and begin to search for the missing information.

1. Write the number “1” where it says “Chart No.” in the upper right-hand corner. Then move your eyes to the far left side of the page. Fill in your name over the line labeled Number 1. Write the info requested under your name. If you’re married, write your spouse’s name on the line below. Now record your father’s name in the Number 2 spot and your mother’s name in the Number 3 spot, and fill in the info under each.

2. Before you continue, note a few general tips: Capitalize all surnames such as JOHNSON or RODRIGUEZ. Use only maiden names for all the women on your chart. If you can’t recall someone’s first and middle name, just leave it blank with spaces to fill in later. If someone has a nickname, enter it in quotes (“Katie”) with their given name. If you’re just not sure about something you wrote, flag it with a question mark.

3. Write dates down as “day-month-year,” so for example, you will record, “7 Sep 1955.” You don’t need to add punctuation after the month’s abbreviation. You won’t know all dates, of course, so simply leave the spot blank or write “abt. 1901.”  When you list places, write the sequence “city, county, state, country” such as “Chicago, Cook, Illinois, USA” or “Drangan, Tipperary, Ireland.” There is no need to write “county” with the county name.

4. Focusing back on the chart, do you see how your father’s side is growing toward the top of the chart and your mother’s side toward the bottom?  And how all males are even numbers and all females are odd numbers?  With that in mind, add your paternal grandparents (your father’s parents) in Number 4 and Number 5, and your maternal grandparents (your mother’s parents) in Number 6 and Number 7.

5. If you can, continue adding names until you’ve filled in the last blanks on your chart, which is usually the 4th generation, your four sets of great grandparents. When you reach this point, you’ll need to start additional pedigree charts. Just re-enter each great grandparent’s name on a newly numbered pedigree chart, referencing his or her number in the original. For example, your great grandfather (your father’s father’s father), who is Number 8 on your chart, becomes ancestor #1 on a new chart.



Chances are you soon will use the computer to track your research. Your genealogy software will display and print out the standard format of your pedigree chart, and other charts and forms used by genealogists everywhere.  After you finish your first pedigree chart, don’t worry if you can only go back so far. This is only the beginning of your exciting new adventure exploring your family history.



You never know who'll you discover in your tree...


Don't Miss the Other Posts in MBE's Genealogy Series


About the Author
Joan Stewart Smith, who ranks genealogy among her favorite hobbies, is a married mom of a son who will soon be starting the college application process. As a highly creative talent, she heads Stewart Communications, an independent consultancy specializing in PR, marketing communications, social media, and writing. During her career, she has promoted products and services for clients ranging from fast-growing startups to established Fortune 100 companies, as well as PR and advertising agencies. Previously, she was a vice president at a leading high tech PR agency in Los Angeles.  Joan holds a B.A. in English and Journalism from San Jose State University and studied in the UCLA Department of Information Studies. Follow Joan on Twitter.


FTC Disclosure: The content for this blogpost is provided by Joan Stewart Smith and opinions here are the author's, photos included as credited.  However, readers should keep in mind that no MBE blogpost is a substitute for advice by a qualified professional of your choice. No brand provided payment or other compensation in connection with this post. See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's home page and at the bottom of every individual page including this one.

24 comments:

Shauna Torres said...

I have always wanted to figure out my family tree. My Step Mom made one for my brother, so I have a ton of info on my Dad's side, but not my Moms!

Jaredamy said...

I wish I knew more info about my family. I am afraid I would not get very far on this chart.

Jeannette said...

You're lucky enough in our family to have a genealogist on one side and on the other side someone took the initiative back in the 1800s to write down stuff. I love anything and everything that has to do with family. This is a great print out.

Seattle Travel Blogger said...

This is really neat. I like the way you break it down into manageable steps.
I appreciate this!

Sherry Smith said...

My brother has been researching our family for years and has been able to go back 500 years with one branch of our tree. I have been wanting to research my husband's tree so this will be a great help.

Ckrusch said...

So interesting! I never thought we could fill out our own charts! Love it!

Ckrusch said...

Love it! I never thought we could fill out our own charts! It's a great idea!

Six Time Mommy TEST said...

I've always wanted to do something like this. Problem is my dads side was adopted and everyone on my moms side has passed away so now that I'm an adult and want info, I can't find it. i will have to see about this! - Jeanine

Reesa Lewandowski said...

This is so neat! I have always wanted to chart this out and this would bea big help.

Melissa Chapman said...

My kids are chomping at the bit to do one of these family tree pedigree charts to find out more about their ancestry. This post has definitely sparked my interest and I think we are All ready to take the plunge! Thanks for sharing.

Melissa Chapman said...

My kids have Been wanting to find out more about our ancestry and after reading this post I think we are ready to take the plunge!

Tania said...

I love genealogy and studying about my ancestors. I'm also a BYU grad, so this is perfect! Can't wait to delve in more.

Elizabeth Lampman said...

I have always wanted to do our family tree. I will have to give it a try.

ORIANA ROMERO said...

I have been working on our family tree. This is a great printout. I need to get all of the information I have learned on paper.

Alicia said...

This is so cool! Genealogy is so interesting and these are great tips for creating a pedigree chart.

Dawn Lopez said...

This is such a great post to read! I have been thinking about trying to start a genealogy and wasn't sure where to even start. This post is a big help in doing that.

Michelle Martinka said...

I have never looked too much into our family tree. My mom has some amazing records of the family, however- though she is adopted and I know she may want to know more about her bio side.

Cathi Crismon said...

I love genealogy! I just went back to college this month and my major is Family History Research. I'm the only one in my family interested in genealogy so I have a lot of awesome work to do.

Mistee Dawn said...

I love learning about my ancestry and genealogy, so I am definitely loving this. We can learn a lot about where we came from.

NPC said...

Ancestry and history have always intrigued me. Unfortunately for me, there isn't much of a paper trail and I couldn't go back too far.

Johnsons said...

O so cool! My sister do a ton of this with our church. I need to get better at doing this stuff :)

Kids Are A Trip said...

These are great tips. I've been doing our family tree on and off for the last 15 years and just did the DNA test. It's so fascinating to find out where we come from.

Dawn GT said...

oh man i have always wanted to do this. my mom has been talking about it for awhile now. i will see if she is still interested.

Gabriel said...

My grandfather has some extensive genology notes, this looks like it couple be a great way to organize them.