Free Charts & Forms

Identifying your ancestors is fun and so much easier today.

You can begin right now by picking up a pencil and writing down information on a piece of paper and writing everything you know about your ancestors.

Begin with what you already know by writing information on yourself and work back one generation at a time. The most important family history information you already posses - your memories and the memories of your loved ones. Gather information about yourself, your siblings, your parents, your grandparents, and your great grandparents. Make a list of each member in your family that can help you identify your ancestors. Typically, information about your close relatives is readily available simply by talking to them, and searching through information in your home.

Write down specific information, such as: names, dates and places of important events such as birth, marriage, and death, ancestral village, occupation, etc. Try to gather 3-4 generations (or more) of information on your ancestors. Don't be concerned if you're missing information because you can go back and fill it in later.

Forms and Computers Make It Easier

You can start just by writing information on paper. However, it's best to obtain a family history software program to help you keep things organized and print forms you can use to record your family information. These programs make the task of recording and organizing your information much easier.

There are many useful forms, but the first forms of most value to you are a Pedigree Chart, Family Group Record, and Research Log.

image Pedigree Chart

(Family Tree Chart) Lets you list your pedigree - your parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and so on.
image Family Group Record

A tool to help you organize your research by families. Because information about an individual ancestor is most often found with information about your ancestor's siblings or parents, this form is a helpful organizational tool. It includes room to write information found about a husband, his wife and their children.
image Research Log

Helps keep track of the information you find. Include the name of the ancestor you are researching, the information you find, and the sources. This will help you remember what records you have searched and what information you found.

A research log is a comprehensive list of what you have already searched and what you plan to search next for an ancestor.

Why Keep a Research Log?

A research log is like a treasure map outlining your progress and documenting your search for your own family roots and stories. It can tell you what you have searched, what you found or didn't find, and save you time because you don't need to search the same source again. You can also tell your family or others what you have already searched, and help you decide on the next steps.

Your family or others may want to look at the same sources as you did, so it's a quick way to provide confidence to others, and your records will be more complete. You can easily photocopy or print out a copy of your log. Don't go hunting for family history treasures without your map.

Free Charts and Forms

You can download family tree charts, pedigree charts, research logs, internet research logs, and other genealogy charts and forms for free on various web sites to help you record and track your research and keep your family history organized. Once you have installed a family history software program on your computer, you can print some forms using your computer program.

Family Search

On the front page, in the box titled Start Your Family History, click on Forms, then scroll down to each form and click on PDF.

Another excellent directory of free forms.
ancestors PBS Ancestors Series

You'll find fun PDF files for research questions, source notes, and charts. Scroll down the menu at the left of the screen and click Free Charts.
Dear Myrtle DearMYRTLE

Has good downloadable forms.
family-tree Family Tree Magazine > Learning Center

This magazine has created interesting forms that can help you access and organize your family history information.

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