13: Coming to grips with FamilySearch, WEA Centre
Adelaide, 10:00am to 1:00pm
There is no program in December.
See the seminar program
for more details and bookings.
Adelaide Proformat will be closed 23 Dec
2001 to 22 Jan 2012
Discount booking fees for the 13th
Congress close 30 November.
charts and family sheets
previous newsletter raised a number of questions from readers about
family trees. Essentially many of the web sites mentioned are not
about family trees per se but rather about pedigree charts
and family sheets. One thing that will quickly become evident from
much of the material published on the web is that it lacks credibility.
Most posters do not cite their sources and if you are tempted to take
on board any of the material you find, you would be well advised to
read and digest the following principals.
The basic principles of research
• Never assume anything.
There are two tools that every researcher should use to record their
• Be objective and do not let emotions and preconceived values
get in the way.
• Widely advertise your research interests amongst appropriate
• Understand the need to corroborate facts with at least two
independent sources wherever possible.
• Record your sources clearly and concisely.
• Evaluate your findings in the light of the reliability of
charts and family sheets
Glandore SA 5037
Tel: +61 8 8371 4465
• Drafting charts
• Locating documents
• Seminar presentations
• Writing & publishing
• SA lookup service
• Ship paintings
Adelaide Proformat uses
Genealogist - for UK census, BMD indexes and more online simply because it contains quality data checked by experts.
Proformat News acknowledges the support by
are a number of other instruments that will ensure your work is as
professional and scientific as possible. Family history creates a
large amount of data and the management of it is important. Some of
the other instruments can be viewed at Adelaide Proformat's website.
(see next link)
Using Pedigree Charts
The Pedigree Chart is an essential tool in family history research:
You can buy blank charts.
When working on paper, use pencil until you are certain the entry
is correct and then enter in pen. If you are using a computer program
consider entering unconfirmed material in a different colour.
You can download blank charts. Adelaide Proformat provides free
pdf format charts
Your family tree software will generate charts for you.
On pedigree charts, males are allocated even numbers and females the
odd numbers and this system is called the Stradonitz [or Sosa-Stradonitz
or Ahnentafel ahnen tafel = ancestor table] System and dates
from 1676 when it was first used by Spanish genealogist, Jerome de
Sosa. De Sosa was a 17th century Franciscan friar and a genealogist
who developed a genealogical numbering system of ancestors. The scheme
remained virtually unknown until popularised by Stephan von Stradonitz
in his Ahnentafel-atlas that detailed the families of the sovereigns
of Europe and their wives and was published in 1898 to 1904. The following
image is from p9 of de Sosa's book on the genealogy of Don Pedro Álvarez
de Toledo, 2nd Marquis of Villafranca 1484–1553, outlining not
only how the pedigree chart should be arranged with 5 generations
to the page, but also demonstrating through the use of the letters
of the alphabet how to extend the chart on to further generations.
This extremely easy and effective method of numbering your ancestors
is to assign the person whose pedigree it is the number 1. Their father
is No 2, their mother No 3, their paternal grandfather No 4, etc.
In this system, a person's father's number is always twice the person's
number and his or her mother's number is twice plus one. That means
you can easily assign a number to any direct ancestor. If the person
you are looking at is #7 then you know their father will be #14 and
their mother #15.
Effectively the chart summarises you ancestry thus:
The pedigree chart format promoted on the Adelaide Proformat
web site enables one to extend beyond the first sheet much the same
way as de Sosa advocated. Using the features on each pedigree chart,
they can be tiled. The example shows that the person at position 8
on sheet 1 becomes the person at position 1 on sheet 2. Of course
using a computer family history program alleviates all these considerations.
We cannot stress too much the appropriate use of some standard conventions
to assist readers of charts. Family historians need to be constantly
aware that the work they produce is not necessarily going to be read
by fellow devotees and they should design their work for general public
consumption. Unfortunately the web is awash with material whose content
is not readily clear to the amateur (or too many professionals for
that matter). If you choose not to use the usual conventions that
are not only widely accepted but are designed to be self explanatory,
then you should provide your reader with guidelines.
Use the following conventions for completing charts to help avoid
Names of people
• Print clearly.
• Surnames in block upper case only. Given names in title
• Always use women’s maiden names and not their married
• If first given name is not the known name then underline
the known name.
• If the person is known by a nickname, place it in brackets.
• If the person has used multiple surname forms indicate this
William John JOHNSON/JOHNSTON
William John JOHNSON aka SMITH
William John JOHNSON fmly JONES
• Print clearly.
• Print the date in the form,
dd mon yyyy thus…06 Jan 1944 and 17 May 1969. Never ever use
the form 6/1/1944 as that can be read in two ways as 6 January or
1 June. If you always write the month in a three letter form, it
is readily recognised by non-English speakers and no confusion will
arise, even if you are tempted to use the American format viz, Jan
• Print the place, being as specific as possible using Chapman
and/or ISO Codes thus…
Ashford SA and Berwick-on-Tweed NBL
There is a comprehensive listing of ISO and Chapman codes on the Adelaide
Proformat web site:
• British Crown Dependencies
• British Overseas Territories
• Cook Islands
• German Confederation (1815-70)
• German Democratic Republic (East Germany)
• Germany (Empire)
• New Zealand
• United States
• Use the address as at the time of the event.
Once you have completed your Pedigree Chart the gaps are indicating
your research program. The nearer the gap is to person 1, the higher
should be its priority! Gaps in your recent family history can be
easily and cheaply plugged!
To accommodate the constraints of paper, Pedigree Charts can be tiled
by using the embedded links. Computer generated charts will do this
automatically if you print them out.
Two things to remember:
1. A pedigree chart is just that – it outlines
a person’s ancestry.
Using Family Sheets
2. A pedigree chart is basically a summary of a person’s genealogical
ancestry and as such details this information only. It is not a
The Family Sheet is the other essential tool in family history research.
It complements the pedigree chart in that it details the material
summarised in a pedigree chart in more detail by developing the family
members and their associated genealogy. In spite of this, family sheets
are not family histories.
You should fill out a Family Sheet for every married couple in your
Note: If you are a parent, you will put yourself on two Family Sheets—once
as a child, along with your parents, brothers and sisters—and,
once as a parent with your spouse and children. If you have married
more than once, you will appear on that sheet too!
• Family Sheets allow you to provide more detail
than a Pedigree Chart and have provision for the inclusion of your
• As you complete the sheets you will soon see where further
research is required.
• Use the conventions listed previously.
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