Organizing your family research documents is one of the big challenges of genealogy for me. Family history becomes more rich and interesting when you can add documentation to your research notebook. The genealogical charts and family tree really come to life when you can leaf through pages of census records, church records, immigration records, land or property records, military records and other documentation.
The record sheets shown in the picture with this content are from Family Tree. You should be able to find similar record sheets that you can download and print at Genealogy Free Stuff. These worksheets help you not only find the information you need but also keep it organized. Some of the most common research worksheets you may want to use are:
Family Group Sheet
This sheet would list: the name of the husband, his birth date and place, his death date and where he is buried, the name of the wife, her birth date and place, her death date and where she is buried. There would be a listing of the marriage date and where the marriage took place. There would be spaces for the names of any children, the date and place the children were born, any deaths, and marriages of the children. The names of both the father and mother of both the husband and wife would be listed.
The church record sheet may list: baptism and christening records, confirmation records, meeting minutes, membership records, and other pertinent information.
Search online search engines for such information as well as well know genealogy services.
You may want to include a marriage index for your family. This record sheet would include: name of the groom, name of the bride, date, county and state where the marriage took place and any other pertinent information.
Birth dates will help in completing this record sheet. You may keep a record of the military service of family members by searching for conflicts that occurred during their appropriate age group. Record the ancestor’s name, birth and death dates then search for any conflict you think they may have been involved in. You may find draft records, military service records, veteran records, or pension records.
Many military records are available through the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) at cost. There are several other resources for purchasing copies of military records such as www.fold3.com or through www.ancestry.com .
Most vital records are available for birth, death, divorce/annulment and marriage. Census records are available for most years.
Look for passenger lists, passports, citizenship papers and alien registration cards. Many records are available online and copies may be ordered.
You may be able to locate adoption records, civil records, coroner’s files, criminal records, estate records, licenses, name changes or wills.
Land and Property Records
You can find deeds, land grants, homestead records, maps and much more through online searches as well as at local offices.
It is useful for family history to record where family members have been buried. Keep a record of the name of the cemetery, location, inscription on the headstone, inscription on the footstone and any other pertinent information that may be helpful in finding the gravesites.
A large three ring binder can hold most of these records. Dividers are invaluable for keeping these records in order and easy to find. I have designated a binder for each family and kept copies of the documents in each of the binders.