Key Elements To Documenting Your Family Tree

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Family trees and charts have become more and more popular through the years, for a lot of good reasons. Not only will making family trees be a nice exercise in knowing your relatives or ancestors better, but it can also offer a number of practical benefits that you’ve never dreamed of. With so many family tree templates used today, it’s important that you know how to properly enter the information or data that you collected into these charts.

The Key Elements To Filling Out A Family Tree

According to genealogy experts, there are three important elements for documenting your findings, and placing data into a family tree. You need to learn how to properly record names, places and dates into the family tree chart. When writing a person’s full name, the standard genealogical method is to write the names in a conventional manner – first name, middle, last name (surname). Make sure you writ the full names of each individual. When writing the surname, the last name should always be written in capital letters, in upper case. Writing the surnames in upper case shall make it easier for others to spot the names in the chart, and would also make it easier to differentiate a person’s last name from other given names.

Writing Women’s Names on A Family Tree

In correctly filling out women’s names on your family tree, remember to use a woman’s maiden name instead of her married name. If you’re not able to determine the maiden name of a female ancestor, write her first name and follow it with an empty parenthesis ( ). Here’s an example: Mary Antoinette ( ), or Mary Antoinette ( ) MORGAN. But how should you write a female relative’s full name if she was married twice? In this case, enter her first and middle name, then write her maiden name in a parenthesis ( ). List her names in order of marriage, and also place her middle name. For example - Isabel Jane (Williams) SMITH. This means that Isabel Jane Williams first got married to a man surnamed Smith, and later got married to a guy surnamed Williams.

Rules For Writing Nicknames

If you’ve determined the nickname of your ancestor or relative during your family tree research, you may include it in the chart. However, remember to use quotes (“ “) when noting nicknames. Do not use a parenthesis, because these are often used to show maiden names, and you truly don’t want to cause confusion when someone’s viewing your family tree chart. Here one nice example – Michael “Mike” BARNES.

What should you do when you notice that the spelling of your relative or ancestor is different? In doing a genealogical research, you may find different spellings for your descendant’s surname. Genealogical experts explain that this could be the result of an erroneous spelling error on the person’s birth certificate, phonetically spelling, or the result of immigration to a different country.


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