After exploring your house and collecting family oral history, it is time to start the process of documenting, analyzing, and organizing your family history.
The first thing to do is to fill out a pedigree chart. The word pedigree comes from the French word of “pie de grue’ which literally means “foot of crane.” The name came into use because the lines on the chart resembles a crane’s foot (Robinson 901).
In completing a pedigree chart, the budding researcher writes his or her name on the first line, and then follows the diagram placing their parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and second great grandparents name on the corresponding lines.
A simple pedigree chart will go back 5 generations, which will be enough information to start with. This five generational pedigree chart will help the beginning genealogist realize what primary information they will need as they start their research. If the researcher cannot fill all the lines on the chart, they can use the pedigree chart as a roadmap as they start to research their ancestors.
Robinson, Mona. Who’s Your Hoosier Ancestor? Genealogy For Beginners. Bloomington and
Indianapolis: Indiana University Press,1992.