How to fill out your family tree pedigree chart

Written by molly thompson
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How to fill out your family tree pedigree chart
Family tree charts can be maintained online, in paper files or displayed on the wall. (Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

You have spent months talking to relatives, going through old family letters and poring over census lists from the 1800s. Now you need to organise all your family tree information. Pedigree charts are an easy-to-use and valuable tool to record and display your ancestors' important data. Starting with your parents or grandparents, fill in the chart with successively older generations. Include confirmed birth dates, dates of death and marriage information for as many individuals as you can.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Results of your family tree research
  • Family tree pedigree charts
  • Pencil and eraser or computer

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  1. 1

    Collect and organise the results of your family tree research.

  2. 2

    Start with block number one on the chart. Fill in your full name, date of birth and where you were born.

  3. 3

    Enter the full name of your father in block two and the full maiden name of your mother in block three. Add the dates and places of birth and death (if applicable). Most charts are designed to display this information just below or immediately to the right of the person's name. If there is a space for it on the chart you are using, add the date and location of your parents' marriage.

  4. 4

    Write in the full names of each parent's mother and father in the next level of the chart. Male ancestors will always be in even-numbered blocks and females will be in odd-numbered blocks. Add the date and location information for each grandparent exactly as you did with your parents' information.

  5. 5

    Continue filling in the diagram for additional generations based on the information obtained through your research. If you do not have a specific piece of information, leave the space blank--you may come across it during future research and can add it at that time.

  6. 6

    Use additional blank copies of the chart, as needed, to capture past generations as far back as you can go. Store the pages in order for easy retrieval later. Update the charts as you uncover new details about your ancestors. If using online family tree charts, be sure to save each of your charts any time you update them.

Tips and warnings

  • Use all capital letters for the names on your pedigree charts. For women, always use their maiden name if you know it; leave the last name blank if you do not.

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