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Family Group Sheet Instructions
Pedigree chart

As a general rule, the Family Group Sheet is the document wherein all family history is recorded and subsequently entered into a family history database.
If you are in possession of a document where you are obtaining the source information from, please with the details of the document (date, who prepared it, title of the document, etc.), as I may want to scan it into my database.

Because of the significance of accurate data, these instructions are provided to help ensure your submission is clear and complete.

You may wish to print this page
while reviewing my family history!

If you are uncertain of the validity of the data you are submitting, indicate that it is an estimate by using a question mark and the word estimate or the abbreviation est.. When entering a Name, Date, or Location, please keep the following in mind:

Name: Spell out first, middle and last names completely!

If any part is unknown, enter (unknown).

Date: Write dates as November 19, 2014

Spell out months to eliminate confusion; do not use numbers in lieu of month names!

If you are uncertain of the validity of the dates you are submitting, indicate that it is a estimate by using either

AFT (for after), BTW (for between), BEF (for before), or EST (for estimated).


US locations: Enter US addresses using the following format; spelling out all words (use no abbreviations):

Spokane, Spokane County, Washington

Which is: City/village/township/etc., County name followed by the word 'county', State

If any part is unknown, enter (unknown).

Non-US locations: Enter non-US addresses using the following format; spelling out all words (use no abbreviations):

St. Martins, Birmingham, Warwick, England

Which is: City/village/township/etc., Region/province,etc. followed by the appropriate word (region, province, etc.), State (if applicable), and country

If any part is unknown, enter (unknown).

For any information you are submitting, if any of the information is unknown, place the word unknown in place of the information that is unknown. For example, if the US county is not known, the information would be entered as:

City, County unknown, State

How to Use Family Group Sheets:

If you see data that needs attention, i.e., you can add something, correct an error, etc., please fill out a Family Group Sheet for the appropriate individual.

Completing a Family Group Sheet:
  1. Click on the appropriate link on the previous page.
    Depending on the link you click on, the form with open in a new window.
    NOTE: If you want to fill out the form on your computer in lieu of filling it out by hand, you must use either Microsoft Word or a free alternative that reads Word documents, such as LibreOffice which is available from The Document Foundation at the following web site:

  2. Regardless of the method used, complete as much of the form that you can
    Be sure to indicate on the form if the data is a correction or addition!
  3. Save the form with a filename in the format of: Lastname, Firstname Middleinitial.doc (for example: Smith, Gerald Winston.doc)
    Yes, you can use commas as part of the name (as long as you are using Windows 95 or later)!
  4. Use a compression program to compress the file. If you do not have a compression program, you can get 7-ZIP here.
    NOTE: If you have more than one Family Group Sheet you wish to submit, you can compress all of them into one file!
  5. Send me an e-mail advising me you have some family history information to send me in an e-mail with an attachment.
    Failure to advise me in advance will result in your e-mail being deleted by my e-mail filtering program!
  6. When you receive my response (normally within one day), send the e-mail with the attachment.
Types of information that can be submitted:
You can submit any type of information, not just the information listed on the Family Group Sheets! That piece of information that you may not consider important may, for someone else, be the missing link that is necessary to verify some other piece of information. Therefore, submit it (you can list it on the reverse side of any of the Family Group Sheets). If you are e-mailing the Family Group Sheets, include it anywhere on the form!

If you are of the curious type, you can get a look at all the different types of information that has a place in the current GEDCOM standard (version 5.5) by clicking on the following link:

GEDCOM Standard Version 5.5 Data Elements

Remember, any piece of information can be submitted, even if it is not listed in the current GEDCOM standard!

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This page last updated: November 22, 2014
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