Formal Training
5/1/2006
Perplexed by pedigree charts? Unfamiliar with family group sheets? We'll help you master these tools for recording your family tree.

It sounds like an easy enough starting point: Fill out a family tree chart. But once you have the basic family history forms in hand, this seemingly simple task becomes bewildering. Where do your siblings, aunts and uncles go? How do you deal with Grandma's second marriage? Do you use her maiden or married name? And what do all those numbers mean?

Not to worry. After you've learned the format of standard genealogy charts and worksheets, you'll see why generations of genealogists have found them so handy — they let you pack all your essential family facts onto a few sheets for instant reference. And even if you're a total beginner, you can master pedigree paperwork in a jiffy: Just read our primer, and you'll be filling out those forms like a pro. Ladies and gentlemen, sharpen your pencils…