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Proformat News
No: 69
November 2011
November seminars
Coming to grips with FamilySearch, WEA Centre Adelaide, 10:00am to 1:00pm

December seminars
There is no program in December.

See the seminar program for more details and bookings.

Adelaide Proformat will be closed 23 Dec 2001 to 22 Jan 2012

Discount booking fees for the 13th Congress close 30 November.

Pedigree charts and family sheets
The previous newsletter raised a number of questions from readers about family trees. Essentially many of the web sites mentioned are not about family trees per se but rather about pedigree charts and family sheets. One thing that will quickly become evident from much of the material published on the web is that it lacks credibility. Most posters do not cite their sources and if you are tempted to take on board any of the material you find, you would be well advised to read and digest the following principals.

The basic principles of research
• Never assume anything.
• Be objective and do not let emotions and preconceived values get in the way.
• Widely advertise your research interests amongst appropriate target groups.
• Understand the need to corroborate facts with at least two independent sources wherever possible.
• Record your sources clearly and concisely.
• Evaluate your findings in the light of the reliability of the source.
There are two tools that every researcher should use to record their findings.

In this issue:
November seminars
December seminars

Feature article
Pedigree charts and family sheets


Graham Jaunay
Adelaide Proformat

Glandore SA 5037

Tel: +61 8 8371 4465

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Adelaide Proformat uses
The Genealogist - for UK census, BMD indexes and more online simply because it contains quality data checked by experts.

Proformat News acknowledges the support by awe AWE

There are a number of other instruments that will ensure your work is as professional and scientific as possible. Family history creates a large amount of data and the management of it is important. Some of the other instruments can be viewed at Adelaide Proformat's website. (see next link)

Using Pedigree Charts

The Pedigree Chart is an essential tool in family history research:
You can buy blank charts.
You can download blank charts. Adelaide Proformat provides free pdf format charts
Your family tree software will generate charts for you.
When working on paper, use pencil until you are certain the entry is correct and then enter in pen. If you are using a computer program consider entering unconfirmed material in a different colour.

On pedigree charts, males are allocated even numbers and females the odd numbers and this system is called the Stradonitz [or Sosa-Stradonitz or Ahnentafel ahnen tafel = ancestor table] System and dates from 1676 when it was first used by Spanish genealogist, Jerome de Sosa. De Sosa was a 17th century Franciscan friar and a genealogist who developed a genealogical numbering system of ancestors. The scheme remained virtually unknown until popularised by Stephan von Stradonitz in his Ahnentafel-atlas that detailed the families of the sovereigns of Europe and their wives and was published in 1898 to 1904. The following image is from p9 of de Sosa's book on the genealogy of Don Pedro Álvarez de Toledo, 2nd Marquis of Villafranca 1484–1553, outlining not only how the pedigree chart should be arranged with 5 generations to the page, but also demonstrating through the use of the letters of the alphabet how to extend the chart on to further generations.

This extremely easy and effective method of numbering your ancestors is to assign the person whose pedigree it is the number 1. Their father is No 2, their mother No 3, their paternal grandfather No 4, etc. In this system, a person's father's number is always twice the person's number and his or her mother's number is twice plus one. That means you can easily assign a number to any direct ancestor. If the person you are looking at is #7 then you know their father will be #14 and their mother #15.

Effectively the chart summarises you ancestry thus:

The pedigree chart format promoted on the Adelaide Proformat web site enables one to extend beyond the first sheet much the same way as de Sosa advocated. Using the features on each pedigree chart, they can be tiled. The example shows that the person at position 8 on sheet 1 becomes the person at position 1 on sheet 2. Of course using a computer family history program alleviates all these considerations.

We cannot stress too much the appropriate use of some standard conventions to assist readers of charts. Family historians need to be constantly aware that the work they produce is not necessarily going to be read by fellow devotees and they should design their work for general public consumption. Unfortunately the web is awash with material whose content is not readily clear to the amateur (or too many professionals for that matter). If you choose not to use the usual conventions that are not only widely accepted but are designed to be self explanatory, then you should provide your reader with guidelines.

Use the following conventions for completing charts to help avoid ambiguity:

Names of people
• Print clearly.
• Surnames in block upper case only. Given names in title case.
• Always use women’s maiden names and not their married name.
• If first given name is not the known name then underline the known name.
• If the person is known by a nickname, place it in brackets.
• If the person has used multiple surname forms indicate this as in:
   William John JOHNSON aka SMITH
   William John JOHNSON fmly JONES
• Print clearly.
• Print the date in the form,
dd mon yyyy thus…06 Jan 1944 and 17 May 1969. Never ever use the form 6/1/1944 as that can be read in two ways as 6 January or 1 June. If you always write the month in a three letter form, it is readily recognised by non-English speakers and no confusion will arise, even if you are tempted to use the American format viz, Jan 6 1944!

• Print the place, being as specific as possible using Chapman and/or ISO Codes thus…
   Ashford SA and Berwick-on-Tweed NBL

There is a comprehensive listing of ISO and Chapman codes on the Adelaide Proformat web site:
• Australia
 • British Crown Dependencies
 • British Overseas Territories
 • Cook Islands
 • England
 • German Confederation (1815-70)
 • German Democratic Republic (East Germany)
 • Germany (Empire)
 • Ireland
 • Italy
 • New Zealand
 • Niue
 • Scotland
 • Sweden
 • United States
 • Wales

• Use the address as at the time of the event.

Once you have completed your Pedigree Chart the gaps are indicating your research program. The nearer the gap is to person 1, the higher should be its priority! Gaps in your recent family history can be easily and cheaply plugged!

To accommodate the constraints of paper, Pedigree Charts can be tiled by using the embedded links. Computer generated charts will do this automatically if you print them out.
Two things to remember:
1. A pedigree chart is just that – it outlines a person’s ancestry.
2. A pedigree chart is basically a summary of a person’s genealogical ancestry and as such details this information only. It is not a family history.
Using Family Sheets
The Family Sheet is the other essential tool in family history research. It complements the pedigree chart in that it details the material summarised in a pedigree chart in more detail by developing the family members and their associated genealogy. In spite of this, family sheets are not family histories.

You should fill out a Family Sheet for every married couple in your pedigree.
Note: If you are a parent, you will put yourself on two Family Sheets—once as a child, along with your parents, brothers and sisters—and, once as a parent with your spouse and children. If you have married more than once, you will appear on that sheet too!
• Family Sheets allow you to provide more detail than a Pedigree Chart and have provision for the inclusion of your ancestors’ siblings.
• As you complete the sheets you will soon see where further research is required.
• Use the conventions listed previously.

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