My Family History Record Book is available on Amazon. This simple record book is designed to keep a record of your family history research progress, and to highlight any gaps. It is not intended to be a complete family history record. Think of it as an index, or table of contents, to summarise your existing knowledge and guide you as you undertake further research. It is ideal to give to family members, to use as a recording tool for family history clubs, or to take on field trips.

The book is an excellent way to collate the information in your paper or online records. It complements, but does not replace, the use of a specialist genealogy website such as Ancestry, Find My Past, My Heritage or Family Search, or genealogy software on your computer such as Family Historian, Heredis, Family Tree Maker, Legacy Family Tree, or Roots Magic.

The book concentrates on recording your 62 direct ancestors, in other words a six generation pedigree, so you can build a picture of your genetic heritage – who you are and where you came from. Traditionally pedigrees only contain your bloodline (not step parents, adopted parents, or same sex parents), so do be sure to make it very clear in the Family Notes section if you have used a different structure. The double page spreads are arranged as family groups. These include yourself and your 62 direct ancestors in detail, with space to show all their children in summary (your siblings, aunts and uncles, great aunts and uncles, etc.).

Each person has been given an ahnentafel number. This numbering system is very commonly used in genealogy, and is a great way to file, tag, or order your photographs and records. You (or your research subject) are the root person – number 1. Your parents are numbers 2 and 3, and your grandparents are numbers 4, 5, 6, and 7, etc.. There is a key to ahnentafel numbering at the beginning of the book to help you. We recommend that you use pencil when you start filling in the record book. You can ink over your findings when you have documentary proof for them.

At the foot of each page there are check boxes which you can tick when you have obtained and filed the key evidence:

  • A birth certificate (after 1837 in the UK)
  • A baptism or naming record
  • A marriage certificate or parish marriage record
  • A death certificate (after 1837 in the UK)
  • A burial record.

Of course, you should also aim to collect other documentary proofs, such as census returns.

If you’d like to create a beautiful family tree for your wall, or to give one as a gift, you can use this book to record the key information needed by the artist you have commissioned, or required for the digital service you use. The lines you’d need to research and record to create a family tree like the one on the cover of this book are name, birth date, birth place, death date, death place, and occupation.

Family History Record Book