Since my last very popular “Tuesday Tips” I have been raking my mind for another great and practical idea which I put into practice when pursuing my Family History research. I do my research very instinctually and I often do not analyse my habits as much as I probably should. Now is my chance!
One thing I do tend to do–with my direct line–is print traditional pedigree charts and fan charts which help me to “chart my progress”. Though I have an online tree and family tree software once again I must admit it is far more tangible on paper. It is easier for me to see the bigger picture, the gaps, the brick walls, how far I have progressed back through time. I print these charts with blanks to fill in by hand as research progresses and when I feel ready I print new ones.
I am a fan of the latest fan charts! Such a broad view in one chart makes it very simple to see where your research has come to a stand still. I have currently been using the reports from my Family Tree Maker software, the pedigree chart blanks from ancestry.com, and lately the fan chart from Family Search–a lovely colour coded chart which might also make a delightful gift or framed piece!
I print a pedigree chart for each Great-Grandparent’s direct line. Some are rather short, others lengthy. I label with tabs listing family name and store them in duotangs–one for my side of the family and the other for my husband’s. Perhaps this paper trail seems silly and unnecessary but for me it directs my research in a very focused way and gives me a sense of accomplishment.