African American Resource Center
New Orleans Public Library

African American Genealogical Research in New Orleans
Getting Started: Forms

The first step in tracing your family tree is to fill in a family tree chart (Attachment 1). Fill in the chart starting with yourself (the present), and then your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. (working back into the past). Record your ancestors’ given names, surnames and the maiden names of female ancestors. Include dates and places of birth, marriage, and death for each person listed. Complete as much of the chart as you can. This chart is very important because it will serve as your road map and guide to further research. Your next steps will be to locate records that fill in the missing information on the chart or that will document each family member.

Another form to use is a family group sheet (Attachment 2). A family group sheet maps out the relationship for one immediate family. This form will be helpful as you find brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins of your parents and grandparents. Remember you are conducting research on your family, which evolved from several families. To complete the family group sheet, start with yourself as a child, then your parents, then siblings. Do more family group sheets where your parents are listed as children in their immediate families. If there was more than one parental marriage, fill out a separate family group sheet for each marriage and the children born from each marriage. If another ancestor was married more than once, complete a separate family group sheet for each marriage or union.


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