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Family history forms – a timeline for each name

Use these family history forms to create biographical outlines of ancestors

Good family history forms should help you to delve beyond the birth, marriage and death dates of each of your ancestors. You can get a real feel for their time on earth by recording their personal milestones in chronological order on a biographical outline form.

These family history forms are my favourite way of recording genealogical details because I can see the life of one of my forebears unfold with each new snippet of information added. In effect, they are a timeline for each name on my family tree.

Although I normally use pen or ballpoint when completing genealogy forms, I prefer pencil when I'm filling in a biographical outline.

The reason is that until I know all the documented events experienced by one of my ancestors, I can't usually be sure of the order in which they occurred.

So, I use pencil (and plenty of eraser!) and rearrange the facts into the correct order as I establish them. 

Crucially, there is space on the right hand side of the form in which to note the source of each new piece of information.

This is so important, because if you want to check your notes at a later date, or review them in light of some additional data, you need to know where the original information about your ancestor's life originated.

When I am satisfied I have more or less exhausted all available genealogy and other sources and am unlikely to discover more about a particular individual, I grab myself a fresh form and complete it in ink.

Very gratifying!