Hello again, I am Shannon, Sheena’s sister. Sheena asked me to post my family history census and family group sheets, so that’s what I’m sharing today.

More than 10 years ago, I had several promptings that I needed to begin researching my family history. Our mother’s parents joined the church when our mother was young and our father joined the church shortly before he and our mother were married. As you can imagine there is a lot of work that needs to be done. After speaking with our grandmother, who has been researching her family line for years, I went to work researching my grandfather’s line. Over the past decade I have learned a lot and have been blessed to find and complete the work for hundreds of my ancestors.

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Family History is a Blessing

I am so grateful for the promptings that I received and that I heeded those promptings. Family history work can seem overwhelming​ and frustrating (at times) but it is also very fulfilling. I know that my family and I have been blessed as I have worked on my family history. Our ancestors want us to succeed in this life and they are near us to help us on our earthly journey.

When I first began my research, I searched for research documents online. For several months I tried different forms to help me keep track of the information I was finding. I tried different family group sheets but none had all the elements that I needed. Eventually I created my own family history census and family group sheets, which I have used for years now. My census and family group sheets have been so helpful to me that I decided to share them. I don’t mind if you share these with other researchers but please give credit to me by keeping the information at the very bottom of the document that leads them here.

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Family Group Sheet

My Family Group Sheets are a wonderful way to record vital information about each family member that you are researching. I use my Family Group Sheets to organize information such as birth, death, burial, marriage, spouse, parents, etc. You can download my Family Group Sheet here. 

 One of the main reasons that I created my Family Group Sheet is to record sources. Most Family Group Sheets that I found did not have a place to record the sources for the information I was finding. Sources are the most important part of family history. Whenever you find information you must have a reliable source for that information. Information found online or from stories that are passed down by word of mouth or through books are a great start but they need to be backed up or verified by another reliable source, such as censuses, church records, birth or death records, etc. When I began my search, I started with information that had been passed down, but I have since searched for additional records to verify or disprove what I started with. 

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Tips for filling out my Family Group Sheet

The first section of my Family Group Sheet is for the husband and father of the family.

1) Husband’s name

2) Husband’s parents: I prefer to write the father’s given and last name and the mother’s given and maiden name. If I don’t know the mother’s maiden name, I will write her given name followed by a question mark. I separate the father’s and mother’s name with a ‘/’.

3) Birth, Christening, Death and Burial Dates: These fields are for the father’s birth, christening, death and burial dates.

4) Locations/places: I have found that it is easier to write the country, followed by the state, then the county and finally the city. I do this because I usually find the state that a person was born or died in first, but I don’t find the city or county until later. I can write the state first and then easily add the county and city later without having to erase anything.

5) Sources: These fields are to record the sources you find. I continue to add sources as I find them. You can never have too many sources!

6) Marriage: The three fields on this row (or line) are for the marriage information for the husband and his wife. If a man is married to two women, I fill out a page for each marriage. The first page will show the husband and his first wife and any children. The second page will show the husband again, along with his second wife and their children.

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The second section of my Family Group Sheet is for the wife and mother of the family.

1) Wife’s name

2) Wife’s parents

The Birth, Christening, Death and Burial; Location; and Sources sections are the same as the husband’s.

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The remaining sections of my Family Group Sheet are for the children.

   1) Each child section is numbered ‘Child 1’, ‘Child 2, and so on. The first page contains the husband and wife section and sections for ‘Child 1’ through ‘Child 4’. The second page contains sections for Child 5 through Child 10. There is a third page for ‘Child 11’ through ‘Child 16’. I have only used this page once or twice. Most often I just use pages 1 and 2 printed double sided.

3) Married: This field is for you to record who this child married.

The Birth, Christening, Death and Burial; Location; and Sources sections are the same as the husband’s.

You probably noticed that my Family Group Sheet does not have a specific place to record temples ordinances. My reason for not including them is that FamilySearch.org does a great job of tracking ordinances. But feel free to write the temple ordinances in the right margin or beside each ancestor’s name.

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Census Checklist

Census Checklists are a great way to track a family across several decades or their entire life. They are almost like mini timelines. You can see many things just by glancing at a census checklist. Every family history researcher should have a good Census Checklist!

I found a great census checklist here which I used for several years. I simply crossed through the census dates and wrote the census dates that I was using above the crossed off ones. Eventually I got tired of crossing through the dates so I created a blank version of my own. You can download my Census Checklist here.

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Tips for filling out my Family Group Sheet

1) Census Records: Fill in each census that you find for your ancestors. There is a U.S. census taken every 10 years but many states also conducted censuses. I like to write the year and which census. For example, 1840 US for the ‘U.S. 1840’ Census or ‘1885 NJ’ for New Jersey’s 1885 Census.

2) Names: Write the names of those on the censuses in the name fields.

Under the censuses, you can see that some columns have Xs and others have numbers. Some census records recorded ages but others do not. If a census recorded ages, I try to write my ancestors age at the time the census was taken. If they do not, I simply write an X. A few censuses recorded birth month and year. I write this information and their age, when possible (see the 1900 US Census column).

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Family History Census and Family Group Sheets

I try to have a Census Checklist and a Family Group Sheet for each family group. For example, I have a Family Group Sheet and a census checklist for my great-great grandparents and for each of their children who married. I hope that you find my Family History Census and Family Group Sheets useful and that they help you as you research your ancestors. Now for the downloads!

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Click here to download my Family Group Sheet

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Click here to download my Census Checklist

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We hope you find these Family History printables useful. We’d love to hear if you use them, so leave a comment letting us know. Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a wonderful day.

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