Gather the "Low-Lying Fruit"
Family Descendancy Charts
challenge is about doing descendancy research—that is, researching
all of the descendants of a chosen ancestor, down the tree,
than doing ancestry research which follows direct lines up the
tree, and usually does not branch out to collateral lines (the
families of the brothers and sisters of our direct ancestors). Doing
descendancy research is picking the low-hanging fruit.
to keep a journal of your progress, your experiences, and your
feelings about completing this challenge.
are the tasks for you to accomplish for this challenge. (If you get a week behind in the schedule -- No Worries! -- just pick up where you left off and continue on!)
the first week, read the article by George D. Durrant entitled
“Branching Out on Your Family Tree,” found in the April 2007
magazine Click here to read online "Branching Out On Your Family Tree"
an ancestor for whom you would like to find all the descendants.
For this challenge we suggest you choose an ancestor born after
a family group record for that ancestor and their immediate family.
a family group record for each child of that ancestor, with that
child as a parent, along with their spouse and children. Continue
this exercise with each generation as you progress down the tree.
for gaps in your records. Are there gaps in families—too many
years between children? Perhaps some children are missing. Make
note of information you need to find or verify.
extended family members of what you are doing and solicit their help
in identifying the children of each generation of descendants and
who they married.
online to the www.familysearch.org
website and search for your ancestor and the names of his or her
children and grandchildren etc. Make copies and/or add new
information to your records. There are other genealogy websites
which may also contain information on your family, such as
The last is a membership fee-based website.
to the Family History Library and search records which may provide
the names and information on descendants. Several types of records
exist for any country and they are often indexed. Many records and
indexes may be available online. Types of records may include:
records—indexes and images are available on various websites,
which you can freely use at the library. These list all members of
a household with their ages, birth places, and most often
records—government records of births, marriages, and deaths.
Depending on the place and the time period, these records may exist
and will provide names, dates, places and relationships.
records—contain baptisms, marriages, burials, or membership
records which can give names and relationships as well as dates.
records—family members may be buried near one another.
Gravestones may give names, dates and relationships.
records—can name family members. Usually when someone writes a
will, he or she lists the names of their spouse, their children,
and possibly their children’s spouses, grandchildren, or nieces
obituaries—may name family members and give relationships.
records—may name family members and give relationships.
your records as you collect them. Keep paper copies in a folder and
record data on forms or use a genealogy software program, such as
the Personal Ancestral File (PAF), to organize your family data and
sources. This program can be downloaded for free from the
website or can be purchased on CD at the library. Our ward FH
Consultants are willing to give you one-on-one lessons on how to use
should make copies of the records you find and file them in a
folder. Add new information to your forms or genealogy program.
working on your tasks.
working on your tasks.
copies of your completed descendancy record and share them with your
you have completed the record of descendants for your ancestor, you
should check to see who needs to have temple ordinances completed for
them. You can do this on the www.familysearch.org
At our ward summer social, bring a copy of your descendancy record to the concluding ceremony to
show as evidence of finishing your challenge in order to receive your
award of completion.