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"Who has fully realised that history is not contained in thick books but lives in our very blood?"
Carl Jung (1875 - 1961)


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Ancestral File. A computer file containing names and other vital information (such as date and place of birth, marriage, or death) of millions of individuals who have lived throughout the world. Names are organized into family groups and pedigrees. To allow for coordination of research, the file also lists names and addresses of those who contributed to the file. Ancestral File is available on compact disc and on the Internet.
A pedigree chart shows one's pedigree. A Pedigree is an identification of the direct ancestors of one person. The person who starts the pedigree can be yourself. To include yourself and your spouse on the same pedigree, make the first person one of your children. ID numbers can be used for each ancestor. The first person on the first chart should be number 1. Note that a man's ID number is always double the ID number of his child. With the man always in the upper position, all males will have an even number and females an odd number. A wife's number is always one higher than that of her husband. (Click on the image for a larger version of the chart.)
Ahnentafel is actually a German word that literally translates as "ancestor table". It is a list of all known ancestors of an individual and includes the full name of each ancestor as well as dates and places of birth, marriage and death whenever possible. It also has a strict numbering scheme. Click here for an example.
A Tiny Tafel makes no attempt to include the details that are included in an ahnentafel as shown above. All data fields are fixed length for easy parsing by software with the obvious exceptions of the surnames and optional places. A Tiny Tafel only lists surnames of interest (with Soundex) plus the locations and dates of the beginning and end of that surname. Tiny Tafels make no provision of first names, births, marriages, deaths or multiple locations. Click here for an example.
Family Group sheets are often used in Genealogy to combine individuals into groups of Families. On the sheet you have the Father's Name and information, Mother's Name and information, and information for each of their children. Click here to see a typical family group sheet.
The International Genealogical Index is a file that lists several hundred million names of deceased persons from throughout the world. It also lists some vital information, such as a birth or marriage date and place. Many names in the index come from vital records from the early 1500s to 1885. Others have been submitted by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The International Genealogical Index is available on the Internet, on compact disc, and on microfiche. (Click on the image for a larger version of the chart.)

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