top of page

Free Roots Digging Tools!

Kids gardening

Hoping this week finds you well and happy! I have found some more good freebies for #beginning #genealogists that I want to share with you, as well as some notes about keeping track of your sources of info.

The National Genealogical Society has some #free charts in fillable PDF format you can use to begin your basic #familytree #research before committing to a site membership. These are copyrighted, and are not to be sold. These are for your #personal #hobby use and #convenience only!

You can click on the images below to see them enlarged, and the link to download the form for free from the NGS is also included! Since these are "fillable" you can type in the information in the appropriate box, and save the PDF. They can then also be updated later! Not taking anything for granted with you, "Paternal" blanks for are the father's info, and "Maternal" blanks are for the mother's info.

I have spent many an hour in libraries looking through painfully collected hand-written pedigree charts, deciphering the handwriting back in the good old days before computers and the internet. I treasure these charts given to me by my genealogist ancestors. 💖

I recommend that you save your PDF's early and often! The first form is the "Four Generation Pedigree Chart."

NGS Pedigree Chart

Download PDF • 135KB

The "Standard Pedigree Chart" has room for more expansion to other pages. Click on the image to see the difference, and click on the download button to get it on your computer from the NGS directly.

NGS Pedigree Chart

Download PDF • 168KB

The third #fillable PDF is the "Family Group Sheet." This is used to list all of the #children of a couple, and there is room for #source notations as well. Always keep good notes about your sources if you are not subscribed to an online #familytree service.

The online services will keep track of your sources for you. Remember those book reports and term papers with #footnotes and #bibliographies? Or, shudder, the math test where you had to "show your work?" If you don't write down or have a copy of the source material, you won't be able to go back and double check or prove how you got this info. And when you come upon #conflicting info, and you will (!), it will be good to be able to cross-check.

NGS Family Group Sheet
Download PDF • 128KB

Your #source #notes should have vital information like:

  1. The name of the source (birth certificate, death certificate, obituary)

  2. If it's a book, the page number and publication date

  3. If it's a magazine, yearbook, or newspaper, the volume, catalog, or other identification number

  4. The location where you found the source (internet site, library, courthouse, etc.)

  5. The date you found the source

  6. What type of source it was like a headstone, family letters or heirlooms

  7. Who the source belongs to if it is not available to the public

Well, going back to my brick wall of the adopted great-great-grandfather. If you have any questions about these forms or your own research, distractions are welcome! You can send me an email at

Good luck and happy digging! If you enjoyed this post please Like and Share.

Thank you!

Leslie Ryan

More free charts and templates from the National Genealogy Society can be accessed at:


bottom of page