Family History Research Log

Family History Research Log

Family History Research LogIf you are anything like me, you have bits of paper and post-it notes lying around and stuck on everything. As a result, your never really sure where you are or what you have done in regards to any research contacted. Hence, the Family History Research Log.

The goal of this particular document is to track your research objectives so that you can start, walk away and then come back in days or even weeks and take off where you finished.

This log can save you a lot of confusion and help you to keep a track of your current research along with any planned future research you may be planning to undertake.

What is on the Form?

1. Ancestor

  • Ancestor Name
  • Log Number

2. Links to other documents

  • Individual Worksheet Number
  • Family Worksheet Number
  • Electoral Roll Form Number
  • Pedigree Chart Number

3. Log Details

  • Intended Research
  • Research Location
  • Source
  • Date
  • Research Outcome
  • Any Extra Research

With this information you can undertake multiple lines of research and not have to worry about loosing track of where you are.

Download the Family History and Genealogy Forms and Charts Pack Now!

Individual Detail Sheet

Individual Detail Sheet

Individual Detail Sheet

The Family History and Genealogy Individual Detail Sheet is a simple document that allows you the ability to collect a person’s vital information and the links that they have to other members of their immediate family.

The idea behind this form is to have an easy to follow, but brief snapshot of a persons life, all in one place, with information on and, links to, other areas of their lives.

Each sheet is individually numbered so that it can be referenced, from all other documents in this Family History Forms and Charts pack.

What is on the Form?

First Page:

1. Personal Details

  • Surname,
  • First and Middle Name,
  • Birth Date and Location,
  • Baptism Date and Location.

2. Image

  • A place to insert an image of the person if one is available

3. Parents Details

  • Father and Mothers name,
  • Father and Mothers Individual Sheet Number,
  • Marriage Date and Location.

4. Education Details

  • Room for the persons education history.

5. Multiple Spouse Details

  • Spouse name,
  • Marriage Date,
  • Individual Sheet Number.

6. Details of Children

  • Child’s Name,
  • Parent/Spouse Number,
  • Individual Sheet Number.

Second Page:

7. Occupation Details

  • Room for the persons occupational history.

8. Military Service Details

  • Room for the persons Military Service history.

9. Immigration Details

  • Room for the persons immigration history.

10. Personal Details

  • Death Date and Location,
  • Cause of Death,
  • Burial Date and Location.

11. Source Details

  • Room for the information sources.

12. Additional Information

  • Room for additional Information.

As I mentioned in the first paragraph, this document has the potential to be the gateway to all other documents in the pack that you are about to download. That process however, is beyond the scope of this post. First things first, we are going to go through each of the forms and charts in the pack so that we have a understanding of what each contains and their place in the overall scheme of things.

Download the Family History and Genealogy Forms and Charts Pack Now!

The Internet Explained Briefly

The Internet Explained

The Internet explained briefly and basically.

The Internet explainedNow that you have decided to share your research with the world we need to take a look at how we go about doing this.

The Internet

The Internet is made up of thousands, if not millions, of networks which are all interconnected in one way or another. Each of these networks can consist of servers, routers, hubs, modems and client computers.

Parts of the Internet

A server is a special computer that runs specific software that provide services such as hosting websites. There are other types of servers such as DNS, Mail, Database and FTP, but for the purposes of this eBook we will be only concentrating web hosting. Each hosting server can contain a multitude of different websites. To distinguish between these websites, we give each a name called a Domain Name.

Client Computers are the computers we use every day. These can include desktops, laptops, tablets and even mobile phones.

In between the two, you will find the Modems, Hubs and Routers, which give you the access, the connectivity to the Network Backbone and, the ability to move data to and from your computer to the website/server through the various networks that lay in between. A Network Backbone is the part of the network infrastructure that connects networks or the various pieces of a networks together, providing a path for the exchange of information between the different Local Area Networks (LAN) and Wide Area Networks(WAN).

How you fit in

So how do you fit into this picture? Well, to get your Family History online, you need to find a place on one of the millions of Web Servers out on the Internet and give it a name (The Domain Name). To update and maintain your website you need to be able to access this Web Server from your Client Computer (whether it be a desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile phone) via the modems, hubs and routers which lay between your Client Computer and the Web Server.

Obviously, the Internet is a lot more complicated than what has been portrayed here, but the intention was never to give a detailed explanation but, only to explain, in simple terms, the various parts and the relationship you will have with them.


The Internet explained

5 Reasons why you should I place your family tree online?

Why you should place your family tree online.

why you should place your family tree online

Why you should place your family tree online!

To those of us who research our family history it can be a wondrous and exciting world of discovery but, also at times, a world of frustration. We seem to be always looking for a new way to move backward in time and discover that next generation of people who make us what we are today. With the advent of the Internet, sharing your information online can increase these opportunities even further.

Listed below are the 5 main reasons why I believe you should place your family tree online.

1. To Share Information.

Placing your family tree online is a great way to connect with family members who may live all over the world. By putting your family tree online it allows other members of the family, not only to view your research and information, but to add and share their own.

This way you can possibly obtain information and photos that may have been missing, or which fill in a gap, in your branch of the family tree.

2. To Share Stories

Having a Family history website online will allow you to share those family stories that are currently known only by a few. This will allow these stories to be saved for future generations and be enjoyed by all members of the family, even those in distant branches.

3. To Create New Family Historians

By having your family history displayed online, you may spark the interest of other members of the family who had never seen their family tree before. If they catch the bug and start to research their own lines, you can then collaborate and share not only the research, but the excitment of new discoveries, with someone else who is as engrossed in the same family tree as yourself.

4.  To Find Long Lost Relatives.

Nowadays, the Internet is a valuable and irreplaceable resource to family historians all over the world. Almost everyone who is researching their family history uses it. By having your research online you increase the chances of distant relatives finding you or, if they have their research online, you finding them. This can lead to not only, bigger family reunions but, the chance of finding out and, possibly obtaining information on and photos of, branches that you never knew existed.

5. To Display your Hard Earned Research

Every family historian knows the feeling of the late night searches, of hitting the proverbial brick wall and the frustration of realising you just cannot go back any further. So when we do have success, the exhilaration of discovery is one we want to share with anyone who will listen, most often our poor family members who just nod and smile to be polite. By placing your family tree online you can share your discoveries with the world and display your family history research with pride for everyone to see.

Why you should place your family tree online.

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Make My Own Family Tree

Make My Own Family Tree – Where do I start?

Make My Own Family TreeSo, I have made the decision to research my family history and make my own family tree.


I am excited, can’t wait to get started and are raring to go!


Where do I start?

Who do I begin with?

What is the first thing I should do?

Where do I start looking?

How do I record my information?

These are just some of the questions I needed to answer before I could start my adventure, so it seems to be the logical place to begin our journey here:

Where do I start?

As with most questions a decision is required to find the answer.

Making the right decision for you, depends on having as much information as possible to make the decision with.

So how did we go about doing this?

We took stock of our situation and determined exactly what information was available to us.

Together with my mother, who is a family history buff herself, we located and reviewed everything we could lay our hands on. Not only the notes, certificates, photos, documents and hand drawn trees left by my grandfather, but anything else we could find for any of the other branches of our family tree.

Once we had all this information, we could develop a clearer picture of where we were placed and what it was we needed to do.

With three vital questions being answered:

  • What was done?
  • What is needed to be done to be considered complete? and,
  • What was yet to be started?

a decision could be made on where we wanted to start.

You may find that a lot of the research has already been done by a distant relative, or you may find that there has been nothing done by anyone else in the family and you need to start from scratch. You may even be somewhere in between.

Whatever the circumstance, everyone’s situation will be different. But you won’t know where you need to start until you complete this process.

Once we had a idea of what we had, we could decide what research path we should take and where we should start.

Some points to consider:

If no previous research has been carried out

  • Begin with yourself and move back in time

If previous research has been completed

  • Do you continue on with that branch of the family?
  • Has the research on that branch been exhausted?
  • Do you take the research as gospel or, do you confirm prior to moving on (This would normally be determined by whether or not there is documentation gathered/available to confirm the current research ie Birth, Death or  Marriage, Wills, Census, Tax, or Land records etc).
  • Have all the details that you are interested in been covered? Ie  If there is only names and Date of Birth/Death do you want to take the research further and find occupation, addresses, baptisms, newspaper articles (if they exist) etc
  • Are there holes in the family tree that you want to fill?

Some Research paths are:

  • Paternal – Following your Fathers line
  • Maternal – Following your Mothers line
  • Paternal and Maternal – Following both your Father’s and Mother’s line
  • Surname Based – Researching your ancestors with the chosen surname
  • Family Branch Based – Picking one branch of the family and researching all members of it.

We chose to research both the Paternal and Maternal lines, as this is what my grandfather had done previously.

Your choice, obviously, may be different and will depend on what information you have available to you, the particular branch of the family that peaks your interest or, even the reason you are wanting to undertake this research.

We also decided to start on a new branch which had not previously been researched.

Obviously, to outline all the research that was done (in all our family branches) would take far to long and involve way to much duplication of the research techniques and hurdles that the coming articles intend to highlight. So, instead, in the coming weeks, I will follow the research and paths we took to discover the members of two branches of our family.

The first, is the Lyons family, as this is research is mainly based in Australia and has links back to the First Fleet. The goal here being, to outline Australian Specific research techniques and hurdles.

The second, will be the Barton family, as this research is mainly based in the UK, with the goal being to outline UK Specific research techniques and hurdles as seen from the Australian researcher’s perspective.

If you wish to view our full Family Tree please visit our Family History Website

As for the other questions raised here they will be answered in the coming articles.

So,  lets begin …


Make Your Own Family Tree – Deciding what to do…

Please let Me know what your thoughts

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My Journey: Placing Family History Online

My Journey: To Place My Family History Online

The Beginning…

To Place My Family History OnlineWhen I first decided to delve into the world of Family History and place my Family History Online, I was extremely lucky as, my grandfather (on my mothers side) was a avid family historian. Over the years, he had already completed a large amount of research and gathered together an enormous amount of information in the form of notes, certificates, photos, documents and hand drawn trees.

Unfortunately, he had passed on about ten years earlier so I could not ask him the questions I would have loved to ask. Like other Family Historian’s at the time, he had conducted his research before the advent of the Internet and mega-sites such as Ancestry and Find My Past, which I know he would have loved, especially with the fact that he could get in minutes what had taken him days, weeks or months to obtain previously.

But, now it was my turn!

Ok, so what now?

I am sure, just like me, most Family Historians felt overwhelmed, dubious and possibly confused at this point, just the same way as I did.

So, what was I to do next? Where was I to start? Where can I go to undertake the research? How was I going to record my research? Was there anyone else in the family who can help? Was I going to display the research? If I was, then how was I going to display the research?

All these questions and more were running through my mind, along with the feeling that my head was just about to explode. I was actually starting to think I had bitten of more than I can chew but, like most things in life, things started to fall in place and solving one question quite often led to the solution of the next. However, as good as that was when it occured, it was not always the case. Sometimes more questions were raised than answered but, as I now know, this is just all part the wonder of being a family historian.

My intention, in writing this series of posts is to go through the process I personally used to get around these hurdles and brick-walls, as well as to document, step by step, the research, documentation and storage methods I have found to be effective. I also wanted to show (and explain) the method I used to display my family history online to the world.

By no means am I claiming the methods outlined here are the only way of doing things, as I am sure other Family Historians will attest to, there are many other approaches and many other ways of doing the same thing. These methods just work for me and hopefully they will work for you too.

However, I am always open to improving myself and making my life a little easier, so please use the comment section, which will be available at the bottom of each page, to suggest the other methods and ways that you use. Or, simply leave a comment on what your thoughts are on the topic.

I would love to hear from you!

Now, lets get started!

My Journey: To Place My Family History Online

Install Filezilla onto your Hard Drive

1. Once you are ready to install FileZilla Double Click the Filezilla program:


2. Click Next



3. Click Next



4. Click Next if you are happy with the installation location or, if you wish change it click browse and choose your new location



5. Click the Install button to start the installation process





6. Click Next




7. Click Finish.


You have now installed Filezilla onto your computer

Editing The HTML/CSS Templates


To edit the HTML/CSS Template you just downloaded you need to use a HTML editor.

For Windows I would recommend Notepad++ which you can download from here. If you use a mac I would recommend using Sublime text which you can download here.

Or, of course, you can use any editor that you prefer. Just do not use Microsoft Word as it can cause some problems.

Ok, once you have downloaded and installed your preferred editor open the file you wish to make changes to in it.



Here I have chosen to edit the homepage (index.php) of the thorn template.

Change the Title of the Page.

To change the title of the page, look for the line that contains: <?php $pagename =”Homepage”; ?> (Usually the first line).

Change the word Homepage to whatever you want the name of the page to be.

For this example I will change it to:

<?php $pagename =”Thorn Family History”; ?>


Please Note: Make sure you save the file after making any changes.

If you upload to your server and then refresh the browser (or open it up in a browser if it wasn’t previously open) you should see the browser title bar change from Homepage to whatever you renamed the page to. In the case of this example it changes to Thorn Family History .



Change the Text in the template.

To change the text which is currently in the template, scroll down until you see the text you wish to change


Replace the text with what you want.



Save the file and upload to your server. Once you refresh it you should see the changes:


Of course, you can add as much text or as little text as you like.

Changing the Images

To change the image, copy the new one into the images directory of the the template folder, making sure you know what the name of the file is.

Then find the line that looks like: <img src=”images/family-history-website-templates-mdunn.jpg”> and change the name of the image to the name of the image you just copied to the images folder in the previous step.


Save the file and upload to your server. Once you refresh it you should see the changes:

change-image-resultPlease Note: This process is the same for one image, or for multiple images.


Add Images to the Templates

Add Images and Pictures To the Templates

When you use these templates you may wish to add a image somewhere on the page.

To do this copy the following line and place it in the location you would wish it to appear on your page. Make sure you also copy the image or picture to the images directory of the template

Then change the src and the class-name to match your requirements:

<img src=”add the path to your image here” class=”add appropriate class-name here”>

for example:

<img src=”images/mypicture.jpg” class=”profile-pic”>

Styling and positioning the image.

To add extra css to the template you can use the custom-stylesheet.css file found in the css folder in the template directory..


Once open in your favorite text editor add the following:

To position left:

img.class-name {

float:   left;


To position right:

img.class-name {

float:  right;


To position center:

img.class-name {

display: block;
margin: 0 auto;



Once you have positioned your image you will most likely want to set the images size.

To do so you can use the width and height css properties.

You can set these properties in pixels (px) and percentage (%)

For example:

img.class-name {

float:   left;
width:  100px
height: 150px



For example:

img.class-name {

float:   left;
width:  75%;
height: 75%;


A good way to keep the proportion correct is t0 use the value auto with the the height property.

For example:

img.class-name {

float:   left;
width:  75%;
height: auto;


This will work whether you use the pixels or the percentage format

Please note: Ensure you change class-name to match the class-name you used in the template and that you save the custom-stylesheet.css file after every change.


Need further Assistance? Email me!

Speak with your Elderly Relatives

So how and where do I start my research?

It can almost seem like an impossible task when you first begin. However, nowadays, there is a plethora of sites and blogs that give advice in this area.

And you have arrived at one more!

Start by speaking to all the elderly relatives you can. These may be your parents, grand parents, aunts and uncles. You will probably find that they have an amazing amount of information that can get you on your way and most of the time they will be more than happy to part with it.

Here is a List of Interview Questions you may wish to use to get you started.

The more information your elderly relatives can provide for you, the better your starting point will be.

It is also advisable to do these interviews sooner rather than later as, no one knows just how much time we have on this earth and, once your relatives pass on, all the information they have is lost forever.