Downsizing Your Family Group Sheets

For many decades, family members have passed down handwritten pedigree charts and family group charts. Thanks to a free digital resource, we can downsize the family group sheets and reclaim space in our homes.


The number one question I receive each time I teach about Downsizing with Family History in Mind is, “What do I do with all of my handwritten family charts?”


You may discover these charts in family file folders, binders, or Books of Remembrance. However, many of these paper files are inaccurate, untrue, or available online. Why would anyone need to keep papers that fall into these categories?


FamilySearch to the Rescue?


FamilySearch.org has a collection of Family Group Sheets. These records are “forms submitted by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to the Genealogical Society of Utah.” They were created between the years 1942-1969, but that’s not the date of the earliest known ancestor in the recordset.


You’ll find a record arranged alphabetically by the surname of the head of the family.

Here’s an example of an archive group sheet you may find.

For those who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, you’ll enjoy seeing the earliest date for temple work for your ancestors in this collection.


If you find a family group sheet in this collection, you can link the image to your family tree profiles with a few button clicks. How cool is that?!?


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Remember that just because these old family group sheets record your ancestor’s name, you are not viewing the gospel truth. These records rarely, if ever, have supporting documents noted on the records. Consider them as hints.



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Digitized Records Free You To Downsize Your Family Group Sheets


The beauty of the collection is you NO LONGER need to keep such documents in your collection. Many of the records date back to the 1500s.


Compare the family group sheets you have to the digital version of the family tree.

If your family is online with sources for each person, then discard your group sheet.

If that pains you too much, then check to see if a copy of your family group sheet is online in the Family Group Records Collection, Archives Section.


In the end, going digital with your family group sheets can save you a tremendous amount of space you need to reclaim while downsizing.

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