This is a chart type I use when trying to "reconstruct" a family within a parish in a (usually vain) attempt to produce a family line. Or, more ususally, several strands of families sharing the same name, although the branches may converge as we go backwards in time. Sometimes the families are not very central to my interests, being not part of my direct ancestry. Quite often I am working downwards through the line of descent looking for cousins. Basically I go through the baptisms (from the register) putting the children in the right-hand column and their parents names on the left. Sometimes I put in the date, sometimes just the year. This can be almost impossible if several sets of parents have the same names in the same time-frame. Then I go through the marriages and fill in dates and wife's maiden name. Quite often there is no marriage corresponding to a couple, perhaps because they married in another parish, so that the only evidence for partnerships shown without a marriage date is the baptismal register. Or the marriage register is ambiguous. Marriages of females I put to the end. Then I look through the burial register and add burials alongside the baptism. The whole process is very tentative and especially the burials. Sometimes I also look at the 1841 & 1851 censuses and indicate any person who appears with their age, and also add names of any children shown on the census but not in the baptism register. Obviously I may go on to look at MIs or non-conformist records etc but the charts are very much a preliminary first step and not a final product. If I find out more about a family this is not the way in which I store the information. At home I use a Word table to get the layout. Working from the same register another person could come up with a different chart as a result of making different judgements or being more or less cautious.

I must stress again that the source data is often only the parish register. There was quite a bit of movement between parishes but as far as these charts are concerned the family will be lost if it moves away. Remember that any sheets I put on the website will have been made originally with my own family connection in mind and I may not have extracted all the names - names before a certain date may have been omitted. If I do look at the census it will normally only be for the same parish. Information that might be found in non-conformist records, monumental inscriptions, poor law papers and so on is absent. Sometimes it is easy to build castles in the air on a paucity of data. Then one comes across an extra fact that brings the whole edifice tumbling down.

I am putting these sheets, and later others, on my website because some may find the method helpful, or the information may be of some use to others researching the name.

Last update 14/03/2003