What will be known about you in a hundred years? What will be known about your parents, your brother Ralph, your Great Aunt Tillie? The answer depends on you. Sure, Grandma Green might have already done the family genealogy, or so you’ve heard, but who has her records? How will your children get them?
What about the other side of your family?
You are an important person—and your records begin with you. But how do you begin? A brief review of the five basic forms used in formalizing and submitting family records will help.
Personal Record Form
The Personal Record form tells about you—when and where you were born; who your parents are; when and where you were blessed, baptized, confirmed, ordained to the priesthood, received your patriarchal blessing, and so on. Then, on the righthand side of the form, you tell about the things that you feel are important to you—things you want to remember through the years—the way you felt when you were baptized, the first time you really had an answer to your prayers as a spiritual experience in your life, the thoughts behind your decision to take a particular road in life.
The Personal Record form is for your own Book of Remembrance but can be part of the family Book of Remembrance until you have your own book.
On this form you list only your progenitors or direct ancestors beginning with you and including your parents, and so on.
Where to place the fathers and where to place the mothers is easy if you remember that after name number one (which is your name), the even numbers (2,4,6) are fathers and the uneven numbers (3,5,7) are mothers.
Names may be written on your pedigree chart in whatever manner you choose. You may wish to record them in the order spoken, with the surname in all capital letters, such as John Bee SAINT.
Dates on genealogical records should be written with the day, the month, and the year, in that order, such as 5 Feb 1972 (not 5–2–72). Be sure to use all four digits in recording the century so you will know if it means 1875, 1775, or 1975.
In writing places, record the city, county, and state (or their equivalents), such as Provo, Utah, Utah. It is not necessary to write the word county, and the name of the county is not usually abbreviated.
Your pedigree chart is your own personal guide or road map and is kept in your Book of Remembrance.
The Family Group Record Form
The Family Group Record form is used to record a family unit—the father, the mother, and all of their children.
Your Book of Remembrance should eventually contain a Family Group Record form for each couple appearing on your pedigree charts. The Family Group Record form tells about each member of the family—his name, dates, places, relationships, and where the information came from.
The Family Group Record form is also used to submit records to the Genealogical Society for filing as a part of the Four Generation program.
In cases where the information for temple ordinances is taken from census or probate records, or where the forms have sealings involving living persons and deceased persons, the Family Group Record form is used for submitting names for temple ordinances.
Most of the temple ordinances of baptism, endowment, and sealing of the child to his parents by proxy for the dead is done from the Entry Form.
This form is used to extract the information found in a birth record (if a birth record exists for the individual), and only the information contained in the one record source is placed on the Entry Form; it is recorded in exactly the same way it is found in the birth record (names are spelled the same).
The information pertaining to three persons (who can be completely unrelated to each other) can appear on one form.
In the cases of direct ancestors and children of direct ancestors whom you cannot sufficiently identify from a single source, two or more sources (multiple sources) may be used. The information, including all sources used and your relationship to the deceased individual, is placed on the Entry Form.
This form is submitted to the high priests group leader in the ward who gives them to ward records examiners who initial them; then the person submitting the form submits it to the Genealogical Society, 107 South Main Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111.
Marriage Entry Form
The form from which marriages are performed by proxy for the dead—the wife sealed to her husband in eternal marriage—is the Marriage Entry form. (Baptisms and endowments for these persons are done from an Entry Form.)
Information is extracted from the simple record of marriage containing the names of the bride and groom, the date and place of marriage (with nothing added, interpreted, or altered), and is placed in the proper spaces on the form.
“Upon intelligent, constant genealogical research, vicarious temple work is wholly dependent.” (David O. McKay, Priesthood Genealogy Handbook, 1968, p. 3.)
For more information see:
Family Exaltation and You, chapters 4 and 10.
“Enrichment Aids for Genealogy,” available in your meetinghouse library or upon request from the General Church Distribution Center
A Continuing Priesthood Program for Family Exaltation. pp. 6–11.
“Questions and Answers on the Name Tabulation Program,” Ensign, November 1971.
Records Submission Manual, 3rd edition.