Every family that we research has a different puzzle to be solved. Who were the parents? Have I found all of the siblings? Was the person who witnessed that deed related in some way?

Because every family is different, doesn’t it make sense that customizing each Family Group Sheet would be helpful? Sometimes, I’d like to have information for more than just a couple and their children. I wasn’t able to make the changes that I wanted to with the current format of the Family Group Sheet that I had originally created. To help with this, I’ve created an updated version of the half-sheet FGS and it is now available in the “Downloads” tab at the top of the screen. I’m deleting the old version as this new version looks exactly the same, but has more flexibility than the original version did.

I have 3 specific families that I have been working on recently that I am using the “Amped-Up” FGS to help me with. The video will show you what I did to keep track of all of the pieces for these puzzles.

For the first family, both the husband and his wife were born in Europe and met after arriving in the US. I wanted to add cells to their Family Group Sheet to keep track of any information I had found related to their immigration. When I attempted to add those cells to the group sheet, the formatting was not behaving the way that I wanted. With the updated FGS, I am able to add as many cells as I’d like to the form.

The second family puzzle was a little more detailed. I have been trying to find all of the children of James Conn Sr, who was born in 1751. He did not leave a will, but I know that the land was passed on to his children based on various deeds that I have found after James’ death. Some children indicated that they were selling their 1/11th share of the land. Some grandchildren indicated that land they were selling had been passed on to them from their parents and James Conn’s original patent was mentioned in the deed. I’m attempting to find all of James’ children to see if anything in their records would tell me the name of James’ wife. In order to prove who the children were, I wanted to search for any deed records for James’ children, his grandchildren and his great-grandchildren. I did not want to create group sheets for every great-grandchild, but I wanted a way to keep the lists of names managable. I have found a way to do that using my updated FGS.

For the third family, I am attempting to solve the mystery of a previously unknown sister from Kansas. I wanted a way to keep the information for 3 generations of the family all on one FGS so that I would know where to be looking for records and in what time period.

Remember, the updated half-sheet FGS is available in the “Downloads” tab at the top of the blog. That is the base for the techniques that I’ll be sharing in today’s video tutorial. Maybe this video will help you think of some ways to customize your own group sheet. If it does, I’d love to hear from you!