Organize your information

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Many Tongan families keep a genealogical relationship chart (hohoko) where they write the names of their ancestors, descendants, and other relatives. Salote Wolfgramm wrote hers on sail cloth, while Kakolosi Tui`one recorded his on computer, using an architectural program.

Sail cloth to computer.png

In the picture above, Tisina Wolfgramm Gerber and her daughters are shown with her mother, Salote. They are copying their information from their sailcloth hohoko to the PAF computer program.

  • We should find out how people of our island group traditionally keep track of their genealogy.
  • We should use the charts we find to add any new information we have gathered onto our own family charts.
  • We should keep adding information to our charts when someone is born, married, or dies.
  • We can use these charts to refer to as we type our information into a computer.

For more ideas of organizing your information, see the articles Organize your papers and Track your research.

The importance of getting our information into a computer[edit | edit source]

Temple tapa.png

You can use the computers without charge at a Family History Center and in some ward meetinghouses worldwide. If you need help in using a computer, you can ask a staff member to help you.

Because the information on hohoko charts is already organized into families and generations, we can refer to them as a guide as we enter the information into the computer. If our information is not already organized into families and linked according to generations, we can write it on paper Oral Genealogy Lineage charts, Pedigree charts and Family Group Records.

Why should I use paper forms for family history and how can I get them?[edit | edit source]

These forms help us put the names, relationships, dates, places, and other information into an organized format. We can use these forms as a working copy of our information, adding to it as we go along.

Oral Genealogy Lineage Chart[edit | edit source]

An Oral Genealogy Lineage Chart may be best to use if we customarily record our lineage by starting with an ancestor and naming the generations until we come down to ourselves. An example follows.

  • Use a separate chart for each lineage, and show all children from each marriage at each generational level.
  • Write all the names each person was known by.
  • Write dates or an approximate year, if known, in the “Necessary Explanations” space.
  • The Informant is the person who provided the information on the form (the person we are
  • The Interviewer is the person filling out the form, (usually yourself). It may be the same as the informant, if we are filling out the chart showing our own ancestors.
  • The Page space is where we put the total number of pages in this lineage and the number of this particular page. For example, if there were 8 pages, the first page would be “1 of 8.”
  • Generation number: Begin numbering the generations with the ancestor furthest back as 1. For example, the first ancestor is number 1. His son is number 2. His grandson is number 3, his great grandson is number 4, and so on.
  • Sex: Write M for male or F for female.
  • The Ancestor is the first person you are starting with.
  • List every spouse the ancestor was married to. Indent for each spouse, and write them in the order of marriage, even if divorced. (Write “divorced” in “Necessary Explanations.”) If the spouse is not known, leave the space blank.
  • List all of the children from each marriage in order of birth, if known. All children will be considered natural children unless you write “Adopted” in the “Necessary Explanations” column.
  • Show the sex of the person in the column to the left.
  • Check the Check if Living box, if the person is living. Put any dates you know, such as the birth date, in the Necessary Explanations column.
  • Necessary Explanations: Record as much information as you have for each person in this column, such as whether living, age at the time of death, birth date, place of birth, place of family residence, ancestral village, chiefly titles, whether adopted, divorced, etc.
    Oral pedigree1.png
Pedigree Chart[edit | edit source]

A Pedigree Chart records our parents, their parents, and their parents, going as many generations back as possible. It shows at a glance the information we have and what we still need to look for. We can use this chart as a map in organizing our family records. The example below is a Pedigree chart of Nani Olsen Kelly of Hawaii.

Nani pedigree.png
Family Group Record[edit | edit source]

On a Family Group Record we can write information about complete families, including children. In the example below, Nani Olsen Kelly of Hawaii has 2 sheets on which her great grandfather appears. On the top sheet, he is the son of Pekelo Papa. On the bottom one, he appears as the husband, Pekelo Liliokalani Papa.

-nani fgr-.jpg
Nani fgr2.jpg

For each set of parents on our pedigree chart, we should make a Family Group Record.