Sketch Relationships as You Go

The funeral home in my hometown recently had a death notice for someone whose last name suggested they might be a relative. They weren’t but two of their father’s siblings had married first cousins of my great-grandmother. I would have saved an inordinate amount of time if I had sketched out a chart to use while trying to determine the relationships.

Without a chart, I kept getting confused and went in circles–especially as several names were repeated through different generations of the family. Having the approximate years of birth along with an outline of the relationships would have helped immensely.

Failing to do so wasted more time than it saved.

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