Standard Of Writing Genealogical Information
by Jeannette Piecznski

The standard format to writing information is a must. Errors in format can cause major headaches later.


  • Surnames always in all capital letters.
  • Use maiden names of females. If a female has been previously married, use her maiden name and her married name.
  • Write names by using first then last names.
  • Nicknames follow the given name in quotation marks.
  • Use slashes between variations is spelling. Use the earlier spelling to the left and later to the right.


  • Use the format of day month year. No punctuation.


  • Record the information in this order: town, county, state, country.
  • Use parentheses or comas.

Errors and Other Methods

  • When an error was located, place brackets around the word sic. [sic] This means that you have copied it as it was written.
  • Leave blanks for words you cannot read. If you know what is missing or not ledgible,, place brackets around those areas. For example: G_or_e or G[e]or[g]e.
  • Information copied word for word, use quotation marks.
  • When you select to copy portions of the information, you can use ellipsis points (...) to indicate omitted information. Three ellipsis points indicate omission of information in a quoted sentence. Four ellipsis points indicate the omission of the last part of a sentence or one or more sentences.

    I highly recommend the book titled: Managing A Genealogical Project, by William Dollarhide.

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