Terminology for beginners 

Somewhere, sometime, someone decides it’s time to start researching their family history.

For the beginner it’s often a question of where to start and how to go about it.

The Genealogical Society of Queensland (GSQ) is delighted to help beginners. We offer practical advice based on nearly 40 years’s experience of how to find information and how to manage your family history project. When it comes to Queensland family history information, we can show you the shortcuts and the traps to avoid to uncover your family history in the State.

We are delighted to offer beginners a 4 generation pedigree chart and useful tips to progress your research project, which you can view and download.

What does this word “pedigree“ mean? Put simply, it is the people you are descended from, your 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great grandparents 16 great great grandparents etc.

What about “family tree”? It’s a bit like an upside down pedigree, being all the descendants of one particular ancestor. If you are one descendant, then all the others are parents, grandparents, cousins, uncles and so on.

What is a “transcription”? It is where someone (the transcriber) copies the information off some original source document, like a marriage certificate, into a standardised and legible format.

An “index” usually means extracting information from a collection of records, to enable the researcher to quickly locate an original or transcription. An index is usually of some event in a particular location, such as burial records in the State of Queensland, and the index data would be the names and dates.

Online Hints & Tips

There are many online sources available to help you on your family history research journey. Browse through the guides and check out the events to see what is available to start you on your family history journey.