Genealogy Rules
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“Genealogy Rules,” Tambuli, July 1978, 29

Genealogy Rules

Genealogy Rules

In order to correctly complete your pedigree chart or your family group record form for the four-generation program, please observe the following guidelines.


1. Capitalize the complete surname, including all prefixes.

  • Wrong: Juan Gutierrez de la Cruz

  • Juan Gutierrez de la CRUZ

  • Right: Juan Gutierrez DE LA CRUZ

  • DE LA CRUZ, Juan Gutierrez

2. Write names in either of the following orders:

  • Juan Gutierrez DE LA CRUZ

  • DE LA CRUZ, Juan Gutierrez

3. Write full name, including all middle names. Do not use initials.

  • Wrong: Juan G. DE LA CRUZ

  • DE LA CRUZ, Juan G.

  • Right: Juan Gutierrez DE LA CRUZ

  • DE LA CRUZ, Juan Gutierrez

Note: If you do not yet know the middle name, just leave a space and write it in later.

4. Use only the full MAIDEN NAME of the wife and all female children.

5. Do not use nicknames or familiar names.


1. Write all dates in the following order: DAY, MONTH, YEAR

  • Example: 10 Jan 1935

2. Do not use numbers for months; always use letter abbreviations.

  • Wrong: 1/3/35

  • 1-3-35

  • Right: 3 Jan 1935

  • 1 Mar 1935















1. Write place names from smallest to largest:



2. Assume all chartered cities are STILL PART OF THEIR RESPECTIVE PROVINCES from which they were formed or in which they are physically located.

  • Wrong: Cebu City, Philippines

  • Quezon City, Philippines

  • Right: Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines

  • Quezon City, Rizal, Philippines

NOTE: The only exception to the above rule is MANILA, which is considered to be a PROVINCE, and districts of Manila as towns.

  • Wrong: Manila, Philippines

  • Metro Manila, Philippines

  • Right: Ton do, Manila, Philippines

  • Sampaloc, Manila, Philippines

3. Where there is not enough space to write out full place names, use standard postal abbreviations FOR PROVINCES AND COUNTRIES ONLY. Do not abbreviate the name of the municipality or the city.

  • Wrong: Q.C., Rizal, Philippines

  • Right: Quezon City, Rizal, Phils.

4. Use only official municipal names, not familiar neighborhood names.

  • Wrong: Sta. Mesa, Manila, Phils.

  • (Officially there is no such town!)

  • Right: Sampaloc, Manila, Phils.

  • (This is Sta. Mesa’s official name)

Miscellaneous (For Family Group Records)

1. Record the name and birth year of the husband and the name of the wife in the upper right-hand corner of the family group record for ease in alphabetizing and locating the record.

2. Record all sources of information in the lower left-hand corner, and if necessary, on the back of the sheet.

3. Valuable information or special cases not recorded elsewhere in the form should be stated under “necessary explanations.”

4. When an ancestor married more than once, make a separate family group record form for each marriage. Prefix the spouse’s name with the number of the marriage; for example, “(2) Benjamin Chua SANTOS,” indicates he was the second husband of his wife.

5. If there are more than 11 children in the family, use a second family group record form, and change the numbers of the children (at the left side of the form) to correspond with their actual number in the family.

6. Place an “X” in the sex column for the child that is your direct ancestor.

7. When a marriage ends in divorce or separation, indicate this after the marriage date.

  • Example: 12 Oct 1898 (div)

  • 12 Oct 1898 (sep)