What is Genealogy?

  • Genealogy is an ancient Greek word which means “Knowledge of Generations”. Genealogists document ancestors and descendants.

  • It is the study and documentation of people using historical records and research standards to maintain accuracy and consistency.

  • Living people and dead people are all included to tell the genealogy story for the people of today and for future generations.

  • Genealogy records include birth, marriage and death certificates; burial information; divorce records; addresses and land titles; church, cemetery, and school records; obituaries; newspaper stories; family information; and other related records.

Glossary of Genealogical Terms

Ahnentafel Report: An Ahnentafel report is a book-style report that begins with a specific person and moves back through the person's ancestors for a given number of generations. This type of report describes each person in a narrative format and gives each person a unique Ahnentafel number. The starting individual is given a number of 1. From then on, an individual's father is assigned a number that is two times the number of the individual. The mother is assigned a number that is twice the individual's, plus 1. If you are number one, your father is 2, your mother is 3, your father's father and mother are 4 and 5 and your mother's father and mother are 6 and 7 and so on. If a person is missing, their number is skipped. The child of any person always has a number that is one half the number of the father.


Descendants Chart: A Descendant Chart shows an individual and all his or her descendants. The starting individual is prefixed with the number 1. Each of his children are prefixed with the number 2 and each descendant in a subsequent generation is prefixed with a number that is one greater than the number used for the parent of the person.


Family Group Sheet: A Family Group Record shows information on one family, listing a father and mother and each of their children.


Timeline Report: A Timeline report shows the life span of a person and events that have been recorded during his life. Certain key other events are added such as major epidemics which caused a large loss of life. Additional individuals can also be added to the timeline.


Sources: When researching your family history, it is very important to keep track of where your information came from to prove or verify your data especially when you find conflicts in the information. In Icelandic Roots, some of the source citations are listed under ‘Sources’ and some are listed in the ‘Notes.’ When you copy information from this website, please cite the source, ‘’Icelandic Roots.’’  You can also cite where we found the information where applicable.


Places: A listing of all places where events are recorded for individuals on the website. A list of all people associated with any place can be reviewed by clicking on the miniature magnifying glass.


Dates & Anniversaries: Search by any date or portion of a date to find specific events that occurred on that date.


Numbering System: the ID number is assigned by the database. The first item in the number is actually a letter “I” for individual followed.