26 November 2014

Tomorrow Celebrate National Family Health History day (aka Thanksgiving Day) -- Create a Health Pedigree Chart!

Though many of us think of tomorrow as Thanksgiving Day, it is also National Family Health History Day. As one gathers with family, this holiday (or any other family gathering) is always a good time to have this information available and current! 

Last year, creating a health pedigree has been making the rounds of many in the genealogical blogging community. This appears to have started when Nathan W Murphy (FamilySearch Blog) posted his Death Chart.  Then a post by Polly FitzGerald Kimmitt (MGC Sentinal) Create Your Health Pedigree Here! discusses a really neat and simple tool produced by the Massachusetts Genealogical County (MGC) called My Health Pedigree.

Though Upfront with NGS has discussed a similar idea previously, in Genealogy and Family Health History Go Hand-in-Hand! and Genealogy and Family Health -- Don't focus so much on the deceased that you don't pay close attention to any trends in how your ancestors died!, the nice thing about the newest effort is that it neatly piggy-backs on the pedigree charts we already make and the MGC created a tool that is so simple to use!

Additionally, it’s simple to use and it also allows you to include information on siblings (not just your direct lineage). There is great value to understanding the bigger picture about how family members have died.  I have also seen where individuals have added in the age at death.  I think there is great value to this additional information – not so much for accidental deaths and for those conditions which may be more hereditary in nature. And, obviously, you can extend the pedigree concept further back in time to identify any health trends which may become more noticeable with more data.

Did you something really strike you as you created your own health pedigree?

Editor’s Note: A version of this was originally published 4 November 2013

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