How To Make A Family Tree – All You Know To Get Started
Are you wondering how to make a family tree and from where to get started? You have come to the right article. There are a lot of things to understand before proceeding with the procedure to make a family tree like what exactly is a family tree, why do we make one, and how to get started to make yours. Let’s get started with best practices.
If you are interested in understanding and getting more detailed information about your ancestry related to the genetic flow for some purpose, you need to understand the basics and create a family tree for yourself.
What Is A Family Tree?
You can understand the family tree as the most common way or form of documenting your ancestry visually. Mostly the charts of a family tree created include boxes designated to each person or individual in your family. These boxes are connected to one another using dots or lines which indicated the relationship between both the individuals or group of individuals present in the family.
Not only names of individuals in the family, in addition to that the family trees also contain all the information including names, birthplace, birthdates, current date, and other related information. This information highly depends on the complexity of your constructed diagram and the purpose for which your need to build a family tree.
Typically, the generations mentioned in a family tree diagram are present in a single level and organized in one line which makes it easy for us to determine because the ancestors are placed above the younger generation and so on by physically glancing at the tree.
The horizontal lines created between boxes having female and male indicates their marriage. A Bracket coming out from a couple given in lines drawn above to lower box sets designate the children born from the above two boxes as parents. The most common way to draw is generally vertical mode but some trees are created and diagramed proceeding in horizontal lines as well.
You can also call a family tree to be a representation of one’s lineage that helps to trace relationships to their common ancestors. A family tree genealogy chart helps people record the places, events, and individuals they are associated with genetically and share their side of family history with anyone. Other than that the reasons for creating family tree charts are mentioned below.
Why Do We Create A Family Tree?
If you have come across people sharing their stories related to ancestors and their lineage, you might have felt like knowing your side of the family too. If you are even a little bit curious and interested in your lineage and ancestors even you should try making a diagrammatic representation in the form of a family tree chart.
There is always a fascinating question that floats in our mind when it comes to family trees, that is where do we come from, or when did our family start. It is pretty common. Let us have a look at some of the most common reasons as to why create a family tree chart.
- It provides you establish a connection with your ancestors or heritage
- It is important to know because it helps us figure out lines of genetic diseases running in the family and other health issues that can help us determine the probability of developing any such condition.
- It is considered a good exercise so as to learn our family history and their relationship to any event that has left its mark in history.
- Kids nowadays do not pay much attention to ancestral history, it becomes a great way for piquing a child’s interest so that even the children will feel like learning and gathering more information to preserve the great stories.
- It is FUN!
How To Make A Family Tree?
If you are wondering how to make a family tree by yourself or is it complicated to draw a family tree chart, you are among all the people that generally have these questions in mind. Let me answer this.
A family tree can be as complicated as you want it to be or as easy as you desire it to be, as simple as that! How to make a family tree is up to you.
If you are planning on creating a very simple chart of genealogy you will likely include your great grandparents, your grandparents, your mother and father, and their successors, which indicates YOU. While a complicated family tree chart will also include other relatives like your parent’s siblings or their parent’s siblings, your uncles, aunts, and cousins will also be included.
It is a never-ending process because usually our parents also know about our great grandparents and few more generations, beyond that we are not informed much. How far you want to proceed and how complex your family tree chart gets, is entirely up to you.
How To Make A Family Tree? Let’s Get Started
Before you are all set and jumps directly to how to make a family tree or chart there are some things you need to know and a little planning is required. For instance, there are few questions you would like to ask yourself such as:
- How far would you want your tree to go?
- Do you know someone in your family that has prior knowledge of the family’s ancestry and can help you out gathering all the information related to them?
- What are different sets of information you would want to insert in the boxes or leaves related to family members like marriages, deaths, and birthplaces?
- Do you want your tree to look nicer by adding pictures of each family member?
- Where will you find pictures related to every ancestor?
- In which direction you should proceed to make the tree if it is horizontal or vertical?
There is no definition of family tree diagrams or chart that precisely stipulates what to add or what to exclude. If you do not have much information and do not feel like digging too much in the lineage, all you can do is create kinship diagrams. These diagrams are very easy as they consist of basic letters, lines, and symbols to show the relationships between individuals that can be beneficial to visualize the lineage you share.
Presenting you a step by step guide on how to make a family tree.
1. Gather All The Information About Family
First, note down everything you know about the family and then proceed to ask your elders to guide you with more information that you can use in case your information has certain gaps in it.
Look for certain documents and albums where you can find pictures of everyone. You may also visit libraries or online sources to look out for census records, land needs, news stories, and few other types of documents that can help you with the verification of your ancestry.
These records are not available easily and the availability of records that are reliable is low. You may have come across your peer groups or batchmates saying that are aware of their entire ancestry from the time of adam and eve, do not believe them, it is just boasting. In real life, finding records older than few years as in a few hundred years of time is also difficult this is because the records containing information get damaged or destroyed such that you cannot figure out what is there in them. Act of wars, floods, fires, or simple negligence over hundreds of years causes the documents to get destroyed and never found back.
Because of the limited amount of information available mostly these family tree diagrams precede up to a maximum of 4 generations. Although there are some parts of the world where people have been successful in keeping the information intact, it is your luck where you are born and how much you can gather.
2. Draft The Outline Of Your Family Tree
Compile together all the information and pictures you have gathered and come across to create an outline. Start the diagram from you first and then proceed to your parents, their parents, and so on till you are familiar about. You may also start with the oldest known ancestor to you and then keep proceeding to the successor generations until it reaches you.
You can either use a freehand to the family tree using a pen and paper or use Lucidchart to start creating the diagrammatic representation. There are many online sites where you can easily find beautiful templates that are free and blank for you to create a family tree chart visual representation. The choice is yours.
3. Add The Gathered Information To Each Box Or Leaf
It is your call to decide if you want to use a leaf to show every individual or a box. Remember these are just ideas, you can choose any shape you feel like because the idea is to make it simpler and easily understandable. Most commonly rectangles and boxes are used by people. Each shape you have chosen to build the tree becomes a leaf of the tree. Make sure that leaves are consistent and equally sized so that you can fit in all related information you have decided to.
Now that the outline is ready, you may place the collected pictures, dates, events, and other things on the leaf. When you carry out this process, there are a few guidelines or tips you can say that are important to consider while proceeding. Take a look at them.
Make It Simple
How to make a family tree by keeping it simple? If you wish the family chart you have created to be beneficial for other family members as well, make sure that you are using simple and easily digestible information on it. Make it neat and tidy without overwriting or correcting too much because the goal is to make it useful for there to read as well. Try to make each level of your family tree signifying towards one generation only so that it will become much easier to trace bonds and relationships.
Do Not Add Dirty Extra Information
How to make a family tree that will not hurt anyone’s sentiments? Who will look at the diagram of the family chart you have made? You might have some secrets in your family that other members of the family are too aware of except few people, do not add such sensitive information on a piece of paper just for the sake of knowledge as it is not needed. All the information you add should be recked because many family members will not welcome it.
4. Distribute The Family Tree Diagram You Have Created
The most awaited and fun part of how to make a family tree is distributing the chart. Once you are done with the family chart diagram show it to all the members present in your family. Give them the opportunity to learn about their family and genealogy. They will also learn new stories related to your ancestors like you have learned while spending time gathering information and making this family tree chart successfully.
You can also invite other family members to tell you if you have missed something or mention additional details that they know to be added in the diagram. Keep this chart safe and you can also click pictures to be saved so that the coming generations including your own kids can learn the historical events their family was a part of.
If you are fond of designing family trees and want to know different parenting styles, do check this brilliant piece of information. I am sure you have understood how to make a family tree and will be able to create the most amazing representation now.