After watching the “Roots” miniseries, millions were inspired to research their family history. If you have been collecting information about your ancestry but need help organizing it, creating a family tree can help you sort through your findings and share them with others.
So, how to make a family tree? Start by sketching a light outline of your family tree with a pencil. This will give you a better idea of how much space you need to write names and draw connections.
Creating a family tree begins with gathering information about the individuals in your immediate family. This means looking at your own birth, death, and marriage records and those of your parents, grandparents, and any other relatives you can think of.
You should also consult various other resources, such as census documents, property records, newspaper clippings, church records, and school yearbooks. Once you have collected enough evidence, it is time to start building your family tree chart.
A family tree is a diagram that shows how individuals are related to one another over several generations. You can draw it by hand or use a family tree maker tool. The latter offers preloaded templates that you can customize with icons, symbols, and avatars to suit your style. The intuitive editing feature lets you move, connect, and edit shapes with a single click. As a business user, you can even upload your company logo and fonts to all your designs.
As you begin filling in your tree, be sure to note the source for each fact. This will ensure that you can back up anything you claim and make it easier for future researchers to verify your work. While it is tempting to copy facts from other people’s trees, this should be avoided as they may be inaccurate.
Create a List
A family tree diagram traces your ancestry back through time. It’s a great way to record and share your family history with friends and relatives. A family tree can also help you identify any potential hereditary health concerns.
When you’re ready to begin your family tree, start by recording details about yourself and your immediate family. This includes your birth date, your parent’s full names (maiden names), and important events such as marriages, deaths, and children’s ages.
Next, record your extended family. This might include siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins, and grandparents. Including as much detail as possible, including spouses, children, and grandchildren, is a good idea.
Draw Your Tree
Creating a family tree is an excellent way to trace your ancestral history. It can be done with pen and paper or through software programs.
When choosing a method for designing your family tree, consider the available time and the details you want to include. A hand-drawn family tree will take longer but may allow for greater flexibility in terms of layout. At the same time, a computer-based program will be much faster but might limit the customization options you have for your final product.
Once you have settled on the size and scope of your tree, it’s time to start drawing it. Most family trees are drawn in reverse chronological order. Begin with your own life and work backward from there, noting the names of each ancestor along with their birth date and place.
You can also choose to color-coordinate your shapes, lines, and labels to make it easier to distinguish generations or to differentiate living from deceased family members. Adding photos to your tree is another great way to help readers visualize the history you’re trying to convey. Finally, it’s important to proofread your work for any errors or inaccuracies you might have made during the research process. If necessary, consult with experts in genealogical research to ensure your information is accurate.
Share Your Tree
A family tree diagram is a fun and engaging way to illustrate your genealogy research. It can be used for all ages and helps spark conversations at family gatherings and events. It can also serve as a display-worthy work of art or a way to store and organize your findings.
Download a template or use an online family tree maker to get started with a family tree. Start by mapping your immediate family and gradually work backward through generations using billions of digitized records worldwide.
Once you have completed your family tree, please share it with others using the sharing settings. You can enter your recipient’s email address or username and generate a shareable link. You can also set their permissions, such as whether they can view the tree or edit it.
When sharing your tree, focus on one ancestor at a time. Include their best photo, a mini-tree of their immediate family, and a fact-filled, at-a-glance summary of their life. This makes sharing the information you’ve uncovered for that individual easier and can also help keep everyone focused on what you have found.