Knowing where you come from is always a good place to start in getting to know yourself a lot better. Having a deeper knowledge about your ancestry will help you answer questions about your family more accurately. In this sense, a family tree holds the answers the those questions.
A family tree holds a family’s history; more than just the name and numbers, it holds a sense of identity that members of the family can make good use of. Furthermore, a family tree is a good way to preserve the history and ensure that it is passed down to the generations to come. Through a family tree, stories are preserved, told, and enjoyed by the entire clan.
Family history is only recorded and preserved when a good and comprehensive family tree is made. It is important to remember that when making a family tree, context is essential. Thus, you must not hold crucial information out of the family tree in order to keep your family history as factual and as transparent as it should be. To help you make sure you make an effective family tree, here is a list of elements you should consider:
If you want to dig deeper into your family history, making a thorough family tree is a great tool to have. It can help you uncover your ethnicity, bloodline, history and even your genetically-related medical conditions. Other than that, a family tree is a good reason for the entire family to come together and make a bonding activity of some sort. Hence, here is an easy guide to help you make a family tree:
1. Formulate a plan:
Before you start making your family tree you need to formulate a plan. Decide on how you want your output to be shared, how much information you need to include, who the family tree will be shared to, and so on. It should include the steps you need to accomplish before proceeding to the next step. Basically, you need an action plan that will guide you throughout your family tree-making process.
2. Gather information about your family:
As mentioned, your family tree needs accurate information in order for it to be effective. This means you need to gather your information from credible sources. Contact your family members so that you can conduct interviews about your family. If you’re lucky, maybe some family members have already done some research for you. You can even scour the internet or talk to close family friends for additional info. This should provide a clear context to make it easy for people to read the chart.
3. Make an outline:
If you have gathered enough information for your family tree, you can proceed to making an outline. The outline will help you determine which is the best way to present what you have generated. It also serves as the draft of your family tree, which will help you organize your information. Furthermore, the outline will give you an overview of how your family tree is looking so far.
4. Organize information:
Since you now have an outline as your guide, you can start organizing the information you have gathered. Make sure you present a coherent story and timeline. It’s best if the information in your family tree is presented chronologically so you could showcase it in a story-telling manner. It’s basically a timeline chart which explains what happened and why it happened.
5. Add supporting details:
Aside from the information you include in your family tree, it is also best to include other supporting details such as titles or links to articles, images, newspaper clippings, and so on. This will make your family tree more interesting and informative to your audience.
6. Proofread and edit:
Just like any written output, remember to proofread your family tree. Make sure to check if the information you have included are accurate, for any misspellings or errors, and if dates or timelines are coherent and correct. Although this is just a family tree, any errors or mistakes may lead to family disagreements. Edit out mistakes or errors accordingly.
Here are some additional tips you can refer to when making a family tree:
There are various types of family trees that can help you focus on your search. These are as follows:
1. Ancestor Chart
Should you want to focus and present more about your ancestry, this is the perfect family tree for you. An ancestor chart starts from the bottom with the writer leading upwards to his/her parents, grandparents, fore-fathers, and so on. It typically follows an ascending order.
2. Descendants Chart
This family tree follows a descendant structure which means it displays the descendants of the writer. It starts from the top showing all the children and grandchildren of the forefathers.
3. Sandglass Diagram
A sandglass diagram is a combination of both an ancestor and descendant family tree. The writer is shown in the middle while the ancestors, children, and relatives are seen over and below one’s name. This allows the writer to display both his/her ancestors and descendants in one family tree.
4. Other Types
Although the three main types of family trees are mentioned above, there are still other types of family trees you can use. This includes the Five Generation Ancestor Family Tree, Stepfamily Tree, Biographical Family Tree, Family Group Sheet, Relationship Chart, and Adoptive Family Tree Chart.
A family tree is somewhat like an illustration that displays the hierarchy of all the members of a family. It helps present how members of the family are associated with each other, but more than that it displays the history of the entire family. A family tree presents these connections similarly to a flow chart.
A family tree helps you understand your family history and helps build the relationship within the family. Additionally, understanding a family tree can help the family become closer, achieve a sense of mental peace, create a unity within the family through understanding the overall struggles, and increase the love and appreciation for the family. It can come in handy when finding distant relatives and cousins as well.
A family tree can be difficult to make especially when your ancestors were not keen on sharing family stories and keeping family keepsakes. It requires a lot of patience and dedication when researching and gathering information. It can be different for every family; some families uphold family traditions and history while some don’t. However, a family tree is worth it since you get to study and understand your family’s history from a new perspective.