How to write a family tree chart

How to Make a Family Tree Chart

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Posted by: Lucid Content Team

In 1977, the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) gambled that a 12-hour miniseries based on Alex Haley’s best-selling novel, “Roots,” would be of interest to the general American audience. In an unprecedented move, ABC scheduled the series to be broadcasted over eight consecutive nights.

The gamble paid off as roughly half of the Americans alive in 1977 watched at least part of the series. 

The “Roots” miniseries was a cultural phenomenon that influenced millions of viewers to research their own roots. While writing the book, Haley did a lot of genealogy research at the National Archive, and after the series aired, letters to the National Archive tripled and applications to use the facilities increased by 40%.

If you are interested in your own family history, a good place to start is to create a family tree.

Family Tree Chart (Click on image to modify online)

A family tree is a visual representation of a person’s lineage, tracing relationships to common ancestors. Visually similar to an org chart, this diagram is usually presented in a tree structure starting with one individual as the root. From the root, lines representing branches terminate in boxes representing leaves. Each leaf represents individual family members with information such as birth, marriage, and death dates. 

A family tree diagram or genealogy chart makes it easy to record the people, places, and events that make up your family history and then share it with others. Learn how to draw a family tree (or get started faster with a few examples of family trees).

Why create a family tree?

If you are even a little bit interested in your ancestry and if you would like to gain some insight into who you are and where you came from, you may want to create a genealogy chart.

There are many reasons to make your own family trees:

  • It gives you a connection to your heritage.
  • It can help you trace genetics and family health concerns.
  • It is a good exercise for learning your family history in relation to historical events.
  • It is a good way to pique your children’s interest so they will want to learn about ancestors and preserve family stories.
  • It can be fun!

How to draw a family tree chart

A family tree can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. 

A simple genealogy chart may include you, your parents, your grandparents, and your great-grandparents. A complicated family tree chart may include you, your parents, your siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins, and so on.

How far you go and who you include is up to you.

Getting started

Before you jump in and start drawing your family tree, you may want to do a little planning. For example, you might ask yourself:

  • How far do you want to go back? 
  • Is there somebody in your family who already has this information to give you a starting point? 
  • What type of information do you want to include on each leaf (births, marriages, deaths)?
  • Do you want to add pictures of your ancestors to each leaf? Where can you find these pictures?

You also may want to determine in which direction you will draw the tree. In nature, trees grow from the ground to the sky, but on paper or the computer screen, family trees can develop from the bottom up, the top down, or horizontally. It could be a good idea to look at some examples of family trees to help you decide how your tree will be drawn.

There is not a single family tree definition that dictates what has to be included or what the family tree should look like. But note that if you simply want to chart relationships without digging too deeply, you may want to draw a simple kinship diagram instead. Kinship diagrams use basic symbols, lines, and letters to represent relationships to help you visualize your lineage.

Kinship Diagram Template (Click on image to modify online)

1. Gather information about your family

Write down what you know, ask family members to fill in the gaps, and find pictures and documents. Visit libraries and online genealogy sources to search for census records, news stories, land deeds, and other documents that can verify your ancestry.

Remember that you can only go back so far because of the limited availability of reliable records. You may have heard of some people saying that they have traced their lineage all the way to Adam and Eve. But in reality, it is very hard to find accurate records older than a few hundred years because many records have been destroyed in fires, floods, acts of war, and simple negligence. Some areas of the world were better at keeping and preserving records than others, so how far you can go back will depend on where your family came from. Most family tree outlines trace ancestry back three or four generations because of the limited information.

2. Draft a family tree outline

Compile all of the information you have and create an outline. Start drawing from yourself to your ancestors, or start with the oldest ancestor you know about and trace forward to you.

You can draw your family tree freehand using pen and paper or create a family tree online using Lucidchart and our family tree diagram maker. Through this visual workspace, you can select a family tree template online and modify it with a few simple clicks. 

Family Tree - Basic Genealogy (Click on image to modify online)Genealogy Chart Example (Click on image to modify online)Family Tree - Bowtie Genealogy (Click on image to modify online)

3. Add information to each leaf

Each family member will be represented by a shape connected by lines to represent relationships. Typically a box or rectangle is used to represent your relatives, but you can use any shape that you want to use. Each shape is a leaf on the tree. The shape you decide to use as leaves should be consistent and sized to include the information that you plan to put on your family tree chart. 

Place pictures, important event dates, and any other information you want to include in your leaf. As you put together this information, we would recommend a few additional guidelines:

Make it simple

If you want your family tree diagram to be useful to other members of your family, keep it simple so the information can be easily scanned and digested. Try to have each level of the tree represent a single generation so it is easy to trace relationships.

Don’t air your family’s dirty laundry

Who is going to be looking at this family tree diagram? There may be some family secrets that are not known to all living family members, so try to be sensitive about adding information that may not be too welcome to some of your relatives.


Distribute your family tree diagram

This is the fun part—once you have finished your genealogy chart or family tree diagram, share it with your family members and give them a chance to reflect on their genealogy or learn new family stories. You can also invite them to provide additional information.

If you have created your family tree diagram online with Lucidchart, click “Share” to give family members access to collaborate on the visual with you or export your family tree to a number of file formats.

Discover your family history with Lucidchart

Use Lucidchart to easily make a free family tree chart. No matter what time zone your family members reside in, everybody with the permission to share and edit the document can open it, add notes, and modify or make corrections at the same time. It’s a good way to bring your family closer without being in the same physical location.

Sign up for a free account so you can start tracking your family history visually.

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How to Fill Out a Family Tree Chart Template

How to Fill Out a Family Tree Chart Template

By Allison Dolan

It sounds like an easy enough starting point: Fill out a family tree chart. But once you get started, this seemingly simple task becomes bewildering. Where do your siblings, aunts and uncles go? How do you deal with Grandma’s second marriage? Do you use her maiden or married name? And what do all those numbers mean?

Not to worry. After you’ve learned the format of standard genealogy charts and worksheets, you’ll see why generations of genealogists have found them so handy — they let you pack all your essential family facts onto a few sheets for instant reference. If you want to know how to draw a family tree, these tips can also help ensure your tree is accurate and thorough.

No matter what kind of family tree you’re creating, there are a few basic principles to keep in mind. In Family History 101 (Family Tree Books), beginning genealogy instructor Marcia D. Yannizze Melnyk provides five guidelines:

1. Write surnames in capital letters.

The all-caps approach lets you (or someone reading your charts) immediately distinguish last names from first and middle names. At first, this might seem unnecessary — but when you run into kin named Guillaume GAUTIER de LACHENAYE, Sebastiano Giovanni DI CARLO and the like, you can see the importance.

2. If you know middle names, spell them out.

Naturally, this helps you distinguish Grandpa William Randolph Reynolds from Grandpa William Robert Reynolds. Remember, too, that some people went by their middle names. For example, my great-great-grandpa Charles George Michael Hauck was known to all as Michael, and that’s how he shows up in most US records.

3. Always record nicknames, denoting them in quotation marks.

Again, you want to show your ancestors’ full identities, so you can match up family history to the right relative. This is especially useful for kin whose nicknames don’t relate at all to their real names, such as my uncle Everett “Butch” Smith.

4. List women’s maiden names, not their married names.

Since you’re recording your female ancestors right next to their husbands, including their married names is redundant. If you don’t know a woman’s maiden name, note that with a question mark or simply skip the surname.

5. Format dates as day, month, full year.

For consistency, genealogists write dates European-style, flip-flopping the American convention of month, day, year. To avoid any potential confusion, they also use the month’s abbreviation (Melnyk suggests putting it in capital letters) instead of a numeral. You know what 12 AUG 1836 means, whereas 12/8/1836 isn’t so clear — is that Aug. 12 or Dec. 8? If you haven’t yet established an exact date, you can use qualifiers such as by 1836, before 1911 or after 20 May 1893.

How to Chart Remarriages

What if your relative remarried after a divorce or a spouse’s death? Use the box labeled Other Spouses to note any additional marriages of the husband and/or wife. But don’t list offspring of those unions on the same sheet — instead, create separate family group sheets for those other marriages, and assign each child to the appropriate parents. So if your great-grandmother Naomi Crookshank had six children, four by her first husband, Silas Dobbins, and two by your great-grand-father Norbert Philpot, you’d make two family group sheets with Naomi as the mother Her four kids with Silas would go on one form, and the two with Norbert would go on the other.

You’ve probably noticed two Source # columns on your family group sheet. For each fact you record, you’ll want to note where you got that information on the back of the form or on a separate page. Just compile a running list of the sources, number each item, then write those numbers next to the corresponding details. You’ll probably list multiple sources for some facts, and use a single source for several different items.

Documenting facts may seem like a formality, but we guarantee you’ll be glad you did. When you refer back to certain details later or compare notes with a fellow researcher, you won’t find yourself wondering, “Where did I find Norbert’s burial location? And did Naomi’s birth date come from her marriage license or baptismal certificate?” (Although pedigree charts don’t have a designated place for documentation, you still can cite your sources. Either list them on the back of the chart, or note references to the sources on the corresponding family group sheets.)

Now that you know these best practices, it’s time to pick your charting method.

Common Family Tree Charts and Templates

Genealogists use an assortment of research forms. In fact, you can download dozens of different forms free from our website. But with so many options — from correspondence logs to calendars to census extraction forms — it’s easy to get overwhelmed. How do you know which ones you need?

All sorts of family forms can prove helpful, but beginning family history buffs will want to focus on the two staple worksheets every genealogist uses most: the pedigree chart and the family group sheet. The Ahnentafel Numbering System mentioned below is not a chart, but rather a system to helps you keep track of each person’s place in a family tree.

Pedigree Chart/Ancestor Chart

We’ll start with the pedigree chart, which is also called an ancestor chart. It comes in a variety of sizes, from giant 15-generation posters to the single-page five-generation worksheet. At first glance, you might think this chart looks like a basketball bracket — and it actually follows the same principle, only in reverse: Instead of beginning with many pairings and recording the outcome of each match until you’ve whittled the field to one, you’re starting with the end result (you) and working backward to fill in the “pairs” that preceded you.

Here is an example of a pedigree chart that uses Ahnentafel numbering. Notice the digits next to each person’s name. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Before you put pencil to paper, let’s go over a few basics. First, pedigree charts show only your ancestors: parents, grand-parents, great-grandparents and so on (no aunts, uncles or cousins). Every column on the chart represents a generation. Below each person’s name is space for birth, marriage and death information — on some charts, you’ll see this abbreviated as b, m and d. In addition to dates, you’ll note places, with town, county and state (for instance, Petersburg, Boone, Ky.)

Pencils ready? Write your own information in the space marked 1. Then it’s time to move on to your parents — and our next rule: Men always go on the top space, and women below. So your dad will go on line 2, your mom on line 3, your dad’s father on line 4, his mother on line 5 and so forth.

Family Group Sheet

Now you’ve got ancestor charts down — but you don’t want to leave the rest of your relatives hanging. Enter the family group sheet. You’ll use this form to outline basic facts about one nuclear family: husband, wife and kids. Family group sheets let you account for all the siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins (so-called “collateral relatives”) who don’t make it onto your pedigree charts because they’re not your ancestors.

The format is pretty straightforward. In the top line identifying the family, pencil in the husband’s full name (not just his surname). That way, you can tell immediately whether you’re looking at the Wilbert Philpot family or the Norbert Philpot family.

Directly below, fill in the husband’s and wife’s names; their birth, marriage and death details; and their parents’ names. At the bottom of the page (under Children of This Marriage), list the kids in birth order, following each name with birth, marriage and death information. Voilà! You now have a snapshot of three generations on a single sheet.

How to Use the Ahnentafel Numbering System

Ahnentafel Numbering is one of the genealogical numbering systems typically used in family books, journals and the reports in your genealogy software. These schemes actually are designed to help you organize family facts according to a common standard.

All those numbers help you keep track of each person’s place in your family tree, just as rankings on a basketball bracket tell you any given team’s position in the original field.

The Ahnentafel numbers used on pedigree charts are the simplest numbering system. To delineate descendancy — one person’s offsprings — most genealogists use the NGSQ System (short for National Genealogical Society Quarterly; also called the Modified Register System) and the Register System (named for the New England Historical and Genealogical Register).

Here’s how they work: You start with the forefather, who is number 1. Below him, his kids get listed in birth order with Roman numerals (i, ii, iii). Both systems give children sequential Arabic numbers (2, 3, 4) to identify the kids when they appear later — but the systems assign these numerals differently. In the Register System, only children who have their own offspring get Arabic numerals. NGSQ gives everyone Arabic numerals, then denotes people whose lines continue forward with plus signs (+).

Simply double any ancestor’s Ahnentafel number to determine his father’s number; add one to dad’s number, and you’ll have mom’s. That means even numbers always represent men; odd numbers, women.

And what of those superscript numbers? They indicate the generation. To help you keep the line of descent straight, the systems parenthetically list each person’s ancestors, along with their generation numbers. So a Register-format entry might look like:

9. Friedrich³ Von Snortmacher (Helmut², Kermit¹).

26. i. Helga4 Von Snortmacher

ii. Karl Von Snortmacher

27. iii. Wilhelm Von Snortmacher

This tells you Friedrich is Kermit’s grandson and Helmut’s son. You also know two of Friedrich’s kids, Helga and Wilhelm, had children — whose names you’d find under 26 and 27, Helga’s and Wilhelm’s individual entries. See here for detailed explanations and examples of these systems.

Ahnentafel numbers can prove really useful when you extend your family tree past a single page. Suppose you’ve traced your mother’s paternal line beyond your great-great-grandfather (number 26), and you’d like to make a new chart that begins with him. Instead of numbering from scratch, you can pick up where you left off: Put Great-great-grandpa in the first space, but change the 1 to 26. In his father’s space, change the number from 2 to 52, convert his mother’s 3 to 53, and continue for each generation: Space 6 becomes 106; 12 becomes 212 and so on.

If you don’t renumber subsequent charts, you can use the “1 on this chart = _on chart _” line at the top of each page to keep people straight. In our example for your great-great-grandfather, you’d write “1 on this chart = 26 on chart 1.”

A version of this article appeared in the May 2006 issue of Family Tree Magazine.

Related Reads

Family Tree Chart Types and Examples

Learn about the different kinds of family tree charts used for genealogy research. Plus, download your own free family tree chart template!



Allison Dolan

How to make a genealogical tree of family and clan

How to preserve the memory of the past of your family? Collecting old photographs and yellowed letters in boxes on the mezzanine is not the best option: in a couple of generations, your descendants will hardly guess who these smiling people from black and white cards are. How about translating that memory into something meaningful, like a real family tree? Its creation will be an exciting quest for the whole family, and in the process of immersing yourself in your own story, incredible discoveries can await you all.

Building a family tree is not easy, but interesting. To do this, you will have to conduct a comprehensive study, collect all the data and photographs, and then try to create a family tree with your own hands from all this.

In our article you will find not only tips for finding information about ancestors, but also various tree design options. We have also prepared for you two templates for filling in the family tree - for children and for adults.

How to make a family tree with your own hands

Where to start

Before you begin, you must determine for yourself why all this is needed. Are you in the mood for deep exploration, or is your goal just to share stories about your parents and grandparents with your children?

A well-defined goal will help you achieve the final result faster.

Think of a plan, break it down into small steps so you can easily track progress. And this will add to your motivation not to give up halfway through - believe me, you will need it.

Finding information about relatives

Once you've decided how far you want to go, the most interesting step is gathering information about relatives and distant ancestors. You will surely learn many funny and touching stories and find some distant relatives living on the other side of the world. Or maybe even reveal a family secret - who knows? To find as much information as possible and understand how to make a family tree of a family, use the following methods:

  • Questioning relatives

Start your search by interviewing your next of kin. Organize family tea gatherings with grandparents - they will be happy to share valuable memories. Arrange a video conference with those who live in other cities and countries, or just write to them on social networks.

  • Family archive analysis

Carefully study all documents, letters and diaries that have been preserved in your family. In birth, marriage and death certificates, passports, employment records and diplomas, you will find answers to key questions that are important for the pedigree. These records will help restore information that loved ones could not remember. Look through old photographs: perhaps the grandmother forgot to tell about her second cousin. Already at this stage, you can choose photo cards for your family tree.

  • Internet searches

Browse various genealogy websites and related resources for historical information. For example, the website "Feat of the People" provides open access to archival documents about the exploits and awards of all soldiers of the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945.

Register on several thematic forums. For example, on the All-Russian Genealogical Tree forum, it is possible to search for a specific person by last name, regions and countries.

Try to find distant relatives of your generation on Odnoklassniki or VKontakte. But do not forget that in a correct genealogical research, any information must be confirmed by archival certificates.

  • Collection of information in registry offices and archives

If you are looking for information about marriage, dates of birth or death, please contact the registry office. If a relative has something to do with the army - for example, is a veteran of the Second World War - make a request to the military registration and enlistment office at the place of residence, service or conscription. But keep in mind: in order to obtain documents of deceased relatives, you must prove your relationship with them, providing, among other things, your birth certificate.

Don't hope for a quick result when searching for genealogy in archives. The process can take months or even years. But the information you find can greatly advance your research.

  • Contact the experts

If you do not want to spend time building a family tree, contact the professionals. Archives staff, designers, and specialty companies will help you find the information you need and create a family tree. In addition, with their help you can create a family tree book, a film presentation and even a family coat of arms.

What are the types of a family tree

There are several methods for compiling a tree.

  • Descending tree

The family scheme is formed from an ancestor to descendants. This design method allows you to visually trace the history of the family from distant times to the present day.

  • Pedigree

Compiled from a person to his ancestors. Such a structure will be especially convenient for those who have not yet completed the search for information and are consistently moving from the known to the unknown.

  • Round table

It is built in a circle, in the center of which one of the children is placed. The second, outer, circle is divided in half and the data of the mother and father are recorded in it. In the third circle, cut into four parts, grandparents are indicated. Then a fourth circle is added, which is divided into eight parts, and so on. This type of tree is quite rare. But this scheme is the most compact.

How to arrange a family tree

  • Family tree on computer

Programs for creating a family tree will help you save time and get a guaranteed result. Use the MyHeritage online service or GenoPro, Family Tree Builder or Tree of Life software. Choose a template, enter your pedigree data and enjoy the result.

You can also find or draw an empty tree yourself in a graphics editor.

  • DIY family tree

Get creative with your family tree results. We have selected a few examples for you to inspire.

Family box

For each ancestor, a box is wound up or one cell is allocated, in which documents, photos, objects are placed. By opening such a box, you can touch the past and find out what kind of person your ancestor was.

Generic tree from local materials

This design option is perfect for a kindergarten or school project.

Family tree in album

Decorative stand with photo frames

How to work with the family tree template

We have prepared two templates that both children and adults will love.

Open Tree Template for Adults

Open Tree Template for Children

Templates can be used both electronically and in print.

  • Print out a blank template and include drawings or photos of yourself and your ancestors.
  • Use a photo editor and paste the scanned images into a template. Print the result.

Filling out a template in Picverse Photo Editor

In Picverse Photo Editor you can not only edit pictures and insert them into a template, but also restore old photos.

Check out our sample of filling out the template - it will be easier for you to figure out how to draw up a family tree correctly.

1) Launch Picverse Photo Editor.

2) If you want to restore photo that has lost its appearance due to old age, open the image in the program. In the tab Correction in the panel on the right, select the option Manual . Open block Smart Restoration . If you want to convert black and white photos to color, activate the switch Make color . Press button Restore . Photos will be automatically restored.

3) In order to adjust colors and sharpness , in the same tab Correction open the required block and change the necessary parameters. Save the result.

4) To add a picture to template , click File –> Open and select the downloaded template to fill. Then go to tab Insert picture and open the photo you want to insert. To resize the inserted photo, drag the corners of the dotted frame. Rotate the photo using the arrow button. If you are happy with the result, press Apply .

5) Once you have inserted all the images, click File –> Save .

How to make a genealogical tree of the clan and family on your own - a template, sample and diagram with examples

All people sooner or later begin to think about their roots. Because information about ancestors is of great importance. Stories about older relatives and their lives form intra-family ties, create a sense of unity in children, teach them to understand and be proud of their homeland and their own family. Or you can study the history of the family to determine the patterns that repeat from generation to generation.

Tracing them, you can learn a lot about yourself and correct your own destiny. Even for those who still think little about their own origin, this information will be useful at least at the level of determining genetic predispositions to diseases.

But it is very difficult to collect and correctly arrange information about your relatives. In this article, we will talk about how to correctly compile a genealogical (pedigree) family tree with diagrams, examples and templates.

What is a family tree

Pedigree tree - a conditional scheme that describes family ties within one family. It is quite often depicted as a real tree. Next to the roots is usually the ancestor or the last descendant, for which the scheme is drawn up, and on the branches there are various lines of the genus.

In ancient times, the preservation of knowledge about one's origin was a direct necessity for everyone. Already in Neolithic times, people knew that closely related marriages lead to unviable children. Therefore, men took wives for themselves in neighboring villages, clans and tribes. However, sometimes it was required to preserve some qualities within the line, and then people chose brides and grooms from a limited circle. But in both the first and second cases, the knowledge of one's ancestors was mandatory.

Blood (consanguinity) in the past meant not only the presence of family ties, but also a certain psycho-emotional community, and in relation to representatives of the same family, the range of expectations from people was quite close.

This behavior is justified. Have you noticed that there are families, representatives of different lines and generations of which themselves choose close directions of development. There are families in which everyone is connected with art, and there are those where, for generations, every second person has a penchant for engineering. And the point here is not only in education, but also in the features of the functioning of the body. Genetic predisposition manifests itself not only in diseases, but also in the talents of representatives of the related line.

The birth system was also supported by the social structure. Most societies go through stages first of the caste, then the estate, then the class system. And marriages in them are usually arranged within their social circle.

Family history can shed light on many personal values. A lot of things are laid in a person at a very early age on the example of the relationship of his parents and their relatives: behavior patterns, thinking structure, habits and words. But inheritance is not always direct. The study of the history of the family and the reconstruction of the family tree contributes to the self-identification of the individual, allows you to realize your personal foundations. This is beneficial for both the individual and the family as a whole. The very process of collecting information and processing it will be useful for establishing contact between relatives.

Types of family tree

There are several methods for compiling a family tree:

  • Ascendant. Here the chain is built in the direction from the descendant to the ancestors. The schema compiler acts as the initial element. The method is convenient for those who have just started studying their family. The compiler has information mainly about his closest relatives: parents, grandfathers, grandmothers, etc. - and gradually delves into the past.
  • Descending. In this case, the chain has the opposite direction. One ancestor (or spouse) acts as the beginning. For such a construction, you need to have sufficiently extensive information about your relatives.

When compiling a family tree, it is necessary to take into account the lines of inheritance. They are of two types:

  • Straight branch. The chain includes you, your parents, their parents, etc.
  • Side branch. It takes into account your brothers and nephews, grandparents' brothers and sisters, great-grandparents, etc.

These schemes - ascending and descending with straight and lateral branches - can be made both mixed: for both men and women of a kind, and for tracking inheritance only by the kind of father or mother.

The family tree can be drawn up as follows:

The branching relationship we are used to, which is often supplemented with a tree pattern. Suitable for designing genealogical charts of any complexity.

  • You will draw your child's ascending family tree in this style.
  • Make a wonderful gift for a distant relative by drawing a common ancestor as the initial figure on the diagram and building a descending system of connections from him to all cousins ​​and second cousins.
  • Draw an hourglass shape. This option is suitable for older relatives: grandfathers or great-grandfathers. Take them as key figures and make a genealogical family tree of these members of your family, combining descending and ascending diagrams in the figure - parents and descendants.

The "butterfly" scheme is inherently quite close to the "clock" variant. Her starting point is the spouses, on both sides of them are the ascending family trees of their parents, and at the bottom is the descending one.

There is another way to build the structure. It is not common in Russia, but allows you to create a fairly complete description of family ties. This is the so-called circular table. It is also capable of accommodating an ascending and descending description of the genus.

  • For simple schemes, you can take a quarter of a circle as a basis - the "fan" scheme.
  • There is a variant of the design of the ascending or descending structure in the form of concentrated circles in which ancestors or descendants are entered.
  • Alternatively, the circle can be divided and a genealogical tree of the family lined up, combining both directions of the family in the same way as the clock pattern.

Any of the described options can be supplemented with photographs and notes.

How to make a genealogical tree of the family yourself

It is better to start research from the family archive. See if you still have old photographs and official documents of your older relatives. Documents will be especially useful: marriage or birth certificates, diplomas, certificates, work books, since it is with their help that it is easiest to start searching in the archive. All papers and photographs should be scanned, saved somewhere in digital format and used in the future. And return the originals to their place so as not to lose these important evidence.

The next important step is to interview relatives. And since relatives are not eternal, it is not worth delaying with him. In order not to overwork the elderly and not get confused yourself, it is important to outline the range of issues in advance. For example, when we are compiling a genealogical tree of a family, we should be interested in information:

  • When and where certain relatives were born.
  • Where and when they worked.
  • Time and place of study.
  • Who and when did they marry.
  • How many children they had, their names and dates of birth.
  • If relatives died, it is worth knowing when and where it happened.

As you can see, from the point of view of further searches, the most important information from the list is the place and time of certain events. Knowing them, you can contact the archives for documents.

But from the point of view of the family, it is much more important to hear stories about the life of your loved ones. Each family keeps its traditions, in each there was something worthy of the memory of generations. Therefore, do not neglect long conversations about the past.

When collecting oral information, it is worth using a voice recorder so as not to miss a single detail.

It is important to correctly and quickly structure all the information received, otherwise you will simply get confused in the intricacies of your family ties. You can store information on paper in folders related to each family line. Or create a separate folder on your computer where you will place files about each of the relatives.

Some people study their ancestry for years, gradually deepening their knowledge of their relatives in direct and indirect lines.

But you can make the initial stages of the process faster, invite your family to participate with you in this important matter. If several people, each in their own line, make a list of the next of kin with names, photographs and dates, and then combine all this information into a single scheme, you can get a family tree several generations deep in just a few months. In addition, such a decision will help to establish communication between the individual branches of the family.

Services and programs to help build a family tree

Gathering information about relatives is quite difficult. Simply because with each generation, the number of people to collect information about will increase exponentially. Even when using the ascending scheme, taking into account only direct branches, by the seventh generation you will have 126 ancestors.

Registration and storage of all this information using paper media is inconvenient. It is much easier to use electronic databases. You can create the necessary files yourself in Excel or Access. Or use specialized programs that are initially configured in such a way as to make it as easy as possible to arrange information in your family, display and display it in a beautiful and understandable way.

There are many Internet services on pedigree topics. They will correctly compile your family tree, help with finding information about relatives, and provide design samples.