How to Create a Family Tree: 11 Steps

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How to Create a Family Tree: 11 Steps
How to Create a Family Tree: 11 Steps
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Creating a family tree is an excellent way to illustrate your family history. Start by researching your ancestry to find out who should be included, diagramming each generation to create the complete family tree. You can beautify it by turning it into a work worthy of artistic display, or simply save your search so you always have family history at hand. See Step 1 to get started.

Steps

Part 1 of 3: Researching Your Story

Create a Family Tree Diagram Step 1

Step 1. Write the names of the people you want to include in the diagram

A family tree starts with you, branching from there. Start by writing down the names of people in your immediate family, then moving on to your parents' generation. Make sure you don't leave anyone out! Your family tree will be an important piece of family history, and for that reason it is important to invest time in creating a faithful diagram.

  • Write your name, your siblings, and your parents.
  • Write down the names of your grandparents, aunts and uncles as well as your cousins.
  • Write down the names of your great-grandparents and great-uncles.
  • Many people stop here, but you can include as many generations as you like.
Create a Family Tree Diagram Step 2

Step 2. Fill in the gaps with a little research

It can start to get difficult to complete the names when you get to very old generations. In an effort to ensure everyone is included and all names are correct, do research for a review. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about your family history.

  • Talk to older members of your family to find out more. Find out the names of your grandparents' siblings, their spouses, and their children. Ask to find out as much as possible. If you're lucky, you'll have the opportunity to hear beautiful family stories - and secrets, too.
  • Search online with a genealogy tool. There are many online tools that allow you to simply enter your own name and your parents' names, doing all the research instead. These pages will generally give you a limited amount of free information, then require payment for a more in-depth search. If you're serious about mapping your ancestry, this is a great way to gather information.
Create a Family Tree Diagram Step 3

Step 3. Decide what other information you want to highlight

In addition to including your family's first and last names, you may want to list your birthday, death (if applicable), marriage, and so on. Having these dates on the family tree will make it even more informative as a historical document for your family. In addition to dates, you could include your relatives' hometowns or nationality.

Create a Family Tree Diagram Step 4

Step 4. Decide whether or not you want to include photographs

If you have access to photographs of your ancestors, you can include a small portrait of each person. This option is best for relatively narrow family trees as the images can take up a lot of space in the final diagram.

  • If you only have a few photographs, you can only include those of people in your immediate family.
  • Find photographs of as many family members as possible. If you want to keep them all the same size, scan them to your computer and use Photoshop or another photo editing program to change the scale.

Part 2 of 3: Creating the diagram

Create a Family Tree Diagram Step 5

Step 1. Start with your generation

This is the base of the tree and it includes you and your parents and siblings. The shape of your diagram will be of your own choosing. If you want it to branch vertically and grow in size at the top, like a tree, start at the base of a large sheet of paper. You can even start on the left side of a sheet of paper so that the diagram is easy to read from left to right. No matter which shape you choose for the diagram, complete the following information to get started:

  • Write your name.
  • Draw a line from your name to your mother's name. Draw another line from your name to your father's name. Now draw a horizontal line connecting them both.
  • If you have siblings, draw lines from your parents to them.
  • If your siblings have spouses, write their names and connect them with lines.
  • If your siblings have children, write their names and connect them with lines.
Create a Family Tree Diagram Step 6

Step 2. Complete your parents' generation

Now is the time to complete the second generation - your parents. Connect each couple with a horizontal line, and draw lines that run from parents to children.

  • Write your maternal grandparents' names above your mother's name and your paternal grandparents' names above your father's name.
  • Connect the names of your maternal grandparents to your mother's brothers and your paternal grandparents to your father's brothers.
  • Add the names of your aunts and uncles spouses.
  • Add the names of the children of your aunts and uncles - your cousins.
Create a Family Tree Diagram Step 7

Step 3. Diagram your grandparents' generation

If you have a large family, your diagram may already threaten to come off the sheet of paper. Some people stop there, with both groups of grandparents serving as the crown of their family tree. If you want to continue the process, it's time to include your grandparents' generation. Remember to connect couples with horizontal lines and draw lines from parents to children.

  • Add the names of your maternal grandmother's mother and father and those of your maternal grandfather. They are your great grandparents.
  • Add the names of your paternal grandmother's mother and father and your paternal grandfather's names. They are your great grandparents.
  • Add the names of your maternal grandparents' siblings - great-aunts and great-uncles.
  • Add the names of your paternal grandparents' siblings - great-aunts and great-uncles.
  • Complete the names of the spouses and children of your great-aunts and great-uncles.
Create a Family Tree Diagram Step 8

Step 4. How deep will your work be?

If you're enjoying the experience of researching your family history, continue to reach back into the remoter times. There is no limit to the potential size of your diagram, especially when it comes to a digital family tree.

Part 3 of 3: Making It Unique

Create a Family Tree Diagram Step 9

Step 1. Beautify the diagram yourself

Now that your diagram is complete, give it an artistic face so you can proudly share it with the rest of the family. Copy the diagram in pencil onto a large sheet of paper, then use beautiful ink to draw the names and add colorful embellishments. You can choose to use the classic tree shape or try something new and creative to illustrate your ancestry. Here are some ideas:

  • Turn the connecting lines into branches, and write each person's name on a different sheet of paper. Children's names can be written on apples or grapes.
  • Make a familiar galaxy, with people's names written on planets and stars. If you wish, make your name the "sun".
  • Create a familiar neighborhood, with each name written in a small house, and all the houses connected by streets.
Create a Family Tree Diagram Step 10

Step 2. Use software to create a computer generated tree

If you want your diagram to look visually appealing but prefer to illustrate it yourself, there are hundreds of options to choose from online. Search for "free family tree" or "free family tree" to see automatically generated models or diagrams that can be printed and hung on the wall.

Create a Family Tree Diagram Step 11

Step 3. Ask an artist to do original work

Find an artist who can transform your family tree into a beautiful work of original art. You can choose to keep the names written in calligraphic fashion and place them in front of a beautiful background. If you do an online search for "family tree artist", you will find lists of artists whose work can be commissioned. Browse a few different portfolios to find the artist whose work fits your family's style.

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