Why You Should Create a Family Tree Chart
Recording your family’s history is a powerful way to honor your ancestors and provide helpful, telling insights to those in your clan who haven’t been born yet – and one of the most fun, interactive, and creative ways to approach this is to put together a family tree chart. Creating a family tree chart – either on your own or with other members of your family – will creatively connect you to your heritage, and serve your loved ones with useful, personal information and insights for years to come. If this is a project you’re interested in exploring for yourself and/or your family, you’ve come to the right page.
What is a generation family tree?
A thorough generation family tree will draw connections between as many of your ancestors as possible, allowing everyone in your brood to understand who they came from and what sort of accomplishments or significant events have taken place within the lineage. A family tree chart is a powerful visual: one that documents relationships, connections, important dates, birthplaces, and more. The depth of your generation family tree is entirely up to you and how closely you want to explore your family’s history. There are many different methods to the generation family tree madness, but a family tree chart will generally connect family members with lines: horizontal lines indicating marriages, and downward brackets forming from each marriage to indicate the children that were born from the couple. Building out your family tree online can lead to incredible family history discoveries.
The History of Family Trees
Family tree charts stem from genealogy: the study of families and their histories and origins. Making a chart is how families have kept track of their lineage for centuries – dating all the way back to European kings and other nobles wanting to verify their claims to the throne. Although the widest-known usages of family trees are connected to early Western nobility, there’ve been traces of genealogy charts throughout history: like in 11th century stone carvings, wall and ceiling paintings, and etchings on ancient tombstones that signify familial details. Despite these historical cues, there’s no specific evidence that reveals exactly how, when, or where the first generation family tree was constructed. However, Confucius’s family tree is globally recognized as the oldest family tree in the world, dating back to 2,500 years ago and containing over two million known descendants. During Confucius’s time, family trees were reserved for the aforementioned nobles and other important, well-connected clans, but today, people of all statuses and backgrounds express interest in documenting their family’s history. Many choose to do this by creating a family tree online.
Why you should look into constructing a family tree chart
Genealogy has experienced a powerful recent revival – especially with companies like 23andMe or MyHeritage available to help people connect with their family members, explore their heritage, and gain insights into their genetics. Because of this, completing a family tree chart is easier than ever, and a popular pastime for anyone interested in the history of their own lineage. If you’ve been looking into constructing a family tree online or elsewhere, there are a few helpful tools you can utilize to do so. And if you’re on the fence about the idea, take a look at the following reasons for constructing a family tree chart that may help you reach a final decision:
- Creating a generation family tree can teach your children about the importance of connection.
A family tree chart is a fascinating and challenging task to undertake, but it’s incredibly rewarding work if you’re interested in your personal history – and the work will be that much rewarding if you have children to share it with. This is a project you can either pursue on your own or with the help of your entire family, and if you decide to involve your children, creating a family tree chart together can help them understand and establish a connection to their extended family that might have been difficult for them to grasp beforehand. That’s what it’s all about: connection. Connecting ancestors to one another, to you, and to the context of global history. This is a tangible, powerful way for you to teach your children about lineage, and how that thread can relate you and your loved ones to the rest of the world.
- A family tree chart can help you uncover family members you may not have previously known about.
Maybe you don’t know much about your family, and creating a family tree online is how you plan to connect and uncover details about who and where you come from. This is a powerful tool to gain visual insights with, and possibly connect with some loved ones along the way. Alternatively, creating a family tree might surprise you by revealing to you that there are family members out there you didn’t know existed. This can be an extremely emotional and life-changing experience, so make sure you’re mentally prepared before embarking on the task.
- A family tree chart can gain you access to family history or significant events you may not have previously known about.
Another great reason to create a family tree chart is to learn more about the details of who your family is. Knowing names, birthdates, and city origins is great, but connecting the genealogical dots might allow you to explore your people even deeper. Maybe a certain branch of your family was well-known for their dancing skills, and you’ve always been naturally adept on the boogie floor. Alternatively, there might be an unusual medical history that has plagued a few members of your family – and learning this information could be life-saving for you and your personal health. There’s no limit to the details you might be able to uncover if you dig into your family’s past, and what you find out can have a powerful effect on your life.
- Creating a family tree chart can help you or your children connect closer to your heritage.
The process of creating a family tree chart will likely require you to connect directly with family members – assuming you’re able to do so. If that’s the case, this personal project can help you, your children, or whoever else is involved establish stronger relationships with family members you might not be that close to. The family tree creation might act as a powerful catalyst for bringing your entire family closer together, and that might be a pretty sweet reward for your exhaustive efforts.
- A family tree chart can allow you to examine national or global history from a more personable lens.
A genealogy chart can gain you insights into your family’s history and record of significant internal events – and this information can also help you place your family at a given point in history. This can personalize national or global chronicles for you or your children’s benefit, allowing historical context to become that much richer for you to explore.
- It’s incredibly simple to craft a family tree online.
Whether or not you have a great interest in creating a family tree, it’s an undeniably easy task in 2023. There are plenty of platforms available online to help you pull together your genealogical branches, so if you have a little bit of free time, you should absolutely look into this. Even if it isn’t exactly fascinating for you to explore, a family tree is a great legacy to leave behind – and a touching gift to give to your descendants.
How to make a family tree online
There are plenty of online tools for creating a family tree online, but before you venture out on the web to pull everything together, you’ll want to do a little research beforehand to streamline the process as much as possible.
- Figure out how far back you want the tree to go.
The first detail you’ll want to establish is exactly how exhaustive you want this family tree diagram to be. Of course, the further back you want it to go, the more research you’ll need to do on your part. Think about your capacity, your DNA timeline, and what’s more important to you: getting it done as quickly as possible, or getting it done as thoroughly as possible.
- Gather as much intel about your family as you can.
Once you’ve decided how far back you want your tree to go, it’s time to start gathering intel. The more, the better – and the easier the task will be for you to complete. You can start by checking official birth records, DNA test results, or asking around within your family to gather ancestral clues.
- Label your tree as clearly as possible.
Depending on where you decide to craft your family tree – either online or the old-fashioned, pen and paper route – you’ll want to be clear and concise. Make sure names and dates are well-labeled, and connection lines make logical sense to anyone who might be viewing your tree.
- Have fun with it!
Finally, make sure to enjoy yourself. Mapping out your family tree chart is meant to be a labor of love: one that provides you with valuable insights into your family, where you come from, and who you are. Research can be tiresome and long-going, but try and keep the task as exciting as possible. And when it comes to design: be bold, creative, and true to your family’s theme. This is something that can be passed down for generations, and you should be proud of the incredible work you’ve put into it.