How to make my Family Tree?

What is a family tree?

The family tree is a visual representation that helps to understand the parental ties that family members maintain across generations. The most complete tree goes back before the birth of Jesus Christ and would count 80 generations and more than 2 million people!

The image of the tree is not insignificant: its ramifications make it possible to represent to us the various links composing a family (marriage, births, siblings ...). A complete family tree includes the name and surname of your ancestors, their dates and places of marriage, places and dates of their birth and death. The family tree can take many forms.

How to make a family tree?

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Before wondering how to make a family tree, one must first answer the question: "Why create a family tree?" Creating a family tree is certainly not a day project! It's somewhere to go on an adventure, to discover its origins, its ancestors. So you have to don your Sherlock Holmes coat and ask a lot of questions to the right people to get as far as possible in your ancestry! Are you looking for your ancestors? Or, on the contrary, of your descendants? Both of them? You will need to find a corresponding tree model. If you do not know what types of documents you need to assemble and enrich your tree, we encourage you to read this extensive list of the essential pieces for a thorough genealogical research!

The ascending and descending family tree

It is usually through the ascending family tree that genealogical research begins, what is called "bottom-up research". It is a question of looking for and identifying each past generation of a family and thus all the ancestors of a person. The idea here is to try to go back as far as possible in time!

On the contrary, a descendant family tree aims to identify individuals descended from another.

These two types of family trees can be broken down into three other types depending on what you are looking for. We distinguish : - the complete family tree: tree that represents the family in its completeness, that is to say the set of ancestors and descendants. - The cognitive family tree: only lists the women making up the family. - Agnatic genealogical tree: list only men.

What media do I use for my family tree?

It is possible to make a tree manually on paper. But imagine: how to fit tens of generations and thousands of members on an 8.5x11 sheet of paper? Although this medium is the most likely to give free rein to your imagination and allows to create an original and creative family tree, for example by adding images, stamps, photos or others, it requires a tedious job since each error you will have to start over on new media - unless you have any problem with the excessive use of the eraser! Of course, there are several supports and methods to build your family tree by hand.

The blank family tree to print

On some websites, you can download and print directly blank family trees to fill out. A little round table!

Printing Blank Family Trees to Paper

The website https://www.familytreetemplates.net/ provides basis templates for printing blank family trees to be written by hand. Horizontal or vertical, these trees can contain from 3 to 7 generations. The simplest, without any design, can be very useful for starting genealogical research.

Family tree software

Sites, software and applications specifically designed to modify and enrich your family trees have been popular for some time. They allow you to synthesize, classify, organize, share, centralize, save and share your findings in real time. Here is a brief presentation of the most used software currently used by professional or amateur genealogists.

Famicity

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Free genealogy application accessible via the website www.famicity.com or the mobile application, the service offers you, once registered, start your family tree by registering in turn the members of your family. You can complete each profile of a photo, enter the sex, the state of the person (alive or dead), its date and place of birth and finally his name and first names.

The application offers you, for each added profile, to invite the corresponding person through a personalized email. The family tree is interactive! The goal is to involve other members of your family to have the most complete family tree possible.

What distinguishes this service from all others is the interaction it tends to promote between different members of a family. True private social network and secure, it allows you to share texts, photos, videos on individual timelines to facebook with system likes, sharing and comments only with members of your family. Another advantage: a feature allows you to integrate your gedcom file directly into your tree if you have one!

FamilySearch

Application developed and published by the Mormons, you can feed your family tree from their database which has millions of records on each living or deceased person registered. The data you enter is therefore directly synchronized with the existing data.

By clicking on an individual in your tree, you have access to or can enter a lot of information such as: a biography, his / her marital status and available sources only if that person has died. Although you can not search directly on your tree, you can find a deceased person thanks to the powerful search engine familysearch with many filters (names, first names, place and year of birth, residence, death, wedding etc.). After finding the ancestor you are looking for and the information attached to it, you can join it directly into your family tree. It is not possible to import your tree from another software or your gedcom.

Ancestry

This paid application allows you to illustrate your family tree from photos taken directly with your mobile! You can not only import your gedcom, but also use the information available on the site.

When the app sees "hints", it sends you alerts and displays notifications when you log in if certain changes have been added to your tree. By linking your Ancestry and Facebook accounts, you can publish the changes made to your family tree for your friends!

Heredis

Installed as a mobile application or software on PC (it is advisable to install both since they are synchronized automatically), you can directly integrate the information of your ancestors in their corresponding form when you consult an act in room d 'archives. You can import your gedcom file, whether from your PC or mobile device. You can modify the design of your tree, for example by choosing a working tree or an illustrated tree.

GeneaNet

Free or premium, the application allows you to navigate from individuals to individuals within your tree so that a card summarizing the essential information of a person and two additional tabs allowing you to know his close family ties or distant. Like Ancestry, you can upload photos directly from your mobile device. Once connected, the application synchronizes the information you integrate with the information it already contains.

RootsFinder

RootsFinder.com is a genealogy website and research app that brings the hints to you from various resources around the web such as Billiongraves.com, Findagrave.com and FindMyPast.com.

When a user uploads their Gedcom file or synchronizes their family tree from FamilySearch.org, RootsFinder will pull in hints from these various websites for various profiles.

The idea is that RootsFinder is a centralized location for your family tree and the hints from the various research sites will come to you. It saves you research time by not having to go from site to site looking for records.

Using their WebClipper browser extension, users can also input data into profiles on their tree quickly and accurately without manually typing from one source to another.

The family tree on paper

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If you handle the art of pencil and brush, it's time to have fun and create your family tree from scratch! Here are some rudimentary steps to follow in order to enter the essential information for your tree:

  1. Begin by determining the number of generations you want to see in order to get an idea of ​​how many branches your tree will have. Depending on the format of your media, you can add more or less generations, the goal being that your tree and the names that compose it are pleasant to read!
  2. Draw your tree with a pencil so that you can catch any erasures or forgetfulness, and anticipate especially the place you will give to the information you want to introduce (names, first names, dates and places of birth and / or death .. .).
  3. Go from the simplest to the most complicated starting with you if you make your ascending tree, with your brothers and sisters at the same level as you, at the roots or on the upper part of the trunk for example, and your parents at the higher level, each on an opposite branch.
  4. Introduce your uncles and aunts next to your parents, and divide the branches in half so that your grandparents can enter, and so on.
  5. Describe your tree according to your desires, for example by distinguishing men and women by a color code, the living of the deceased by certain symbols, use dotted lines for divorced couples or for half-brothers and half-sisters by example… You can consult the system of abbreviations used by genealogists in How to do my Genealogical Research (link to the Genealogy Search page)?
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