Simply put, a family tree is a record of the lineage of a family. For most people, when they see a family tree chart, all they see are interesting pieces of history to help them learn about where someone came from. This template also provides some clues as to where the person may be potentially headed in the future.
Family Tree Templates
What is a family tree?
A family tree template is an easy and simple way to visually document your ancestry. Most downloadable free family tree templates include boxes from each member of the family. Each of these boxes has connections to others indicating their relationships.
Apart from the name of each individual, each of the boxes may include the date of birth, the birthplace, and other types of information depending on how complex you want your family tree diagram to be. Usually, you would organize one generation into one level, making it easier to see the precedence of generations at a glance.
Horizontal lines which link two boxes are an indication of marriage. Brackets from couples to a set of boxes underneath them indicate children born from their marriage. Most printable family trees grow in a vertical direction but you may also draw them horizontally as well.
The importance of a family tree in science
A blank family tree makes it easier for you to create your own diagram. Instead of creating the diagram from scratch, all you have to do is to include the photos and the information about each member of the family. As you create your printable family tree, it becomes more and more important.
When you establish your family’s lineage, this can have an effect on things like inheritance which can get affected by disease, war or disaster. After completing your free family tree template, you can use it to establish inheritance and property rights. You can also use it to either disprove or prove things in court.
Think about it – how many families got separated during World War II? People had to flee to ensure their safety but this means that they had to risk this separation. In Europe, land disputes were only settled with the use of family trees.
Such templates can also be of help to medical professionals. The field of genetics grows more and more sophisticated as researchers, scientists, and epidemiologists study all of its aspects. Still, they can use something as simple as a family tree chart to provide valuable clues in the treatment of diseases.
Using a blank family tree to establish your lineage can help you when you suffer from a genetic disease or if you want to see the likelihood of passing on your disease to your offspring. Knowing the medical issues that you and your partner have can help you make crucial decisions.
Family Tree Charts
How does a family tree template work?
There are several ways to create a family tree template. You can start with tracing a surname or a male line from the present to as far back as you possibly can. You can also come up with a family history which grows into a tree shape starting with your parents and including your other relatives as far back as you possibly can.
Nowadays, there are a lot of software programs you can use to create this chart electronically. Still, there’s nothing like creating a customized or free family tree template then using that to build a visual representation of your family’s lineage. The great thing about this chart is that it’s so simple yet so useful.
It would take some time and effort for you to create an accurate family tree chart as far back as you can possibly go. Knowing your great-grandparents is one thing but learning who their great-grandparents were would require a good amount of detective work.
The process also involves a lot of fact-checking. Sometimes answers come easily, but you have to make sure that these answers are the correct ones – which means that you need to gather evidence to support the information you’ve acquired.
You may start searching for a long-lost cousin, you may want to prove that you’re the rightful heir to a small fortune or you may want to use the information on the chart for other reasons. Whatever your purpose is for looking into your history, a printable family tree can help you disprove or discover it.
How to make a family tree template?
Creating a family tree template is an excellent way to visually illustrate the history of your family. You can begin by doing research into your ancestry to determine who you should include. Then you can download a blank family tree or create your own template by adding all the required images and details.
If you’re not using the family tree for an official purpose, you can embellish it and make it something of an artwork. Here are some steps to guide you when creating your own family tree template.
Researching your family’s history
- Write down the names of the people to include in your family tree chart
Start your family tree with yourself and branch out from there. Write down the names of your immediate family then move on to the generation of your parents. Make sure you include everyone, especially in these generations closes to you. Remember that this diagram serves as an important part of your family’s history so make sure it’s accurate.
- Do research to fill in any gaps
The further you progress (meaning the more you go into the past), the more challenging it becomes to think of all the names to include. This is where you must do some research. After making your list, find those “missing” members of your family by doing research.
You can talk to the older members of your family and get the names from them. You also have the option to research online with the use of online genealogy tools.
- Think about the other details you want to include
Apart from including the full names of your family, you may also want to include other details like their birth dates, dates of death (for deceased family members), dates of marriage, and more. Such information makes your family tree more informative and more accurate as a historical place. You may also include details like hometowns and birthplaces.
- Think about whether you want to include photos or not
Although adding photos makes your diagram more interesting and comprehensive, you would have to put in more time and effort into its completion. Depending on how far back you want to go, you would have to search for photographs of your ancestors either online or from family members.
Blank Family Tree
Creating your diagram
- Begin with your own generation
The very base of your tree includes yourself, your siblings, and your parents. The shape of your family tree depends on your own preference. You can look at different printable family tree for ideas. No matter what shape you choose, you can start by coming up with a rough sketch first.
- Move on to the generation of your parents
After you’ve completed your own generation, it’s time to create your parent’s generation. For each married couple, draw a horizontal line between them to indicate their relationship. Then draw lines from the couples and their children.
- Move on to the generation of your grandparents
The bigger your family is, the more challenging creating this template can be. Still, if you want to include your grandparents’ generation, this is the next step to do. Don’t forget to use horizontal lines to connect married couples and connect these couples to their children. Two of those couples would be the parents of your parents.
- Think about how far back you’d like to go
At some point, you would have to stop tracing your lineage. It’s best to make the decision of how far back you want to go before starting the process. By making this decision, you would have a goal in mind and a finish line in sight.
Customize your family tree
- Add embellishments to your diagram
After the completion of your diagram, you can add embellishments to it as part of the customization. Adding these embellishments makes your family tree a work of art instead of just something you’ve created to input information. Think about how you want to present your diagram to your class or to your family.
- Use a printed template or the software of your choice
After gathering all the information and photos, you need and after sketching your family tree, it’s time to start plotting it. You can do this on your computer using the software of your choice or on a printable template.
- Consider asking an artist to create an original rendition of your family tree
If you don’t think you can do justice to your family tree, you can search for an artist who can recreate your family tree into a beautiful original artwork. Then you can keep this artwork to show your own children or the next generations.