- Old friends are best. John Selden
Create a Family Tree
Five steps to creat a family tree.
Decide what information you want to include. Some family trees include only the names of individuals. Others include dates and/or places of birth and death, marriage information, health information and even photographs. The design and shape of your tree will depend on how much information you want to include.
Determine the vertical size of your tree. Write out a sample box with the information you want to include, using one individual ancestor for your sample. Make several photocopies of the box, then cut them out to use as templates. Space out the sample box templates you've created as though they represented three separate generations. The oldest generation typically goes on the top of a family tree, and subsequent generations line up underneath. This will give you some sense of how much space you want between each generation. Measure the distance from the top of the sample box template for the first generation to the top of the sample box template for the second generation. Multiply the distance between the top of the sample box templates by the number of generations you want to show on your family tree. This will give you the height of your completed tree.
Determine the horizontal size of your tree. Lay your sample box templates out side by side, as though they represented siblings in the same generation. Measure the distance from the left side of the first sample box template to the left side of the second one. Multiply the distance between the left sides of the sample box templates by the number of individuals in your largest generation. This is the minimum width of your family tree. Consider adding additional horizontal spaces for future growth. It's common to uncover new siblings or spouses of ancestors, even with mature family history projects.
Decide what medium you'd like to use for your tree. Use large copy paper or poster boards for smaller trees. Use butcher paper or the backside of wrapping paper for larger trees. Use a flat bed sheet or an artist's canvas for extra large trees.
Attach each family member's information to your family tree. You can write the information directly on your chosen medium, or print the information, cut it out and attach each individuals information separately.