A Family Tree, also known as a pedigree chart, is a genealogical chart that shows the descent, ancestry and relationship of all members of the family.
Any person is a part of a genealogy group. But, people are more sophisticated creatures that are informed by local, national, and international historical records. With plenty of the genealogy being lifted, pedigree charts can be created in a more historical sense that extends back in time, with better accuracy.
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A Family Tree serves as a genealogical tool that records information from search results from the history of the family. It intends to give a person an overview of the origin of his/her family where the family name originates or as far back in time the history of the family can be researched. This can show the people that belong to the family through adding them to different branches of the family. A family tree can be created by putting the ancestors as roots and the descendants as branches. But, this approach is the ideal way to creating a family tree, unless you have the accurate details of your ancestors that you want to start with. If you are to create a pedigree from scratch, it’s better to begin with your immediate family. Also, the first person that you have to put in the family tree is the youngest member of the family. This approach is far better than beginning with your ancestors.
How to Create a Family Tree
Unlike before, Family Trees are now easy to create. You don’t have to be an expert in order to produce a professional looking and nearly accurate family tree. There are lots of tools available on the internet and you can find a free program or software to create your own pedigree tree. Free templates and software packages are pretty easy to use and you can even personalize them.
Research tools are also available allowing you to look up for your family members. If you want to verify the findings that you get online, you can begin with death and birth records that can be found in the Family Records Centre. This allows you to access the documents and get the address of your relative and pay them a visit. Once you have the deaths and births of your ancestors, you can begin plotting out your family genealogical line. If there are gaps, you can fill them with further research.
From this point, you may use a working pedigree tree to keep track of your research. It’s also better if you create a master copy of your research so that you can verify definite known records of the family history. Every time you update your master copy, see to it that you also record the date. Make sure that your working family tree matches the records on your master copy. Rather using a spreadsheet, it’s best if you use a computer to make your work easy to track and prevent your work from becoming confusing. Software packages and templates for family trees come in handy. Recording individual information can become very easy on templates rather than on separate documents or sheets. Family Tree Themes
There are many themes used to creating a family tree. A person may create a family tree encompassing all known ancestors or all direct descendants of a living person. Another theme is including all members of a specific surname or family name. Another method of creating a family tree is including all individuals that hold a certain office. This method relies on dynastic marriage and is commonly used to hold links between dynasties.
The Family Tree image originated from the Tree of Jesse, a popular medieval art. The Tree of Jesse illustrates the Genealogy of Christ according to the prophecy of Isaiah. It has been said that the first non-Biblical use of the family tree was the “On the Genealogy of the Gods of the Gentiles”. It’s a different form of family tree than the classic patrilineal scheme.
A Fan Chart is another popular theme used in creating a family tree. The chart features a half circle with concentric rings. Instead of tracing the family origin from the paternal linage, this is used to represent the family history of a person in both maternal and paternal ancestors. The inner circle represents that person of interest and the second circle is divided into two parts – maternal and paternal lineage. The second circle is divided into three and so forth.
Another theme used to trace the family history of a particular person is the Graph Theory. But, the Graph Theory does not generally refer to a tree in representing family relations. According to this theory, distant relatives can mate and a person may have the same ancestor on their father’s or mother’s side. But, since parents are born before their offspring, an individual cannot be his/her own ancestor. So, there are no loops and ancestry is formed in a direct acyclic graph. But, the patrilineal descent and matrilineal descent graphs are Family Trees.
Assuming that there is no common ancestor, ancestry charts are considered as perfect binary trees. Each individual has exactly one father and one mother, 2 parents and has regular structure. Another theme is the descendacy chart and does not have a regular structure since a person may have children or none.
Who is in Your Family Tree?
Now that you know what a family tree is, the next thing that you want to know is the names of people included in your pedigree tree. To determine the people in your family tree, you can begin with someone you know like your grandparents and parents. Your siblings are also included too. Determining the people included in your family tree doesn’t mean that you have to extend past your ancestor lines such as your great grandparents and so on. But, including your extended relatives such as your cousins, aunts and uncles are acceptable, as these people are part of your ancestral line.
When working on your family tree, you will find yourself working on lots of names and this is where family tree maker software or programs can help. Family Tree Maker software can help you arrange and organize your findings to make your work more accurate.