"Let's start at the very beginning, the very best place to start. When you read you begin with A, B, C, when you sing you begin with Do, Re, Mi." - The Sound of Music
What is "the very beginning" when talking about how to make a family tree? It's your ancestors, and where they fit within the chart! So who goes where?! You can see an example of a generic family tree filled in above with you at the center. There are some basic guiding principles that make it easy to fill in a pedigree chart regardless of who you'd like to put at the center
You can see an example of a generic family tree filled in above with you at the center. Here's an example for you if you're married (with or without children--without children, you can just put an & or "The Smiths" at the center, or hide it completely). There are some basic guiding principles that make it easy to fill in a pedigree chart regardless of who you'd like to put at the center.
It turns out, that you don't actually need a precise how-to guide for each and every scenario, however, if you follow these three basic guiding principles:
- Start from the center. It gets REALLY confusing if you start with the great-grandpa and try to work inward. (We do not support descendancy charts, only ancestry charts!) To start with, choose who you'd like to be the center of your pedigree chart and put their name there.
- By convention, men are on the left (or the top in a circular chart!) This doesn't matter for the center of your chart, but it will for every other generation, so keep it in mind as we move to guiding principle #3.
- The next step out is always the previous generations' parents. Work out from the center, putting the father of the previous cell in the left spot, and the mother of the previous cell in the right spot.
Want it broken down a little further? Our Etsy listings offer the option of filling out your genealogy in this step-by-step Excel sheet and having us move your names to the actual chart for you. The Excel sheet also includes these great reference charts to show you where you are on the chart itself.
Ready to get started? The next step is to choose your starting family tree template!