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  • Create A Family Tree Using an Online Family Tree Maker: Here's How
  • Post author
    Jane Tanner

Create A Family Tree Using an Online Family Tree Maker: Here's How

We just got back from Rootstech, so we've had some fresh experience helping A LOT of people, create A LOT of custom family trees. The in-person demonstration was appreciated by many who stopped by our booth, so since we can't always give an in-person demonstration, here's a step by step video tutorial for you!



Note: If your spouse's genealogy doesn't import from FamilySearch, in my experience there's a 90% chance that it's because you haven't linked to your spouse in FamilySearch yet. It takes about 5 minutes and we have a tutorial on how to do it here. It's totally worth the effort because then you can look at their genealogy as well!

Today I'm going to show you how to create your own custom family tree using our family tree maker. First, you'll want to start from As you scroll down, there are all these different templates you can choose to start from. Once you've found a chart you like, click on it, select the number of generations you'd like to do (6-7 is the most popular if you're in doubt!) and then click "Start from this Template".

This will drop you into our editor, where the first thing you'll want to do will be to import your family names. Click either "Sign in to FamilySearch" or "Import GEDCOM file". I'm doing FamilySearch. Normally this would open up another tab and have you sign in to FamilySearch using your FamilySearch credentials, but I'm already signed in. Next choose who you'd like to be at the very center of your chart. If you want your genealogy and your spouse's genealogy to both be displayed, choose "Child of [Yourself]," regardless of how many children you actually have. Then you'll click import ancestors. If you want someone other than a child, yourself, or your spouse to be at the center (i.e. a parent, grandparent, or other ancestor) you'll need their FamilySearch ID, or the FamilySearch IDs of their parents.

Next, do a quick proof of your chart to make sure all the names are fitting. To do that, make sure you're on the main "Chart" tab, and then click on a cell you'd like to edit, and edit in the "Name" text box.

One of the great things about our family tree maker is that you can edit the information displayed in your chart, without impacting the original source of the information. (Often there are disputes in FamilySearch about what information is true, so this let's you display what YOU think is true!)

To add a text decal, start from the "Text Decal" tab, and type what you'd like on for the Heading Text as well as Subheading Text. You can edit the font, font size and spacing.

To change the font for the entire chart, do that from "Advanced">"Chart" and select your desired font from the drop down.

To change color, change the full palette simultaneously from "Advanced">"Palette" or create a totally custom look from "Advanced">"Color".

You can change whether or not dates are displayed generation by generation by choosing "Advanced" > "Generation" and choosing an option "w/ Date" from the "Information Displayed" drop down.

For more specific tutorials, visit our Tutorial Help Center. Ready to get started making your family tree? Choose a starting template!

  • Post author
    Jane Tanner

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