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Family Tree Builder: A Dual Definition

Family Tree Builder: A Dual Definition

The phrase "family tree builder" has a dual meaning--both important, very connected, but vastly different. One is a tool, the other is a person. I'm no Webster, but I hope you'll bear with me.

Definition 1:

family tree builder: (n) a tool used to create a physical or digital family tree for display as a reminder of those who came before.

In this context, Family Tree Prints is a family tree builder. It's a tool that helps people create digital files of beautiful, custom family trees that they can then print anywhere they'd like. It allows you to pull in your genealogy directly from FamilySearch or a GEDCOM file to speed up the process, modify colors, add a text decal, etc. to end up with a gorgeous genealogy wall chart that's as unique as your family history is. We need family tree builders to help to create wall-worthy family trees while also in saving us time, effort, and stress in the creation process. 

But who is it looking to use family tree builders as defined in this first context? It's family tree builders in a second context.

Definition 2:

family tree builder: (n) a person who strengthens the bonds between generations, finds their ancestors who are lost and comes to know them, keeps a record of the current generation to aid posterity, preserves memories, etc.

As we look to our ancestors and have a desire to remember and know them better, we become family tree builders ourselves. Genealogy work has developed a reputation for being difficult, time-consuming and intimidating. Some aspects of it are. But some are not, so why not start where you are, with what you're comfortable with and then allow yourself to grow and stretch? Hang a family tree where you can see it and be reminded of your ancestors often. Allow yourself to develop curiosity about the names you see. Learn their stories. Record memories of your siblings, parents, and grandparents. Keep a journal and take pictures for your own posterity. When you feel directed and inspired to, ask for help in finding the names of your ancestors who are yet unknown. As you develop relationships with your own family, you are building your family tree.

When I think of my own process of becoming a family tree builder in my family, a quote by Jeffrey R. Holland in the April 2017 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints comes to mind: "Come as you are,...Don't plan to stay as you are." As you begin where you are, with what you can do, you can become a family tree builder for your own family and strengthen the bonds of forever. 

Want to get started making your own printable family tree? Read this post or get started immediately!

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