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Breaking It Down: How To Fill In A Blank Family Tree

Breaking It Down: How To Fill In A Blank Family Tree

"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

Note: This is all taken care of for you automatically if you import via FamilySearch or GEDCOM file.

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.

example of family tree

example of family tree

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  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.

fill in the blank family history chart fan

fill in the blank family history chart circle

Ready to get started? The next step is to choose your starting family tree template!

 

 

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Real Customer Question: Do you somehow transfer the info of the family tree that has already been done to your prints or do you type in the names?

Real Customer Question: Do you somehow transfer the info of the family tree that has already been done to your prints or do you type in the names?

We figure if one person has a question, others probably do too, and we want to help you know how to make a family tree, exactly how you'd like! Today's real customer question is:

Q: "Do you somehow transfer the info of the family tree that has already been done to your prints or do you type in the names?"

A: The short answer is Yes.

If you have a FamilySearch account and your genealogy is stored there, you can use our FamilySearch import function to pull in up to 10 generations of genealogy within a couple of minutes. As a note, this will pull in your information EXACTLY as it is in FamilySearch (typos and multiple name options and all!) so you'll want to do a quick spot check to make sure everything is as you'd like it to be displayed in your final printed chart. We have yet to see a chart that didn't need at least one quick manual fix.

Note: The most common manual fix you'll need it making a long name fit. Here are some tips to fix it!

If you don't have a FamilySearch account, but you do have a GEDCOM file, you can also use that to create your family tree print without having to type each and every name by using our GEDCOM import function. Again, you'll probably still need to do a few manual fixes!

It's also an option to type the names in yourself (we call this "Manual Entry"), and as long as you have all the information gathered beforehand, it's not too slow. A five generation chart takes us about half an hour to enter all in manually (including dates!) and then goes up from there.

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Want to check out some more tutorials? Visit our tutorial help center!

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How To Make a Family Tree In 3 Easy Steps

How To Make a Family Tree In 3 Easy Steps

Create a custom family tree used to be time-consuming. And intimidating. And... Well, it doesn't matter how it used to be. Now, using our family tree maker app creating a custom family tree chart is fun, easy, and fast. To borrow a common expression, it's a simple as 1-2-3. Here's how to make a family tree in 3 easy steps.

Step 1. Choose a template you'd like to start from.

You can browse all the available templates here. Templates vary by shape (fan charts, circle charts, animal shaped charts designed with kids in mind, etc.), color palatte (classic black and white, subtle nature hues, bright and bold, etc.) and number of generations displayed (anywhere from 3-10, just select this once you've chosen a template shape+color combo!)

Step 2. Import your names in minutes

If you have a FamilySearch account or GEDCOM file with your genealogy, this is where the MAJOR time savings comes in, since you can import up to 10 generations of genealogy from either source in just minutes. (That's way faster than manually entering 2047 names... not that you'd do that anyway.) For more in-depth instructions on how to import your names from FamilySearch of a GEDCOM file see below. If you want manually enter your names, that works too, and it's honestly not too bad either. Entering 5 generations typically takes one of us about 30 minutes.

import from FamilySearch import from GEDCOM

 

Step 3. Check and download

Once you have all of your names entered, all that's left is a quick check to make sure everything is picture perfect and then download your chart!

The biggest thing to watch out for is names that are too long for the size cell they are in. Here are some tips for making extra long names fit and look great. If you want to make any other adjustments (color, font, etc.) and need a little guidance, visit our tutorial help center!

tutorial help center

And there you have it--how to make a family tree in three easy steps. Ready to try it for yourself? Start browsing our templates here.

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Make a Family Tree Using GEDCOM Import

Make a Family Tree Using GEDCOM Import

To make a family tree in our family tree maker, one of the first things you want to is get your ancestors into your chart--there are several ways to do this including manual entry, import from FamilySearch and GEDCOM import. This video will walk you through how to import your names from a GEDCOM file (.ged) downloaded onto your computer. For this example of a family tree we'll be using Ronald Reagan as our subject, hence the patriotic palette!

 

Some points to note:

  • In order to import a GEDCOM file, you'll need to start on the "Import" tab.
  • Once you click "Import GEDCOM" and choose your .ged file from your computer, you'll need to actually open the drop down menu and click on the name you'd like to be the center of your circle or first generation.
  • A GEDCOM import (unlike a FamilySearch import) pulls in all the generations available at once, so you can increase or decrease the number of generations without re-importing. If cells are blank that means that there was no data to import.

Want to use this patriotic family tree template?

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