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How To Create a Family Tree For A Child

How To Create a Family Tree For A Child

Our family tree charts for kids are oh-so-cute, and having one in their bedroom is delightfully fun. At least, that's what we've heard from our customers, and what we've seen here at home. We made this cute whale chart for my son's room and then brought it with us to Rootstech to display. As we pulled it out of the suitcase as we were unpacking, he picked it right up and proceeded to totter around with it for 25 minutes (which is quite the attention span for a 15-month-old). Does he know what it is? I highly doubt it (even though I've talked to him about it several times), but he does REALLY like it. It could be the bright colors. It could be the unique shape (with all these cool flappy things on the back!). But I hope it's also because he has some sense that it's his.

Ready to get started making a family tree chart for your child? Here's how!

1. Choose a starting template.

2. Import your child's genealogy from FamilySearch or enter the names manually.

Pro-tip: You can just use YOUR FamilySearch account, and choose "Child of [Yourself]" from the drop-down menu for who is at the center. If you haven't synced with your spouse yet on FamilySearch, you'll want to either do that before or just enter their side of the chart manually--it's pretty fast for kids charts!

3. Play with colors!

This is my favorite part. Go to Advanced > Palettes, and click through different palettes to see what a pink ombre ladybug looks like, or discover how to turn a whale into a shark! You can also totally customize the colors by choosing Advanced > Colors.

4. (Optional) Add a text decal.

Since your child's name won't be displayed in the chart itself, you can add their name as a text decal at the bottom.

5. Order your chart and print it!

A normal home printer with normal printer paper works great for most kids charts. The colors may be a little off depending on how nice of a printer you have, but it should look great anyways :)

Ready to get started? Choose a starting template here.

 

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Free Chart Preview: See What Your Genealogy Could Look Like

Free Chart Preview: See What Your Genealogy Could Look Like

There's something magical about seeing your personal family history in visual form that inspires and awes and invokes deep feelings of love and belonging. The thought of having your own family tree chart may be nice, but that magical moment is definitely when you can see EXACTLY what it would look like that will make you say, "Wow."

Each family is unique, so why should you have to commit to purchasing a specific template before you know what the finished product will look like? And for that matter, why do you have to use a one-size-fits-all template at all?

The answer to both of those questions is... well, you shouldn't. That's why you can preview your personal genealogy in one of our custom family trees for free! Once you've imported your genealogy from FamilySearch or a GEDCOM file, you can adjust the number of generations you want to be displayed (based on how far back your genealogy goes and how many gaps you want to show) and whether or not you want dates displayed, as well as the shape, color, font, etc. of the chart in general.

So how do you get this free preview? Well, it's easy! 


1. Go to familytreeprints.com and choose a starting template. 


Note: Peruse at your leisure, but also don't feel trapped or committed once you choose. You'll be able to switch to a different template entirely or modify shape, palette, font, or individual colors once you're in our family tree maker app.


2. Choose the number of generations you think you'd like displayed in your chart and click "Start from this template".


Note: When in doubt, start with more generations than you think you'll need so that all of your names get imported. You can always decrease the number of generations showing later and the cost of your chart (if you choose to buy it!) will decrease accordingly.


3. Import your names from FamilySearch or a GEDCOM file, or enter them manually.


Now you have a free preview of your chart using our family tree maker! You can play with the number of generations showing, the shape of the chart, the color palette, individual colors in a chart, the font, the width of a generation band, whether or not the dates are showing and so much more. Then, when you're in love with how your chart looks, just click "Order Your Chart" and you'll have a print-ready genealogy wall chart that will have everyone who walks by saying "Wow" too!

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Celebrating Your Irish Heritage (Not Just on St. Patrick's Day!)

Celebrating Your Irish Heritage (Not Just on St. Patrick's Day!)

If you have Irish heritage, St. Patrick's Day is a great yearly reminder to celebrate those ancestors! Looking to remember them all year round? Consider choosing a genealogy wall chart that has a little Irish spirit for your home, such as this "Luck O' The Irish" family tree template!

If that's a little bold for you, we'd recommend this "Subtle Leaf" family tree template, that has just a hint of green...

 or this gold banded chart, which has classy written all over it! (We realize at this point, we've stretched the connection to gold at the end of the rainbow... which isn't all that Irish, but there you go!)

How do you choose to honor your Irish heritage? Tell us in the comments below!

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DIY Family Tree Placemats

One of the great things about Family Tree Prints is the flexibility of what you do with your custom family tree once you've created it. Once you've input your names, customized and ordered your family tree chart, you own the file, and can do anything you want with it (other than resell it) including printing it off as many times as you want! One prime DIY activity to do with your unlimited printing privileges is creating placements (for your own table, grandchildren, a family reunion, etc.) What could be easier than printing off a bunch of 11" x 17" or 12" x 18" charts and laminating them?

Looking for some different ways to execute this? They will, of course, look fabulous if you create matching placements starting from one of our carefully crafted templates! Another idea that will get every member of your family (that wants to be!) involved is to choose to start from either our Classic White family tree template, or our White Simplicity family tree template, and then letting individual family members color on and decorate their chart before you do the lamination. It's a little reminiscent of the "Pedigree Picasso" competition we ran at Rootstech, where kids were challenged to use their creativity to turn a fan or circle chart into something else (animal, spaceship, etc.), but you can keep it as kid-friendly or classically classy as you want!

Ready to add a little more family to your family dinner? Get started on your own DIY placements by choosing your starting template! (P.S. These also make a FANTASTIC gift for parents or grandparents!)

 

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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 familytreeprints.com. 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!

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DIY Family Tree Print: The Truth About Staples Engineering Prints for Family Trees

DIY Family Tree Print: The Truth About Staples Engineering Prints for Family Trees

We have a general page of printing recommendations that you should check out, but having printed 10+ charts myself within the last couple months I wanted to add some additional lessons that I learned.

Perusing the web, I found a suggestion to print family trees using Staples Engineering Prints--currently, they print 18" x 24", 24" x 36" (as well as two even bigger sizes) for $2.99 and $5.89 respectively in color and $1.79 and $3.59 in black and white. Pretty much a steal of a deal in the printing world, so we thought we'd investigate.

Our first attempt was highly successful. We printed a 24" x 36" color chart as well as an 18" x 24" color chart.

golden bands family tree

turquoise and black family tree

Note: Our blog editor, unfortunately, optimizes pictures automatically and reduces the quality. In these images, the charts look blurry, but in real life they are CRISP!

Unfortunately, our experience was a little skewed to the positive as the girl helping us didn't know how to work the engineering print machine in color, and so printed for us on poster paper instead. The colors were gorgeous and true and the paper felt sufficiently heavy and framed well. Had we been charged the full amount for the poster print, however, we would have paid $14.99 and $29.99 for the 18" x 24" and 24" x 36" respectively which is a far cry from $2.99 and $5.89, but also not the most expensive printing option out there. Our local print show where we've printed before charges $36.00 for a 24" x 36" print, and the quality was slightly better on very close inspection, but essentially the same. So the verdict on Staples poster printing? From our one experience:

Paper weight: Sufficient
Resolution: Good 
Color truth: Good
Price: Moderate

In an effort to have the actual engineering prints experience, we tried again, and this time we were successful... or not depending on how you look at it. 

grey and white family tree

white family tree chart

The color printing itself turned out great--the colors were still true and the resolution was great. The only downside was that the bond paper the prints are printed on was quite thin (about the same weight as regular printer paper), so whenever you handled it, it left little visible marks. These marks aren't really visible in the larger prints we did (16" x 20" through 12" x 12"), most likely because the glass we were using in nicer frames flattened it out, but the little one (8" x 10") we have in a cheaper frame you can still see little finger divets on the paper... so not great. 

Paper weight: Thin
Resolution: Good 
Color truth: Good
Price: Phenomenal

For a price comparison for the price conscious, when we asked for a quote for a 16" x 20", 11" x 14", 12" x 12" and 8" x 10" on poster paper it was going to be $45, and instead we formatted all four of those charts to fit on one 24" x 36" document that we printed as an engineering print and cut out ourselves and it was $5.89... so hard to beat.

Here are those four charts puzzle-pieced onto a 24" x 36" sheet.

family tree prints printing

IF YOU TRY THIS AT HOME, PLEASE NOTE: Many image editing programs will actually reduce the resolution automatically, so make sure whatever you're using DOES NOT do this... or the quality will be terrible. We used Sketch, and it works great.

And there you have it--our review of Staples printing for family tree printing! Have your own experience? Tell us in the comments!

Ready to create your custom family tree? Choose one of our starting templates to begin!

 

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Family Tree Template Feature: White Simplicity Circle

Family Tree Template Feature: White Simplicity Circle

We've already featured the White Simplicity Fan family tree template, but our White Simplicity Circle chart deserves its own mention because it's fabulous and popular in its own right.

Why we LOVE this template (and you should too):

It's simple, elegant and modern with the clean minimalist feel that brings a breath of fresh air into any room. Plus, any chart that's black and white is highly readable, which is a bonus for both older and younger eyes! There's also lots of room to play with the entire feel of the chart just based on how you orient the names (horizontal, vertical, single line, broken into multiple lines, etc.)

Want to see another example of this gorgeous family tree template in the wild?! This one was created by @thelisteningearproject--if you aren't familiar with her IG, go check it out!

white simplicity circle family tree

Ready to create your own family tree chart? Start from this template or choose another from our extensive list!

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Family Tree Template Feature: Turquoise Ebony Fan

Family Tree Template Feature: Turquoise Ebony Fan

This family tree template has always been one of my favorites, and it turns out that our customers love it too! This bold, sophisticated chart was front and center at our Rootstech 2018 table display (we miss you all already!) so we thought it deserved a special feature here on the blog as well.

Why we LOVE this template (and you should too):

Quite frankly, this family tree template is edgy while still maintaining an air of sophistication. It's ALMOST black and white... except it's not. It's cream and deepest purple with that flash of bold turquoise. On this chart, you can change the order you'd like the stripes (turquoise then deep purple or vice versa) depending which one you want to emphasize and it looks chic in a black frame (which are the easiest frames to find!) so you don't have to go custom.

Of course, you can also create a circle using this family tree template palette (see below), but the fan is more popular!

turquoise and black circle family tree template

Ready to create your own custom family tree? Start from this template or choose one of our others that better fits your style!

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Pedigree Picasso: Art of the Chart Competition

Pedigree Picasso: Art of the Chart Competition

We're at Rootstech this week, and absolutely loving it! Today is Family Discovery Day, and we wanted to give everyone who's #NotAtRootstech the opportunity to participant in the friendly competition we're running today with kids in mind! Without further ado.,... announcing Family Tree Print's Pedigree Picasso: Art of the Chart Competition.

PEDIGREE PICASSO

Create your own family tree design for a chance to have your design become a Family Tree Prints template! Submit on Instagram by tagging @familytree_prints and #pedigreepicasso or email to hello@familytreeprints.com by midnight Sunday, March 4th. Winners will be announced Monday, March 5th!

You can design your own fan chart or circle chart.

colorable fan chart

Download the Pedigree Picasso Fan Chart PDF.

design your own circle family tree template

Download the Pedigree Picasso Circle Chart PDF.

Too little, or not feeling the creative juices yet? Color this crab!

coloring page family tree

Download the Curious Crab Coloring Page.

Here are the details:

Who can participate?

While this competition was designed with kids in mind, participants of all ages are welcome.

Wait, how do I enter?

Print off either the Pedigree Picasso Fan Chart or Pedigree Picasso Circle Chart templates, and use your creativity to turn it into something (a bird, a plane, a crown, etc.) or otherwise embellish it! Please avoid submissions containing licensed content (i.e. BB8) because although we'll love it, we can't turn it into a template so it won't be eligible to win. Submit your entry via Instagram by tagging @familytree_prints and #pedigreepicasso (your account will need to be public for us to see it)) or emailing hello@familytreeprints.com.

How long does the competition run?

All entries must be submitted by midnight PST on Sunday, March 4th. The winner will be announced March 5th.

Can I submit multiple entries?

Yes! Each individual can submit up to 3 entries!

How will the winners be chosen?

Plain and simple. With the help of our family and friends, we'll choose our favorite that we think will make the best permanent template for familytreeprints.com. Major points awarded for creativity.

What are the prizes?

The winning entry will receive both the high-res file and physical print of their genealogy on their custom template! Runners-up will receive a high-res file with their genealogy on their custom template.

The fine print.

By submitting an entry, you authorize Family Tree Prints to use and share your submission on social media or on familytreeprints.com (all identifying information will be removed). You also give permission and the rights to Family Tree Prints to use your design as a template or as inspiration for a template to be sold. By providing your email address, you also authorize Family Tree Prints to email you regarding this competition as well as with marketing material, although you may unsubscribe at any time. Family Tree Prints will choose at least one grand prize winner.

Questions? Email hello@familytreeprints.com.

 

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Family Tree Template Feature: Frosted Diamond Circle

Family Tree Template Feature: Frosted Diamond Circle

Today's featured family tree template is our Frosted Diamond Circle. Ba-bling, ba-bling! The distinct, individually colored cells make this chart look faceted and may elicit fond memories of a precious family heirloom or your own beautiful diamond ring. And remember--a diamond is forever, just like your family. 

white and grey family tree template

Alright, enough with the sappy analogies. Our true reason for featuring this template is that it's one of our more popular family tree templates and it's easy to see why.

Why we LOVE this template (and you should too):

It's classy and subdued with pale creams, greys and white, but the alternating colors on each generation give it an interest level that's a step above your classic white chart. Plus, whenever you change from a fan family tree to a circle family tree it gives you an extra dose of modern. The warm hint of pink in the creams balances the coolness of the greys and keeps it from looking plain old grayscale.  Love, love, love.

A word to the wise. We've printed this chart at an actual printer as well as ourselves on a color printer, and printing it ourselves on a color printer, the finished product lost a lot of the cream and looked more subdued and mostly grey-scale, so PRINTING MATTERS!

Ready to get started? If this is the family tree template for you, start from our template here. If you're looking for something a little different, check out our other family tree template options here.

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