When drawing up a free family tree, you’ll want the information to be illustrated clearly and accurately so that anyone can understand it. Make sure you download a free family tree template to use as a guide or instead of drawing a family tree by hand. Correct genealogical terms and abbreviations should be used so that other genealogists can benefit from your research, and relationships must be clearly demonstrated so that other family members can follow your family history. The following suggestions should help you to quickly construct a professional looking free family tree.
The free family tree you’re going to construct will display all of the information you’ve been able to gather about your ancestors. This will include data from documentation, interviews with other relatives, and anything you have managed to glean from family heirlooms. There may still be some things you’re not clear on, but don’t let this stop you from beginning your family tree. The main purpose of your initial draft is to show you what is missing and what you might need to verify. Don’t dismay if your family tree seems a bit disordered at this stage, you can tidy it up and add new ancestors as you go along.Start Your Free Family Tree
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You’ll want to think about what style to use in displaying your free family tree, and there are several recognized ways of doing so. The choice is yours, so select whichever format is easiest for you to work with. You can either show just a direct line, or you can branch out into extended family. Whichever style you choose, begin with yourself as the first entry.
Traditionally direct line family trees begin with the first member at the bottom and extend upwards into previous generations, but you can also display it with yourself on the left of the page, and extend the branches horizontally to the right. Either way is accepted in genealogical circles, but the traditional method is easier used to display extended family. Why not have a look at some of the downloadable free family tree templates we have available here, they may help you to get a head start in building your free family tree.
When writing your details into your free family tree, include your full name - the name you were registered with at birth. If you have acquired a nickname, include that as well, as future generations may find it useful if they can’t locate you by your given name further down the line. Write it as such, with your surname in capitol letters: William Henry “Hank” HOLMES. When writing in the names of your married relatives, the women should be recorded using their maiden name. Underneath each name you enter into your free family tree write a small “b” which will indicate birth date. For married relative also put an “m” for married and for any who are deceased, use “d” for died.
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Let’s assume you are using the traditional chart form to display your direct line of ancestry in your free family tree. Once you have written in your name and details at the bottom of the page, draw a horizontal line about 1cm above your name, with a small vertical line descending from the horizontal one to connect with your name. At each end of the horizontal line, draw a vertical line extending upwards, at which place you’ll write in the names of your parents. It should look like the diagram below.
This is the beginning of your free family tree, and this form will continue until you’ve included all of your direct line ancestors. If you have brothers or sisters, enter them on the same line as yourself. Begin with the oldest sibling whose name should be written to the left of yours if you’re not the eldest, and continue along to the right. If you were the oldest, your sibling’s names would be to the right, if you were the third eldest for example, you would have two names to the left of yours. Write the details of your siblings the same as the others, using the appropriate abbreviations that we’ve taught you.
As you can see, building a free family tree need not be intimidating. Beginning with a simple direct line free family tree will help you to get used to entering genealogical information, and become familiar with the terminology required. After that, there is no limit to the size or style of free family tree you can construct.
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