27 Aug
2015
Posted in: DIY Projects, Life
By    1 Comment

Family Tree

I have been interested in genealogy practically my entire life. I remember looking at family history books and annuals and trying to figure out how I intersected all these lives. For my #30before30 list I wanted to make a family tree. I looked at a lot of different styles of family trees. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be more literal and include a tree or if I had it in me to go more modern. Etsy offered all kinds of options.

The “Traditional” Tree-Shaped Family Tree

ArtandArtisan

Art and Artisan

ShabbyLadybug

My Shabby Ladybug Design Shoppe

TheFreckledOwlPrints

The Freckled Owl Prints

A More Modern Tree-Shaped Family Tree

BrambleCrafts1

Bramble Crafts

AncestryPrints

Ancestry Prints

ShabbyLadybug

My Shabby Ladybug Design Shoppe

The Traditional Bracket Family Tree

EphiphanieDesign

Epiphanie Design

An Abstract Circle Chart Family Tree

mycirclefamily

My Circle Family

mycirclefamily2

My Circle Family

moderntrees

Modern Trees

Modern Geometric Family Tree

mypeopleprints

My People Prints

Artistic Family Trees

evajuliet1

evajuliet2
evajuliet3

 

My Family Tree

At the end of the day, I decided to choose an option that had a tree, looked traditional, but hopefully made it easier to understand each tree by choosing a fan chart style tree from FreshRetroGallery.  A bonus of this choice was that I got 2 charts for the price of 1 so I could make a tree for myself and for my husband.
Family Tree
This tree holds 6 generations, including myself. That means it goes all the way back to my great great great grandparents. Sadly, my tree has some blanks in it but it’s important to think of your family tree as a living document that you can keep updating. You find new records and you make adjustments. For me, that meant making sure I had an erasable pen and I found one that not only had strong lines but a fine tip.
I hope to write a post about how to research ancestry soon but here are some good tips:
  1. Research through free documents first. Ancestry, Findagrave, Family Search, state websites, and even your attic may have hints and clues along the way
  2. Sometimes it pays to pay. Ancestry does have paid content but they are fantastic for building a tree and organizing your research.
  3. Document all your finds. You won’t remember how you knew Grandma Betsy came over on a ship or even which ship unless you save it. Find a standard to save documents and live by it.
  4. Just because you find a leaf on Ancestry doesn’t mean that leaf is about your tree. I bet you there were millions of Johns born to John and Mary Lastname so check your dates, locations, and then double check.
  5. Just because it is written doesn’t mean it is true. Just because Grandma has down in the family Bible that she was baptized in 1920 doesn’t mean it’s true. My own grandpa spells his name so many different ways over the years.
  6. Talk to the older generations and find out what they know. My grandma knew nothing about her grandma till she found a letter from a relative who had passed. You won’t always get clues from the grave.
  7. You might find some things others will wish to stay buried. I live by the mantra that there is no bad data but sometimes kissing cousins aren’t the worst you’ll find.
  8. Go to your local library. The librarians there are so helpful and want to help too.
Here’s a look at my completed trees.
family tree no names
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