How to Trace Your Family Tree

A family tree is a chart which represents your family relationship in a usual tree structure. To trace your genealogy, it is important to know how to trace your family tree first. These family trees are used in medicine, genealogy and social works. These family trees are used in their detailed forms and are known as genograms.

There are many different methods to assemble your ancestry into a family tree which represents the genealogy of your family. Three of them that are most famous and most common in use are:
How to Trace Your Family Tree

  1. Descendant chart in text form
  2. Descendant chart in graphic form
  3. Ascendant chart

You can easily know about your family by using these three very simple methods.

Instructions

  1. Descendant chart in text form
  • In the first step, at the top of your paper, you should write the name of the progenitor and mark it as 1. The progenitor would be the senior-most or the eldest member of your family, from whom the generation began.
  • Now you should go to the next row, shift to the left a little and write his wife’s name.
  • Now come to the next row. Now shift more to the left and write the name of his oldest child and mark him 2.
  • Now you have to write the name of his third children in the same row and just shift it a little toward right. It should be also marked 2.
  • This should be repeated for all children.
  • After marking the first family, you have to mark all other descendants’ family using the same process until you arrive to the descendants in the current time.
  • You should write dates of birth, marriage, death and place them next to each name.
  1. Descendant chart in graphic representation
  • You should start this type of chart with the progenitor and keep descendants through consecutive generations.
  • In the second step, you should write at the top of the sheet the names of the first husband and wife side by side and write places and dates of birth, marriage and death.
  • Now you have to make a box around each name and join them with a horizontal line which will indicate marriage.
  • Now make a line perpendicular from the progenitors and connect this line to the names of their children. These names should fall in the second row.
  • Now you should write the names of each child’s spouse. The matrimony should be indicated with a horizontal connecting line.
  • Write the dates and places of birth, marriage and death of each person included here.
  • You should repeat this documentation process for successive generations until you arrive to the present time.
  1. Ascendant chart
  • This chart is also known as ancestor diagram.
  • At first, you should search in your house or you can ask your family members whether they have a genogram with them before starting the research on your own. It saves a lot of time.
  • In this chart you are the person whom the chart starts from. You have to mark your ancestors after you in backward movement.
  • Write your name on the left side of the sheet, halfway down and turn it horizontally. You have to indicate the date and place of your birth also.
  • Now write your father’s name above yours, shifted a little towards right. Write the place and date of his birth, marriage and, if relevant, death also.
  • You have to write your mother’s name below yours, shifted a little towards right of your name. Write the place and date of his birth, marriage and, if relevant, death also.
  • Now repeat all the process again reaching to you paternal grandfather. Write his name above yours and shift it a little to your father’s name. Write all the essential details mentioned above about him.
  • Same process should also be repeated for your paternal grandmother. Write your grandmother’s name below yours and shift it a little to the right of your father’s name. Write all the essential details mentioned above about her.
  • Now you have to repeat this process for your maternal grandparents and again for all other ancestors such as your great-grandparents, whom you want to trace.

Tips and warnings

  1. Family trees only mark direct blood relations. So, you need to delete adjoined branches which mean that siblings, uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews are omitted from the family tree.
  2. It is a tradition to write the father’s name above the mother’s name in this kind of hierarchy.

It is good to know your own genealogy. With the help of a family tree, you can know about your ancestors more and more. I hope this article helped you in learning how to trace your family tree and I am sure now you are going to start tracing your own family tree.


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