Create your family tree using all information available

When you create your family tree it is important to remember to use all information you have available.

Once you have some basic information of the relatives closest to you in terms of timeline, you can begin to display it in the traditional ‘family tree’ format.

It is best to begin with yourself and your siblings and then work backwards from your parents.

Remember to include all the information you have on each individual that appears on the family tree.

Create your family tree with a profile for each individual

There are the basic events of each person’s life, such as birth details, marriage and children and death details.

However, you may know a lot more about people in the tree than you realise. For example, what they did for a living, if they served in the military, or served any time in prison.

You may also know that they moved abroad so include that information on the family tree.

Packing your family tree with all the information you have will make it easier to spot any inconsistencies in detail.

For example, a father who was abroad or incarcerated for a given period of time would not have been able to father a child during that time.

You may discover more about your family history than you anticipated.

The opportunity to view your family tree in the traditional format also makes it easier to spot if you have any basic information missing,. This could be easily be overlooked when facing a mass block of information and statistics.

There are some great templates available to download for free online if you are compiling your family tree on your computer.

If you are using a pen and paper then be sure to allow plenty of space. Your family tree will rapidly grow upwards and outwards as you discovery more about your family’s history.

Full list of articles and resources on Family Tree Planner

Key points to take away

  • Give each member of your family tree a profile with details of their life, even if you don’t know a lot about them
  • Use free online templates to build your family tree so you can see it develop and take shape
  • Examine the information you have on individuals to see it all makes sense and fits together with your family timelines.