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How to Create a Family Tree Chart

by Lucia Mata

Creating a family tree chart is a good way to organize information about relatives and ancestors in the same family. Family tree charts are very visual and can include basic information, such as names, or detailed information, such as dates of birth and passing. This activity is also a good way to teach children about their own family and relatives and how they are all connected.

Gather the information you have about your relatives and ancestors; you will need it to create the chart. You don't need information about every single relative, but the more you have, the more complete the chart will be. Gather at least the names of your relatives; if you have more information it can also be added to the chart.

Lay your large piece of paper or poster flat on a table. Draw a small box, about 3 inches wide and 2 inches tall, in the bottom center of the piece of paper. Make the box bigger or smaller depending on the amount of information you will add to the box. Write your name or the name of the person the chart is about. Write any other information you would like to add about this person.

Draw a box for the father of the person in the first box. Make the box the same size as the first box. Situate the second box on top, but towards the left of the first box. Write all the information you have about this person.

Draw a box for the mother of the person in the first box. Draw the box on the top right of the first box. Draw the box the same size as the other two. Write all the information you have about this person.

Continue to add boxes for the next generations, in the same way as you did with the first three boxes. Draw boxes for the parents of each generation right above their own children, with the father situated towards the left and the mother towards the right. Draw enough boxes for as many generations as you would like to include in the chart.

Connect the boxes. Draw lines connecting each generation to the next. Draw diagonal lines, or draw a small vertical line from one box, followed by a horizontal line towards the box you would like to connect to, followed by a vertical line to the final box.

Items you will need
  • Poster or large piece of paper
  • Markers
  • Ruler

Tip

  • Make the family tree chart horizontal or vertical, according to your needs.

About the Author

Lucia Mata has been writing since 2008, covering parenting and design topics. Her work has appeared in both English and Spanish publications. Mata has an Associate of Arts in interior design from Salt Lake Community College and a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Utah Valley University.

Photo Credits

  • Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images