A family tree, also called genealogy or family history, can be presented in several ways. However, most family trees, no matter how they are presented, contain information about an individual's ancestral descendancy.
There are three standard charts that are typically used by genealogists for organizing and presenting family tree information. Pedigree charts, which are diagrams of direct lineages, are the most standard. There are also family group sheets, which include more detailed information than pedigree charts, and descent charts, which begin with the earliest known ancestor, and lists each descendant thereafter.
Computer programs such as Family Tree Maker, can be used to help genealogists organize and present their family tree information. Information can be added to the program, and updated as new information is discovered. These programs also allow the user to print a variety of family tree reports.
Family trees can also be presented using decorative family tree charts. One of the most common of these charts are fan charts, which are decorative versions of pedigree charts, and are often used for framing and hanging on a wall.
- The Complete Idiot's Guide to Genealogy; Rose, Christine and Ingalls, Kay Germaine, 2005
- Martha Stewart: Family Tree Fan Chart
- family tree image by Judy Ben Joud from Fotolia.com