If you’re thinking of putting together your very own family tree, you need to be prepared to put in a lot of work. You’ll need to dig through a plethora of records, scan cemeteries, and comb through other resources to go back generations and generations. You’ll then no doubt have bits of paper all over the place, and feel as if you can’t make sense of the chaos. Unfortunately, I can’t help you with the research part – that’s up to you! However, I can help you get organised so you can build your family tree right down to your very own children. Let’s get started:
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Family tree software is used by many professionals and can help to organise everything you’ve discovered so far. You can easily attach information this way, as well as many other things that would be difficult to do manually. Some are free, and some you’ll need to pay for to get the features you want. Just a few I like best are Ancestry.com and RootsMagic.
Get Your Child Excited
All kids love a good story and they’ll be fascinated with a story that ends in them being born. You can tell them all kinds of stories, from how their ancestors came to live in the country, to where you and their dad had your first date. Make sure you include as much information as possible – for example, if Nan hadn’t have got the job at that doughnut factory, she never would have met your Grandad.
You don’t need to go back umpteen generations to make it exciting for your child. Start with any information you do have, and don’t panic about not knowing who your child’s great aunt twice removed married. You could possibly create a family tree in one afternoon, depending on how detailed you are about the whole thing! You can use supplies like index cards, poster boards, pens, pencils, and markers. You could try making an index card for each person you plan on including in your family tree. Write down their name, date of birth, and date of death if you know it. You can then include any other information you know about that person. Make a card for the important event that links two people too!
If you decide to go into a lot of detail with the family tree, then it’s obviously going to take you a lot longer than one afternoon. One big advantage of this is that you might actually find out about family you never knew you had! For example, you might find a long lost cousin from Canada that you’d love to get in touch with. You can then make cheaper calls to Canada by visiting planet-numbers.co.uk. You’re sure to have loads of fun and learn some things about yourself along the way!
Put it Together
To easily put the tree together, start with your child at the bottom and then work your way up. Work backwards like that until your tree is complete! Make sure you get your child involved in the process so they learn about their heritage.
You can then display your tree proudly in your home!