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What Does a Good Family Tree Look Like?

What Does a Good Family Tree Look Like?
By Jeff Sallee

The type of family tree that you create is entirely your decision; how involved do you want it to be, what layout you would like to use, and even how far back into your family history you wish to delve. If you are drawing a blank when sitting down to attempt to get started on your project you might want to consider taking a look at a few examples of family trees.

In addition to samples that you might find in doing searches on the internet, first take a look at those that have already been created by members of your family and even by your friends. Their styles are likely to be pretty similar to what you are envisioning for your own family tree. Not only will you be able to gain a few ideas for your own project, but you might be able to use some of the information that has been recorded on existing family trees created by various members of your family!

A good example is going to be one that has been thoroughly researched so that there are no blank spaces in your lineage; if you do stumble across a blank when it comes to knowing names, dates, or places of birth start interviewing all of your family members. You could be pleasantly surprised at the information that you grandmother, or even your uncle has on relatives you know little about.

Keeping your data accurate is so important so that the information about your family tree can be recorded and preserved correctly; consider asking other relatives to take a look at your completed genealogy project so that they can bump your information up against their own memories.

An easy to follow format is another important aspect of creating a good family tree. Keep your lines and information straight, simple, and clean; maintaining not only an easy to read format but also making the project visually appealing to those who will take a look at it. Avoid confusing yourself and others by trying to jam too much information onto a small chart. If need be, create a bigger chart that it can hold all of your family's history.

There are no set rules about what a good family tree representation should look like just so long as all of the information, facts and numbers are accurately depicted. Don't be caught up in the idea that a family tree needs to be displayed on one piece of paper or poster board. The tree can be as large or as small as you want it to be. A practical idea to ensure adequate space for the expansion of your project is to use a notebook or a binder to create your family tree; using a large binder will allow for more space to let your charts grow as large as it needs to be.

Do a bit of research within your family with a bit of web searching to see if one or more examples appeal to you. You are sure to find much in the way of samples, suggestions, and possibly even help with creating your perfect family tree!

Jeff Sallee is a hopeless genealogy enthusiast and truly enjoys helping others get started in this satisfying pursuit. For more information regarding other genealogy articles check out: http://www.SecretsOfGenealogy.com.

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