Seeing Your Family In A New Way

Did you know you can view your family tree in different ways? Every genealogy company or software program calls them different things, but each may help provide you with a way to make connections and tear down brick walls. While the traditional family tree follows a linear structure, various alternative views offer a more unique perspective. In this blog post, I’ll explore several other ways to view a family tree and how they contribute to our genealogy research.

Descendant Family Tree:

The descendant family tree focuses on tracing the lineage of a specific individual or couple and their descendants. This view displays the growth of a family, showcasing the spouses and all their children. This view could be helpful if you think there is a gap in the information you have collected so far, such as missing children. Do you want to find living relatives? Descendancy research is the way to do that!

This view is also helpful in organizing your research. Perhaps you have an ancestor who married several times with offspring from each spouse. This view can quickly show you the children who descended from each one.

Part of my family tree on Ancestry

Ancestor Family Tree:

In contrast to the descendency view, the ancestor family tree shows a clear and concise path of the lineage of a specific individual or couple and their ancestors. This view is an easy way to see the different lines of your family tree and perhaps help you decide who you want to research next. You might notice naming patterns you didn’t see before and you can see at a glance the birth and death dates of your people to make sure everything makes sense. If you want to see a bit more about Frederick and Emma, read my previous blog post here.

Part of my family tree on FamilySearch

Fan Chart:

Out of all the different views, I think this is my favorite. A fan chart presents a radial or circular representation of a family tree. It allows you to see multiple generations at a glance, with an individual at the center and subsequent rings representing their ancestors or descendants. This is also the easiest view in which to see the ancestors you haven’t discovered yet. Those blank spaces really come to your attention when using the fan chart. This view is also very compact. If you need to show several generations at one time for your next family reunion, this would be the best way to display your family tree.

Part of my family tree on FamilySearch

Genetic Family Tree:

With the advent of DNA testing and genetic genealogy, the genetic family tree focuses on tracing ancestral connections through shared DNA. In this tree, you will only add people you know are a genetic match to you. This is a perfect way to organize all those matches on your match list and keep them in one place. Every genealogy company has a notes section associated with each person, so you can keep track of the amount of shared DNA along with the ancestor you both have in common.

As you can see, each view comes with its own advantages. Try them all to see which one speaks to you and helps with your genealogy research.

How can I help you explore your family history? Please contact me to start your journey to the past!

Genealogy tip: Consider exploring the different views of your family tree. They will offer diverse perspectives and insight into your ancestry. You never know which one will spark an idea and allow to you make connections you couldn’t see before.

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