Three Steps to Starting a Family Tree

genealogySo, you want to start a family tree but you’re not sure where to start. My first piece of advice to you would be to find a mirror and take a nice long look. That’s right; you are the first step in starting your family tree. The very first thing you should do is sit down with a pen and some paper and decide on the type of information that you want to display in your family tree. Some family trees contain small amounts of data such as name and date of birth only; others have more detailed information such as time and place of birth, job history, etc. Me personally, I like to write down as much history associated with each individual as I can. This way when family members look at the family tree, they get to learn all multitude of information about their ancestors, not just little snippets.

Once you have all that figured out, here comes the next confusing part…Step two. Figuring out what type of family tree to make can be just as tricky as deciding what type of information to have on it. This decision basically comes down to how much work you want to put into this family tree. You can go with what I consider a strict family, where only key members of your family such as grandparents, great grandparents, etc. are listed, or you can compose a family tree that includes extended family members such as aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.


Step Three, otherwise known as plotting out your family tree. Seeing as this is the beginnings of a much larger project, for now, just draw out your family tree on a piece of paper, on a computer document, etc. List all relatives that you can remember and how they are connected to you. Not only does this give you a ton of information to find and record, this also gives you a fantastic start to what could be a wonderful treasure for you and your family.