A printable blank family tree template is a concise place to store vital information about your ancestors and keep it all in a portable, easy to read format. With the increasing popularity of genealogy research and the range of tools available, it is easy to be overwhelmed. Knowing how tools like family tree templates work and how you can use them makes your genealogy research much more enjoyable.
When you research your genealogy, there can be a lot of information to record and keep track of so it makes sense you will need a method of organizing your findings. Before you download the family tree templates and start to add your information, it’s important that you understand the principles behind these family tree charts.
Genealogy researchers have devised a standard method of completing the charts. If you follow the methods, it will be easy for anyone reading your information to follow your ancestral path without questions. There is also the numbering system, used in genealogy research, which you need to be familiar with as well.
Benefits of Using Family Tree Templates
o Organizing your information on a template is easy
o No matter how much information you have, there is a family tree template to meet your need
o Helps you keep track of your progress
o At a glance, you can see where you are missing data
o With the click of the mouse, you can get a printed copy
Types of Family Tree Template Charts
There are 2 basic types of charts used to record family genealogy.
I. Ascendant Charts
II. Descendant Charts
Ascendant is defined as “inclining or moving upward,” “ancestor.” Simply put this family tree chart is used to feature your ancestor. The first space at the bottom of the chart is for your information. Then you trace your family history back through the generations.
There are two types of ascendant charts:
i. Pedigree Chart
ii. Ahnentafel – German ancestry table
The Pedigree Chart
This is the most common type of family tree template chart in use. You use it to record the information for a single person. Let’s say you want to chart your family history, you start with your name at the bottom (in position 1 on the chart). Then you add your mother’s information on one side and your father’s information on the other side. It doesn’t include spouses and siblings. It’s a simple child->mother & father relational outline. You can also use it to trace only one parental relationship. For example, you can use it to trace only your mother’s side of your family.
The Ahnentafel German Ancestry Table
I agree, this is a difficult word to pronounce.
An Ahnentafel (German for ancestor table) or Ahnenreihe (ancestor series) is a genealogical numbering system that allows you to list a person’s ancestors in a particular numbered order.
Here is how the table works:
o The subject of the Ahnentafel is listed as #1,
o father as #2 and
o mother as #3,
o Grandparents as #4 to #7, and so on back through the generations.
In this type of family tree template chart, any person’s father has double that person’s number, and a person’s mother has double the person’s number plus one. Apart from #1, who can be male or female, all even-numbered persons are male, and all odd-numbered persons are female.
When you use this system, it makes it easier to understand the different familial relationships, without having to write the entire list of names.
The Descendant Chart
It’s best to refrain from using the descendant family tree chart if you are a beginner. These charts are more suitable for more advanced researchers. The person is position one is usually your ancestor. If you haven’t done any research, you won’t have a name to enter here.
Descendant charts are more commonly used when you are trying to find the first person in your family to live in a particular country (immigration records are vital) or live in a particular region (county records).
Family Group Sheets
A family group sheet is a basic genealogical worksheet. Use it to collect data for one family unit, which includes:
You should record the following family events for each member:
- Dates and places of birth
- Dates and places of marriage
- Dates and places of death
- Burial place