Family Tree Charts

A Family Tree Template Beginner's Guide

Creating family tree charts can be both a very enjoyable hobby and a good way to reinforce our important family ties.

Undertaking the task can be both daunting and exciting. Where do you start? How do you find the information you need?

How do you keep all the information organized? These and other questions may keep you from even starting.

Take this simple step-by-step approach and you will be well on your way to an exciting adventure.

Where Do I Begin?

The best place to begin is with downloading family tree templates. You can download family tree templates for free from Before you jump in and start, though, decide exactly where you want your search to begin.

Is there a distant relative, perhaps a great grandmother or grandfather who has piqued your interest or are you just interested in tracing your family lineage from the present time?

In the first instance, you would be creating a chart from the distant past to the present. Family tree charts like these are called descendant charts because they trace the descendants of an ancestor.

The other basic type of template you can use is an ascendant chart. You may also see it called a lineage or pedigree hart. As a beginner, this is probably your best choice of family tree templates because it will allow you to start your research with easily obtained information.

Once you have the basics charted, you can then expand your search as far as you want to take it.

Getting Started

Assuming you have decided to use an ascendant chart, you simply begin with yourself and your immediate family. You will already have two branches to follow, your father's family lineage and your mother's. Most people begin with the father's bloodline.

Exceptions to this would be if you are trying to trace a lineage to a member of your mother's bloodline or an historical figure you think you may be distantly related to.

If your parents are still alive, your research will begin with them, but don't let them be the sole source of information unless they have documented evidence, such as death certificates, about their mothers and fathers.

It is surprising how misinformed we can be, even about our own parents. If they do not have the documentation you need, you will then have to obtain the official death and birth certificates of your grandparents. This is not as difficult as you may think.

Doing Your Research

In the U.S., the U.K. and other developed countries vital records are publicly available by request for a small fee. In the United Kingdom, for instance, these records go back at least to the Births and Deaths Act of 1874, when it became mandatory for all citizens to have both birth and death certificates.

Even professional genealogists begin their research on family tree templates with these certificates. Birth and death certificates provide a wealth of information that will allow you to add even more branches to your tree.

As soon as you have found your source for free family tree templates, you will already have discovered a wealth of resources for your family lineage detective work. along with family tree templates also has links to many sources of information: so set aside your doubts, find a good template and get started on a wonderful and rewarding adventure!

----- has the largest collection of free family tree charts available for download. Visit our free printable blank family tree pages to decide which family tree suits your needs the best.

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