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Steps and Tips on Mapping Your Family Tree

> Edraw How-To > Steps and Tips on Mapping Your Family Tree
Posted by James Freeman | 06/29/2021
Diagramming a family tree is a fantastic experience to know your family history. With a family tree document on hand, your children and future generation can be easily get to learn about their own family and relatives and how they are all connected.

Step 1: Gather Information for Your Family Tree

Start your family tree by doing some research. Try to gather together everything you have - photos, old documents, family heirlooms, videos and slides, if available. This might be a tough process. Check every possible corner, the filing cabinet, the discarded furniture in the attic or basement, and some old boxes or locker... Clues might be found on the back of the photos or even on a post card. Anyway, don't lose any possible material, the more resource you have, the more complete the chart will be.


  • 1. Don't hesitate to ask your relatives, especially some elders. You will gain unexpected surprises. Borrow the documents they have if they are willing to share. Talk with them about the old days. If you're lucky, you'll get the opportunity to hear some surprising family stories. Some information you might want to add to the family tree.
  • 2. Use a genealogy tool from the internet. You can find many online tools helping you search for family history records for past generations. However, they only offer a limit amount of information free, if you are serious in doing this, you can pay some money for further information. Be careful as some of the online resources are not accurate. Check their sources.
  • Step 2: Decide How Far Back to Go

    You have to decide how many generations you want to include in your family tree. Usually a family tree carries only a few generations due to limitation of the information you can get and the size of paper you use. Many people choose to go as far back as their great-great-grandparents and their siblings, or their great-grandparents and their siblings. These people have closer relationship than more distant relatives.

    Step 3: Decide What Information You Want to Add

    Besides the first and last names of your family members, you might want to add more details to make your family tree more informative, such as birthday, hometown, career...and for old people, record their marriage dates and death dates if applicable. When you finish the chart, you can keep it as a historical document for future reference.

    Step 4: Find a Family Tree Template

    There are dozens of family tree programs and software available on the internet you can use to present your family tree. Some are allowed to choose different formats and add backgrounds, so you will end up with a good-looking and functional family tree. Some good family tree software are not free. You can download a free trial version then decide whether to pay or not.


    If you are looking for an easy-to-use and flexible family tree maker, Edraw is a great choice. Abundant built-in shapes and automatic connection function make drawing incredibly easy. It's designed with drag and drop function, which maximally saves your time and increase the efficiency. Easy to change the shape format and theme style as well. Some downloadable and printable family tree templates are provided freely, you can take a ready-made template to start your genealogy design.

    Family Tree Template

    Relative Family Tree Resources

    How to Create a Family Tree


    Family Tree Templates

    Edraw Family Tree Software

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