Understanding the Family Tree

The first question everyone asks during a family gathering of some sort is how one is related to another. Usually the identification of someone starts in the family circle. The lineage helps to identify the relationship between each and every person in the family.

To emphasis the relationship between relatives you have to put some important facts in the family tree:

  • A person’s name
  • His birth date
  • Other info like address and employment

Be sure to describe the relation also by adding:

  • Marriage
  • Extra-marital unions
  • Ancestors in a direct line

Family TreeDoing your own family tree is not that hard. But setting up a tree including your ancestors you have to spend a lot of time to get some insight in your roots You need to understand your family’s lineage clearly if you want to set up a complete family tree.

Any family starts with a couple. If there’s any kind of problem in the tree it is due to one of two main complications. The first will show up when one of the men has (had) more than one wife. Such family trees become difficult due to the fact that there are a lot of family lines to trace now.

A large family can also bring you into trouble. But on the bright side it is okay when you like the family research. So much more to research! The smaller the family the sooner your tree is complete.

Once you have found out the type of family you have, you can start your project. Start your task with setting up a well drawn and well researched tree. Always begin at the basic point. From the older members of your family you might get info on your ancestors and roots. They can help you by giving you clues where to look next.

You should document every meeting you have with relatives. Video cams, tape recorders, a journal or a camera come in very handy. Put all the relevant data in your genealogical form or in the tree. Since there are several sorts of trees for sale, you don’t have to invent your own.

During your trip through history you will meet many surnames. Stick to the name you find first in your lineage. You will finish faster if you stick to that surname. Once you have all the information about a particular name and you feel sure you have completed the search, you can move on to the next name surname that came up.

Interviewing your family members sometimes is not enough. You then go to all the sources we have mentioned in the previous chapters. A family tree is very important to help you to learn about your own roots and identity.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our journey into genealogy and genetics.  Remember, part of knowing where you are going in life is knowing where you’ve already been – this is why genealogy is so important.

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