Family tree

It is a graphic representation that allows the identification of the ancestors and descendants of an individual, this schematization is carried out in an orderly manner in a system that will be represented or implemented in the form of a tree or tables. This family tree can be described ascending in order to identify the relatives who preceded us at birth, or otherwise, descending to identify our descendants (children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren).

What is a family tree

A family tree is a pictographic scheme in which the ancestors and successors of an individual are arranged. It is called a “tree”, since it is represented in this way, and the ascendants will go to its apex or tip. They will be followed in linear order by their direct descendants, the siblings extending to the sides.

Depending on the technique and skills to carry out these schemes, a creative family tree can be obtained, which outlines in a striking way the members of that family and the connections that exist between them. Simple trees can be made, in which only the parents and children appear, to more complex and intricate ones that span multiple generations, and even connect with other trees. The study for carrying out these schemes is genealogy, also known as family history, which consists of the study, registration and monitoring of the consanguineous or genetic members of a family.

This can have several purposes, among which is to carry out a genetic family history to determine why they suffer from some diseases or some inherited genes that may increase the risk of suffering from them. In the same way, a doctor can, with this information, recommend to the person what changes in their lifestyle they should make and determine what risk an individual has in transmitting these conditions to their children, among many other uses.

It should be noted that these images are not only limited to the human family tree, since it can be used to capture the roots, evolution and families of the species and be able to categorize them for study.

The etymology of the word “genealogy” comes from the Latin genealogĭa; from the Greek γενεαλογία (genealogy), made up of γένος (genos) which means race, caste, family, descendants. Its meaning in this sense would be family tree or descent.

What is a family tree for?


  • Know the ancestors of an individual.
  • Determine what type of illnesses or diseases they suffered and how they can affect the person. This would help yield accurate diagnoses when investigating genetic syndromes that have been in the family for generations. For example: if several members of a family have cancer, their descendants may have a high risk of developing it as well.
  • In the case of animals, for example, in dogs, it is applied to know their ancestry or pedigree (family tree in English, whose original term is pedigree); and in the study of animals in general, to discover the existence of new species, among other applications.
  • A drawing family tree can be used to capture family schemes with anthropological utility, with which, carried out exhaustively, the first civilizations of the world can be studied.
  • For a person, knowing their origins and roots is very important, so an exhaustive investigation of an individual’s family tree will allow them to identify and contact members of their family with whom they did not know they were related.
  • In the monarchies of the world, the use of the family tree is essential, since the crowns are inherited to their blood descendants.
  • In school age, there is the family tree for children in which the little ones can know their origin when they study the structure of the family as the basis for society, and establish how people and their origins are related.

How to make a family tree

There are multiple resources online for making this type of diagram. Pages with tools to make a creative family tree, where you will get a family tree to print, family tree images or family tree template, being very useful for those who wish to capture their own.

To make a family genealogical tree, you need to carry out an exhaustive study of family history. According to the relatives taken into account to make the tree, two types of lineages can be classified: blood lineage, whose tree is made up only of male ancestors, used much earlier in the royal family to identify who would be the heir to the throne; and the navel lineage, which are the female ancestor relatives.

Once you have complete family information, you can proceed to make the family outline. To do this, take a blank sheet of paper and begin to draw a large tree.

Generally the trunk is short, the important thing is that the tops and branches are abundant. Then, start capturing the ascending relatives, called great-great-grandparents, great-grandparents, grandparents and parents.

Then come the descendants of these same ancestors, these are the uncles, cousins, nephews, brothers of the person who makes the scheme and that same subject. The order of the same will depend on age, since all this is organized following a regime or hierarchy that goes from the oldest to the youngest. Family trees can be made by adding the names of family members and attaching a small photograph.

Family Tree Examples

  • Direct Ancestor Tree: This contains the direct line of the father and mother and the four grandparents. Leaving aside the brothers, uncles, etc.
  • Mixed tree: this is the most traditional and in which both the ascendants and the descendants of the author can be graphed.
  • Agnatic Line Ancestor Tree: This will only take the line of male ancestors.
  • Tree of ancestors of cognatic line: in this only the line of the feminine ascendants is graphed.

Frequently Asked Questions about Family Tree

How to make a family tree?

Thorough research should be done on the person’s ancestors. Then draw a tree (in some models, the ascenders go at the top, and in others, at the root), and go schematizing in chronological order until you reach the author.

What kind of information does a family tree provide?

It allows the person to know his ancestors, verify to which ethnic or racial groups he belongs, in addition to knowing his medical history and being able to anticipate, together with a doctor, what possible diseases he and his own descendants could face.

How to make a creative family tree?

On the Internet there are tools, such as specialized programs to make them adjusted to the need or required size. In addition, there are predetermined templates with original figures and diagrams. The use of colors to differentiate one generation from another can be highlighted.

How to make a family tree in English?

The same procedure of a family tree in Spanish must be carried out and placed next to the names of each member of the family with their titles in English (example: grandfather).

How can I know my family tree?

A person can go to their local records to start a trace back from their parents. You can start with parish or civil registries, as civil documents such as birth and marriage certificates can provide key information. The Internet also represents a very valuable resource, since complementary searches can be carried out.