Studying your family history can be a complicated process, especially if you want to go back as far as possible or trace different branches of the family tree. Creating a template for your family tree is one way to organize information and break it down into sections that are easy to manage. Begin with a small template that is limited to three or four generations.
The Benefits of a Small Family Tree
When organizing your information, it can be easier to find people you are searching for or recognize their relationships with each other if you use small templates. Choose a person and trace his or her parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. Fill in the information as you discover it and it won’t seem as overwhelming as with a large template of numerous generations when most of them would be blank.
Choosing the Right Template
You can search online and find all kinds of templates. Some will work better for your purpose than others. If you are tracing your family’s genealogy, you won’t need to include photos, but you will want space to write information about each person. Create a template with the person’s name and lines for the birthdate, date of death and marriage date.
It may be helpful to list locations for each of those events or other relevant information that you may need in your research. One of the reasons that a small three- or four-generation template is ideal is that it leaves you extra space to write more.
While you want to have easy access to the most important information about your ancestors, especially if you are traveling, do not try to include every tidbit about your family members. It will clutter up the template and make it difficult to read. Instead, keep it short and simple. Abbreviate as much as possible. For instance, date of birth would be DOB, date of death would be DOD and so on.
Consider using an online template where you can type the information instead of hand-writing it. This allows you to make changes or even erase information or people as you need to without having to start all over with a blank template.
Store your family tree online as well so that you can easily access it if you are traveling and need to look up information as you research. This also makes it easy to print or email a copy of the tree to others who may be helping you in your research.
The most important thing in choosing a template for your small family tree is to find one that works for you. It should fit your needs, be easy to use and look appealing to you.
If you are beginning your research into your family history, start with finding the right family tree template. It makes it much easier to record and keep track of data. Plus, it is fun to share with others who share your interest in genealogy.
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