Pedigree Charts for Education and Sharing
A pedigree chart is a simple enough thing but they are also very personal and I don’t just mean they are personal because of who is shown on your pedigree chart. The number of generations, chart styles, background images, how it is created, photographs, size and any included information. The pedigree chart I use a lot is on a spreadsheet and it is plain and boring. It shows seven generations which can be printed on A4 or Letter paper and is a reference point in my research. This works well for me but it is not good for inspiring family tree interest in others.
Whether it is a school project, personal interest or you want to encourage the next generation of family historians, a pedigree chart will help children learn about their family and possibly get them wanting to know more. Even if you are providing all of the answers, to encourage learning children should complete the charts themselves. For young children something with a background image on the page will make it interesting and they should be able to place cut-outs of photographs and write either full names or what they call each person on the chart. Ideally this chart is easy to complete and has only 3 or 4 generations. For older children, have spaces for some photographs and consider not using a background image and let them fill in any blank spaces with pictures or short stories. This chart should have 4 or 5 generations and include a little bit of information like birth and death dates. Don’t worry if you don’t have all that information, their inquisitive minds may result in you learning something new about your family.
At some time, almost everyone would like to know about their family background, but not everyone wants to be a family historian and put all of the time into asking questions and compiling all of that information. When you are the one who has done the work, pedigree charts are simple, cost effective ways of sharing what you have. Putting together a well presented pedigree chart will most likely take a bit of time till you are happy with the way it looks but it is a lot easier then writing a book. These pedigree charts should be visually pleasing so think about using a border and maybe include a background image. Where you have photographs available, ideally include at least a head shot for each person. The more information you can include is better, but space can become restrictive so it is good to use a larger size paper like A3 or even larger and a thicker card often presents better then paper. For large charts on card save your finished job and take it to a printer. Ideally this chart should include six or more generations because this is more then most people picture in their mind and they appreciate the visual reminder of the verbal or written information that you have given them..
Search Google for free pedigree charts and you will get all sorts of available options, don’t forget to use a Google image search for inspiration.