Every so often, we come across a gorgeous family tree that doesn’t seem to be organized in any logical way. If you’re like me, you find the call of those antique-style family tree lithographs… intoxicating.
But how can you fill them in with any hope of future generations being able to understand how people are related?
The solution is actually quite simple!
How to fill in your freeform family tree without going mad.
- Click the download button above to get the visual guide as a PDF, so you can see the text really clearly. It’s free.
- You can choose to follow the sample tree I made, or you can put people wherever you want! It’s the next step that makes it all okay.
- Every time you write someone’s name on the tree put a little number next to their name.
- Write that same number in the blank space at the bottom. (Write small and start with a pencil. You can trace it later with ink.) Next to the number, write the relationship to the main person on the tree.
Ex: If this is your family tree, and you added your mom, you’d write 1. Mom.
This system gives you a lot more freedom than your average lineage-based family tree!
This is a less “logical” style of a family tree than my other designs. The FREEFORM CHART allows you to customize it for your own unique family situations. You can add brothers and sisters, animal siblings, multiple marriages, adoptee, and foster family info, grandmothers and grandfathers, aunts, uncles, chosen family… anyone! Just write people’s names anywhere, and put a little number next to their names and use the box at the bottom as a key, to describe who they are.
If you have any questions or special requests, post them in the comments below!
If you love the family tree design in this tutorial and want your own, you can get it in my Etsy shop:
☛ Want an Archival Giclée Print of this museum-quality poster sent to your home? Click HERE.
☛ There’s also a GIGANTIC version designed to be used as a sign-in board at family reunions! To get the Archival Giclée Print signature poster sent to your home, click HERE.
☛ NEW! I’ve just finished a high-resolution version of this family tree, with room for 7 generations of ancestors and also some descendants!
How to organize your ancestry / genealogy info:
Do you need a family tree workbook template to make your family tree research easier and more organized? I made a handy family tree planning workbook you can get OVER HERE, with room for up to 12 generations.