What is a family tree chart? A family tree chart is a sheet which displays and showcases the interrelations between generations and members of a community. It basically comprises a record of lineages and family history, both presented in the form of a tree.
What does a family tree chart represent?
Each ‘leaf’ of the tree represents an individual. The ‘branches’ denote how any two individuals relate either by birth, marriage, or even death. In all, it makes it possible to trace and show how people, events, and places relate to each other.
How to understand a family tree?
To be able to understand your family tree, you have to follow these three simple steps:
Step I: Find out where you are in the tree
Start by finding out just where you are in the tree. Chances are that you are down at the bottom of the page. That is because the tree for large parts shows those who have already departed. And because your children have yet to be born, they cannot be displayed there.
Step II: Work backward to identify your relations
Having known your location, work backwards. Follow the branches slowly, carefully, and diligently to determine who you are related to and how you relate to them. If you want to establish yourself with some distant cousin, trace the lines diligently yet again.
Step III: Cross-reference those relations
Lastly, cross-reference those relations. This simply means looking to the left, right, top and bottom to find out who else you might be related to without knowing. You might have to let them know so that they may treat you differently going forward.
Why is a family tree chart usually used?
The number one role these trees play is to establish relations between the various members of a community. Simply put, how do you relate with the person next door or within your neighborhood?
Settle Inheritance Disputes
Most wealth is transferred from one generation to another one through the bloodline. In case there is no clarity with regards to such inheritance, the tree may yet again be relied on to put this issue to rest.
Tracing ‘Lost’ Relatives
After a war, displacement, famine or social disruptions, the tree may be relied on to trace those ‘lost’ relatives. By following the charts, it may be possible to find those people or at least know their whereabouts.
Aids in Bonding
There is nothing more comforting than knowing that you are related to a particular person in a specific way. The trees let you know that. In doing so, it also aids in bonding and strengthening any ties.
Helps with Marriage Issues
Most cultures shun incest and marriages between closely related persons. The trees, given their comprehensive nature, will help deal appropriately with issues of these kinds.
Differences between a genogram and a family tree
We already know what a family tree is. Well, a genogram is a special kind of a family tree. It goes beyond the scope of your ordinary family tree by incorporating such data as the psychological factors and hereditary patterns that epitomize relationships. They hence differ purely on scope.