children brothers & sisters aunts & uncles
family reunions anniversaries weddings birthdays
& for yourself
ANCESTRAL FAMILY TREES:
Most of our family trees are ancestral trees – they begin with YOU and work backward through the generations.
Example of 4 generations family tree
1. Instead of “YOU,” put your family surname.
2. Instead of “YOU,” put the wedding date of the preceding generation.
3. Instead of “YOU,” list the names of all the children of the preceding generations.
CREATE AN HEIRLOOM:
I often have folks tell me they are afraid to write in my family trees for fear of ruining them with their “bad” handwriting. Although it might be more attractive to get a calligrapher or someone with really nice handwriting to complete these family trees, I’d like to point out that in 100 years, someone will be thrilled to inherit a family tree filled out in their ancestor’s own handwriting regardless of its appearance.
TIPS & HINTS:
1. Go to your nearby arts and crafts supply store and request acid-free pens. Get at least 2 pens to ensure you don’t run out of ink before the job is complete. Get accustomed to writing with the pen. If you are not confident enough to complete your own tree, ask the shop clerk if they know the names of calligraphers in the area. Be sure to ask to see examples of their work before contracting them to fill in the family tree.
2. When you get ready to fill in your family tree, have all of your family information compiled and readily available. Be familiar with the names and where they fit in the family tree.
3. Before filling out the family tree in ink, get a pencil and lightly write the names into their respective spaces. Then, walk away for at least one day.
4. Come back the next day and double check each name to be sure it is in the correct space.
5. Now, you’re ready to ink over the penciled names.
6. Let the ink completely dry, then gently erase any stray pencil marks – BEING CAREFUL NOT TO ERASE OVER THE METALLIC INK.
7. Sign and date the back of the family tree. It may be my family tree design, but it is YOUR work that finishes it!
8. If you are unable to fill in all the spaces, go ahead and frame the family tree – leaving the back open so you can remove it when ready to add more names. Tape your pens to the back of the frame so you will have the same pens to complete the work.