A family tree refers to an image that reflects the origins and relations within a family bloodline. Family trees are designed to trace bloodlines from one or more persons through the generations. It is sometimes literally represented as a tree, but it does not have to be made in the likeness of a tree. It is referred to as a tree due to its many “branches” which represent family members. Generally, family trees begin with one or two people, as early as the author chooses or can identify, and creates the tree by labelling family members on each branch. Each person has a line, which connects them to their children, parents, and siblings. History
Historically, people were valued and classified based on their family names. Maintaining bloodlines was very important among nobles and royals alike. It was through proof of relation that people could move up the ranks of society or maintain status in the courts and circles of nobility. It was also essential to prove the right to the throne by tracing one’s bloodline to that of a previous emperor or king. The right to rule was regarded as divinely granted to a certain bloodline and kingship was only inherited with proof of that bloodline. Today, family trees are used mostly as family treasures that people use to decorate their homes or teach their children about their ancestors. Types of Family Trees
There are several types of family trees.
Revised May 27th, 2016
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- Ancestor Charts: Ancestor charts start with one person and go up to their parents, and the parents have branches with their parents and so on.
- Descendants Charts: These are similar to ancestor charts; however, one of the key differences is that they start with one ancestor and move downward, showing all children of everyone listed.
- Kinship Diagrams: These types of family trees include the more extended and distant relatives of a bloodline. They branch out further to include all children, siblings, and spouses.