Pedigree and Fan Charts

In family history, pedigree charts are a great visual.  But the numbers of ancestors quickly multiply.  Using the Ahnentafel genealogical numbering system:
(First Generation)
 1  Subject

(Second Generation)
 2  Father
 3  Mother

(Third Generation)
 4  Father's father
 5  Father's mother
 6  Mother's father
 7  Mother's mother

(Fourth Generation)
 8  Father's father's father
 9  Father's father's mother
10  Father's mother's father
11  Father's mother's mother
12  Mother's father's father
13  Mother's father's mother
14  Mother's mother's father
15  Mother's mother's mother
It quickly becomes obvious how fast an ancestral list multiplies.  That is just mapping the direct paternal/maternal lines.  Imagine a family chart and numbering system that includes all the children, spouses, and collateral lines .  This comic (shared on Mountain Genealogists by Cyndi Beane Henry) is a great expression of what it is like to try and fit everyone into the family tree.

When beginning family history for the first time, having a visual like a pedigree chart is a great way to see what work has been done and where work is needed. is a great place to start as it shows your personal pedigree according to the information the church archives already have collected on your family. 

Yet, even viewing the pedigree chart on, it takes time and effort to click on all of the extension arrows to see further than the first three or four generations.

Therefore, connected with and to provide people with a free genealogy fan chart.  All you need to do is:
  1. Go to (or click on the "Print My Fan!" link on the right column of this blog)
  2. "Login" with your FamilySearch account
  3. Click on "Create"
  4. A pop-up window should appear.  Click "save file."
And voilà ...

A colored genealogy fan chart in pdf form that goes back nine generations.  It is a fast and visual way to see which of your ancestors are missing from the family tree (at least according to  Now you can send it to a local copy place and print it any size you want.  It can be used as a genealogy reference guide or given as a great Christmas/birthday gift to family members (especially if you can obtain their FamilySearch login information so they are at the center of the fan chart).

Happy charting!

If interested in filling out charts the old-fashioned way (aka, by hand), different types of blank charts are available through Misbach Enterprises, a partner of TreeSeek.  The site includes several free PDF charts.

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I live in the present yet feel for the past
Seeking connections and roots that outlast
The change of the seasons, the distance of time
Stories and people who I can call mine

Someone who's part of me -- Who will that someone be?

For the hearts of the children are turning
Turning to fathers they've never seen
And the hearts of the fathers are burning
With the promise of what will be

Play the song "The Hearts of the Fathers are Turning" by Steven Kapp Perry