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.(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
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. New.familysearch.org 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 new.familysearch.org, it takes time and effort to click on all of the extension arrows to see further than the first three or four generations.
Therefore, TreeSeek.com connected with FamilySearch.org and Geni.com to provide people with a free genealogy fan chart. All you need to do is:
- Go to createfan.com (or click on the "Print My Fan!" link on the right column of this blog)
- "Login" with your FamilySearch account
- Click on "Create"
- A pop-up window should appear. Click "save file."
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 new.familysearch.org). 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).
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.