Japan is famed for its rich and fascinating history which is probably responsible for the equally rich culture it takes pride in, to this day. The ancestry of the Imperial family dates back to the country’s mythological origins with a connection to people from well-kept historical records which begins around the first millennium A.D. However, the longest recorded family tree in the world is that of Chinese philosopher extraordinaire Confucius, spanning more than 80 generations with more than two million members.
You may not be a descendant of Japan’s feudal bloodline or a great-great-grandson of someone who played a crucial part in the Civil War, but don’t let that stop you from creating your own family tree. Having a basic family tree is a great way to trace your family history and it’s also the most common form of keeping a record of your ancestry. Here are the elements you should include:
1. Generation: Embarking on a project to trace your roots would often equate to realizing just how far back you can actually go. This also decides the number of generations you’ll be able to present in your chart. Oftentimes, a sample family tree is represented with a tree chart showing your oldest-known ancestors at the top and the more current generations below them.
2. Names: Listing down the names of your ancestors can get really challenging because you may have to search through old records and ask a lot of older members of the family just to get people’s names right. This is especially tricky when you try to verify the names of those who lived about a century or so ago and even the local records may not be helpful sometimes. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth the effort though, so make sure to check every reliable source you can.
3. Relations: Members of the family will naturally want to go through your family tree chart. They would also want to know how each member is connected to another such as who is sisters with who, which uncle married this aunt and so on. You, therefore, have to clearly outline and pinpoint the different ties among the members and make sure that you got their relations right.
Creating a family tree is a great way to map out your ancestry. Things are likely to change as the years go, so the family tree would be more valuable to members for reasons beyond just being a flow chart with faded names and daguerreotypes with so much resemblance to what you see in the mirror every day. Here are three steps you can follow in making your family tree:
1. Write down the people you want to include in the diagram: A family tree should start with you, with members branching out from that line. Begin by writing down your direct family members’ names. From there, move to your parents’ generation and always make sure that you haven’t left anything out. Accuracy is very important if you want your blank family tree to be a key piece of your family history and records.
2. Do your research: You probably already know that the challenge might start when you put names for people who lived generations before you. In between making sure you get all the information you need for every known member of your family and being accurate with names, birth dates and relations or connections, it can get really exhausting. Remember to breathe and rest but continue finding more information be it with older family members, relatives or the local archives.
3. Study your genealogy: Some of us grew up with stories worthy of Arthurian legends, about our ancestors which was passed on for generations. These stories may not have defined who we are but they helped shape us to some extent. There are wins and losses our families continue to mourn or celebrate even after not knowing what they were about, but because they happened somewhere along the bloodline, they matter. You have to be familiar with your lineage and at the same time, be prepared for the possibility that part, or even most of it, could disappoint you.
Organizing your data to make a great family tree that will serve as a reference to the rest of the members of your family, doesn’t have to be overwhelming and complicated. Follow these tips on how you can create and update your family tree:
There are different types of family tree charts researchers and genealogists use when they want to trace certain bloodlines but you don’t have to be as ambitious. Here are the two most common types of family tree charts you can use:
There is no standard size for a family tree but if you want to have copies printed, it’s best to go with A4 & US Sizes or any of these: 16 x 20″, 18 x 24″, or 24 x 36″.
The race goes beyond inherent traits and characteristics and ethnicity refers to a cultural origin. Ancestry, on the other hand, is a line of descent.
A family tree is a fun and educational way for kids to learn more about the history and how it is connected with their own family’s past because it helps them connect personally to the information they learn.
As with the key moments in American history from the founding fathers to the early days of Manifest Destiny to the Great Depression, knowing what happened in the past puts our ancestors in a historical context, and rightfully so. The Free World’s lineage is a remarkable story, one that has both shaped diversity and America’s identity along with it, and threatened it time and time again.
Do you want to know a secret? Every American family’s story is tied to yours.