How to label a family tree

Written by christi aldridge
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How to label a family tree
Label a family tree for easy-to-see information about relatives. (family tree image by Judy Ben Joud from

Making a family tree is a way to learn more about your relatives. Gather as much information as you can from living relatives, and if you want to go back further, the Internet is a great resource. Websites such as can help you find information on relatives dating back hundreds of years. To make an old-fashioned family tree, use a large surface such as a poster board. Get kids involved and interested about their heritage too.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Poster board
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Crayons or coloured pencils

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  1. 1

    Start with yourself. Draw a small box near the bottom of the poster board (leave room for boxes underneath yours if you have children) and put your full name inside it. Include your date of birth as well.

  2. 2

    Draw a separate box next to yours and write in it the name of your spouse (if applicable). Underneath these boxes, create boxes for your children.

  3. 3

    Add your mother and father above you in separate boxes. Connect the boxes with lines. Make sure the boxes aren't too close together. Use a ruler to create straight lines.

  4. 4

    Make smaller boxes alongside your mother and father to include their siblings, branching outward or alongside. Include their spouses and children if you like.

  5. 5

    Place your grandparents above your mother and father and connect them to your parents. Keep the tree going by adding your grandparent's siblings.

  6. 6

    Go back as many generations as you like. To add interest to a family tree, add facts about each family member such as "Loved to bowl" or "Had a huge garden." This will personalise your tree and spark conversation about family members.

Tips and warnings

  • You can also download templates at sites such as Family Tree if you don't want to draw the boxes and lines yourself.

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