How to list multiple marriages on a family tree chart

family tree image by Judy Ben Joud from

Family tree charts are a fun way for a person to trace her genealogy. As time progresses, families grow larger and more complex. In some instances a person will get married, divorced and then remarried, or perhaps there is a death in the family and the widowed spouse remarries. Keeping an accurate family tree chart is important for passing along family history and can be used for keeping in touch with relatives. Listing multiple marriages on a family tree chart is fairly simple and, when done correctly, will accurately portray the status of the family.

Create the first relationship between spouses. Generally, start with a symbol for the husband on the left and the wife on the right. Draw a small line coming out vertically from the bottom of each symbol. Then connect the symbols by drawing a horizontal line between the ends of the vertical lines. List the names of the husband and wife above the symbols.

Denote divorce or death of a spouse on the horizontal line connecting the former spouses by drawing hatch marks in the centre of the line. You can use one hatch mark to indicate the death of a spouse, and two to denote divorce. Further, you can indicate death or divorce by writing it above the line with the hatch marks.

Create a new spouse symbol and connect to current spouse. If you are showing a new husband, then place the new husband symbol to the left of the first husband. If you are showing a new wife, then place the new wife symbol to the right of the first wife. Draw the new symbols in line with the original symbols (not above or below). Draw a vertical line coming out of the bottom of the symbol and connect the new symbol with the original symbols by using a horizontal line connecting the symbols at the end of the small vertical lines.

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