As we’ve all got to stay home and avoid social contact I thought I’d tell you about a genealogy idea I’ve had.
I was thinking the other day about different ways to record my ancestors. I was looking at a blank family tree and wondered if I could use this for chart for other purposes. There great for just having the names of your ancestors on but what else can they be used for.
So I started by using the tree as a way to record the places where my ancestors were born. I followed the tree as you would usually complete it only adding where they were born rather than their names. This way I can track the migration of my ancestors. As you can see they moved around a lot. It gives you an indication as to the towns and cities they were in at birth. It shows all the moves your ancestor had to make to get to you.
I decided to take this further and use the same tree but I just used the counties my ancestors were from instead.
This is more of use if you’re showing your tree to others. You may know where places are but others may not. For example I wouldn’t imagine many people know where Tottington is, (or was as it is now on a military restricted zone). So if you use the counties method then you can see that Tottington is in Norfolk.
So I decided to follow this method and use it for where my ancestors died. It allows you see at a glance where you ancestors died and thus gives you a reminder as to where to search for their burials and death notices. You can also use the same method with counties.
Now here is where the trees can be used side by side. If you compare them you can see how your ancestor moved around the country. You could also modify the tree to show where your ancestors got married. This could give you a better view of where your ancestors moved around the country.
How about using the tree to record how your ancestors died. If you substitute a name for a cause of death then you can see at a glance how all your ancestors died as well as showing any patterns within families which could show and hereditary illnesses.
You could also make the boxes larger and combine all the information into one tree. So for example you would have your ancestor’s name, place of birth, marriage place, death location and cause of death. This would make the tree rather large, but it could be possible to do if you draw your own, or use excel like I did.
It’s not just trees you could do this with. You could use a fan chart in the same way. This would mean you could get more ancestors in one place and can see more trends throughout your ancestors. As the fan chart goes further out the boxes get much small so they can be more difficult to write in so you could use colours, numbers or shadings for each county or place. So in the case of Yorkshire you could use a different shade of blue per county, for example light blue for South Yorkshire, a mid blue for West Yorkshire, dark blue for North Yorkshire and denim blue for East Yorkshire. As long as you make sure to use a key you can use whatever you like.
So why not experiment with the charts and forms you use and try and find new and interesting ways to use them and honour you ancestors.
Hello and thank you for taking the time to read my Family History Ramblings on genealogy and history in general. I hope you find it informative and hopefully funny!