Building your family tree can be really fun, but not all family trees are built equally. Some are definitely more detailed and organized than others, and the difference typically lies in the level of experience and expertise involved.
For instance, a family tree you make with your child for a school project will be very different from one made by a professional genealogist. This is because professional family trees have certain features that set them apart.
Here’s how you can add these final touches to your family tree too!
Make Sure the Tree’s Outline Is Visually Clean
Regardless of who the audience is, a family tree should be easy to read and comprehend. This essentially means having a clean, well-labeled chart with all details listed in clean boxes. You may not want to get yours printed, but the e-chart should also be easy to navigate, especially for people unfamiliar with family trees and flow charts.
Make sure to offer a clear key if you’re using color codes or any other special elements for classification. Also, make sure the chart is built properly, and all the connecting lines are accurate and easy to follow.
Recheck The Facts and Make Sure You’re Not Skipping Generations
Believe it or not, professionals who’ve been doing this for years and have built family trees for countless clients can still make mistakes and overlook important information. Since you’re not a professional, you have an even greater chance of making mistakes, so recheck all your facts.
This means going over all the information you’ve collected and rechecking the facts, including all names, spellings, dates, and relationships. Retracing the tree like this will also help you see if you accidentally missed any generations or other essential information.
Cite All Sources
You can’t recheck any information that isn’t cited correctly, so professional genealogists always take extensive measures to cite all of their work accurately. This is essentially what makes their work so thorough, clear, and dependable. And, of course, citations also help them recheck their own work, and it adds a professional touch to their family trees.
Several online articles and genealogy research-related books explain proper citation methods and formats; make sure to follow these to make your work more professional.
Other than these touches, professional family trees are also more detailed than what you’d make for a school project. They’re also meant to serve important purposes like proving lineage or establishing ancestral connections.
So, if you need to build a family tree for a specific reason, it needs to look professional. You can try to work on it by yourself because it’ll be a fun experience, but you can also ask our team for help.
At DavisDNA And Family Research, we offer professional genealogy research services and can help you with your family tree and other family history research tasks.