There are two ways of creating your tree. You just use your notes and a sheet of paper to start creating the family tree with the looks of a real tree due to all the branches. This old fashioned way is a good way if you can use it correctly and stay organized.
The other way is software products which are a great help to choose an effective way of ‘tree management’. If you check out some of our other articles, we show you how family tree software can help you setting up a family tree. Just remember the software is not only there for organizing your tree but also for finding members of your family.
You will need a good eraser when you start putting down the names of family members you have found through your research. Although it’s fun to put the pieces into place, it’s also hard to organize.
Practical Management Tips
Here are some tips to start with your tree in a way that it’s easy to use in a later stage. Your goal is of course to organize the tree the best you can.
Put each and every person into the family they are part of. If a person has more than just one family connection, put these families close together and make their ties explicit.
Put families together by their relationship. If for example two men are brothers, make a note of that. Find out how families relate to others and make a note of it.
Index cards may help to organize large families. Both dead and alive. Make a card for everyone with information about members of the family, dates of birth and death and location, so you can use that card later on, as often as need be.
Put an open spot near the people you are still looking for. So if you know there has to be a sister to a cousin but you don’t know her name, write down there is a sister. You may find her name and more information about her in a later stage.
Evaluate your tree every so often to find out if you can fill in any of the blank spots. You very often learn about your family without you being aware of it.
It is also worthwhile to share the information you have found with others. If you lay out your family tree for, say, your aunt or your sister, they may suddenly remember something additional from the information you show them. This could be an important contribution.
Consider an online family tree software such as what ancestry.com offers to make the entire process easy!