It’s Never Too Early or Late to Build Your Family Tree

It doesn’t matter how old you are, it is never too early or too late to start researching your family tree.

As a precious example, Krystle, a 20ish year old student, made a chart of her family tree and posted it on her Live Journal blog, tracking her family back at least 3 generations.

You don’t have to get complicated about the process, but you do need more than first names and years in your family tree chart.

I highly recommend beginners build their own charts, and make them look like anything they want, but begin with the following basic information on each leaf on their family tree branch:

  • Full Name (first, middle, last, etc.)
  • Date of Birth
  • Place of Birth
  • Date of Death
  • Place of Death
  • Christening date and location (or equivalent religious events)
  • Marriage date and location
  • Spouse information
  • Divorce date and location
  • Additional marriage information
  • Where they are living at the time of making the chart

Additional helpful information includes:

  • School/Education dates, names, and locations
  • Special training programs and classes
  • Occupation(s) (names, dates, and locations)
  • Where and when they moved (and why)
  • Special honors, awards, and recognitions
  • Religion and/or Religious Affiliations
  • Memberships: Unions, Clubs, etc.

A small paragraph that describes their life would help, describing what they look like, why kind of personality and characteristics they have, and any special memories is always a treasure when found.

Keep in mind that this chart is not for you, your children, or even your great grandchildren. It is not for your mother, father, grandparents, or great grandparents. It is for the person, 50, 90, 100, 150 years from now who stumbles upon your chart and does the dance of joy that someone so long ago remembered who all these people where in the family, and that they were not forgotten.

I’ve found incredible leads in tracing our family history through the worn and tattered charts of children and old people found amongst our family papers.

Help family members in the future to rediscover their past and help them connect the dots in who these people where and why they are important to remember.

Most Recent Articles by Lorelle VanFossen


About Lorelle VanFossen

Lorelle VanFossen hosts Family History Blog covering her ancestors and related family members. She is one of the top bloggers in the world, and host of the Lorelle on WordPress, providing WordPress and blogging tips for bloggers of all levels. A popular keynote speaker and trainer, she is also editor, producer, contributor, and official disruptive thinker for Bitwire Media which includes WordCast, Making My Life Network, Stories of Our Journeys, Life on the Road, WordCast Conversations, and the very popular WordCast Podcast.
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5 Responses to It’s Never Too Early or Late to Build Your Family Tree

  1. patricia hellums says:

    I was wondering, on how far the collums familey go back. i know there was a james collums frome 1790 to another james collums in the civil war. I Have familey frome the late 1800.s to the earley 1800.s, to the early 1900.s and frome now. mny parents l.c and nancy collums and sister and brother tony and ladonna collums. to two cousins a branda dont know her last name, and ajoey collums to my uncle joe collums. this is at gwin cemetary at pontococ miss. Ousie about 20 miles around toccopolla miss. Are we kin to anyone famous or not, i sometimes wonder about that. my monther was an oakley. and, well we have a familey curse the collums curse.i have many familey members buried at this cemetary. and at the collums cemetary aroung pontococ miss.

  2. Don’t ask me. Ask your living family. Go through photo albums. Find relatives. Search the net. I don’t have that family name in my tree, so find folks who do. Good luck.

  3. I am not related, that I know of, in any way to the Collums family. Thank you for the information to help the reader, though.

    For those searching for information on the Colums family, please search the web for a site that deals with research on this family line.

    I recommend Collum Family Genealogy Forum to start.

    PS: NEVER EVER NEVER put your email in a public comment anywhere on the web.

    Good luck with your family research.

  4. patricia collums says:

    the collums family tree, how far does it go back. i was wondering there is a james collums 1790 and another james collums around the civilwar please help i have been trying for a while my name is patricia ann collums hellums. my parents were the late lewis clay and nancy e, collums. grand parents were laya and toy clay collums. my onley brother tony passed in 1992 a sister ladonna collums in 85. i have two sisters a rebecca johnson and jeannie goins. an older sister nancy smith who doesnt keep in touch. are keen to anyone famous or not was wondering patricia collums.

  5. Please read the above answers to your question, as well as the information under the title “Leave a Reply”.

    And DO NOT EVER, as in NEVER, post your email in a blog post. NEVER.

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