Getting started with family history? Here is a free, blank family tree that you can print. It has a basic fill-in-the-blank layout of parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents with extra room for notes.
Even if you're experienced with genealogy and organize your tree information on a website such as WikiTree or Ancestry.com you might want to print out one of these when you're going to a family reunion, party, or visiting a grandparent. It's a great way to "troll" for new information. It can also be handy for parents and teachers looking for activities for children.
There are also tips for using an online tree with printable charts as an efficient way to organize and maintain your family tree.
Here are slight variations on the tree above. The most significant one is the MS Word Family Tree which may be easier to print for some people. (See the next section for tips on printing.)
Thanks to my brother Ted Whitten for the tree photos used as backgrounds in these images. The historical photos are from the Library of Congress. The maps are courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, UT at Austin.
If there is a family tree widget that parallels the design it's noted in the right column. These are designed for bloggers and web site owners to embed on web pages but they can also be printed by anyone.
|Family Tree JPG 2: This is the same drawing of the family tree diagram with a different photo behind it. This image has fall colors.|
|Family Tree JPG 3: Again, the family tree layout is the same, but here the background photo has spring flowers.|
|Family Tree JPG 4: Same tree layout with a forest brook in the background.|
|Family Tree with Ellis Island: Same tree layout with NY's famous entry point for immigrants.|
|Family Tree for WWII-Era: With the famous V-J Day kiss in Times Square.|
|African Family Tree: With a world map focused on Africa, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean.|
|Asian Family Tree: With a world map focused on Australia, Asia, India, and the Near East.|
|Boston Family Tree: With a Boston map from 1842.|
|Chicago Family Tree: With a Chicago map from 1901.|
|English Family Tree: With a map of England.|
|European Family Tree 1: With a map of Roman Europe.|
|European Family Tree 2: With a map of European ethnicities from the Middle Ages.|
|Irish Family Tree: With a map of Ireland.|
|Italian Family Tree: With a map of Italy.|
|Jewish Family Tree: With a Star of David.|
|Latin-American Family Tree: With a world map focused on the Americas.|
|Maine Family Tree: With a Maine state map.|
|New York Family Tree: With a New York map from 1796 (compiled from the moft authentic information!).|
|Vermont Family Tree: With a Vermont state map.|
|Nova Scotia Family Tree: With a maritime province map.|
|Family Tree GIF: A lower-resolution (72 ppi), black-and-white gif version of the original tree diagram and design.|
|Family Tree Word Document: The image is simply laid out with standard margins for easy printing.|
See these links on Interesting.com for even more family tree forms and printable PDFs from other people and companies.
To print one of these family tree images with Internet Explorer, hover your mouse over the image and use the right-click button. Then select "Print Picture" on the menu. In the latest editions of IE you can also select the print icon from the top menu bar. In earlier editions, select File and then Print. To print one of the alternate versions instead of the main image you will first need to click on it.
With Mozilla Firefox, you can't hover over the image and right-click. Click on one of the alternates or right-click on the main image and select "View Image". From there select File and then Print, or click Cntl-P.
To print with Microsoft Word, click here for the tree document. Most browsers will ask if you want to open or save the file. Either is fine; opening is the most direct. This document should be compatible with all MS Word editions since Word 97. Once the file is open you print as normal.
More "technical" printing tips: The basic JPG images are 675 pixels wide by 900 pixels high at 90 pixels per inch. Its display dimensions are 7 1/2 inches by 10 inches. This way it can have a 1/2 inch margin on a standard 8 1/2 x 11 inch piece of printer paper. But printing from images on the web is notoriously complex to get exactly right. Every operating system (Windows, Mac), every web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera), and every printer is different. To get the appearance you want, be sure to use the "Print Preview" function on your software. You can usually resize an image to fit the page. You can also set your "Page Options" in many programs to manually define the margins.
Adding ancestors: Its easy to combine trees to extend this beyond great-grandparents. Simply connect charts together by making a note by any name, e.g. "This person is the same on Family Tree Diagram #7" or "See Chart #3" and then make a separate note on the other diagram, e.g. "See Family Tree Diagram #1".
Some other forms you may find out there have a more structured layout than this template. Others include blanks for date of birth, date of marriage, date of death, place of birth, place of marriage, place of death. Rather than take up space with these I decided to leave empty spaces where you can enter the information you have available. I think this flexible format lets you fit more family info.
Once you have collected some family history information on paper I highly recommend putting it in family tree software or on a family tree website. This will make it much easier to maintain and share, and safer for posterity.
Some people feel uncomfortable about putting family information online — for good reason. Therefore WikiTree enables you to control access through "Trusted Lists." For those who want to share their tree with distant cousins but keep nuclear family information private this is an ideal solution. Because of this unique privacy balance WikiTree is rapidly becoming a worldwide family tree.
Unlike family tree software and many genealogy websites, WikiTree is entirely free.
Here's an example of what a family tree chart looks like on WikiTree:
Every tree also have a "Print-Friendly" version, like this:
The printer-friendly tree is optimized for easy printing. It takes 100% of the height and width so there is no space wasted and it fits neatly on a single sheet of paper. Color is minimized so it doesn't use up expensive ink cartridges and comfortably prints in black-and-white.
For website owners and bloggers, there are family tree "widgets" you can embed inside any web page or blog post. Here is an example:
These are dynamic trees that are always updated with the latest information. You can click on the links for more information.
Whether or not you have a blog, these widgets can be printed. This is a nice way to get an interesting tree with images of your family members.
To print one of these, choose the family tree widget design, and then isolate the URL in the first line of the code. Click that URL so it opens in a new browser window. For example, click here: http://www.wikitree.com/treewidget/Sample-7/200. You will need to replace "Sample-7" with the ID for the person you want at the bottom of the tree.
Copyright notice: These tree diagrams are completely free for use. Anyone is welcome to use these trees for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial. Print thousands! You can even republish them in a clipart collection or on your own genealogy website. All we ask is that if you copy them to another website you give credit by linking to http://www.WikiTree.com/ next to the image and you don't edit the image to remove where it says "WikiTree".