I'm a bit overwhelmed with the variety of generation charts. I've already run into a problem with a heritage book that I've given to a family member that had spaces to write down your ancestors in a tree at the front and the back, but there weren't enough spaces for one or two of the lines. This became awkward, as we had to scribble in the margins the other names that we knew and there wasn't enough room to put the BMD data. So... sort of a messy disappointment in the end.

I've been looking at purchasing some charts for gifts. There are 12 generation and 15 generation binder insert here: Folding Wall Chart (23" X 29"), but I'm not certain if that is the way to go... I've counted the lines and it looks like one of them is up to the 11th generation. That is as far as I've gotten. Should I get the 15 generation chart, just so that I don't run into the same problem as above?

I'm concerned that some of the charts are unwieldy. I am a visual person and would love to see my (what I think to be) proven ancestors in front of me at once, but I'm not sure how to do that.

  • A lot of generations!
    – GeneJ
    Feb 18, 2013 at 22:38
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    Are these charts from a genealogy program or for writing the names on a blank chart? If the former, 1-page letter or legal-sized charts are practical to share and view. Make an ancestor chart with lifespan info, accompanied by one-page descendant charts for each generation, colored-coded to match the ancestor chart. Use the charts as an overview - the big picture - and accompany them with Family Group Sheets or Journal-type reports to provide the details. These can be collected in a 3-ring notebook, practical for updating and easily shared. Left to right charts tend to be more compact. Feb 19, 2013 at 2:13
  • Hi @VirginiaBlakelock, if you have an example of this at home, would you mind posting this as an answer and maybe adding a picture or two? It's hard to visualize all the steps you are mentioning... I think you're saying 1 page for every ancestor in a binder? ...or do you mean 1 page for each family in a given generation? Feb 19, 2013 at 4:10
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    I will give you a Screencast link below to see examples. These are output of a genealogy software program. Click on Full size to view the images. There are 4 screenshots: A Whipple Ancestor chart; a Whipple (person 20) descendent chart; a Whipple (20) Family Group Sheet, and an unrelated one-page chart displaying more details. In the Whipple(20) descendent chart I have accented those children who died young a gray color. This is the kind of visual info you can project in a chart. Link: screencast.com/users/Virginia/folders/One-Page%20Charts Feb 19, 2013 at 20:25

2 Answers 2


You might want to take a look at http://roots-fb.cs.byu.edu/pedigree/ (The manual is at http://roots-fb.cs.byu.edu/pedigree/manual/ )

One that I like a lot are the charts that you can get with the onepagegenealogy software (BYU research project). The idea with those are that they will use available space from blank generations. So these are not typically charts that you print if you are intending to manually fill in missing information later.

They can also do timeline charts--the pedigree is printed on a timeline and includes lines indicating the birth and death of each individual (It also often highlights some errors in your dates)

They used to print and ship the charts for you, but now you need to get them printed elsewhere. The software to generate the PDF is free.

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    I've printed off a few 15 gen pedigree charts from them.
    – user47
    Feb 19, 2013 at 4:22
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    This looks great! What an awesome gift this would make :D Feb 19, 2013 at 4:28

The easiest format for a pedigree chart is actually a circular one, i.e. with the recent generations in an innermost circle, and more distant generations - of which there will be a greater number - in the larger outermost circles.

A paper-based example may be found at: deseretbook.com

However, an innovative engraved version, on metal, may be found at: pinterest.com

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