Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Family Tree Charts

While working through the tutorial for FamilyTreeMaker, I started playing with the different charts available in the software. When you have many generations (like up to 12 or so) of American ancestors, the charts can get really big. Some of the ancestral charts I could create are hundreds of inches long.

I don't want to print them out on my own printer on 8.5 x 11 paper and have to tape 80 pieces of paper together - that's pretty tacky and time consuming.

I'm thinking that I need a large fan chart - maybe 10 generations or so - one for my ancestry and one for my wife's. Or maybe one for my kids that includes my ancestry and my wife's ancestry. Or an hourglass chart with ancestors and descendants of one couple so we can see who our cousins are that we share ancestry with.

So what to do? There are printing services that can create really nice genealogy charts for you, with artistic backgrounds, on high quality archival paper. That sounds like what I want.

One of these companies is Generation Maps (www.generationmaps.com). Their product list is at http://www.generationsmaps.com/php/index.php. They allow you to upload your database in many formats (e.g., they will take an .FTW file from FamilyTreeMaker), including PDF files (see http://www.generationsmaps.com/php/supported_charting.php).

This is just one service that I know about (and I don't have any financial interest in it). I'm sure that there are many other chart services available - I'm wondering what you have used and recommend?


Mike Clement said...

One of the Computer Science labs at Brigham Young University has a product called One Page Genealogy where they use algorithms to optimize the fit of your family tree based on which branches you have filled out. They'll print it out and mail it to you on a 3.5 x 6 foot sheet of paper for $19.95.

Sheri Fenley said...

I have personally used the services at BYU One Page Genealogy and was quite satisfied with their product.

If you are looking for something a little more custom made then try Heartland Family Graphics at www.familygraphics.com or The Tree Maker at www.thetreemaker.com