Wednesday, December 11, 2019 Offers a Beautiful Fan Family Chart for Free!

Several days ago, the blog had a blog post:  Offer a Beautiful Ancestry Chart To Your Family and Friends! by Jean-Yves Baxter that excited me, because I have been looking for something similar for years.

I had a dormant GeneaNet account, so I made a GEDCOM file of just the ancestors of my grandchildren (heh heh - there's method in my madness here!) to see what the chart looked like and if I could use it to entice them to at least think about how they got here.

The blog post has an excellent step-by-step tutorial and I followed it.  Here is my father's ancestry in the GeneaNet family tree I uploaded:

On the screen above, I clicked on the "Print" link in the to left menu line, and selected "Illustrated family tree."  That opened the "Printable Family Tree" page and I selected:

*   "Fan" from the "Chart" dropdown menu on the left side of the screen
*  "6" generations (the most offered) from the "Number of generations" dropdown menu
*  "Black and White" from the  "Theme" dropdown menu.

The result looked like this:

The "Colors by Gender" theme (i.e. male and female) looks like this:

The "Colors by Line" chart (I wish this was four different colors and not two colors used twice):

The "Gradient of Orange" chart:

The "Gradients of Green" chart:

As fan charts go, I like all of the color ones.  I do wish that they offered up to 8 generations, but that would make the charts even larger.

Below the images on the screens above is a "Download the PDF File" button.  The file downloaded as a PDF to my computer.  At 100% size, the image measured 23 inches by 17 inches.  The image for the green chart is:

I found that I could print only the first page from the free Adobe Reader I have on my computer, which would be the upper left sheet of four sheets at full scale.  A print at 50% of full scale would show the full chart, but at a 50% scale.  I could send the full-scale PDF file to a local printer and have them make a 24 by 18 chart for me on better paper.

I decided to go with the 50% scale single page charts for the grandkids this year as a Christmas gift, and if they show interest in learning more then I may go for a professionally-made full scale fan chart with more generations next year.

These charts were extremely easy to use - I did the GEDCOM creation and GEDCOM upload in less than 10 minutes, and had my first chart in 30 minutes.  I struggled to figure out how to change the starting person in the chart - I had to go back to the family tree screen, search for the next person, highlight the person and select "Family tree," then go through the Print process again.  Easy, but a few extra clicks each time.

One more thing:  When I did this last Sunday, the maximum number of generations permitted was 7, now it is 6.  I wish it was still 7!

Note:  Some other family tree providers have similar fan chart-making options.  What have you used to create a fan chart?


Disclosure:  I have a free subscription to GeneaNet, and have received no material considerations for this post. 

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Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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LeslieP said...

Those look really nice, Randy, I'm going to keep in mind. When I created a big fan chart for a "meet the new cousin" dinner, I made charts on TreeSeek and printed them out, then laminated them, at the local FedEx printshop. TreeSeek uses the data on Family Search, but since I keep my RM data and Family Search fairly well synced for the name/date info that prints on these charts, it was perfectly fine.

I put my mom and her siblings in the middle, and 9 total generations on a chart, and printed them out to 11x17.

I REALLY want to be able to print one with all SIX of my grandparents - Dad was adopted and we now know his birth parents, I'd love to find a way to do a fan chart for BOTH of his parents - family and biology - as well as my mom and her family.

No matter how good the tech is, I always want more!

Unknown said...

Actually, the fan chart on Geneanet allows the display up to 10 generations, you just need to have them in your gedcom :)

Heritage Stamp Arts by Xenia said...

Hi Randy,

My 7 year old grandson is very interested in a family chart like this but I and he wishes it would show place of birth and death as well as year. I am still looking for one like that. Is this free chart a ploy for GeneaNet to expand their number of family trees uploaded to their site? I prefer to keep mine private especially for living family.