“A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease.” John Muir 1838-1914
Don’t you love the lessons from trees?
Today we start building your tree, one generation and one family group at a time.
A pedigree chart is comprised of family groups, but shows only direct-line relationships. In other words, it shows branches without all of the leaves! Each one of those rectangles represents a husband or wife in a family group.
So, let’s begin! Where do we start? We start with the most important family group!
First we have to find it, so go give a virtual hug to a tree. You wrap your arms around the trunk, not the leaves, branches, or roots. Right?
My friend, YOU are the trunk of your family tree. You are the start of the most important family group to your family tree. Get used to it and embrace it.
The roots (your ancestors) and the branches (your descendants) depend on YOU. You bring nourishment from the roots to the branches and leaves. You live in the present. Family history is valuable only when we value our role in it, and see it as a symbiotic relationship between all of the players. And we, the trunks, play as vital a role as the roots. Later in this series we’ll see how you need them.
This week’s assignment is to work on your first family group:
- fill in box#1 on the worksheet. The information will include you and your spouse if married, and your children, everyone’s birth dates, places, their spouses names, death dates and places, and marriage dates. Add post-it notes for their children’s info.
- create a file folder for this family group. Put copies of important documents inside the folder along with one completed family group record. (Documents you should put in the folder will be related to birth, death. and marriage at least. Later you can add travel, military, school records, etc.)
Double-click on the image to enlarge and print from your computer. Or you can have them shipped to you if you register at Misbach.org. They’re free. (You’ll need 15 for this project.)
- start an online family tree for free at AncestralQuest (or any other site like Ancestry.com, or MyHeritage. Add information for you, your spouse, and your children. (I have a subscription to Ancestry.com because I do a lot of my basic research there.
There you have it! Do this step well and you’ll have a firm foundation for all of the other ones to follow! Have fun collecting documents!
See you next week!
In case you missed the beginning of this series: