A family tree is a diagram or a chart that represents generations and ancestry of families and how they are related to each other.
When you think about your family history, a family tree comes to mind. Family trees go as far back as several ancient generations. It usually includes pictures, names, marriage dates and certificates, place of birth, and other basic information.
It allows you have concise information about where you came from and information about previous generations.
Family Tree Structure
- 1 Family Tree Structure
- 2 Family Tree in Africa
- 3 Family Tree in America
- 4 Family Tree in East Asia
- 5 Family Tree in Europe and West Asia
- 6 Family Tree in Global World
- 7 Things You May Not Know About a Family Tree
- 8 Records may not be accurate
- 9 Family Trees are Rabbit Holes
- 10 Faith Plays A Major Role
- 11 Importance of occupational information
- 12 Geographical Information
- 13 Benefits of a Family Tree
This structure shows a hierarchical representation. The data and information put together are organized in a particular order, having different levels.
The older generations are arranged at the top while the younger and current generations are arranged at the bottom of the tree. Relatives such as brothers and sisters are put together on the same level of the family tree.
A tree structure makes it easy to understand how family members are related to each other. They are an excellent way to explore your ancestry and you get to discover facts about your family and ancestors. However, there are some things you may not know about family trees.
Family trees are an age-old phenomenon. This example dates from the sixteenth century.
Family trees have been used to document family histories across time and cultures throughout the world.
Family Tree in Africa
In Africa, the family tree is taken as important as anything. For instance, as reported by Wikipedia, “The ruling dynasty of Ethiopia claimed descent from King Solomon via the Queen of Sheba. Through this claim, the family traced their descent back to the House of David.
The genealogy of Ancient Egyptian ruling dynasties was recorded from the beginnings of the Pharaonic era circa 3000 BC to the end of the Ptolemaic Kingdom; although this is not a record of one continuously-linked family lineage, and surviving records are incomplete
Also, it was heard that members of the Keita dynasty of Mali have had their pedigrees sung by griots during annual ceremonies since the 14th century. Meanwhile, in Nigeria, many ruling clans–most notably those descended from Oduduwa–claim descent from the legendary King Kisra.”
Family Tree in America
You can believe that genealogical records of the ruling are paramount in some pre-contact Native American civilizations. They make sure that priestly families were kept and these extended over several centuries or longer.
Family Tree in East Asia
It has been recorded in the genealogies that there are ruling dynasties of China, though they do not form a single and unified family tree.
In Japan also, it has been recorded that the ancestry of the Imperial Family is traced back to the mythological origins of Japan.
Family Tree in Europe and West Asia
Research has it that “Roman clan and family lineages played an important part in the structure of their society and were the basis of their intricate system of personal names.
Records of the lines of succession of the Popes and the Eastern Roman Emperors through this transitional period have survived, but these are not continuous genealogical histories of single families.” Wikipedia
If we can trace carefully, we would conclude that family trees and representations of lineages are also important in religious traditions. The biblical genealogies of Jesus also claim descent from the House of David, covering approximately 1000 years.
Family Tree in Global World
Forms of family trees are also used in genetic genealogy. Research has it in 2022 that scientists reported the largest detailed human genetic genealogy.
Things You May Not Know About a Family Tree
There are things you have not known about the family tree and you should know. The discussions below will update your knowledge about the family tree.
Records may not be accurate
When putting together a family tree you put effort into filling the gaps by searching for records, stories, and other documents to validate your ancestry. Some people claim to be able to trace their lineage as far back as the first generation.
But in reality, it is difficult to find accurate records that go as far back as the early days. Many of these records and pieces of evidence have been lost or destroyed during wars, migration, or natural disasters.
Also, some family generations were better at preserving records and artifacts than others. This greatly influenced the amount of information available to younger generations.
Family Trees are Rabbit Holes
When you start to seek out information about your lineage, putting together a family tree might seem like that is all you need to know.
However, as you try to get more information, you get more curious about the lifestyle and events of your ancestors and you would want to know more than just dates and locations.
You could find yourself in rabbit holes while trying to dig out information because there is a lot to uncover.
Faith Plays A Major Role
Connection with a particular faith is popular amongst our ancestors. Knowing more about an ancestor’s religious affiliations and practices offers information about the life they lived and helps put together a proper family tree. Knowing their churches, mosques, and other places of worship provides valid information.
Importance of occupational information
The kind of jobs an ancestor engaged in plays a major role in putting together a family tree. Knowing their occupation, industries, and services they engaged in gives excellent insights into their lives and achievements.
Finding out where your ancestors lived is an important discovery when putting together a family tree. The environment, towns, and communities they lived through their lifetime help to understand their mode of living better.
Benefits of a Family Tree
- Family trees help you pass on family stories. They help you share important family from one generation to another.
- Family trees help you discover great and interesting facts about your family.
- It helps you find a connection between yourself and your generations and give you a sense of belonging with your family.
- You get valid information about who you truly are and where you came from.
Author: Ibukun Akanbi and Deola Adelakun