Friday, July 25, 2008

July 25 - Friday From The Collectors


I'm going to start with one of the charts we have been showing at conferences this year, my current favorite.

Hourglass Chart

This is called an hourglass chart with ancestors on the top and descendants on the bottom. We do a lot of these at Christmas time. To the side on this one is a wedding picture, but you could put a group picture, or the home where this family lived. If you can imagine this chart without the pictures, it would not be nearly as engaging. We have done a few charts like this with even 100s of pictures. The more pictures, the more spectacular they are.

But you don't need to have a ton of pictures to make a great chart. Even one picture can make a chart come alive.

Pedigree Chart

This is a simple pedigree that we have done often with a picture of the current family, or here with the patriarchal ancestor who brought the family name to America.

Pedigree Chart - Patriarchal Ancestor

I particularly like this one for a child too.

Pedigree Chart - Child

If you don't have a bunch of pictures for the hourglass above, pictures of the central couple work as well.

Hourglass - Central Couple

One of my favorite charts that we did for family reunion season last year was this one. Luckily she gave me permission to share it. This lady focused on the family of 7 girls and one brother down the center right of this chart. To their right are the parents and grandparents. Then for each of the 8 children, she did a separate chart where she enlarged one of the 8 children, added that child's spouse(s) and then put their descendants to the left. She added wedding, group and house pictures at the bottom right for each family. The wonderful thing about these charts were that she had gone through and found pictures for each person in their early 20's. The 7 daughters all had these beautiful 1940's pictures so she added the art deco border and title to complement. It took her a month to collect photos for the descendants on all 8 charts, but she was thrilled with the attendance at the family reunion—everyone had to come see themselves and where they fit in. She wrote me afterward and expressed appreciation for the emotional healing she felt that this project had created in the family.

My Favorite

Another great descendancy chart we have permission to share is this Italian immigrant chart.

Italian Immigrant Chart

This client wanted to produce a chart for the Italian part of the family that showed all the American cousins. He added a map, copy of the immigrant's birth certificate and a narrative about the miracle he experienced finding these cousins on a trip to Italy. Again, it took some effort to get all the descendants pictures but it was spectacular in the end.

And here is another one where we have added some extra embellishment to bring the chart to life.

Ancestor Chart - Added Embellishments

This is an ancestor chart with an amazing amount of ancestor pictures in with the data. But then on top we added some family pictures and on the bottom right a timeline of her life. We split the mother's line from the father's line to be able to break it up a little and fit it to a normal frame size.

One of the new designs we are doing is a chart without all the vital information. Just focus on the good stuff—the pictures. The new timelines can be done lots of different ways. You can do the life span of one person, or all the children in a family.

The Life Span Of One Person

All The Children In One Family

The one I have in my office is my matriarchal line.

My Matriarchal Line

And a client gave us the idea for this one, a legacy chart.

Legacy Chart

You can do this with vital statistics or more explanation. It would work for your famous ancestors or for your more infamous. I like it in this format with just the pictures again. These are beautiful unframed as stretched canvas giclees.

Then, there is also the whole perspective in the family timeline chart we have developed. You could do this lots of ways too. This one has the wedding picture in the center with parent timelines on top, and family group and individual pictures below. It all centers on that wedding picture because that is what created this family.

Family Timeline Chart

And finally I'll end with my all-time favorite. This is the chart that hangs in our dining room, as a big beautiful framed canvas giclee. We call it a wedding chart, and I love how young and in love everyone is.

Wedding Chart

As we have developed our company, I have been impressed with the impact of having your family history out in front of you every day. I find that it inspires me, helps me reach a little farther and work a little harder. It is good for me to be reminded of the span of a life, and the reach of a family. However you decide to do it, I would encourage you to get your family history out in front of you, where you and the people you live with can enjoy it.

Article & Photographs
Copyright © 2008
Generation Maps


If you've seen something you just must have, please contact Janet at Generation Maps. You won't be disappointed.

6 Comments:

OpenID djpoint said...

Wonderful charts - very beautiful. How I wish I had enough photos of my ancestors for the hourglass chart! Unfortunately, there would be too many blanks. If you have them, it's a fantastic way to display them.

July 25, 2008 at 4:34 AM  
Blogger Miriam said...

Beautiful, all of them! My favorite, too, is the wedding chart, and I wish I could find more photos on my husband's mother's side of the family to fill in that area. I don't even think his parents had a wedding photo taken! Sigh.

By the way, I learned a new word: giclée. Had to look it up! ;-)

July 25, 2008 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger Randy Seaver said...

I'm geneasmacked again...and wrote about it on Genea-Musings.

Excellent post and examples - thanks. They give me even more ideas to choose from.

July 25, 2008 at 8:46 AM  
Blogger Janet Hovorka said...

Miram, If you look close, my husband's side is a little thin too. We have two 50th anniversary pictures on it. And I have two sets of great-grandparents that we put two individual pictures together for. But I still love this chart. Charts aren't always perfect, just like the families they represent. I think that is kind of the beauty of it. Thanks again FM for letting me show off some of our stuff.

July 25, 2008 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Those charts are amazing! I saw a medieval chart in a book once (titled family, of course) with miniatures of the people on the tree, but this is the first modern version I've seen and it is a brilliant idea, beautifully done.

Thnaks so much for sharing!

July 25, 2008 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger Jean B. Duncan said...

Your charts are great! I love the marriage of the data and the images. True family treasures.

June 4, 2009 at 6:04 AM  

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