Step 2 of 3 in the "1-2-3 GO!" genealogy series

Provided by the Victoria Genealogical Society (VGS), Victoria, BC, Canada


There are two types of family tree chart activities which cover basically the same ideas and skills. The Fan Chart would be suitable for younger children as it is simpler. The Ancestor Chart is the type used by many genealogists to record information.

There are some factors that you may wish to consider and modifications you may want to make. Children who are adopted can do the family tree for their adoptive family or their birth family (if they know this information) or they can do both.  There are also additional charts  for step families and adoptive families available on our supplies page.  These can be used instead of the Fan Chart or the Ancestor Chart.  These charts allow the children to show both families on the same chart but they only show three generations rather than four.

If a student has siblings, then the chart would be exactly the same if a sibling’s name was substituted for Me (the student) in any of the chart forms.

For the Family Group Record for blended families, use more than one chart, one for each marriage or set of parents.

It is customary when doing family history to use capital letters for the SURNAME and lower case letters for the given names. For example: Mary Jane BROWN. Since family surnames were sometimes used as given names this convention avoids confusion.

An important distinction should be made between ancestors and descendants. (A good glossary from the Library and Archives Canada is included in the library.)

An ancestor is any person from whom another person is directly descended such as parents, grandparents etc. A paternal grandparent is the child’s ancestor and is also an ancestor of the child’s father, but this grandparent is not an ancestor of the child’s mother. Descendants are the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren etc. of a person.



For Grow Your Family Tree

Option 1 - My Family Fan Chart (also called the Kids Chart) can be downloaded from the misbach.org site.

Option 2 - Ancestor Chart can be downloaded and printed from here or the Supplies section of this site. It has been provided by the Victoria Genealogical Society (VGS).

"Give Me 5 Generations" Family Tree Chart thumbnail.There is a third option for a Family Tree available. This chart covers five generation rather than four as in the first two options.

Visit the Give Me Five Generations Chart page for the activity instructions.

The Give Me Five Generations Chart can be viewed on the Canadian Archives site. Larger paper versions can be ordered from the above site. They are also available from the VGS Resource Centre but you should check to see if there are enough charts in stock. The address of the Resource Centre is on the main VGS site.

Additional types of charts are also available in the Supplies section.


For Who is Missing From the Family Tree?

The Family Group Record form is provided by the Victoria Genealogical Society.



Download a printer friendly version of this Grow Your Family Tree teacher notes in PDF format.