After you’ve researched your family tree on Ancestry, Find My Past, FamilySearch, Roots Magic, or any other website or software of choice, how can you share your discoveries? Perhaps you want to display your ancestors on your living room wall. Maybe you want to create a poster for a family event such as a wedding, christening, or anniversary. Or perhaps your son or daughter wants to take a copy of their family tree to school for a ‘show and tell’ or history lesson. Whatever your reason, you’ll be looking for a way to display your family tree in a way which is accurate, clear to understand, and visually attractive.

1. Twiggli Family Tree

Twiggli is a website which creates a beautiful family tree poster to display your family history. It is based on a Gedcom file, which you upload to the site. The tree’s branches are arranged to show your direct ancestors attractively in picture frames. There are loads of options to customise the style and the text to suit your personal preferences. Twiggli displays your ancestors’ birth, death, and occupation details. You can select an avatar for each ancestor from a fantastic library of images, or upload your own image or photograph. The tree is output as a poster sized pdf which you can print or share with friends and family members. It also makes a wonderful gift.

2. Ancestral Fan Chart

This type of tree displays your direct ancestors, starting with you, then your parents, then your grandparents, and onwards through more generations. Each time you go back a generation, the number of ancestors doubles, creating the classic fan shaped family tree. You’ll find basic fan charts included with almost all family history software, and there are some specialist companies which print them as modern, colourful designs, like this example from Treeseek.

3. Ahnentafel

This type of tree list your ancestors using a genealogical numbering system designed by Michaël Eytzinger in the 16th Century. You are number one, your parents are 2 and 3, and your grandparents are 4, 5, 6, and 7, etc. You’ll find basic ahnentafels included with most family history software like RootsMagic. Ahnentafels look a little like a fan chart on its side. They tend to be quite dull and functional, but they are always clear and genealogically correct, so they are very useful for checking details and submitting data to an artist when you want a hand drawn tree.

4. Hand Drawn or Painted Family Tree

These trees are created by hand by an artist or illustrator. Each one is totally unique and stunning to look at. You can commission any artist to create a personal tree for you. You will have to shop around for an artist who has an appealing style, and can achieve the results you are looking for. One great advantage of these trees is that you can specify unusual requirements, for example, including some children, leaving out an unknown or irrelevant individual, or even eradicating a whole branch of the family! This beautiful example is from KaruskiColours on Etsy.

5. Wall Decal Family Tree

Decals in the shape of trees are really easy to find online through sites like Not on the High Street, Etsy, eBay, and Amazon. They are a great way to create visual impact in a larger family room, or even trailing up the staircase. These decals rarely have genealogically accurate branches, so people usually hang their family photos on them randomly, although sometimes people arrange their photos chronologically. This example is from LindenFieldsHome on Etsy.

6. Custom Family Tree Print

The number of businesses offering customisable graphic art grows year on year, and this has encouraged the sale of an array of attractive family tree prints. They are usually created by a graphic designer, and often they are only family trees in the sense that they have a botanical theme. Custom trees come in a number of styles including blocky fonts, chalkboard designs, and hand drawn lettering styles. Ancestors or other relatives are usually positioned on the leaves, or in frames hanging from branches. You can normally customise the content online in a number of ways, including uploading portraits, changing the text, or choosing the frame and colour scheme. Of course, these family tree prints are rarely genealogically accurate, but artistically they are delightful, and make lovely gifts for a marriage, an anniversary, or on the birth of a baby. Etsy is a good place to browse for examples. The name cloud, like this lovely example from Sock Paper Scissors, is a great example of a custom family tree print.

7. Custom 3D Family Tree

As well as the many 2D custom tree options, you’ll also find some lovely 3D wall displays. Although many of these are essentially a collection of names, once you enter the realms of 3D art there is certainly more scope for artistic imagination, from names hung on a washing line with miniature pegs, to scrabble letters. You can hunt on Etsy and Pinterest for many examples which may take your fancy. This pretty woodcut hearts and flowers example is from My Button Heart on Etsy.

8. Custom Art Print Family Tree

The custom art print goes a step beyond the standard custom print. Art prints look great with modern decor. Several sites maintain good genealogical accuracy, but because art is the focus, rather than family history, they may sacrifice relationship accuracy, the amount of data displayed, or the ability to add your own images and photographs. You can find art print services at a few specialist websites, like this example from Geniarts, who offer some really individual, fresh and funky graphic designs.

9. Blank Family Tree

You can buy blank trees from a number of online companies. These normally involve filling in names birth and death dates in with hand lettering. It is a good idea to do this in pencil first, so you can amend details as your research progresses. The amount of space available to add details varies considerably. Here’s an example from FreshRetroGallery on Etsy.

10. DIY Family Tree Projects

With a DIY project you can really let your imagination go wild! For example, you can hang names and portraits from a tree branch in a vase, make a collage, or create scrapbook pages to hang on the wall. This style would make a really beautiful present for a new baby. Check out Pinterest and YouTube for all kinds of family tree DIY projects. This counted cross stitch design from Bothy Threads is a wonderful example of a decorative blank DIY tree which displays four generations of ancestors.

You can find out more about displaying trees on our next post, Ten Family Tree Display Problems.