A Pedigree Chart records a person's ancestors. Much like a Family Tree, a Pedigree Chart
contains a series of boxes connected by lines representing marriage and offspring. The
Pedigree chart is more focused than a Family Tree since it only shows the direct lineage
of the target individual rather than including cousins. Each box includes the ancestor's
name, as well as space to record critical information about his or her life, such as birth
date and location, death date and location, and marriage date and location. Genetic
information may also be listed, depending on the purpose.
Pedigree Charts include an extremely detailed view of one's ancestors by providing space for
vital information concerning each individual on the chart. They can be an excellent and
well-organized resource when doing genealogy work. Pedigree Charts are also used to track
genetic diseases and calculate the probability of future offspring getting those genes.
This is useful when a couple plans to have a baby but is aware of a disease they both have
- Start your chart. Begin by placing a box at the left edge of the page. This will represent the target individual (or the most recently born individual). Label it with the chosen information.
- Create branches. Add parents to the first box by drawing a horizontal line to a bracket connecting two vertically aligned boxes, and label each. The upper box should be the father and the lower box should be the mother.
- Add ancestors. Continue to add boxes in the same manner and label each accordingly.
- Numbering. The Ahnentafel numbering system is commonly used with Pedigree Charts. It entails placing a one next to the first name, a 2 next to his or her father, a 3 next to his or her mother and then a 4 next to the father's father, a 5 next to the father's mother, a 6 next to the mother's father, and a 7 next to the mother's mother, and so on.
- Continue the chart. Continue adding names and generations to your chart as you find more ancestors.