Saturday, February 21, 2015

Family Tree

For a very long time I have wanted to create a family tree on a wall in my house.  I had the perfect wall picked out, just wasn't really sure how to go about starting.

I thought I might try to paint a tree on the wall, but I'm not artistic in the least amount and never came close enough to thinking I could do this to even try.

I still really wanted to do, I just couldn't decide how I was going to manage it.

I was searching online one day to see what might be out there, surely I can't be the first person to ever think of putting a family tree on the wall.  I came across a couple options, and finally found an adhesive tree with leaves. It comes with a dozen or so frames, and I thought I might be on to something. 

One of the things that I was trying to figure out was how and who to put on the tree.  Generally, I think most people would think that at the base of the tree would be the oldest ancestor with all their descendants up and out the branches. 

My problem with that is that I wanted my tree to be more of pedigree style including my side and my husbands side.

I didn't want limit myself, either, as to adding more "leaves" if I discover more ancestors.

I have done genealogy research on and off for many years, so I have collected several generations on some of my ancestral lines, but not so far on others.  The same goes for my husbands side of the family tree. Some lines I have been able to track back a ways, while others I'm only as far back as a great grandparent.

Back to my tree on the wall, I had to figure out how I was going to arrange it so that I could fit everything on it I wanted, but still try to show the different lines.

I ordered the adhesive tree that I had found online and thanks to some of the reviews, I ordered two sets. That would allow me to add more branches and extend the tree if I found I needed to. I am glad I did.

The tree itself is set up so that it extends to the right with only a few short branches on the left.  The wall I planned to put it worked well for this layout. 

I also thought that since I wanted to include both mine and my husbands sides, I could put us on the trunk of the tree, with our kids to the left. That would leave the longer branches to the right for me to start each of our "branches".

I decided that I would look at just our direct ancestors not including any other siblings. I wrote out each generation with just the parents of the previous generation to get a good visual on how many people I had for each side.  I could see that it made sense to have certain "lines" on certain places on the tree to leave enough room for some and not needing as much for others.

By doing this I realized I needed MANY leaves. I have a Cricut machine and I purchased black adhesive vinyl made for Cricut. I already had a cartridge with a leaf cut out, I just needed to make sure it would work with the adhesive tree.  And it did!

The other thing I wanted to take into consideration was what pictures I had. I wanted to include pictures as much as I could but the reality of things is that I don't have many. 

I went through some old family pictures and discovered that I did have at least a picture of each of our sets of grandparents. So I settled on that. 

Once I got the adhesive tree and actually started putting it together, I am glad I had the two sets. My wall is tall enough, I extended the trunk of the tree using both sets. 

With the pictures that I had and maintaining the idea that I was going to put us on the trunk of the tree it made sense to have four main branches reaching out the right side.

I put pictures of each our parents, individually, on the right hand side of the main tree trunk with the couple picture of each set of grandparents starting a branch.

Me to the left, with my father below me to the right and my mother below him. Each of their parents, my grandparents, starting on the branch.
On each leaf "name plate" I put the name, date and place of birth for each of us individually up through our grandparents.

After that for all the rest of the leaves and generations, I made the "name plates" for the parents of the previous generation.

This is my nana Bea and granddaddy Bill...

Here is the completed tree...

I am so pleased with how it turned out. I hope it inspires you to display you roots in some manner.


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