What is the Meaning of a Family Tree?
- A family tree is basically a chart that is designed to represent the various family relationships in a structure that resembles a normal tree. It is usually used to track a person's family history. However it is sometime used in the fields of social work, genealogy and medicine. In this form it is known as genograms.
The image of the tree was added to the genogram due to the inspiration provided by the medieval art of the Tree of Jesse. It was used to illustrate Christ's Genealogy as a prophecy done by Isaiah.
The tree was then used outside the Bible for the first time, to represent the full family relationships of the classical Gods as featured in Genealogia deorum gentilium. It was made in the year 1360.
The genealogical data can be represented in a lot of formats when presented. You can present it as a pedigree chart or an ancestor chart. The features the oldest generations at its top and the newest generations at it bottom.
Usually the most common form of a family tree is an ancestry chart. It resembles a proper tree and is used to display the names of the ancestors of an individual. It will be much wider at the top than the bottom. Usually in such a individual will appear on the left and his or her ancestors will appear on the individual's right hand side.
Then there is the descendant chart family tree, that is designed to depict all the descendants of an individual. This type of family tree is usually the narrowest at the top.
A family tree can feature a lot of themes. It can feature all the descendants related to a single figure as well as all of his or her known ancestors. It can also feature a lot of people with a particular surname.
Another popular theme is the one which features all the people who hold a certain office, such as the king of Germany. This usually relies on the dynastic marriages and is used to maintain the link between the various dynasties.
In short, a family tree is the ideal method for an individual to trace his or her ancestral roots to the first member of their family.
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