Putting Your Family on the Wall

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.

We’re delighted to share this list of websites and apps where you can create family tree prints and posters, or have them created for you. Of course we had to include Twiggli! But if you’re looking for something different there are lots of other styles to consider here. If you’re looking for ways to preserve your family photos and memories, check out this post instead.

1. Ancestral Fan Charts

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.

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.

Twiggli Family Tree

There are some specialist companies which print fan charts as modern, colourful designs. Genalogy Wall Charts is partnered with FamilySearch. Data for your chart can be automatically gathered from FamilySearch, or there is an option to upload a gedcom file instead of linking to FamilySearch. There are some differences between Genealogy Wall Charts and TreeSeek, so you should check both for the best pricing and latest deals. For example, a digital poster is currently free on TreeSeek but starts at $5 on Genealogy Wall Charts. Printed tree prices on Genealogy Wall Charts range from $9 to $45 with free shipping in the USA. You can create up to 13 generation fans, and all fan charts have options where you can color code your ancestors by country, with a pie graph showing what percentage of your ancestors come from each country. There is also an option to add photographs, as below.

Genealogy Wall Charts / TreeSeek

The Family Tree Prints website also allows you to create a range of fantastic custom family trees. The designs are crisp and clean, graphics led, modern, and geometric. Like Twiggli, Family Tree Prints offer downloadable files to give you the flexibility to choose a printing option to suit your budget and personal tastes. You can import data to your tree direct from FamilySearch, or upload a gedcom file. Family trees currently cost $24.95 per download.

Family Tree Prints

Many services offer fan charts alongside a range of other layouts. For example, on the MyHistory website you start by visiting the Gallery and chosing from a range of Ancestor, Pedigree, Descendant, Hourglass and All Relatives layouts. After picking the one you want, you upload your gedcom. MyHistory will then create the chart for you to check and proof read before ordering. Your chart is supplied printed and rolled. MyHistory is based in Doncaster in the UK. Charts are created with Family Historian.

MyHistory Family Tree

2. Ahnentafels

This type of tree list your ancestors using a genealogical numbering system designed by MichaΓ«l 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 can be presented as a simple list, or as 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. If you are looking to keep a reference tree on the wall of your office, this might be a good solution.

Michael Eytzinger’s ahnentafel

3. Bow Tie Trees

Bow tie trees are arranged horizontally fanning out from two central people. Below is an example from MyCanvas which is partnered with Ancestry. On the website you can auto-fill your data by linking MyCanvas to your account on Ancestry. If you do not have an Ancestry account, you can build your poster with MyCanvas templates. The automated process generates a basic chart which has from three to nine generations. You then manually add photos, edit text, and change backgrounds. The resulting trees are supplied as frame-ready posters, printed on photographic, archival-quality paper. Prices for a standard pedigree chart range from $19.95 for five generations to $39.95 for nine generations.

A MyCanvas Family Tree

4. Roots and Shoots

Roots and shoots trees include both descendants and ancestors in a single tree. Here’s an example from Family Chart Masters. Family Chart Masters invites you to send in your computer file for a free consultation and their professionals will send back ideas and options for printing a chart from simple trees, to complex oversized charts for family reunions. There is a gallery on their website with a wide range of design options. You can preview the finished chart online, and it is printed for you on archival quality paper. Prices range from $24.95 to $349.95. Family Chart Masters are based in Utah.

Family Chart Masters

4. Hand Drawn or Painted Family Trees

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.

Hand drawn tree by KaruskiColours on Etsy

5. Wall Decal Family Trees

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.

Wall decal from LindenFieldsHome on Etsy

6. Custom Graphic Art Prints

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.

Graphic Namecloud Family Tree from Sock Paper Scissors

7. Custom 3D Family Trees

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.

Woodcut hearts and flowers family tree from My Button Heart on Etsy.

8. Custom Art Print Family Trees

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. If you’re looking for something really different, GeniArts offers a really unusual selection of art print style family trees, with themes ranging from fishes and books to galaxies and Star Wars. The content is customisable. GeniArts is based in Brussels.

A custom art print family tree from Geniarts,

Family Ancestrees offers a very striking range of family tree posters. Pedigree trees start at $150. You supply your gedcom, and Family Ancestrees does all the work to turn your gedcom into a poster featuring your family photo(s) in the background and up to seven generations of parental family history. There is a research service available if required, specialising in Quebec. Family Ancestrees is run by Sue Sullivan, aka the ‘Graphic Genealogist’, and is based in British Columbia, Canada.

Family Ancestrees

9. Blank Family Tree Templates

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.

Blank family trees 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.

Cross stitch family tree from Bothy Threads.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.