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Why don't pedigree charts show siblings of ancestors?

Someone wrote to EasyGenie asking where to write the names of siblings of grandparents, great-grandparents, and further back on our new 10-generation pedigree chart.


It's a good question. Pedigree charts are meant to show a person's pedigree: parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. of the primary person. It would be impossible to show all of the siblings, not only because each person on the chart has a different number of siblings, but also because the further you go back the less room is available to add lines and boxes. Taking a look at the picture above, you can see how crowded things start to get after 5 or 6 generations!

What you can do on pedigree charts is use the blank space to add siblings. The 10-generation EasyGenie chart also has extra cells (unique among paper pedigree charts) that can show up to 16 children of the primary couple. So it is possible to show up to 16 siblings at the base of the tree, but not further back, unless you write in the margins. 

What do others do? Some software programs can ancestors with siblings, and print out their entire family tree. The problem with this approach: it's nearly impossible to fit everyone on one sheet of paper. I've seen printouts at genealogy conferences that are more than 6 feet wide to accommodate siblings and children on a five or six generation tree!

Other people use different types of forms called family group sheets that show the couple and all of their children and spouses, but these are only intended for three generations in all (grandparents/parents/kids & spouses) and only the youngest generation shows siblings. Here is a link to check out our large-print, two-sided family group sheets with space for 17 children and spouses