How to Create a Simple Genealogy Chart

Easy Genealogy Chart/Fan

20 seconds. Seriously. This will take you 20 seconds.

(FYI: THIS IS AN UPDATE. TreeSeek launched a new website that makes it super easy to do this same process.)

  1. Go to CreateFan.com.
  2. Click Login, and enter your FamilySearch/LDS.org credentials.
  3. Click Create.

Did you want more steps? Because that’s it. Seriously. It’s amazingly simple. I love it.

One cool thing: it now shows the birth date. It still doesn’t show the birth country, which I think would be sweet.

Easy Genealogy Chart/Fan

Easy Genealogy Chart Zoomed

 

[HERE’S THE OLD POST:]

I’ve always thought genealogy charts were frustrating because of the way they branch out so quickly and go onto page after page and how you can never get a decent overview.

The genealogy fan I’m about to tell you about solves this problem. It’s a concise view of 9 generations. I love it.

Before you start, you’ll need an account with www.FamilySearch.org. If you need help creating an account, you’re going to have to google it.

Below I’ve listed two short lists of steps. And don’t worry, it’s actually pretty easy.

  1. Go to New.FamilySearch.org.
  2. Enter your FamilySearch username and password. Click ‘Sign In’.
  3. Click ‘See Me and My Ancestors’.
  4. Click the “Change View” drop-down, right below the FamilySearch logo, and make sure its set to “Family Tree.”
  5. It should load your profile. On the upper right side, below your name, there’s a ID that will look something like this: J894-U82. Copy this ID (select it and press CTRL + C).

 

  1. Go to www.TreeSeek.com.
  2. Click the ‘My Account’ tab.
  3. Click the big Family Search logo.
  4. Enter your FamilySearch username and password, and click ‘Sign In’ (again).
  5. Click the ‘Create Chart’ tab.
  6. In the field at the top, paste the ID into the ‘Starting Person’ field.
  7. Name the chart whatever you like.
  8. Then select the type of chart you want. Personally, I like the colored 9-generation fan. It crams a lot of info into a very small space. But there are some other fun options if you want to mess around.
  9. Click the ‘Create Chart’ button at the very bottom.
  10. After waiting a moment or two, click the ‘My Account’ tab again. (If it’s not there, wait a while longer and then refresh your browser.)
  11. You’ll see your chart listed in a small table. Click the red Adobe Acrobat icon to download the PDF of your chart. (By the way, make sure you’ve installed Adobe Acrobat already.)

To the people at TreeSeek, if you’re listening, I think it would be awesome if this chart showed birth year and birth country. I think these two facts are some of the most interesting parts of genealogy. Because then you can tie your ancestors to cultures and time periods. It really makes it come alive.

Let us know how you like this tip in the comments below.

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J Washburn has authored three books, including DEAR JEFF: Straightforward Temple Prep from an Older Brother. He also owns and operates HelamanGallery.com, a gallery of LDS temple photography. If you'd like to get to know him better, receive some free ebooks, and maybe win a temple print, subscribe to The INFORMANT, his personal monthly newsletter.

19 comments on “How to Create a Simple Genealogy Chart

  1. LQG says:

    YES! This is a SWEET idea!

  2. Matt says:

    Yes, TreeSeek is listening. Thanks for the writeup! You may have noticed that the names are positioned in the cell to give room for the dates/places, so this feature is coming soon.

    1. traviswashburn says:

      Matt, thanks for listening!

      I wrote this post a little quickly, and I forgot to give you props. You guys have made a great genealogy tool. I mean it, great work.

      Thanks for helping us genealogy newbs get excited about the work!

      (And let us know when the new feature gets rolled to live so we can tell people about it.)

  3. Cautious says:

    Um, why would you give an unknown third party your FamilySearch login information, especially when that name and password is the same information used to sign in to every other official LDS website, including your ward and stake website, your Mormon.org profile, the online store where temple clothing is purchased, your account with the LDS employment service, and who remembers what all else?? Sorry, trusting souls, but it isn't quite enough for me to see an anonymous assurance on TreeSeek's page that they're only going to access FamilySearch once, cross their heart.

    1. Tevya says:

      Thanks for your comment, Cautious. We're concerned about privacy too, here at MLH. If you'll take a look at the New FamilySearch Affiliates page (scroll down about halfway), you'll notice that Tree Seek is a FamilySearch affiliate. This means that the Church has worked with, and allowed them to connect to FS, but only obtain certain, non-sensitive information information from your account. Don't worry, the Church is concerned about your privacy too, and has set security in place that assures these third-party affiliates can't access private information.

      Thanks for mentioning that though. Its always better to be safe than sorry.

    2. Jimmy Zimmerman says:

      Please notice the URL when you enter your login information. You will be at a FamilySearch webpage and your login information is only sent to FamilySearch. TreeSeek.com never sees your login information. In technical terms, this is called OAuth, which allows you to give a third party permission to access your information without giving them your login credentials.

  4. Lucy says:

    There's no ID under my name at the upper right.

    1. traviswashburn says:

      Lucy, sorry you're having difficulties. I'm sure it's frustrating.

      – In FamilySearch, go to the Me and My Ancestors pedigree view.
      – Then click on a person in the pedigree tree (you could start with yourself, but it should work on anyone).
      – On the right side, there's a panel showing that person's details. Under the name, it should show a birth and death year in parenthesis. Then next to that there's the ID.

      I'm not sure how this ID gets created. I'm definitely no expert. (I'm a total newb, actually.) But it's there on mine.

      I have some relatives that have done a lot of family work on my line. Maybe having your tree filled out has something to do with it.

      If you get it fixed, let us know what you did to fix it.

      Good luck : )

  5. Matt says:

    I wanted to respond to a couple security issues that have been raised.

    1. "Um, why would you give an unknown third party your FamilySearch login information?"
    TreeSeek.com does NOT ask for, or ever see your FamilySearch login information. When you enter your username and password you are on FamilySearch.org not treeseek.com. We use an authentication system called oauth that allows you as the user to know your login credentials are kept secret.

    2. "The certificate used on the site is not valid".
    We do use a valid secure certificate. Apparently some browsers can't figure that out. Even if the certificate was invalid, it wouldn't jeopardize your login information. All information passed to/from TreeSeek.com in encrypted so all your data is safe and can't be eavesdropped by anyone.

    3. FamilySearch has audited TreeSeek.com and has verified we are a trusted company and service and abide by FamilySearch requirements. You can verify this by going to the FamilySearch website and see TreeSeek.com listed as a certified product: http://www.familysearch.org/eng/affiliates/index….

    Thanks.

    Matt

  6. Tevya says:

    Lucy, we updated the article to address this problem. There's two views under the "See Me & My Ancestors" tab. You'll need to ensure you're on the "Family Tree" view to see the person id under your name in the top-right.

  7. Lineagekeeper says:

    Unfortunately, access to Tree Seek beta is stopped when almost any level of security is turned on in your browser. The certificate used on the site is not valid…

    Click on "My Account" and this error message appears:

    "treeseek.com uses an invalid security certificate.

    The certificate is not trusted because the issuer certificate is unknown.

    (Error code: sec_error_unknown_issuer)"

  8. Sheila says:

    I just tried this and it was pretty cool. Wish I had access to a printer that could print one bigger than 8.5×11. I did notice that I didn't need that number from the first step. Once I logged into FS on Tree Seek that number was input automatically. Perhaps an update that was made?

  9. Stacey says:

    My neighbor took the .pdf file that is generated to the local copy shop and was able to print out a wall chart for $4 in black and white. He said we could either take it in on a memory stick or email it to them.

  10. Bryan says:

    Just a warning- if you have ancestors that list multiple parents in New FamilySearch, the ones on your fan may not be the ones you want. (If that's only one or two, then you can go back in to New FamilySearch and designate the ones you want to see on your tree, checking the box "Always Show Selected Parents." In my case, there are so many individual records with multiple parents that it would be a lot of work just getting 9 generations to display right- at least at this point.

  11. teddyboy says:

    While new.familysearch.org shows a good number of generations associated with my dad's mother, none of her line was identified in the fan. I tried on two different occasions with the same result. Is this a flaw in the program or am I doing something wrong? Thanks

    1. It may be issues in your pedigree on new.familysearch.org. It could be CreateFan, but is more likely your data in FamilySearch. You might look into "pedigree loops" and other issues that would cause problems with 3rd party apps. http://usfamilytree.com has a great tool for identifying pedigree loops, and it's free.

  12. Denise says:

    can you type in the chart once you download it? I tried to type or comment inside the little boxes and I can't. Is the chart just for printing?

  13. Entering the treeseek.com website is inconsistent. Sometime I get in, sometimes not. Today I’ve been trying for over two hours to get in, I checked with familysearch. my username and password, along with my profile all have correct information. I tried different users. Once we enter our username and password, the sign in screen goes blank.

  14. Elysa says:

    I was wondering if anyone could help me out with my fan. I love these and I have gotten mine printed and it is beautiful however for some reason it puts my fathers step dad in( my grandmothers second husband) instead of putting his biological father in the fan. I have tried pulling up the first husband on the family search sight but it doesn’t change the fan that I get from treeseek.com. Is there anything I can do because it is PDF so there is no editing it? Please help.

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