What is a Family Tree and Why is It Important?

Family Chart Tree

Treemily Descentant Photo Family Tree

In many ways, living a fulfilled life has a lot to do with knowing who you are and where you come from. At the center of all that is the concept of family. People realize the value of knowing your familial heritage and passing this knowledge down between generations. And that’s why we create family trees. 

So here’s a breakdown of the subject. This is not a piece on how to design a family tree. Instead, we look at the definition of a family tree, and some of the motivations behind familial tree creation.

What Is A Family Tree

Family chart and tree Because people tend to get creative with them, family trees take all sorts of forms. This might throw you off in some cases, but at the end of the day, a family tree is simply some sort of chart or diagram that shows the members of a family and the relationships between them. Sometimes, challenges like missing data, or different goals may lead people to adjust the type of chart they use, so you might see different trees illustrated in different ways. 

Where Do Family Trees Come From?

Medieval Scrolls The exact origin of the practice is difficult to definitively pinpoint, with depictions of familial trees appearing as far back as in medieval art and in different places in the world. What we do know, even just by looking at some of the oldest family trees, is that people have been documenting their heritage for a very long time.

Why create a family tree?

Creating a family tree requires a significant amount of work, research, and can be complicated. So why do it? 

Here are a few good reasons that might make it worth your while:

To feel a connection to your family

One of the first and most obvious reasons why people create family trees is because they want to establish the roots of their identity. This plays an important role in the mental wellbeing of an individual, this feeling of belonging and knowing who you are. 

To trace genetics and family health concerns

Many health-related issues are hereditary. A glance at your family tree can tell you a lot more than just who your forebears were. You can learn what they succumbed to and find out what health problems run in your family. You can then diagnose certain issues early, make the right health choices, and sidestep banana skins that got the better of your relatives from past generations.

To settle questions of land ownership by providing proof of descent

Land disputes are quite common. In many of these legal battles, determining who owns what is often settled by going back generations and proving that the historical owners of the property are your ancestors. Proving this may also prove your legal entitlement to the land.

To determine genealogical proof of a connection for potential heirs

Family tree generationsLegal disputes are not just limited to land. When a person passes on, it often falls to the state to determine who will inherit their assets in the absence of a will. Or even then, a will may be contested by different parties all laying a claim to the assets at stake. This is especially true when the person had a significant amount of wealth. A familial tree can help to uncomplicate matters. 

To have fun

For many people, putting a family tree together is not an end in itself. It is about the journey of discovery. It is a personal Indiana Jonesy sort of experience, diving into history and putting clues together to write your own story.

To preserve the knowledge of ancestors who contributed to family traditions

Family generationsIf familial traditions are not passed down to new generations, they inevitably die away. A good medium for keeping them alive is through family trees. Young members of the family can learn and honor their heritage by keeping those customs alive.

To find out if you are related to someone famous

There are many stories where people have unexpectedly discovered that they are, in fact, related to royalty – even if that is just royalty in Hollywood. For many, the idea that they may somehow be royalty themselves is reason enough to start seriously exploring the possibility. After all, who knows, right?

To learn about family history in relation to historical events

Historical events tend to shape the world and future generations. This is borne out very clearly in families. For a lot of people, creating a family tree is a journey of discovery linking them to historical events like wars, for example. 

To involve children to learn about ancestors and preserve family stories

Family fun tree creationAnd finally, a familial tree has intrinsic value as the source of vital historical information for individuals, and also for future generations. For many, it is therefore important that they keep this familial history alive and continue adding to it. The way to do this is by educating children about its importance so that they in turn can add to it in future.


A family tree can be a source of great pride, joy, and can bring an irreplaceable sense of belonging for a lot of people. Family trees keep family traditions alive, tell the stories of past relatives, and are incredibly valuable stores of knowledge. If you are thinking about it, there are at least a couple of reasons why starting to compile your own familial tree is a great idea!

Queen Elizabeth II Family Tree: Who is Who

Queen Elizabeth II

There aren’t many cultural icons that are as global as Queen Elizabeth II. Mention “The Queen” almost anywhere in the world, and everyone knows precisely who you are referring to. This should come as no surprise, considering that she has been in her role longer than anyone else before her. Such has been her longevity, it is the subject of countless tongue-in-cheek comments, measuring the length of her rule, for example, in the number of American presidents, Popes, and even the global crises and epidemics she’s outlived. 

Born on the 21st of April, 1921, the Queen, at the time of writing, is now 95. As she approaches her 96th birthday, her vitality shows no signs of waning. Even after more than 70 years at the helm navigating all manner of storms – political and familial.  So let’s take a look at what is a remarkable personality on the world stage today, her roots, and her place in the Royal Family.

Queen Elizabeth II History and Early Years

Queen Elizabeth II

When then Princess Elizabeth was born, in 1921, she wasn’t exactly an obvious candidate to take over the throne. She in fact, would have been third in line. At the time of her birth, her grandfather, King George V, was the monarch. Next in the line of succession would have been his eldest son, Edward VIII – the Prince of Wales, and then her own father, George VI, the Duke of York.

Queen Elizabeth’s early years were therefore fairly unremarkable. In 1930, her sister, Princess Margaret Rose, was born. She met her husband, Prince Philip, in 1934. He too was of royal blood as the Prince Philip family tree will show. The two met at the wedding of her uncle, the Duke of Kent, to his cousin, Princess Marina of Greece. Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip went on to get married in 1947. Between those years, however, events on the world stage and within the royal family changed everything and turned Princess Elizabeth’s relatively simple life upside down. 

Princess Elizabeth was thrust into her current role after a quick series of events in 1936. The King passed on and, as expected, Princess Elizabeth’s uncle, his eldest son, became King Edward VIII. His rule would only last a couple of months. He decided to abdicate the throne in the name of love. He wanted to marry Wallis Simpson, but that bond would prove incompatible with his royal position. 

King Edward VII abdicated. King George VI rose to the throne. Princess Elizabeth was suddenly next in line. She began to receive education to prepare her for her future role. She learned history, religion, law, and many other skills which would prove essential when the time came.

The time came in 1952. King George VI was bedridden in a battle with a long illness. He was thus unable to perform a Commonwealth tour. Princess Elizabeth, true to form and in an indication of the sort of Queen she would be, took his place instead. On February 6th, while she was in Kenya, the news arrived that the King had died. Princess Elizabeth was now Queen Elizabeth II. Her Coronation took place on the 2nd of June the next year. 


Queen Elizabeth II’s Ancestors

Queen Elizabeth II

Royal bloodlines being what they are, Queen Elizabeth’s family tree is a well-documented one, spanning many generations. Here, we will focus on the Queen’s direct ancestors and descendants. Let’s start with her immediate forebears along the royal lineage.


George VI

Queen Elizabeth was born to the Duke and Duchess of York. Her father, who later became King George VI, was born on the 14th of December, 1895. He died on the 6th of February, 1952, aged 56. During his time, King George was much revered and loved. He’d served during World War I, and was a source of morale during World War II. He was very much seen as a man of the people.


Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth’s mother was Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon, also known simply as The Queen Mother. She was born on the 4th of August, 1900. She lived to the ripe old age of 101, which may go some way to explaining the Queen’s remarkable longevity. The Queen Mother even outlived her youngest daughter and the Queen’s younger sister, Princess Margaret, by a few weeks. She died on the 30th of March, 2002.


George V

The Queen’s paternal grandfather, King Edward VII, was born on the 3rd of June 1865. His death, aged 56, in 1936 kickstarted the chain of events that eventually led to Princess Elizabeth finding herself ushered onto the throne. George V was King from 1910. His 26-year reign was marked with earth-shaking events like the First World War, the fight for the right to vote for women, and the insidious rise of fascism.

King George V’s queen was known quite simply as Mary of Teck. Perhaps because repeating her full name requires a deep breath before making the attempt – Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes. She was actually initially betrothed to Prince Albert Victor, King George V’s elder brother. The Prince died before they tied the knot.

She passed away on the 24th of March, 1953. A few weeks more and she would have lived to see her granddaughter’s coronation.

Great Grandparents

Edward VII

Going further up the royal lineage, we come to King Edward VII. Son to Queen Victoria herself. He was born on the 9th of November 1841. He became king when his mother died in 1901, and died just 9 years later, on the 6th of May, 1910.

King Edward VII’s spouse was Alexandra of Denmark. She was born on the 1st of December, 1844. She outlived her husband by more than 15 years and died on the 20th of November, 1925 – four years after Queen Elizabeth was born.

Queen’s Descendants

Then Princess Elizabeth married Prince Philip in 1947. He stood by her for decades, supporting her throughout her reign as queen, through many different challenges until his death in 2021.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip had four children. They had their first son, Prince Charles, in 1948 – a year after they got married. Their second, Princess Anne, was born in 1950. Then came Prince Andrew ten years later in 1960, and finally Prince Edward in 1964.

Prince Charles

Prince Charles married the famous and much-loved Princess Diana – Diana Spencer – in 1981. The couple had two children, Princes William and Harry, before they divorced in 1996, the year before Princess Diana’s tragic death. In 2005, almost ten years after Princess Diana’s passing, Prince Charles remarried.  He tied the knot with Camilla Rosemary Shand. She two was a divorcee. Her first marriage ended a year before Prince Charles’, in 1995. No one in history has been the Prince of Wales longer than Prince Charles. 

Prince William

Prince William was born in 1982 and is the first-born child of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. He is second in line to the throne, behind his father. In 2011, he married Catherine Middleton, having courted her from his time at the University of St. Andrew’s. Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge have three children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. The couple work as full-time royals.  

Prince Harry

He may not be in the direct line of succession – only sixth in fact – but Prince Harry certainly merits a mention here, given his contribution to the narrative surrounding the royals in recent years. Prince Harry is one of only a few royals to serve in an active war zone. He was deployed to Afghanistan on two occasions. More famously, he went against the grain and married Meghan Markle in 2018 – a mixed race woman three years his senior, divorced, and with a child from a previous marriage. The two have a son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. Amidst talk of a rift within the royal family as a result of their relationship, the couple decided to give up their roles as royals and live an independent life.

The Longest-Reigning British Monarch

As the Queen approaches her 95th birthday, she will no doubt have much to reflect on. She has seen the world change, with cataclysmic events shaping it into what we know and see today. She herself has made history, navigating the royal family through difficult times with an admirable artistry in diplomacy, and in a society that often questions the very relevance of the royals. She witnessed the global British empire wane as countries the world over declared independence. She saw the destruction wrought by a World War and the emergence of a new global order, with countless challenges along the way, both personal and political.

A history as long and storied as that of the British royals certainly needs to be documented for future generations to look at and learn from. The same, though, can be said of any family. A glance at the pages of history can hold many valuable lessons for future generations, can give them the opportunity to better understand and appreciate their identity, and be a source of strength and a feeling of belonging, if nothing else.  

Get started documenting your own family history with the Treemily Ancestry family tree maker.

Bridgerton Family Chart: Meet the Famous Family

Bridgerton Family

In recent years, television has entertained us with many stories around family and bloodlines. Whether it’s the Gucci family tree, the Potters, or one of the famous crime families, they’ve had fans enthralled, watching their family sagas play out on the screen. If you understand the familial relationships behind the plots, the stories are even better. The Peaky Blinders is a much better watch if you know the Tommy Shelby family tree.

The Bridgertons are no different. If you haven’t seen the show yet, it’s a Netflix series based on  novels by Julia Quinn, an American author. Without giving too much away, we’ll say it follows the scandals of regency era London’s aristocrats and their family tree.

The Bridgerton family series has kept many adoring fans glued to the screen for hours on end. So, in this article, we help you get up to speed with the Bridgerton family chart so you too can get the most out of the show.

Bridgerton Family Chart

The Bridgertons: Family History

You may be wondering if the show is biographical. It is not. Chris Van Dusen, executive producer of the show, admits as much and says the story joins history and fantasy “in an exciting way.” Van Dusen tried to imagine what might have been, had English society been diverse and racially integrated.

So some of the characters are real, but many details have been reimagined. For instance, Queen Charlotte, a real queen – the wife of King George III, is depicted as having African ancestry and is played by Golda Rosheuvel, a Guyanese-British actress. A historical debate about her roots was, in fact, what inspired Van Dusen to create the show.

The Bridgertons are a family that lives in this 19th century society. Roughly speaking, the mothers’ duty in this age is to get their daughters married off to an adequate suitor, and their sons to a fitting bride – to bring glory to their family tree. 

Here’s your mandatory spoiler alert.

So let’s start with the parents.

Meet The Parents: Edmund And Violet Bridgerton

Edmund Bridgerton, at the age of 20, marries Violet Ledger, two years his junior. They have a prolific marriage which produces eight children. They are very helpfully named in alphabetical order. Perhaps the couple felt it would be easier to keep track that way.

Only a bee sting, believe it or not, puts paid to Edmunds industrious endeavors. Edmund succumbs to an allergic reaction to the bee sting while his wife is pregnant with their last daughter.With the Bridgertons family tree being prolific already, Violet chooses not to remarry. Instead, she decides to focus her efforts on finding matches for her children.

Anthony Bridgerton

Anthony is eighteen at the time of his father’s untimely death. He becomes the head of the family. He falls in love with a young singer. It’s a relationship doomed from the start because of the differences in social class. He later finds an appropriate match for him to widen the Bridgerton family tree, at least socially, but even that marriage is mired in controversy because his bride’s half-sister is vehemently opposed to it. 

Benedict Bridgerton

Benedict is the second son. Benedict Bridgerton is a respected artist. His love interest, a woman he meets at a masquerade ball, is lost to him for two years before he unknowingly runs into her again and talks her into working in his mother’s employ.

Colin Bridgerton

Colin is a bit of a maverick. He falls in love and gets engaged. Only for his family to intervene, saying, at 22, he is not yet of age. (Ahem… Edmund?) 

Anyway, he later learns she was already pregnant and was only stringing him along in the hopes he would care for the child. Scandal ensues obviously. He’s devastated. Setting him up nicely for a certain damsel called Penelope who’s been waiting on the sidelines for a couple of seasons of the Bridgerton family saga.

Daphne Bridgerton

Daphne, oldest of the daughters, favored by the Queen herself, had no shortage of suitors. But alas, her love interest was a certain Simon. Alas because, well, Simon didn’t want kids. Daphne Bridgerton did. She was flabbergasted, and scandal ensued (noticing a theme here?). Later, as you would imagine, she gets him to come to his senses. They do the deed, she gets pregnant, and now the young couple of the Bridgerton family have to grapple with Simon insecurities about being a father.

Eloise Bridgerton

Initially, Eloise has no interest in all of the matchmaking that has everyone in the Bridgerton family occupied. She is more interested in uncovering the identity of the writer, named only Lady Whistledown, who’s been authoring gossip columns. It turns out to be the best friend who she, incidentally, asks to help her in her quest. 

Eloise Bridgerton eventually enters the matchmaking fray when she pens a letter of condolence to the recently widowed Philip Crane. Philip is her now-deceased fourth cousin Marina’s widower. A few letters later she gets a marriage proposal. Eloise rather wisely asks to meet him in person first. Possibly the 18th century version of “maybe let’s have dinner first?” 

Francesca Bridgerton

For all of season 1, Francesca, child number six, is away living with relatives in Bath, England. Francesca eventually marries an Earl, John Kilmartin. He passes away however, and his cousin Michael, initially concealing his love for Francesca, gets closer and closer to her. But as you can imagine, there’s a bit of a complication because John and Michael were close. We’ll let you watch the rest so you will learn more about the Bridgerton family tree.

Gregory Bridgerton

Gergory’s story is that of unrequited love (what would a scandalous series be without one?). He is besotted with Hermione Watson, who in turn, has eyes only for someone else. Undeterred, Gregory enlists the help of Hermione’s friend Lucy to bring her to her senses. Lucy and Gregory fall in love. Who needs Hermione anyway, right? Lucy, though, is engaged to someone else. 

But anyway, we digress. Back to the Bridgertons family chart.

Hyacinth Bridgerton

Intelligent, sharp-tongued and witty enough to intimidate many a brave man, Hyacinth doesn’t really have suitors when the season starts. She’s only ten at the time anyway, the youngest in the Bridgerton family. Later in the story however, she becomes involved with Gareth St Clair. Gareth is researching the contents of a diary written in Italian. So he approaches her for help. Cue the romantic music, another round of romance in the Bridgerton family tree begins.

Bridgerton Family


Bridgerton has millions, literally millions of households captivated. And with good reason. At the heart of the story is an interesting family in the middle of a fictional society. Hopefully, we helped you gain some insight into the Bridgerton family, and you can dive into the series knowing a little bit more.


Family Relationship Chart: Types, Examples, and a Printable Template

When we think of genealogy and the representation of family relationships, we usually immediately think of family trees. However, “a family tree” is a concept that includes in itself many kinds of diagrams and charts. And as anyone who’s taken more than just a passing interest in the subject will tell you, there is an entire range of options to choose from when it comes to illustrating your ancestry. 

So if you’re wondering how to make a family relationship chart, here are some types you’re likely to encounter as you set about recording your family history:

Read on to learn more about each type, as well as some other less known types.

Family Chart

A family chart, or pedigree chart, is what most people think of when they talk of family trees. These charts are characterized by a series of lines originating from one point. The lines represent the relationships between parents and offspring. The point from which they originate is the person of interest – the focal point of the whole chart. The chart is built by going backward in time. It starts with the person around whom the chart is being built, adds their parents on two branches, and then their grandparents, their great grandparents, and so on. In the end, every individual listed on an ancestor or pedigree chart will have a direct relationship connecting them to the first person on the family chart, across one or more generations. In other words, an ancestor family chart displays the direct ancestors of an individual – their pedigree.

Here is an example of an ancestor family chart by Treemily:

available at Treemily.com: https://treemily.com/family-chart/

Download a Family-Tree-Chart for your family history research.

Another way to visualize this family history data in an attractive way is in a family tree:

Treemily Ancestor Family Tree

Descendant Chart

A descendant chart is exactly the same as an ancestor chart but with one crucial difference. Instead of starting with one person and going backward in time, the descendant chart does the opposite. It starts with an individual and goes forwards in time. It branches downwards to show their offspring – their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and so on. Every person listed on the descendant family chart will have a direct relationship with the ancestor at the root of the chart. In other words, a descendant chart shows the direct descendants of an individual.

A good example of a descendant chart would be Descendant Treemily:

Descendent Family Tree Treemily

available at Treemily.com: https://treemily.com/descendant-treemily/

Other Family Relationship Charts 

All-in-One Tree 

An all-in-one tree is exactly that, it is a type of chart that shows everyone in the family. It goes upwards to show ancestors, downwards to show descendants, and sideways to show cousins. As you might imagine, all-in-one trees can easily get confusing if you try to cram too many family members into one chart. So they are great when used in a limited scope, for example, if you want to display the relationships among the members in the current generation of a family. 

Family Group Record (or Sheet) 

Family group records are different from the charts we have looked at so far in that they are not organized as trees. They are better thought of as ordered series of fact sheets about the different individual families that, together, form the overarching family tree. Each fact sheet will therefore have details about one set of parents and their children. Each record will list the members of one family unit along with relevant information and dates pertaining to the individuals in that family.

Fan Chart 

A fan chart is a variation of the ancestor tree or descendant tree. In a fan chart, however, instead of splitting branches growing from the first person in the middle, the starting individual is represented as a small circle in the center of the chart. Subsequent generations are then added as outer layers to that initial circle, spreading out to form a larger circle or part of a circle. In that sense, it is a kind of family generation chart.

The inner-circle will have the starting individual, and then their parents will occupy the first layer, grandparents the next, and so on. Each section of what would be a descendant or ancestor family tree is thus represented by a sort of pizza slice of the fan chart, making it easy to see which branches do not have information.

Kinship Report 

A kinship report is a glossary of sorts for a family from the perspective of one individual. It is an ordered list of members of the family which details their relationship to that particular person – the subject of the kinship report. The idea is to be able to look up family members in the report and immediately see what their relationship is to the subject of the kinship report.

Each family member is therefore listed in alphabetical order, with their relationship to the person, along with civil or canon codes that denote how far along with the family bloodline the two are separated. 

Timeline Chart 

A timeline chart displays the lives of family members using parallel bars that stretch across years. This makes it possible to see which family members lived in which generations, as well as how the lives of contemporary family members overlapped.

Waterfall Chart 

The waterfall chart is another variation of the descendant chart just organized a little differently. It starts with the subject in the top left corner and displays descendants flowing down diagonally across to the bottom right.

Bow-Tie Family Trees 

Bow-tie family trees are so named because of the distinctive bow-tie-shaped pattern they have. They have essentially conjoined ancestor charts. To reduce the vertical space taken up by a normal ancestor family chart, the chart starts with the parents of the final descendant in the middle. The chart grows horizontally with the ancestors from the maternal side of the family on one side, and those from the paternal side on the other.

Ahnentafel Chart

If you had to figure out a way to display an ancestor or pedigree chart without using any diagrams, you’d probably turn to the Ahnentafel chart. This is an indexed list of the direct ancestors of a person that uses a simple but efficient numbering system. The person of interest is given number 1, their father is 2, and mother 3. The numbering system continues to the paternal grandfather and grandmother – 4 and 5 respectively, and then the maternal grandparents, 6 and 7. You then continue a generation up with the same system. With this scheme, all-male ancestors are denoted by an even number, and females are all odd. With a little mathematics, you can work out which generation a particular ancestor belongs to using their number.

Family Tree Worksheet 

A family tree worksheet helps you to go about researching your family history in a structured way. It provides a framework of the information you can put together about the members of your family as you build your family tree. This could include physical details like their description, and health-related information, or details about their education and career.  A family tree worksheet works as a kind of family tree chart template that helps you ensure you do not miss important information as you gather data to build your family tree.


There are many different ways to build a family tree, and, depending on your particular situation, you may want to display the information you find in several ways. Thankfully, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to the options available. And if you are wondering how to make a family tree chart, there are various charts that help you highlight the information you want, or show your family from a particular perspective, as well as tools to keep you on track as you collect the information to document your family history. The different options listed in the article will get you started and will help you understand the purposes of each of them.

The most flexible online option is the Treemily Family Chart and you will enjoy the fun and easy way of working with it! Further on, you can build your family trees – like the Treemily Ancestor Family Tree, and commemorate your heritage.




Family History Book: Ideas for a New Family Tradition

Stack of Family Books

There are many reasons why family history matters. For one thing, it is a way for people to get in touch with their roots and understand their identity better. Many lessons can be learned by looking into the lives of our ancestors. We can be inspired by their achievements, learn from their failures, and just have a better perspective and appreciation of life. The benefits, beyond just posterity, are numerous, so there are a multitude of reasons why you would want to invest the time and effort into creating a family history book. 

In this article, we present some ideas to get you started and help you along as you put your family history together.

Family History Book as a Family Tradition  

Just as your family history did not start with you, the task of recording it should not end with you either. The idea of an ancestry book should be a multilateral effort that will be continued long after you are gone. So as you create a family book, think about how this tradition can be continued in coming generations. There are genealogy tools online, for example, that can help you chart your heritage in different ways, and get other family members to contribute to the effort.

Family Chart TreemilyFamily chart example

Reasons to Create a Family Book

It’s incredible how much history passes by unnoticed. What we see as ordinary, mundane events will offer priceless insights for future generations down the line. Picture that family scene when everybody huddles, fascinated, around an old picture of a loved one, poring over the tiny details which must have been unremarkable at the time the photo was taken. By recording your family history, we give future generations more than just a snapshot of our lives. We offer them the ability to really understand their roots, appreciate their history, and hopefully become more grounded human beings. You can dive into creating that family heritage book knowing the stakes and understanding its value.

How to Create a Family Book

The why is clear, but the how can be a sticky question. There are lots of family history book examples that you can find. Many are impressive, dutifully telling fascinating stories of ordinary (and sometimes extraordinary) characters that would otherwise have faded from memory. What those family heritage books do not show is the process that went into them, and how you too can tell your own family’s story. 

The first thing you need to do is roughly plan your project. Think about the scope of what you want to cover. What information will you need? Where will you get it? What sources and resources are available to you? For more contemporary members and generations of the family, you will have the luxury (or hassle) of curating your content – choosing what to keep and what to discard. For older generations, however, you might be lucky to be able to pinpoint a date of birth, let alone find a photo. Thinking about these challenges beforehand will help you plan your project, and decide what form your ancestry book will take. 

Once you have decided on your format, you can start with a draft with the information you have, and then start to research further and fill out the missing gaps. Get other familial members on board to help you plug the information gaps. You might be surprised how much information is lying around in forgotten boxes in your relatives’ houses, or how much is documented on social media.

Treemily Ancestor Family TreeAncestor’s Treemily

Types of Family History Books

Depending on what information you have available and the type of story you want to tell, you can go about documenting your family history in different ways. Let’s take a look at a few:

Photo Books

If you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to visual content, you can opt for a photo book, a popular family history book example. Remember that there is quite a big difference between a photo book and a random collection of pictures. What is the theme of your photo book? Do you have the pictures to illustrate it and tell the story you want to narrate? You can opt to tell a short, focused story. You can illustrate one person’s biography for example, or share images from family reunions. Photo books are light on text and heavy on the imagery. So you want to make sure you have sufficient material to go down whatever route you choose.

Narrative Books

If you have lots of information, but not much imagery, you could swing the other way and choose a narrative book. This is basically a written story narrating the history you want to relate. Here too, planning is key. You should know what information you have, fact-check it, and then plan out your book. The amount of information you have available may dictate what direction you take. Just like with photo ancestry books, you may decide to focus on one person or family, or a time period for which you have sufficient information to knit a story together. 

Treemily Descentant Photo Family TreeDescendant Treemily

Family History Books

If photo books and narrative books are two ends of the spectrum, family history books occupy a space somewhere in between. A family history book will contain a bit of everything. Like a good soup, you want to make sure you have the right ingredients, in the right amounts to be able to properly pull it off. 

You can follow the history of one person back through time or that of a couple. You can start with a descendant and go forwards through time to the present day, using an appropriate mix of text and images.


Documenting your familial history is a great way to share your family’s life experiences with later generations, and is also an opportunity to bring your family closer together. You can bring other family members into the project to help you find the relevant information, and also keep the tradition going. Collate data from different sources – official records, photos, narrated stories, into a compelling volume that can become a prized family possession for years to come.


The Dune Characters: The Houses of Atreides and Harkonnen Family Tree

Dune Family Tree

If you haven’t seen Dune yet, well, you should. It’s that simple. You don’t have to take our word for it. The film has won critical acclaim in a whole roster of categories awarded by everyone from the Golden Globes, Grammys, and People’s Choice Awards, to the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards. Surely, between them, all these organizations know a thing or two about what makes a good movie? Don’t even get us started on that Hans Zimmer score. Absolute genius.

Consensus among critics and viewers alike is positive, no doubt about that. One criticism (for want of a better word) alludes to the movie sometimes struggling with “unwieldy” source material, though the film does rather well in the end. We would grudgingly agree, the original books are great, but between the different Dune characters, feuding houses, bloodlines and interplanetary politics, there is quite a lot to unpack. 

It’s a lot like another story that kept us enthralled, it’s still a great watch, but it gets even better when you know and understand the family trees of the Game of Thrones Houses.

So in this article, we go over the Dune family tree. We describe the relationships between different characters of Dune, from House Atreides and House Harkonnen, to help unravel some of the nuances that underlie the plot. Family tree of Paul Atreides is available below. We invite you to build your own family tree using the Treemily app.

And here is the mandatory spoiler warning.

Dune House of AtreidesDune: Origins

The original story is an award-winning 1965 science fiction novel written by Frank Herbert. For many, this seminal work was the beginning of an era in science fiction. In the introduction to Dune, Brian Herbert, the author’s son, says that after the Dune series, a number of science fiction writers went on to have national best sellers. Some go as far as saying Star Wars itself may have been inspired by Dune.

Whether you agree or not, the 2021 film directed by Denis Villeneuve, which was adapted from the novel, brings the creativity and vision of the author to the screen more than half a century later in a way that does the epic story justice. 

The plot is complex, but in very simple terms, it is set in the distant future where interplanetary travel is possible using a substance known simply as spice. The emperor presiding over the known universe sets off a bitter conflict when he strips House Harkonnen of control of planet Arrakis, the universe’s source of spice, and hands it to House Atreides, knowing full well what the consequences will be. Needless to say, war ensues.

Villeneuve already did a stunning job of retelling the tale, so we won’t attempt it. What we will do, though, is take you through the Harkonnen family tree and House Atreides family tree, so you can appreciate the story better.

House Harkonnen

House Harkonnen is one of what is known as the Great Houses. Its home world is Giedi Prime and, until the imperial decree, it profited immensely from spice trade from Arrakis. The leaders of the Harkonnens are called Barons.

Dmitri Harkonnen

Dmitri Harkonnen is the father of Vladimir and Abulurd II. He is the ruler of Giedi Prime. He is married to a woman named Victoria. Dmitri has two sons from two marriages, Vladimir with Victoria, and Abulurd with his second wife Daphne.

Abulurd Harkonnen

Abulurd Harkonnen is the younger of Dmitri’s two sons and the more soft-hearted – a personality trait that does not serve him well in the Harkonnen household.. He is also referred to as Abulurd Rabban because he later takes up the last name of his wife Emmi. He was charged with governing Arrakis but with his kindhearted nature, was unable to assert the level of control the Harkonnens demanded. His more brutal half-brother is chosen by Dmitri to replace him, and his harsh methods eventually drive Abulurd to renounce his name and take up that of his wife. 

The two have two children –  Glossu Rabban and Feyd-Rautha Rabban.

Vladimir Harkonnen

Vladimir Harkonnen who later becomes the Baron of Giedi Prime, is one of the main characters of the story. He orders and plans the assassination of Leto Atreides and ignites the war between the two Houses with his attack on Arrakis. He is eventually killed by Alia Atreides, Paul Atreides’s sister. 

House Atreides 

House Atreides is another one of the major houses in the empire. Its leader goes by the title of Duke. Their home planet is Caladan, a water-rich planet in stark contrast to Arrakis.

The Old Duke

The Old Duke, Paulus Atreides, was the previous ruler of Caladan at the time the story starts. He is characterized as a compassionate and well-loved leader. His love for bullfighting however, proves to be his undoing as he is killed by a bull and authority passes to his only son, Leto Atreides. 

Leto Atreides 

Leto Atreides is the Duke of Caladan, a politically astute, well-loved and respected leader who is forced to take control of Arrakis at the emperor’s order knowing full well that it is a poisoned chalice. He is committed to Lady Jessica, his wife in all respects but title. Although he is undoubtedly in love, he refuses to marry her, understanding the dangers that poses politically. Despite his prudence, he is assassinated on the order of Baron Vladimir. 

The two have a son, Paul – a teenager at the time of his father’s death, and a daughter, Alia – born after Leto is killed and while Jessica and Paul are on the run. 

Family tree of Paul Atreides

Paul Atreides

Paul Atreides has a complex storyline. He is a teen at the time of his father’s death and a reluctant heir to the throne. The injustice of the assassination, the brutality of the Harkonnens, and the subjucation of the Fremen, the natives of Arrakis, all combine to spur him onto realizing the potential that has been bred into his bloodline over generations. 

He forms an alliance with the Fremen, and falls in love with one of them, Chani. However, for reasons similar to those his father had with his mother, he is unable to take her as wife. Instead he has a childless and platonic marriage with the emperor’s daughter Irulan, as one of the terms of a peace pact. 

Chani and Paul have a pair of twins, Leto II and Ghanima.

Leto Atreides II

Leto inherits his father’s considerable powers, including the ability to see into the future. In order to solidify his powers and the course to attain his position as a near-eternal ruler, he undergoes a transformation that leaves him no longer human. He therefore does not bear offspring but is able to rule the Atreides Empire for thousands of years with his newfound longevity.


The Dune epic is a fascinating read and an even more engrossing watch. Family trees of the Atreides and Harkonnens abound with interesting twists. Armed with a little more knowledge about the bloodlines and relationships between the Dune characters, you can appreciate the politics, nuances, and plot of the epic a lot more – something that should come in handy before you watch the second part of the movie, slated for release in 2023.


4 Family Trees of The Sopranos

The Soprano Family

In all the mafia stories we’ve been entertained by over the years, the concept of family is a constantly recurring theme. The Sopranos, a much-loved, multi-award-winning HBO crime drama series, is no different. The show follows an Italian-American family based in New Jersey as they navigate the politics, scandal and betrayal of organized crime in the underbelly of the city. With the show leaning heavily towards this side of the story, we are often left to figure out the actual familial relationships between the characters for ourselves. 

In this article, we take a look at the four families within the larger Soprano crime family tree to help you appreciate a well-crafted story even more. If you haven’t seen the show yet, this is your spoiler alert.

The Plot

Tony Soprano

The man at the center of the Soprano family is the main character of the show, Tony Soprano. Tony starts out as the number two to an acting boss in the DiMeo crime family while its leader, Ercole DiMeo, is serving a life sentence. 

Tony is number two acting boss – the interim interim – while the acting boss himself, Giacomo “Jackie” Aprile, struggles with health issues. If you’re wondering who the actual boss is, that would be Corrado “Junior” Soprano – Tony’s uncle. However, Corrado holds no real controlling influence over matters in the family. 

So when Jackie eventually succumbs to his failing health, Tony gets promoted to acting boss. He effectively assumes control and wields most of the influence.

Tony’s wife is Carmela DeAngelis. A lot of the show follows Tony’s struggle to successfully tread the fine line between efficiently running a crime organization and fulfilling his duties to his own family – his actual wife and children. 

Okay, that’s quite a lot of name-dropping we’ve done there. So let’s tie this all together, family by family.

The Soprano Family Tree

The Soprano Family Tree

The Soprano family tree starts with Tony’s paternal grandparents, Corrado Soprano and Mariangel D’Agostino. They had three children: Ercoli “Eckley”, Corrado “Junior” (remember the ineffective boss?), and Tony’s father – Giovanni “Johnny Boy” Soprano.

Giovanni Soprano married a certain Livia Pollio and they, in turn, had three children: Barbara, Janice, and the man himself, Anthony “Tony” Soprano. 

Tony has two children, Meadow Mariangela Soprano and A.J. Soprano, with his wife Carmela Soprano (née DeAngelis). Which brings us nicely to the Carmela Soprano family tree.

The DeAngelis Family Tree

The DeAngelis Family Tree

The DeAngelis Family Tree starts with Carmela’s paternal grandparents, Orazio DeAngelis and her grandmother, Concetta Sposato. They had two children, Hugo and Lena DeAngelis .

Hugo married Mary Pellegrino, and the couple had one child, Carmela. 

Carmela’s aunt, Lena DeAngelis, married Aldo “Hollywood Dick” Moltisanti. They too had only one child, Richard “Cousin Dickie” Moltisanti.

Richard’s wife is Joanne Blundetto, and they have one child, Christopher Moltisanti.

The Blundetto Family Tree

Not much is known of the Blundetto family tree except that Joanne Blundetto was married to Richard “Dickie” Moltisanti – Carmela’s first cousin. However, though her parents are unnamed, we do know that she has two siblings – Patrizio and Albert.

Patrizio’s wife is unnamed, but he has a daughter, Louise Blundetto. 

Joanne’s second sibling, Albert Blundetto, provides the second link to Tony’s family. Albert is married to Quintinina Pollio. If that name sounds familiar, that’s because Quintinina is Tony’s aunt. Tony’s mother, Livia Pollio, is her sister.

Quintinina and Albert have one son, also named Tony. Tony Blundetto and his wife Nancy have three children, Kelli, Jason, and Justin.

The Aprile Family Tree

Of the four families, the Aprile family is the only one that does not have familial relations to the Sopranos family tree. The family is allied to the Sopranos though, and plays a big role in the whole plot. Information on the Aprile family tree is scant, with most of the characters weaving in and out of the plot as it relates to the politics of organized crime.

We have Richard “Richie” Aprile at the top of the family tree. He is the leader of the Aprile crew. When Richie is arrested and sentenced to ten years in prison, his younger brother takes over. This younger brother is Giacomo “Jackie” Aprile, the sickly acting boss we alluded to in telling Tony’s story. Jackie eventually dies of cancer. His wife was Rosalie Aprile. The couple had two children, a daughter – Kelli, and a son – Jackie Aprile Junior. 

When Richie is released from prison, he finds himself at loggerheads with the now-influential Tony Soprano. The feud culminates in a plan to assassinate Tony, which Tony learns about, and he in turn starts to plan Richie’s murder. Richie, however, gets himself shot and killed in a fight by his fiance, Janice – Tony’s sister.

Apart from that there are relationships between Giacomo Aprile’s son – Jackie Jr., and Tony’s daughter – Meadow Soprano. Jackie Jr., like his uncle Richie, also manages to get himself shot and killed later in the show. 


Five Golden Globes, 21 Primetime Emmys, and a plethora of other awards illustrate just how good a show The Sopranos is. It has deservedly won critical acclaim and is credited for being a trailblazer for series, and is billed as the greatest, and best-written TV series of all time. This is by TV Guide, and the Writers’ Guild of America, respectively. And they know a thing or two about TV series.

However, to fully appreciate the story, and the character arcs of each personality as their relationships play out on the screen, it is crucial to have an understanding of how exactly they are related to each other. The interwoven relationships add an extra dimension to what is already a great story that you can enjoy even more.

You can see more famous family trees at Treemily.com so you will have an easier time catching up with stories and families woven into our culture.

News in Genealogy

News In Genealogy

With advancements in the field of genealogy being made all the time, it can be hard to keep up with all the news stories related to this science. Discoveries, notable achievements, and remarkable uses of genealogy come to light almost every day.

To keep you up to date with the latest genealogy news, here’s a roundup of the genealogy-themed articles currently making a splash.

Treemily Family Tree Builder Update

New Builder Features

We start off with developments on treemily.com. After a year of hard work, the Family Tree Maker on Treemily has received an update. This family tree maker update is a major one, packed with user experience enhancements that make using the platform easier, and more fun. UI improvements have enhanced the workflow, and features like adding new family members and making edits have been simplified. New and enhanced search capabilities, useful widgets, and features to manage duplicates are just a few of the improvements that have been made in this patch.

Family History Library Expands Hours of Operation

Family History Library

Located in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Family History museum has assisted millions of people across the world in investigating their ancestry and learning more about their family tree. It is a crucial research facility that has helped many and continues to do so. However, due to Covid restrictions, the facility was forced to close. It partially opened in July 2021 as part of a phased re-opening. 

The FamilySearch Blog reports that the second phase of the reopening started in November 2021 and featured refurbishments and improvements to the facility and updated research materials. 

The opening hours have been extended from the 9 AM to 5 PM weekday schedule in phase one, to also include Saturdays with the same hours. Tuesday and Wednesday strictly-by-appointment access was also scheduled for mid-November.

How Millions Don’t Know They’re Related To Royalty

Related to Royalty

Meanwhile, the BBC website carries an interesting genetic genealogy news story talking about what secrets a dive into your genealogical records might reveal. Josh Widdicombe, a well-known comedian and TV personality, found out he is related to Edward I, with seven centuries separating the two men’s lives. The article talks about a couple of other examples, before going on to show that Mr. Widdicombe is, in fact, just one out of countless people with a bit of blue blood running through their veins. A University of Leicester genetics professor came to the conclusion that millions are related to the 15th-century royal, Richard III. 

The story takes a more personal turn as it addresses the concept of identity, telling the story of a woman who had to face this question after discovering that her father was not her biological parent.

Genealogy Helps Solve 2017 Murder

Genealogy Helps Solve 2017 Murder

Meanwhile, on nbcwashington.com, a report was released about a cold case from 2017 involving the gruesome killing of a 26-year-old man in Maryland. The crime had the public worried – the victim was murdered just after gay pride week in Washington D.C., leaving the public dreading the possibility that it was a hate crime. 

The manner of the killing was particularly chilling. The victim was stabbed to death in his flat, it was therefore concerning when the case went cold, with the public having to live with the fact that there was a violent murderer at large in their community. With the help of genealogy, the case was brought to a close and the suspect involved pleaded guilty to the crime.

A Rather Curious Holiday Gift

A gift rooted in family history

The Alexandria Times suggests a bit of an odd holiday gift if you’re stumped for ideas – a customized and well-researched family history. It takes some preparation and time but, if you think about it, isn’t that what any gift worth giving should be? 

It will take some research and organization, collecting old family photographs, talking to family members, and recording the information you acquire. Once you put it all together, you may be surprised by just how impactful your gift might be. Not just to the recipient, but to the whole family in general.


Gucci Family Tree: the Members of the Family from Guccio Gucci to Current Generations

Gucci Family business

A brand that has dominated the fashion industry for about as long as anyone remembers, the Gucci family’s name requires no introduction. But while many are well-acquainted with the gigantic fashion empire, most would be hard-pressed to mention even a few members of the Gucci family today

Gucci Shop

Even fewer would be familiar with the remarkable saga that is the family’s history. And this is something Ridley Scott has set out to address with the movie House of Gucci – a star-studded production with a cast of A-listers who certainly do the Gucci family story justice. 

As for the characters they’re playing and where they fit into the grand scheme of things? Well, that requires some knowledge of the Gucci family tree, and this is where we come in. You’ll thank us later.

Guccio Gucci 

The Gucci family story begins with the Guccio Gucci family. An Italian entrepreneur was born in 1881 to Tuscan parents in Florence. His father Gabriello was a leather craftsman.

In 1901, at the age of 20, Guccio married Aida Calvelli. Aida already had a son, Ugo, born two years prior in 1899, in a previous relationship. Guccio adopted Ugo. The couple would go on to have six children, five of them boys. One of his sons, Enzo, died in 1913 aged just nine. His other sons were Vasco, Aldo, Ugo and Rodolfo.

At his death in 1953, Guccio left his company to his five sons and overlooked his daughter Grimalda.Guccio Gucci Family Tree

Ugo Calvelli Gucci 

Ugo Calvelli Gucci, born Ugo Pelagalli, was only two years old when his mother Aida married Guccio Gucci in 1901. Not much is known of him, but he is rumored to have been a brutish character who carried a gun, liked women, and liked to gamble. 

In 1938, Ugo married Delia Vezzosi, his girlfriend. Ugo and Delia had three children. 

Ugo is said to have played an important role in the Gucci company. It is not clear, however, what exactly this role was. When his adoptive father died in 1953, his stepbrothers worked to ensure Ugo did not have a stake in the empire. 

Ugo died in 1973.

Vasco Gucci

Apart from his place in the Gucci family tree, not much is known about Vasco. He was born in 1907, worked on production and design after Guccio passed away, and married Maria Taburchi in 1933.

Vasco and Maria did not have any children. And after Vasco died in 1974, Maria is said to have sold her inherited stake in the company to his brothers, Aldo and Rodolfo.

Aldo Gucci

Aldo Gucci Family

Aldo was Guccio and Aida’s firstborn child and is credited with his dedication to the family brand’s growth. 

Aldo was born on May 26, 1905. He started to work in his father’s first shop in Florence while he was still in his teens. After completing his degree in economics at San Marco college, he committed full-time to his role in the shop and went on to open the first branch of the company’s chain outside the city. He eventually presided over the entire chain, serving as chairman from 1953 to 1986.

Aldo traveled extensively in the course of his duties. Working with his brothers, the family opened several stores in the United States, starting with New York in 1952. The brand grew under his stewardship, with then President John F. Kennedy naming Aldo the Italian Ambassador to fashion.

Aldo had four children, three sons with his wife Olwen Price: Giorgio, Paolo, and Roberto. In 1963, Bruna Plambo, a woman he’d been in an affair with, bore him a daughter – Patricia. Aldo married Patricia in the United States, although he did not end his marriage with Olwen Price.

In 1986, Aldo was sentenced to a year in prison on tax evasion charges after his son Paolo was tipped off the IRS. This was after Aldo refused to let his son start his own company using the family name, threatening litigation and sparking a family feud.

Aldo sold his shares to Investcorp in 1989. A year later, he succumbed to prostate cancer, aged 84. He is interred in the family mausoleum in Florence.

Giorgio Gucci

Giorgio was Aldo’s eldest son. Giorgio sought to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a successful figure in the fashion industry and leave his mark on the Gucci family history. Like his father, Giorgio was interested in horses, a passion that found an outlet in many of his designs in later life. 

Giorgio’s creations found considerable success. They were worn by many celebrities, including big names like Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor, and Richard Burton.

Giorgio died at the age of 92 in December 2020.

Paolo Gucci

Aldo’s second son Paolo was born in 1931 in Florence. Paolo gained notoriety for the feud with his father that ended with the older Gucci serving prison time in 1986 and being forced out of the company. 

Paolo was initially the chief designer of the company, rising to the position of vice-president with his father’s blessing in 1978. However, two years later, he started his own company under the family name without his father’s knowledge, setting off a bitter fallout with his father and uncle Rudolfo.

Paolo would eventually sell his shares to Investcorp and file for bankruptcy in 1993, two years before his death in 1995 after a long battle with chronic hepatitis.

Roberto Gucci

Roberto, Aldo’s youngest son, has mostly been kept out of the spotlight. He was born in Florence in 1932 and did not get deeply entangled in the politics of the company. He played a muted role in the running of the Gucci family empire and is only credited with starting the first franchise in Belgium.

Roberto reportedly has six children with Drusilla Cafarelli: Cosimo born in 1956, Filippo a year later, Uberto in 1960, Maria-Olympia in 1963, her sister Domitilla in1964, and the youngest, Francesco in 1967. 

Patricia Gucci

Aldo Gucci’s last child was Patricia, his only daughter. Patricia was born out of wedlock on March 1, 1963. Aldo met her mother Bruna Palombo when she was working in the family’s first store in Rome. At that time, divorce was illegal in Italy, as was adultery. 

Patricia remained a secret love child for years. In fact, Patricia herself did not know that she had step-brothers until she was ten years old. Aldo would only marry Bruna in 1987 in the US when Patricia was already 24. He did not, however, end his marriage to his first wife Olwen Price.

At just the age of 19, Patricia became the first woman to sit on the board at Aldo’s behest. This was in the midst of the bitter scandals, lawsuits, and recriminations involving Aldo’s second son Paolo.

Patricia married Joseph Ruffalo, a music executive with whom she had three daughters: Alexandra, Victoria, and Isabella. Patricia and Joseph split up in 2007 amid allegations of sexual abuse on Joseph’s part.

Rodolfo Gucci

Rodolfo Gucci Family Tree

Rodolfo is the middle child that went against the grain and chose to pursue a career in acting under the stage name Maurizio D’Ancora. Over a career spanning well over a decade, Rodolfo – or Maurizio – would appear in over 40 films between 1929 and 1946.

Rudolfo later left his acting career and took a more active role in the running of the family business with his brothers Aldo and Vasco, particularly after his father’s death in 1953. Upon Vasco’s death in 1974, Valdo took over half of the company. However, Aldo’s sons expressed their displeasure at his lack of contribution to the expansion of the family business.

Rudolfo had one son, Maurizio, from a relationship with Sandra Ravel, an Italian actress. Upon Rudolfo’s death in 1983, Maurizio inherited his father’s share in the company, becoming a majority shareholder.

Maurizio Gucci

Maurizio, Rudolfo’s only son, was born in 1948. He came to be the majority stakeholder after his father’s passing in 1983. With his newfound influence, his cousin Paolo enlisted his help in forcing his uncle Aldo out of the company. A six-year legal battle ensued which ended with him winning control of the company and becoming chairman in 1989. 

He lacked the business nous to successfully lead the company. Before long, the company was struggling financially. Maurizio ended up resigning just a few years later in 1993 and selling his stock to Investcorp. This ended the actual family of Gucci’s connection to the company, with Aldo having sold his stock in 1989 to the same company.

Maurizio’s life away from the company was just as turbulent. In 1972, he and Patrizia Reggiani tied the knot. They had two girls, Allegra and Alessandra. In 1985, he left Patrizia, first claiming to his wife that he was traveling to Florence on business and then having a friend inform his wife that the marriage was done and he would not be returning. 

Five years later, Maurizio started a relationship with a childhood friend, Paola Franchi. They lived together for five years while divorce proceedings between Maurizio and Patrizia were ongoing. 

The divorce was completed in 1994 and they were reportedly planning to get married. But Patrizia hired an assassin who shot and killed Maurizio in 1995 just outside his office building. She was convicted of the crime and went to prison for 18 years before her release in October 2016.


Gucci Family TreeAs far as famous family trees go, there are few as storied and riveting as this iconic family’s. The Gucci family history features everything you would expect to see in a Hollywood epic – tragedy, power, incredible wealth, and acrimonious scandals. The Gucci family today remains one of the most well-known – an icon that represents sophistication, elegance, and refinement.


Must-See Genealogy TV Shows That Will Inspire You

Old film

The past holds many fascinating stories patiently waiting to be told. Whether it is to indict wrongdoing and finally bring justice to the aggrieved, to finally shed light on the forgotten heroism of some ancestor and let them finally be celebrated, or simply to answer questions that torment people for decades about their identity, there is an incomparable sense of closure that comes from learning one’s family history. Here is a round-up of some incredible genealogy TV shows that offer just that.

The Genetic Detective

The Genetic Detective

In this ABC News series, investigative genetic genealogist CeCe Moore works with law enforcement officials to solve cases and bring violent criminals to justice. Her expertise and unique skill set help the police revolutionize crime-solving, uncovering the identities of violent criminals using DNA evidence.

The show features riveting cases, including a case involving a teenager’s rape and murder which ended with an innocent man spending 20 years in prison before he was finally exonerated, and the murder of a mother and daughter that had remained unsolved since 1998.

The show is co-produced by ABC News and XCON Productions.

Where to find

Relative Race

Relative Race
resource: https://www.thisweekinmormons.com/2019/09/relative-race-season-6-episode-1-recap-formula-one-racing/

Relative Race strikes a more upbeat tone. It follows four teams as they complete challenges, fighting for a jackpot of $50,000. The teams travel across the United States, racing against time to find family members and forging relationships as they go. Along the way, the teams complete tasks involving everything from archery, woodcutting, and backpacking, to tricky obstacle courses meant to test their physical limits. The contestants also solve puzzles, and find answers, filling in gaps in their own personal stories in the process. This genealogy show is filled with wholesome moments, and is incredibly moving but also heartwarming at the same time.

Where to find

Genealogy Roadshow 

Genealogy Roadshow

In this American genealogy documentary series which first aired in 2013, researchers use clues provided by participants to help them uncover their history. A genealogy show on PBS,  Genealogy Roadshow brings history and science together to investigate family stories and identify connections between contestants and historical events such as the American Civil War, and figures of historical renown. Families are brought back together, stories going back generations are verified, uncovering amazing facts and discovering secrets in the unlikeliest of places. 

Where to find

Ancestors in the Attic

Ancestors in the attic

In this fast-moving Canadian series, a team of researchers works to help people all over Canada discover their family history and learn their roots. The investigating teams use a range of techniques to uncover the information they are looking for, including standard detective work and genealogical approaches typically used for investigating crimes. The investigations cross borders and unearth centuries-old secrets in some cases.

This genealogy show first hit the airwaves in 2006 and was presented by Jeff Douglas and, before his passing in 2008, Paul J. McGrath – a professional genealogist himself.

Where to find

Strange Inheritance

Strange inheritance

Many a story has been told about family heirlooms, inheritances, and estates of value left to family members. The scandal and acrimony that sometimes surrounds these situations make for great entertainment. However, Strange Inheritance takes a different route. This Fox News docu-series recounts stories of the most unusual items left to surviving relatives. It features everything from the comical to the outrageously bizarre. Jamie Colby hosts the engrossing show, covering stories as varied as they are unique. One family fights to keep a bug museum alive, another remarkable story talks about a century-old coin that could potentially be worth millions. The reality genealogy TV show first aired in 2015 and will have you hooked before you know it. 

Where to find



The Ancestors is a genealogy show that goes around the world piecing together family histories and telling the inspirational stories of different families. It is meant to help people learn about the different resources they can use to trace their own family histories. It also demonstrates the profound effect that learning one’s history can have on a person. Over 23 episodes hosted by Jim and Terry Willard, a lot is shared about the methods of genealogical research, and what records are available, to help people on their way to looking into their own genealogies. Ancestors TV show first aired in 1997. 

Where to find

Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Finding your roots

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is a renowned American professor and historian. He hosts this much-loved PBS show which first aired in March 2012. It brings the work of experts in genealogy, history, and genetics together to help guests on the show learn about their families’ pasts. Sometimes participants unearth unexpected connections to well-known figures. The show is an absorbing watch as you experience deep emotional and personal journeys with the guests as they unravel their pasts. Long-held beliefs about ancestry are challenged and using DNA, experts follow bloodlines and establish what is fact and what isn’t. The Harvard professor, who has also done a lot of work researching diversity, has also helped African American families trace their roots and learn about their ancestry. 

Where to find

Roots Less Traveled

Roots less traveled

The aptly named Roots Less Traveled follows pairs of family members as they embark on journeys to find answers about their shared history. Usually coming from different generations, they come to understand each other better as they work out what is fact and what is just family lore in the stories that have been passed down across generations. They travel around the world to exciting and unique locations as their stories unfold and their bonds grow.

In every 30-minute episode, a new pair set out on this journey of discovery, confirming and debunking what they know of their histories. Roots Less Traveled is designed to be an informational and educational program primarily aimed at teens.

Where to find

DNA Detectives

DNA detectives

This 2015 documentary features 12 New Zealanders as they delve into their ancestry. Mysteries are unraveled, long-lost ancestors found, and even some ties to royalty, and fortunes are discovered. 

Where to find

Long Lost Family

long lost family

You’re going to need a tissue box close-by for this one. A heart-wrenching series that helps people find their long-lost relatives. Truly emotional personal sagas play out on screen as people, some well into the latter stages of life, finally reunite with relatives that have been lost for decades. A father meets his mother, not having seen her for 30 years. An adopted woman, now in her mid-fifties tries to find her family while reckoning with the emotional dilemmas that bring about. 

The show is hosted by Chris Jacobs and Lisa Joyner, who artfully navigate the desperate emotion and turmoil of the participants with empathy and understanding. Mistakes, forgiveness, grief, and desperation all come to the fore as people grapple with their past.

Where to find

Who Do You Think You Are?

Who do you think you are?

BBC One’s genealogy series features celebrities discovering previously unknown facts about their family histories. Well-known figures like JK Rowling have all come to the show and investigated their family, often with unexpected results. Stories that lay untold are finally allowed to be narrated. The incredible tales of the experiences, the courage of their forebears finally come to light. The quest typically leads to other countries and the participants learn of previously unknown losses and the bravery of their loved ones in the face of such adversity. In equal measure, they are also able to celebrate their successes. Other guests on the show have included Bill Oddie, Graham Norton, Nigella Lawson, Jeremy Irons, and Patrick Stewart.

Where to find

We hope this list of genealogy TV shows is useful to you, and maybe this is just the motivation you need to keep on researching your own family history and building your family tree.


5 New Family Traditions to Start This Holiday Season

Team spirit

The holiday season is the best time to bond with your family and spend a great time with the people you love the most. To make your next Thanksgiving or Christmas even more special, try out one of these family traditions and engage the entire family in the process.  

Make your advent calendar

Advent calendars are the all-time favorite gift both for kids and their parents. So why not make your calendar? For instance, you can add small pieces of paper containing interesting facts about your family’s history to let your kids learn more about their ancestors. Instead of candy or chocolate, you can also fill your calendar up with small LEGO figures, tiny toys, pieces of a puzzle, and much more.   

Advent calendar

Create a family tree

There is no better way to educate your children about their family’s past than making a family tree from start to finish together. Use an online family tree chart maker to design your family tree and share it with your closest relatives so they could participate in the creation process and add more info on your ancestors. The final tree can be downloaded from the website or you can order a printable version of any size and type you like. 

Treemily family tree

Collect family signature recipes

Every family should have a great number of recipes that their grandparents or parents used to make every holiday. Try collecting all of these recipes together to make a family cookbook. Moreover, every other holiday you can pick one or several recipes from the book and cook these dishes together with the members of your family and enjoy them together. 

Family cookbook

Make personalized ornaments and decorations

Make ornaments or special holiday theme decorations with your family every year to make a whole collection at the end. For example, you can try making snow globes with your family’s picture inside for Christmas or craft a Thanksgiving garland made of maple leaves with your family members’ names on it. 

Family ornaments

Create a short movie about your family

There is nothing more exciting than watching your family change and grow throughout the years. Make it your new family tradition to make short movies about your family every time you gather together and rewatch them during the next holiday season. No professional cameras are needed, you can simply use your smartphone to record 1-minute videos and compile them together.

Hopefully, some of the above-mentioned ideas can become a new tradition for your next holiday season and make your family get even closer to one another than before. Stay tuned with Treemily. Happy holidays!

The Treemily Walkthrough: Meet Our Enhanced Family Tree Builder

Treemily Family Tree Demo

The Treeamily team aims to make it easier for its community members to create diverse visualizations of their family trees and let them enjoy the process to the fullest. After months of developing and testing the beta version with our users, we are happy to introduce our first major update. In this article, we will guide you through the new features and enhanced functionality of the Treemily family tree online builder.

What’s New?

Besides the enhanced User Experience-focused layout and redesign, we’ve introduced a richer and cleaner interface for our family tree online builder. Our major goal was to provide the Treemily community with seamless user experience and let our users create family history visualizations easier and faster than ever. These are the key updates you’ll get with the new builder:

Demo Tour for New and Existing Users

Both new and existing users can now try out our family tree builder for free. If you already have a Treemily account, simply click on the Treemily Demo button on the top bar of your profile. If you are a new user, try our demo for free now. New accounts will be automatically assigned to the Treemily Basic plan. Our demo is a fully-featured interactive family tree builder that allows you to design your own stunning family visualizations in only a few steps. As soon as you are finished with the creation process, you can proceed to the next step and order one of the available products. Choose a poster or a framed picture to place your family tree at home or share a digital version with your friends and relatives on Facebook.

Treemily Demo

New designs

When generating a descendants tree from a family chart, users can now pick out of three types of design including a newly introduced Traditional Photo Tree template.

Suggested sizes

As soon as your ancestor or descendant tree is ready, you can pick one of the three types of products: posters, framed, and digital versions. When choosing any of the following options, the builder will offer the most preferred sizes for your tree. However, you can still pick any other size available on the size list.

Treemily Free Demo

Improved performance for the Family Charts & Treemily editors

Our family tree online builder is fast and easy to use. You can play with various designs and sizes of your family charts and trees to make them look exactly as you want them to be. Create visualizations of your family history in a few clicks and get back to your project to add new family members any time you want!

Visualize your family history now!

If you are a member of the Treemily community, go ahead and check out the Treemily demo now and enjoy all the new features at once. New users can create an account and will be offered to try out a demo version as soon as the registration is complete.

Join Treemily now and create the most stunning family tree visualizations. Invite friends and family members to help you with your project and share it on Facebook. Try our family tree builder free of charge and keep the memory of your loved ones for future generations!

Family Trees of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris


As the US election approaches, we wanted to learn more about the family trees of the Democratic Ticket. Last time, we compared the family lines of Donal Trump and Barack Obama to find out who’s more American. Today, we’ve decided to trace back the origin of the candidates for the President and VP of 2020, Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Kamala Harris, respectively, to find out more about their family backgrounds. 

Candidate for President of the US Joe Biden’s family Tree

Joe Biden’s family has English, French, and Irish ancestry. So the new candidate for the US President might not have as much of American descent as you’ve expected. 

Joe Biden


Biden’s father, Joseph Robinette Biden Sr., was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1915. His parents originated from Success, England. As a child, he later moved to Wilmington, Delaware where he was raised. Joseph Biden graduated from the St. Thomas Academy in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and worked as a used car salesman. He passed away due to failing health in 2002. 

Joe’s mother, Catherine Eugenia “Jean” Biden (née Finnegan), was of Irish descent and was born in Pennsylvania in 1917. She married Joseph Biden Sr. in 1941 and their son Joe was born November 20, 1942. The family had three more kids named Valerie, James, and Frank. They resided in Baltimore, MD but later had to move to Claymont, Delaware due to financial problems. Jean played a very important role in Joe’s political future and has been quoted in his son’s political speeches. Jean Biden died 8 years after her husband’s death in 2010. At that time US President Barack Obama attended her funeral in Wilmington. 


Paternal Line

Biden’s grandparents on his father’s side were of English, Irish and French descent. Joe’s grandmother, Mary Elizabeth (née Robinette) Biden, was born in 1894 and had French ancestry. His grandfather, Joseph Harry Biden, was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1893 and was a successful oil businessman. His third great-grandfather, William Biden, was the first of the family to immigrate from England to the US. 

Maternal Line

On the mother’s side, Joe’s grandparents had Irish ancestry. Biden’s grandfather Ambrose J. Finnegan was born in Olyphant, PA 1884. His family’s roots trace back to County Louth in Ireland. Ambrose’s mother died when he was only 2 years old and his father passed away 8 years later, so he moved with his uncle’s family. In 1909 Ambrose married Geraldine C.Blewitt. 

Joe’s grandmother, Geraldine C. Blewitt, was born to Edward Francis Blewitt and his wife Mary Ellen Stanton in Scranton, Lackawanna Co., PA in 1887. Edward was born in New Orleans and served for the Pennsylvania State Senate. Biden’s great-great-great-grandfather, also named Edward, was the first of the family who immigrated to the US from County Mayo, Ireland in 1851.

Marriages and Kids

Joe Biden has been married twice. He met his first wife, Neila Hunter, during his spring break in Nassau, Bahamas. Joe was studying at the  Syracuse University College of Law when the two got married in  Skaneateles, New York in 1966. Shortly after the wedding, the family moved to Wilmington, Delaware where Joe’s parents resided at the time. From 1969 to 1971, Neila gave birth to Joe’s three children Joseph R. “Beau” Biden III, Robert Hunter, and Naomi Christina. In 1972, Neila along with her three kids got into a car accident. Only Joe’s sons Beau and Robert survived the crash. Beau has followed in his father’s footsteps and currently serves as Attorney General of Delaware, while Hunter Biden became a lawyer.  

Joe met his second wife Jill Tracy Jacobs Biden (née Jacobs) on a blind date set up by Biden’s brother Frank in 1975. The two got married in New York City two years later. This was also the second marriage for Jill, as she was previously married to a former college football player Bill Stevensons from 1970 to 1974. In 1981, Jill gave birth to her and Joe’s daughter Ashley Blazer Biden who currently serves as a social worker and activist.

Candidate for Vice President of the US Kamala Harris’s Family Tree

The family of the candidate for the US Vice-President of 2020, Kamala Davi Harris, has Indian and Jamaican ancestry. Let’s have a look at Kamala’s ancestors to see how much of American descent she is.

Kamala Harris


Kamala’s father, Donald Jasper Harris, was born in St.Ann Parish, Jamaica in 1938 to Oscar Joseph Harris and Beryl Christie. Donald graduated from the University of London in 1960 and three years later moved to the US to get a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Since then, he has been building his career as an economist and a professor in a great number of universities including the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Stanford University, etc. Donald is also a member of the American Economic Association and an author of several books related to the Jamaican economy published in 1997 and 2012. 

Harris’s mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was of Indian origin and was born to P. V. Gopalan and Rajam Ramanathan in Madras, British India in 1938. Her family moved several times across different cities in India due to her father’s job as a civil servant. At the age of 19, Shamala was accepted to the University of California, Berkeley. In 1964, she graduated from the Ph.D. program in nutrition and endocrinology. 

Shyamala met Donald J. Harris during the meeting at the Afro American Association where Donald was a speaker in 1962. The two got married a year later and had two daughters, Kamala and Maya, born in 1964 and 1967, respectively. Kamala’s sister, Maya Lakshmi Harris, graduated from Stanford Law School and currently serves as a public policy lawyer and a political analyst for MSNBC. The family resided in Oakland, California but later moved to  Berkeley, California. Kamala’s parents got divorced in 1971. In 2009, Shyamala Gopalan passed away from colon cancer. 


Paternal Line

Kamala’s grandparents on her father’s side are of Jamaican descent. Her grandfather, Oscar Joseph Harris, was born to an agricultural exporter Joseph Alexander Harris and a seamstress Christiana Brown in 1914. Harris’s grandmother, Beryl Christie Harris (née Finegan), has Jamaican ancestry; her exact date of birth is unknown. 

Maternal Line

P.V. Gopalan, Kamala’s grandfather on her mother’s side, was born in Painganadu, India in 1911. He had a successful career as a civil servant and served as a Joint Secretary to the Government of India for several years, as well as the Director of Relief Measures and Refugees in the Government of Zambia. 

Kamala’s great-grandparents have arranged a marriage for her grandmother, Rajam Gopalan (née Ramanathan), and P.V. Gopalan. Together they had four children named Shyamala, Balachandran, Sarala, and Mahalakshmi.  

Marriages and Kids

Kamala Harris married Douglas Emhoff in 2014 in Santa Barbara, CA. The two don’t have children together. This is the second marriage for Douglas. Before, he was married to Kerstin Emhoff with whom he had two kids named Cole and Ella. 

Final Thoughts 

Biden’s parents, grandparents, and ancestors of several generations back were born in the US, while Harris’s parents were both immigrants from Jamaica and India. Both families have their own stories and unmatched backgrounds which affected who Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have become. We believe that their families have passed on all the experience they had to make them worthy candidates for the 2020 US presidential election. As long as the future President and VP care about their country and the people, their origin doesn’t play much of a role. 

Best Genealogy Blogs

best genealogy blogs

In the very beginning, researching your heritage can be overwhelming and daunting. Fortunately, there are many genealogical blogs providing helpful tips, tools, and insights. We are sharing good genealogy blogs that you can keep an eye on. See our list below!

Are You My Cousin?

In her blog, Lisa Lisson shares her experience and publishes articles on how to efficiently research your family roots. If you’re looking for actionable insights on new ways to search for your ancestors, check out her blog.

Amy Johnson Crow

Amy Johnson Crow is a professional genealogist with her own blog on ancestry research. She shares many actionable tips and covers rarely discussed issues (such as finding ancestors with disabilities).

The Family Curator

A professional genealogist and lecturer, Denise May Levenick has created this blog to share her experience and help people to uncover their family secrets. In her blog, she shows the different techniques that you can use for searching information in archives and family collections.

The Family Curator blog has already grown into two books with even more ideas on creating and maintaining family archives.

The Occasional Genealogist

Not all people are professional genealogists. For some people, this is just a hobby, so they can’t afford to spend days and nights at archives looking through records. If you have limited time for genealogy, you may want to check out The Occasional Genealogist blog. In her blog, Jennifer Dondero shares bite-sized ways to do genealogy research even when you’re extremely busy.

best genealogy blogs

Heart of the Family

Elizabeth O’Neal provides a ton of great ideas in her blog. Being a professional genealogist, writer, and lecturer, Elizabeth shares advice on how to find your ancestors in a variety of resources without spending a ton of money. Besides that, there you will find many DIY crafts and ideas for displaying family history in your home.

The Genealogy Reporter

If you’re not only looking for tips on doing genealogy but want to stay up-to-date with the latest news in the genealogy world, subscribe to The Genealogy Reporter. Besides that, they have a YouTube channel in case you prefer visual content.

The Sunburned Penguin

The Sunburned Penguin run by Rebekah Zobel covers various topics on genealogy. Besides articles that are very interesting to read, you can find there a Genealogy Sources Checklist that may be helpful in your research.

Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

This blog covers everything related to genealogy, from genealogy basics to what you can do with outdated hardware. It was started as a weekly email in January 1996 by Dick Eastman – a fount of knowledge for any genealogist!

The Genetic Genealogist

If you or your relatives have taken a DNA test you may want to check out this blog. Blaine Bettinger, the creator of the blog, is a recognized expert in genetic genealogy. If you want to stay up-to-date with genetic genealogy news, add The Genetic Genealogist’s RSS feed to your feed reader.

list of genealogy blogs

The DNA Geek

What if you test with MyHeritage and your relative tests with Ancestry? Is it possible to transfer your DNA among different services? Issues like this are covered in The DNA Geek. So, if you have questions related to genetic genealogy, chances are you will find answers to them in this blog.

DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

The blog is run by Roberta Estes, a professional scientist, and obsessed genealogist. She writes about various aspects of DNA testing – she even covers historic figures in her blog! Her articles are a great way to begin learning about genetic genealogy.

The Legal Genealogist

A lawyer and a genealogist, Judy G. Russell covers the legal aspects of genealogy, from dealing with documents to claiming copyright to old letters. If there are some legal issues to worry about, check out her blog.


This website has everything you may need: weekly highlights, news updates about genealogy databases, events reviews. The blog is run by Randy Seaver – he teaches computer genealogy classes, so his expertise may help you in your research.

Olive Tree Genealogy

Lorine McGinnis Schulze is the author of several books. She is on a mission to bring free genealogy data online for genealogists. In her blog, you can find many tips on using technology and other tools to find records and track your ancestry along with tutorials, genealogy news, and more.

top genealogy blogs

The Ancestor Hunt

In his blog, Kenneth R Marks covers hundreds of valuable techniques and tools that you can use to overcome stumbling blocks and make progress in your genealogical research. The blog is focused on helping primarily hobbyist genealogy and family history researchers

Family Locket

Diana Elder, Accredited Genealogist, and her daughter Nicole share their ideas for ancestry researching, preserving memories, and involving all ages in genealogical research. They aim to help people with different backgrounds be successful in researching their family heritage.

Sassy Jane Genealogy

The blog features articles and e-book guides on genealogy research in the United States and Europe. There you can find a host of useful posts about doing family history research and organizing records and photos.

Genealogy Stories

The blog will let you travel back in time and explore the lives of your ancestors. Being an experienced Genealogist, Natalie Pithers uses social history to bring their stories to life in her blog.

Legacy Tree Genealogists

The Legacy Tree Genealogists blog is created by a team of professional genealogists, researchers, and genealogy enthusiasts who help people find their family roots and history. The blog covers a great number of topics and shares data gathered from one of the world’s largest family history libraries in Salt Lake City.


No matter whether you’ve just begun your family history research, or have been doing it for years, these blogs can help you discover the stories of the people you’re researching. Use Treemily to record important information and visualize your family tree, and share it with your loved ones. It’s collaborative, so you can make a family project out of it.

How Intergenerational Trauma Impacts Mental Health

Impact of Intergenerational Trauma

Did you even notice how some of you behavioral patterns – be it towards ourselves, our partners, children, or friends – are pretty much a copy of our parents’ behaviors? We either mimic them or go fully to the other end of the spectrum. And if we look closer, often their behavior will have the same dynamic vis-a-vis their own parents. Ever wonder how that works and why?

This is why it’s important to know as much as possible about the relationships between your parents and older family members. The more we understand the background of our ancestors and what they had to deal with, the better idea we will have of what behavioral challenges we and our children are likely to face.

An untreated intergenerational trauma can result in a compromised trust, honesty, and openness within a family. There are studies that confirm the transmission of trauma to children of victims – for example, the children of holocaust survivors can experience emotional problems, difficulties in relationships, in the way they function. Let’s look at one case, a case of a family including 3 generations.

How Is Trauma Transmitted? Generation 1

As a baby, you’ve got a primary caregiver who mirrors you – who smiles when you smile, who’s upset when you cry. You internalize that and it becomes you. The issues arise when the parent is unable to play that role, possibly due to trauma. And when you are maltreated, you take that experience of maltreatment as you. The child’s personality can’t develop properly without continuous emotional contact with their mother which involves basic things like communication, smiling, tenderness.

Let’s take the example of a newly married couple. They are young, in love, waiting for a baby. Suddenly the man is mobilized because of the war. The young mother is left alone with a child to bring up. She is too busy struggling to survive and doesn’t have time to recover from grief. Many women in this situation develop a simple defense reaction – keep all their feelings locked up deep inside. Others suffer from a latent depression and live their lives on autopilot. They put on a mask and minimize communication and interaction with their kids because it causes almost physical pain to them.

In such circumstances, the child seeks the mother’s attention and affection, and sometimes the mother responds and other times she just growls asking to leave her alone. The woman is angry at the cruelty of fate, not the child – but the kid doesn’t understand what the problem really is. No one explains what’s happening so the only explanation that seems natural is that mommy doesn’t love them.

Years pass by; the woman adapts and learns to live her life without her husband’s support. She keeps playing the iron lady role, even when it’s no longer a necessity. She makes every effort to provide her child with all the necessary stuff, but the child doesn’t realize that. Instead, the kid is developing trauma because they feel insecure and convinced that they don’t deserve love.

What are the effects of intergenerational trauma

Effects of Childhood Trauma: Generation 2

The child grows up feeling unwanted, although that’s not true and they are the only reason their mother has gone through all the hardships. People with such childhood trauma often die earlier because they don’t understand they should take care of themselves, get proper treatment. By and large, they don’t think they represent any value, especially when they become ill and “useless” in their old age.

So, the child grows up trying to earn love, not knowing that love is unconditional. The kid is on their own, not causing trouble, helping around the house, looking after younger brothers and sisters. They do their best to be helpful since they are convinced that only helpful children are loved. So, one day this child will get married and have kids too. Chances are, they will follow their mothers’ patterns of behavior.

But let’s take the best-case scenario when the child has grown with trauma but managed somehow to stay affectionate. For the first time, when a young mother who has suffered this trauma holds her baby in her arms, she suddenly realizes – that’s it. This is the one who will finally love her and need her. From that moment on, her life takes on a new meaning – she should live for her baby. She loves her baby so much that she can’t even imagine loving someone else.

She tries to spend every single moment with her kid and realizes how many things she was deprived of in her childhood. She is completely absorbed in this new feeling. She lives the life of her baby, caring about their feelings, interests, and anxieties. She is better off with her child than with anyone else.

However, there’s one problem – the child is growing.

Generation 3: What’s Next?

Children are sensitive to their parents’ trauma and often feel the burden to compensate for their parents’ losses. They can’t help but respond to their mother’s request for love. They care about their mother and agree to stay with her out of fear for her health. But somewhere out there are love and freedom, and the child has to break the connection because mom won’t let them enjoy adult life voluntarily. Despite the mother’s attempts at manipulation, the child leaves one day with a painful feeling of guilt. The abandoned mother feels resentment because she has invested all her effort in her child and that’s not what she expected to get in return. That’s when she remembers the “iron lady” pattern and resorts to threats, scandals, and pressure.

When it’s time to grow up and leave the house, there comes the agony of separation – the child understands that if they decide to leave this will “kill” their mommy. On the other hand, if they stay they won’t be able to develop as an individual. However, even when children agree to stay with parents, they will be told that they are living their lives in the wrong way. Any date is never good enough. Nothing is good enough. Ever.

Childhood Trauma in Adults

The third generation is forced to act like parents to their own parents. Therefore, they have learned to be self-sufficient from a young age and feel responsible for their parents. They have to become self-sufficient out of fear to upset their parents.

In some families, parents don’t get divorced because of children but still, live together (better say co-exist) like cats and dogs. Their children have to act like mediators, peacemakers who would reconcile their parents. Their children don’t complain – they have to learn to keep an eye on their parents.

Since children don’t know how to think critically, they can’t assess the real situation and take a certain lack of maturity of their parents for vulnerability. The third generation is a generation of anxiety, guilt, and hyperresponsiveness. This situation has its own advantages, on the one hand, since these people are now successful in many aspects, they know how to negotiate and take into account different points of view. They are good at foreseeing and making decisions on their own, and not waiting for someone’s help.

But on the other hand, such people didn’t have an opportunity to enjoy the carelessness of childhood. However, their inner child will resurface one day. People of this generation show aggressive-passive behavior. They neither protest openly nor surrender. They use all sorts of ways to sabotage: to forget, to postpone, not to keep promises, etc. Often people with this kind of trauma feel mentally older than their peers. And at the same time, they don’t feel like real grown-ups, they don’t have a sense of maturity.

One more thing. Children who grow up in a situation when their personal boundaries are violated care about their privacy too much in adult life. They rarely invite people to their homes and rarely visit others. They don’t socialize with neighbors because they don’t know how to set boundaries naturally while enjoying communication.

Childhood Trauma in Adults: What About Men?

Imagine a woman and a man who are raised by single mothers create a family. They are both hungry for love and hope to get it from their partner. However, the only family pattern they know is a model of a self-sufficient woman who doesn’t really need a man. Such marriages are built on the fear of being abandoned – people get married simply because they have never experienced anything else but loneliness.

Men who are raised by their mothers are used to obeying. Being brought up by iron ladies, some men start behaving like mothers: they are gentle, caring and never tell “no” to their children. Some become workaholics who escape from all problems at work. In worst cases, they may become alcoholics. What can we expect from a man who feels unloved?

Such men have no clear model of responsible fatherhood. They saw their fathers disappear one day, forever. Therefore, for many men, it’s natural that when they leave their family, they don’t stay in touch with their children. Given that they felt unloved in their marriage, the resentment they feel makes it easy to soothe the voice of conscience.

Effects of Childhood Trauma

Childhood Trauma: Impact on Parenting

Most people with an emotional childhood trauma are in complicated relationships with their parents, many failed to make their first marriage work, but managed to save their second marriage only after mental separation from their parents.

Often the first child who was born during an unhappy marriage has to be brought up with the help of a granny so that the mother could get a chance to separate and start living her own life. In addition to that, they hear their mothers complaining that they are giving all their time and effort to their grandchildren. As a result, children grow up with the idea that raising a child is something very hard, and even heroic.

Early adopters of the parental role are often obsessed with conscious parenting. They think that if they have mastered the parental role in relation to their own parents, they will manage with raising their own child. Balanced nutrition, gymnastics for infants, developmental classes. Parenting books and the constant fear that something can go wrong.

While the older generation lives believing they are excellent parents and their children had a happy childhood, the younger generation is seriously affected by neuroticism. They lack self-confidence in themselves as parents and are always dissatisfied with something, be it school, society, medical care – they always want more and the best for their children. But their efforts have the opposite effect. Children want nothing. They don’t want to work or study. They just want to lie on the couch staring at the phone. They don’t want to talk and bear responsibility for anything. Why should they care if their parents have already made a decision about everything they should do?

There’s a chance that for the next generation, the specific family context will be much more important than the global past trauma. But it’s obvious that many of today’s problems have their roots deep in the past.

As you can see, the past of older generations affects the present of the youngest ones. Studying our roots at a deeper level provides answers to many questions, allows us to understand the problems and their causes, and can help to build a solid foundation for healthy family relationships.

This is why it’s important that parents understand the influence of intergenerational trauma on the younger generations. If they want their children to feel loved and secure they need to change the course of the generational trauma by doing things differently. To change the generational patterns of thought or habits they need to initiate their own healing journey. When you develop self-awareness and resilience, the future will look brighter.

Using Quarantine to Strengthen Family Bonds

How to support aging parents

We are going through tough times due to the COVID-19 virus. Many of us have moved across the country to be with our families, others are relegated to Skype, unable to be near their loved ones. The challenges brought by this new virus are intimidating and cause perplexities. While universities and schools are being shut down and companies are transitioning to remote work, people are questioning how they can comfortably (and safely!) spend time with their families, and potentially support and care about their old parents.

COVID-19 is most dangerous for older people so it’s important to make sure children (who are notorious for transmitting germs) are healthy. Grandparents shouldn’t be doing childcare. And even if the child stays at home most of the time, you can’t rest assured that the kid’s parents won’t bring anything home. So, how to keep family connected at this trying time?

Infographic: Ways to Stay Connected to Your Family Members During Coronavirus

Ways to Stay Connected to Your Family Members During Coronavirus

How to Entertain Your Kids During COVID-19

If you are far away from your family members it’s high time to get skilled with video call platforms like FaceTime and Skype – whatever you find convenient to communicate face-to-face. Establish regular online meet-ups for reading books, playing games or doing activities.

You’ll get bored soon with just online calls. The kids who are not attending school or daycare are deprived of the daily routines they are used to. The good news is that you may start teaching kids their family history or get them involved in genealogy research. Why not make fascinating ancestry lessons for your kids?

How to entertain your kids

Again, be guided by the needs of your child, and your own. Begin with simple activities and gradually move on to more complex ones. Once you get started, you’re likely to discover a wide array of opportunities.

Tell them stories about what it was like to live in times before iPads were invented. If you have children of different ages you can read a story to all of them, or ask the older children to read to the younger ones. Let it be the time to share stories and memories from your childhood and the childhood of your parents.

Ask kids what they would like to improve in their current routine and discuss all together how each of you can contribute to improving your family wellbeing. Life may not return to normal soon so it’s crucial to make sure every member of the family feels comfortable.

Make and maintain some new traditions. You may also use this opportunity to create family rituals such as having theme dinners together or playing certain games on Sundays.

Do chores as a family. Make cleaning your home responsibility of the entire family. Create a list of chores and remind them that doing chores together makes the job go much faster than doing them alone. This will help you foster a sense of teamwork.

How to Support Aging Parents During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Taking care of your aging parents should be a priority. Free up at least a bit of time for them. You may want to schedule regular video chats so you can stay in touch with them. Spending half an hour or so with them every day will let them feel secure and confident that you will give them a helping hand in times of hardship.

Provide support. Feeling supported by your family is one of the most important elements of building strong family bonds. Learn what things are important to your parents right now, what worries them and do your best to support them. At times like this, it’s so important to share both the good and the bad news.

Taking care of aging parentsSupport your parents financially. This crisis will have a negative impact on the economy and all the people but it will affect some of us more than others. This is a time when you should be there for your parents. Be it just giving cash or paying bills, you can ease the finances a bit for your parents and help them cope with the stress that the economic downturn has produced.

Invite relatives to plan virtual celebrations and holidays with you. If a birthday is approaching, you and your family members might buy a special gift online and get it delivered to the celebrant’s home and open it “together”.

One more way to strengthen bonds with your parents and older relatives is to ask them genealogy questions, of course! It may sound weird, but this pandemic provides lots of time and opportunities to proceed with your genealogy research and uncover clues to your family history. Talk to your older relatives about their past – this activity will not only help you reveal new details but get to know them better. Undoubtedly, because of the pandemic, you have many issues to care about and the last thing you’ll want to spend time on compiling a list of questions, so, here is a ready-made questionnaire for you. Enjoy!

Don’t Forget to Entertain Yourself

If you are one of the lucky ones who have a bit of free time, it’s always a good idea to do a bit more of your genealogy research. Many online platforms are providing free access to their resources, so, why not make use of them? Search for some online webinars to improve your skills or connect with researchers to discuss some topics – it’s high time to socialize and support each other.

Family is the most important thing in life. COVID-19 may temporarily change the format of our relationships with the family. It’s hard but this will make us stronger. No matter how you like to communicate, there are all sorts of meaningful ways that we connect with our families despite any distance between us.