The Corleone Family Tree

Treemily Corleone Family Tree

As far as organized crime stories go, there is none more iconic than Mario Puzo’s The Godfather. It defined an era of gangster movies. The Godfather captured the public’s imagination with the inner workings of the shadowy world of organized crime syndicates in the United States. The novel was published in 1969 and such was its popularity, that just three years later, the story was brought to the silver screen with a film of the same name. The movie was an instant success. It featured heavy hitters like Marlon Brando, a young Al Pacino, and Diane Keaton. It became the highest grossing film of 1972, and for a while, made more money than any before it. 


The Corleone Family Tree

In this article, we take a look at the crime family at the center of the story – the Corleone Family. Where did they come from, what was the organizational structure of the mob family, and who were its main characters?


Much of The Godfather’s appeal comes from how true-to-life the story is. Mario Puzo is thought to have closely based the characters in the story on real life personalities. In fact, the Corleone family has been compared to the very real Genovese and Bonanno families – two of the five crime families that are said to run organized crime in New York. The five families were founded in the early 1930s, and will have been around for almost four decades by the time Puzo finished The Godfather. 

The name Corleone itself comes from a small town of the same name in Sicily, Italy. There was, as it happens, an actual Corleonesi Mafia clan, a part of the Sicilian Mafia. The Godfather characters are, however, based on the New York Mafia, and not their Sicilian counterparts, although the story starts there with Vito Corleone.

Vito Corleone

The founder of the Corleone family. He is smuggled to America after his father, brother, and mother are killed by a local mafia chief. Vito is in fact Vito Andolini, but a clerical immigration error results in his last name being changed to his village. 

Carmela Corleone

Vito married Carmela, also a Sicilian immigrant, in 1915. Their marriage lasted until Vito’s death in 1955. In that time, they had three sons – Santino, Frederico, and Michael, and one daughter – Constanzia.

Santino “Sonny” Corleone

Sonny is Vito and Carmela’s first born son. He married Sandra Corleone. They have four children: Francesca, Kathryn, Frank, and Santino Jr. 

Sonny also has another child out of wedlock, Vincent, with a woman named Lucy Mancini. Vincent later went on to succeed Michael as the Don.

Frederico “Fredo” Corleone

Not blessed with the cunning, or brutality of his brothers, Fredo plays more of a bit-part role in the story. He married Deanna Dunn-Corleone but had just one son with a woman known as  Marguerite Duvall.

Michael Corleone

The last born son and eventual Don. Michael escapes to Sicily after breaking a long-held mafia law not to kill police officers. While in Sicily he marries a girl called Apollonia Vitelli. She is tragically killed in a car bomb that was intended for him. 

Michael eventually returns to the US and marries Katherine “Kay” Adams. The two have two children, Anthony and Mary, before their divorce.

Constanzia “Connie” Corleone

Connie is Vito and Carmela’s youngest child and only daughter. She has something of a troubled love life, which, it turns out, is crucial to the plot. Her first husband, Carlo Rizzi, is an abusive one. Nonetheless, they still go on to have two children together – Victor and Michael-Francis.

Carlo’s abusive behavior stokes Sonny’s anger. The situation is used by a rival mob boss to lure Sonny into an ambush when he learns that his sister has, again, been severely beaten by her husband. Carlo is himself later murdered at Michael’s command. 

Connie goes through two more failed marriages with Ed Federici and Merle Johnson.

The Corleone Family’s Structure

The Don

This is the person at the top of the hierarchy – the leader of the family. The Don is responsible for the family and all strategic and major decisions go through him.


The second-in-command serves as the Don’s right-hand man. This is a trusted position as the underboss takes control if the Don is incapacitated, incarcerated, or otherwise unable to perform his duties.


Not unlike a lawyer or a COO in the corporate world, the consigliere serves in an advisory role, and oversees the administrative management of family’s day to day business operations.


Caporegimes operate as field commanders, leading their crews to carry out any tasks as agreed by family leadership, and overseeing the day-to-day field activities related to the family’s business operations.


Foot Soldiers are typically the muscle of the family. They constituted the workforce of the family, and operated outside the decision-making circles of power. Theirs was to carry out the orders of family leadership, prove their loyalty, and by so doing, work their way up the ladder.

The Life of the Corleone Family

Treemily The Corleone Family Tree

The Corleone family was one of the five main families that comprised the New York Mafia in the aftermath of World War II. The family itself goes back further than that, starting in 1920 when Vito Corleone kills a certain Don Fanucci to take control of an area of Lower Manhattan known as Little Italy. He then sets up an olive oil company that he uses to disguise his criminal dealings. 

In a period of about five years, Vito organizes his crime family, and grows enough in influence to challenge and supplant a rival mobster, Salvatore Maranzano, during turf wars dubbed the Olive Oil War over the next few years. Sonny, VIto’s first born son, earns his stripes in these confrontations and becomes a caporegime – a “made” member of the family, put in charge of a crew.

Things take a dramatic turn in 1945, when a drug kingpin – Virgil “The Turk” Sollozzo – offers Vito Corleone a narcotics partnership, which he declines. Believing that his son, the now influential Sonny Corleone, would be more open to the deal, Sollozzo makes an attempt on Don Vito’s life. The attempt fails, but Don Vito ends up in hospital while Sonny takes the reins.

A second assassination attempt is made on Don Vito Corleone, setting off a series of violent acts. Sonny has a rival Don’s son killed, and Michael, Don Vito’s youngest son, kills Sollozzo and a corrupt police officer, and escapes to Sicily to let the heat die down.

These actions set off a war between the five families, during which Sonny is killed. Upon his recovery, Don Vito decides to broker a peace agreement between the Five Families. The peace deal holds until his death from a heart attack. 


Michael Corleone Family Tree

Michael Corleone then takes over as Don, and proceeds to consolidate his power by assassinating all the other mafia bosses. He also kills his older brother after he conspires against the family, and a few others to settle scores from past grudges.

Having successfully wiped out the competition, Michael begins to wean the family business off organized crime and into more legitimate business interests. He continued to do so until 1980 when he named his late brother Sonny’s son Vincent, as his successor.

Important Mafia Leaders

The Don

The Don Corleone Family Tree

Vito Corleone served as the Don from 1920 to 1955. He was briefly replaced by his eldest son Sonny while he was recovering from an assassination attempt between 1945 and 1946. He went into partial retirement in 1954, while Michael, his youngest son, took on most of the leadership duties until his death in 1955. Michael served until his retirement in 1980, and was replaced by his nephew, Sonny’s son, Vincent.


Sonny Corleone Family Tree

Sonny Corleone served as the Don’s right hand man from 1940 until his murder in 1946. The Don’s youngest son, Michael, took over until he became Acting Boss after Vito’s partial retirement in 1954.


Fredo Corleone Family Tree

Upon Michael’s promotion after his father’s death, he appointed his older brother Fredo, in what was mostly just a title role. Fredo was killed on Michael’s orders in 1959 for plotting against the family. Al Neri, the man that killed Fredo, became the next Underboss. 


Consiglieri The Corleone Family Tree

The family had a string of consiglieres who mostly played a background role in the story. From 1920 to 1945 there was Genco Abbandando until his death. Tom Hagen, the most prominent consigliere in the story, took over until 1954. After him Vito Corleone stepped back from his duties as Don and took on the role to support his son Michael. Tom Hagen reassumed the role after the Don’s death. He served until the seventies when he too died.

The 50th Anniversary

Fifty years on from its release, The Godfather remains one of the highest-rated films in the history of cinema. It inspired a whole new genre of action movies with subsequent successful titles like GoodFellas and The Sopranos following its lead. Today, it remains one of the most respected titles in Hollywood, with a 2014 poll by The Hollywood Reporter quoting 2,120 industry professionals saying it was the greatest film ever.


Few stories have impacted cinema and entertainment quite like The Godfather. Five decades after its release, it still permeates pop culture and is a recognizable title. With the knowledge we’ve shared here about the history of the film, the main characters involved in the plot, and the structure of their enterprise, you will hopefully have learned a thing or two about one of the most riveting stories ever told.

Did Your Ancestor Sign the Declaration of Independence?

Declaration of Independence


The United States’ Declaration of Independence is central to the identity of the US. It is the birth certificate if you will, of the great nation. As the country has grown and developed since then, so has its people. Some estimate the country’s population at that time to have been a mere 2.5 million. A few dozen of those signed the country’s founding document. What are the chances that you are somehow related to a signer of the Declaration of Independence? 

56 Men Signed the Declaration of Independence

56 Men Signed the Declaration of Independence


Fifty-six delegates signed the Declaration of Independence. Among them were Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, men who would eventually rise to the highest office of the land. Benjamin Franklin, a figure that requires no introduction, was also among the signers. Some of the names on the Declaration of Independence signers’ list, however, may not be as recognisable as these. Let’s take a brief look at some of the colorful figures among the declaration of independence signers’ list.

If you have known ties to any of these significant figures and are one of the declaration of independence descendants, we encourage you to use the Treemily family tree visualization tool to commemorate this!

John Hancock (Massachusetts Bay)

John Hancock (Massachusetts Bay)


Hancock was one of the richest men on the list. His uncle left him a successful trading business. The signature on the document is large and showy, perhaps indicative of the character of the man. His name is, to this day, used in the US colloquially to refer to one’s signature.

Josiah Bartlett

Bartlett was a doctor by trade, and also had a successful political career in New Hampshire. He was a colonel in his county, and most notably, was chosen to represent New Hampshire as a delegate to Congress. He also served in the Supreme Court and refused the opportunity to become a senator.

Samuel Adams

Samuel Adams


Adams, second cousin to John Adams – the president, represented Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard College, had a stint as a businessman and tax collector before turning to politics where he had more success. 

John Adams

John Adams


John Adams, who led the United States between 1797 and 1801, was also a Massachusetts representative. He was one of the people that risked their lives and the ire of King George by leading the American Revolution. Adams also served as the American Vice President for eight years prior to becoming president himself.

Elbridge Gerry

Apart from being one of the signatories, Gerry was also vice president for only two years. He was the second person to die while holding this office. Gerry was a progressive thinker who opposed the idea of British colonization, and fought to include the Bill of Rights in the Constitution. In fact, the “gerry” in gerrymandering comes from his name. 

Stephen Hopkins

Hopkins had a long and storied political career, like most of his fellows. He merits a special mention here because at the time of the signing, he was suffering from palsy. He had to grip his own hand as he signed, in order to steady it. While doing so he said, “My hand trembles, but my heart does not.”

Robert Morris

Robert Morris


From Pennsylvania, Morris was a very wealthy merchant who was dubbed the “Financier of the Revolution.” He accepted the difficult role of overseeing finances, while also helping to arm the revolutionary cause. 

Benjamin Rush

Apart from being a Founding Father, Rush is also credited as being the father of American psychiatry. He was also revolutionary thinker, he was against slavery, fought to improve women’s education, and make changes to the justice system. His ideas also laid the groundwork for later medical research.

Charles Carroll

Caroll is the only one on the list who was Catholic. He was also the last among the fifty-six signers to die. In a curious coincidence, he lived for fifty six years after penning his signature to the document.

James Wilson

Wilson was one of the legal minds that helped to shape the United States’ justice system. He was one of the first to serve in the US Supreme Court, and was the first Supreme Court justice to die. 

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson


Jefferson is well known for being the third US president. He was also very wealthy, he is said to have owned hundreds of slaves. However, he is said to have been outspoken against the practice. He banned it internationally and, at home, tried to have slaves gradually freed rather than all at once. During his lifetime, he freed just two of his own.

Benjamin Franklin


By far the most recognisable signer of the declaration of independence, Franklin’s face adorns the $100 bill. He is therefore always a sight for sore eyes. His life and legacy cannot be adequately summarized in a few dozen words. Suffice it to say that he is as large a figure as any, and a great influence in the America we know today.

Could You be Related to Any of These People? 

Could You be Related to Any of These People? 


The list of Founding Fathers is fifty-six names long. Each one has an interesting life story. What is even more fascinating is the possibility that one of these biographies is actually part of your family history. Thomas Jefferson, for example, had a total of six children. The chances that you could be, in one way or another, related to one of the founding fathers may not be as remote as one might think.

Search for Your Relatives on the Web

Search for Your Relatives on the Web


With the genealogical tools available today, looking into your ancestry is that much easier. You can explore genealogical archives to help you dig a little deeper into who your ancestors are. Many people worldwide have been able to connect with relatives using search tools like indexed historical records, and other digitized information.

Use Treemily family tree visualization to eternalize your ancestry and deep ties with a prominent historical figure.


From 1776, generation after generation of Americans has come and gone. With them, the history of the most powerful nation on the earth has been forged. There are countless individuals, all somehow tied together, that have helped mold this story. Your family history may be inexorably tied to that. The chances that you can trace it back all the way to one of those fifty-six individuals that appended their signatures to the country’s founding document, are quite high. Certainly high enough to be worth looking into.

Stephen Curry Family Tree

Stephen Curry Family Tree

Stephen Curry is an all-time NBA great and pretty much a household name, but did you know that the Curry family tree is just as fascinating as his three-pointers? Read below on Stephen Curry ancestry, his parents’ legacy, his wife’s endeavors and his children’s antics!

Sonya Curry

Sonya Curry

The Currys are, without a doubt, a proper sporting family, and our first entry does not betray that image. Sonya Alicia Curry (née Adams) is Stephen Curry’s mother, born May 30th, 1966 in Radford, Virginia. Her sporting background, unlike her son and husband Dell (more on him later), is in volleyball – during her studies at Virginia Tech she was a valued member of the alma mater’s volleyball team.

Virginia Tech is especially important for the family lineage as it is also the place where Sonya and her future husband first met – the couple married in 1988, and thus planted the famous Curry family tree.


Stephen Curry Family Chart


In 1995, she became the founder of Christian Montessori School of Lake Norman based in  Huntersville, North Carolina. The school was later attended by her offspring, and as of 2022, she remains acting president of the school.

Stephen Curry
Seth Curry


Apart from her elder son, Stephen himself, she also has a younger son for a basketball player, Seth. He most recently joined the Brooklyn Nets and is playing there as a shooting guard. Sonya’s also mother to Sydel, who used to play volleyball at Elon University.

She often goes to her family’s games and famously attracts the attention of the cameras, sitting in the audience and cheering for her loved ones. She also frequently gives interviews on how she has managed to raise world-class basketball prodigies and is a rather popular figure on the Internet, particularly on Twitter.

In August 2021, after 33 years of marriage, Sonya and Dell announced that the couple was going to divorce. The reason for this development was never released to the public, as Sonya requested that ”their privacy should be respected”.

Dell Curry

Dell Curry Family Tree

Onto Stephen’s father now we go – Dell Curry, prior to the birth of his children, was THE Curry that played basketball. He would later arguably be overshadowed by Stephen, however, there’s no doubt that Dell left a basketballing legacy of his own.

Dell Curry, the father of the Steph Curry family tree, was born in Harrisonburg, Virginia, on June 25th, 1964. In 1982, he entered Virginia Tech, where, as mentioned before, he would meet his future wife, Sonya.

He enjoyed a relatively successful career in the Virginia Tech team, with the Hokies earning a bronze medal at the National Invitation Tournament in 1984 and qualifying for at-large bids to the NCAA tournament in 1985 and 1986. Interestingly, one of Dell Curry’s main attributes, his prowess from long range, didn’t initially pay dividends as NCAA basketball simply did not have a three-point line before 1987. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1986.

Dell can also boast a solid NBA career, having played for Utah Jazz, Cleveland Cavaliers, Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors and, most notably, Charlotte Hornets. For the Hornets, Dell retired as the all-time leading scorer with 9,839 points. Over his 1,083 career games, he was averaging 11.7 points per game.

Upon retiring, he stayed loyal to his favorite club – Dell now does punditry for the Hornets, but it doesn’t stop him from visiting games of both of his sons. For instance, he was seen at Madison Square Garden watching Stephen become NBA’s all-time 3-point leader.

Ayesha Curry

Ayesha Curry Family Tree

To simply call Ayesha Disa Curry (née Alexander) the wife of Stephen Curry would be demeaning to the achievements of her own. She is, among other things, a cooking book author, show host on television and actress.

Ayesha was born in Canada, in Markham, Ontario, on March 23th, 1989. When she turned 14, she moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, but it was long before that when she started taking an interest in cooking. According to her mother, Ayesha often used to watch her babysitter cook Trinidadian curry and marvel at the process.

She graduated from Weddington High School, and went to Los Angeles soon afterwards to pursue an acting career. Her acting credits include “Love for Sale”,  “Underground Street Flippers”, “Dan’s Detour of Life”,  “Good Luck Charlie” and “Hannah Montana”.

Ayesha and Stephen had known one another since they were in their teenage years – the couple started dating during Stephen’s time at Davidson College between 2006 and 2009. However, they only got married in 2011.

Throughout her television career, Ayesha has hosted such shows as “Ayesha’s Homemade” “Cooking with the Currys” and “The Great American Baking Show”.

Ayesha and Stephen have three children (more on them below): Riley, Ryan and Canon (born in 2012, 2015 and 2018 respectively).

Stephen and Ayesha Curry Family Tree

Stephen Curry’s kids: Riley, Ryan and Canon Curry

The 2014-15 season will always be particularly memorable for Stephen Curry family history, but hardly for the most obvious reasons. Sure, it was a season when he was named NBA’s Most Valuable Player. But it was also a season his daughter Riley, not even three years of age at the time, stole the podium (and the show) at the NBA Playoffs.


Riley Curry

On top of that, she is famous for her involvement in a number of Stephen’s press conferences – her performance of “Blessings” by Drake and Big Sean, just to name one.

It’s been some years since Riley broke the Internet, as the elder daughter of the family is turning ten this year. She hasn’t been making as many public appearances as she used to, but maybe one day we’ll see another Curry become a star.

Ryan Curry

Riley’s younger siblings, Ryan and Canon haven’t appeared in the limelight that many times, however, this February we did witness Canon giving his legendary dad an All-Star ring at the Chase Center.

Canon Curry

Ayesha often makes comments on her parenthood. In 2016, she was joking that “it’s an event to get all four of us out of the house at once” and “if we get into the car and everybody has socks on, it’s like a dream come true.”


Stephen and Ayesha Curry Family Tree


The Stephen Curry family tree has a rich past, a thrilling present and a bright future. It’s a family full of talent, passion and drive, all of which have definitely borne fruit – and this is why the public will surely be interested in whatever they are up to in years to come.

You are welcome to commemorate your own legacy by visualizing your family tree with Treemily!

10 Tips on How to Research a Family History

Family History

Researching family history can be an incredibly fulfilling undertaking. You get to meet relatives from the past, learn your roots, and discover fascinating stories that culminate in you being where you are. However, the task of ancestry mapping can be a daunting one. The sheer magnitude of the information you need to piece together can be overwhelming, or sometimes you may just not know where to begin. So here are ten tips to help you along.

List what you already know

Listing what you already know


You may be surprised by the wealth of information you already have in your possession. Systematically laying it down will help you cover the basics and lay the groundwork for further investigation. You can fill in any holes by talking to your immediate family, covering all the fundamental information, and then working backwards in time based on what you have gathered.

Search local sources

News in Genealogy


Local publications, like magazines and newspapers, often carry stories about residents in the area. A local TV station may provide you with archival footage, or a high school might have yearbooks, archives of school events, and other information. Apart from that, you can look up other sources in your area. These may be family friends, old schoolmates, teachers, neighbors or anyone that your family members may have had a connection to. One thing typically leads to another and you might stumble upon unexpected nuggets of information. In the process, you may for example, dig up old photos your family didn’t even know existed. 

Scrutinize your closest relatives

Having covered your siblings, parents, and other local sources, you can cast your net a little bit further and start to include other close relatives. Cousins, aunts, uncles can all be a valuable source of information. Family stories, bits of information in documents like letters and other records that may have been squirreled away in forgotten boxes, and many other useful resources are all probably sitting in their homes. So take the time to have a sit-down and see what you can dig up. If nothing else, they may just lead you to other sources of information that you can follow up on later.

Family history portals

You may very well not be the first in your family to attempt to put your family history map together. There may be other family members who have charted your family history map using an online service. So taking a look through family portals or other genealogical tools might just pay dividends.

Browse documents

Old documents


There are many publicly available resources that could go a long way in helping put together the information you research needs. For example, a government census of population gathers extensive data about each household. It lists precisely the kind of information you would need on your family history. You can find out who lived where and with whom. Along with lots of other information aside from the usual things like ages, genders, and such. You can learn what your ancestors’ jobs were, and even information about their property. 

Image search of an ancestor

Computer search


If you have a photograph of your ancestors, you can take advantage of the largest repository of information we have. The Internet. Search engine algorithms have become incredibly efficient at what they do. The amount of effort required to get results on your part is minimal. Even if there is only an outside chance, you want to make sure you leave no stone unturned. For more contemporary generations, they will most likely have a digital presence. So an image search is a great way to find out more or find more sources that will help direct your research. 

Research your ancestors’ networks



There is a treasure trove of information in and around the people and social groups that your ancestors spent time with. Friends and acquaintances, people who went to school with them, worked with them, shared a religious faith or other such groups. Perhaps your relatives were members of some social clubs? Did they passionately follow a sport, or consistently pursue a hobby? Researching their networks, professional, educational, and social, is bound to reveal valuable information. 

Get death records

medical history


As morbid as it may seem, death records are a vital source of information and – being at least a few decades more recent – are typically easier to obtain than birth records. This is, of course, assuming you are able to prove your relationship to the deceased and your right to that information. Death records will give you important details like the deceased’s close relatives, address, and the official cause of death. This is all crucial information for your own research, and is also helpful in tracking down other sources of information. 

Follow death record clues

The information on the death record will lead you to the people who were closest to your relative. It will tell you where they lived, what their profession was, and even their burial place in some cases. All of this helps point you to the next step of your search. 

Build your family tree

Treemily Family Tree


Once you have a wealth of information, you have to find an efficient way to illustrate it. One of the best ways is using a family tree. There are many different variations. The objective is the same – to help you show your family connections in an easily understandable way. People can immediately see who is related to whom, and delve a little deeper into their lives. It is a great way to summarize your family history in a way that is engaging and will keep everyone interested. 


At first, the question of how to research family history can seem quite difficult. Sources of information may not be immediately obvious. This can make the task of accurately making your family tree seem like an extremely frustrating one. However, if you look in the right places, you will soon find that you are sitting on quite a considerable amount of the very information you need. And, with a bit of creativity and effort, you can easily get access to plenty more and end up with a rich, informative family history.

Journaling as a Way to Preserve Family History


Even the best of us sometimes struggle to stay organized. For many people, 24 hours just isn’t enough to cater to all their life needs. So if you broach the idea of keeping a journal, it just seems impractical for many. It sounds like one more task to add to a never-ending list. To a lot of people, the whole idea just seems pointless. Many are at a loss to even think of what to write in a journal.

From a family history perspective, keeping a writing journal is a fantastic idea. With the right approach, the task stops looking like a chore. You won’t be agonizing over how to write a journal, or what to include in it. The ideas in this article should help set you on your way to journaling an important part of your family history book.

What is journaling



Journaling is keeping some sort of record of your daily life. This might take many different forms. You could do it using digital media, or the old school traditional way, with good old pen and paper. Journaling could be done using a calendar, making entries in an actual journal, you could go with a diary – combining plans and journal entries, or a scrapbook of some kind. Whatever you go with, the idea is to document your daily life in some form.

Benefits of journaling

People have found that journaling brings significant benefits. It is not just an academic task of committing events to paper. There is a therapeutic, cathartic effect that writing down one’s thoughts and experiences brings. It’s no wonder then, that the practice has been reporting to help people struggling with different mental and emotional challenges. And even for those who are not, it has been said to improve things like confidence, help deal with day-to-day stresses, and even improve memory. 

Beyond those personal benefits, journaling is invaluable in the process of documenting your family history. Here are a few ways in which it can be essential: 

Trace family history 

Treemily Family Tree


Every individual is part of the jigsaw puzzle that is their family tree. Without their story, their family’s picture just isn’t complete. Unless you are powerful or famous, it is quite unlikely that your story will be documented. Someone therefore has to take the initiative. And even then, without your input, details that only you and a select few are privy to will remain undisclosed. The best person, therefore, to help with your part of your family history is you. With time, memories fade, details become fuzzy. There are few better ways to keep those memories fresh than by recording them every day. 

Telling untold family stories

Writing with ink pen


Even with the advent of social media and an increasingly interconnected world. We don’t necessarily broadcast each event that happens to us. There are many personal struggles and events that we all go through that remain private, to be shared only with our close circles, or even no one at all. However, many of these things are still relevant in the context of your family history. By journaling, you ensure that the family stories stay alive.

Organizing information

Old photos


Anyone who has ever attempted to write a biography understands just how much of a challenge it is to get the facts right. Over time, details can get muddied, get lost, or the information might become too much to untangle. By journaling, you automatically arrange the facts in a reliable chronological order. The task is thus reduced to determining what is relevant and what is not when the time comes to distill the information for posterity.

How to write a journal

Like any good habit, journaling can be a tough one to build. But there are a few tips that could help you get started. 

Consistency is important. You want to pick a set time and duration that works for you. This should be a time that is free of distraction, and the length of time should be such that it does not become burdensome. It could be ten minutes, half an hour, or could vary depending on the day of the week. Up to you. During the writing process, it is important not to interrupt your flow. Write continuously and fix typos and sentences at the end of the allotted time. 

If you keep at it and develop a schedule, you may just surprise yourself before long!

Journaling ideas to trace your family history

It’s one thing to develop the writing habit, but what about the content itself? What should you include, and how do you sift what is important and what’s not?

Here are a few ideas.

Describe family memories

Family photo memories


Recounting family events that you’ve experienced may perhaps feel like rehashing old news. However, your own personal recollection of family events comes with a unique perspective that would be a refreshing view of the same event. For those that were not present when the event occurred, you offer them a first-hand account of what happened.

Fill in the family chart

Family chart


A family chart is a great way to offer context to your journaling entries. Remember that your readers may come generations later. Giving them an introduction to the characters involved helps to clear up any ambiguities. It also serves the purpose of helping you stay consistent as you write and identify people. For example, you could use nicknames for people who share names, or identify their generations.

Add your family photos

Photo book


It is incredible how many photographs of precious memories are locked away within one household. Much like personal recollections of events, photographs can provide a unique point of view of a memory shared by many. And for some, it may be the only image of times gone by. Adding your family photos breathes life into your family history and helps to illustrate it.

Add elements of scrapbooking



Your family history book layout doesn’t have to be that of a ponderous historical volume. Little bits of memorabilia add color to the story you are telling. Do not be afraid to add quirky little interesting details, childhood drawings, cutouts, photos, all add to the illustration of your story.


Apart from the personal benefits it brings to an individual, journaling has great value for your ancestral family history. For future generations, it solves the problem of how to trace family history especially when much of it is anecdotal. The process itself can be fun, therapeutic, and if you add different elements, like a family chart for example, you can help create some of untold value for your family.

Caring For Your Family Heritage: 5 Best Ways to Preserve Your Family Memories

Chest box

A lot of people love hearing stories from their older relatives, and for a good reason. Our grandpas and grandmas are the keepers of our family memories and learning more about your common past from them is lots of fun. But, at the same time, we also have a responsibility to preserve these memories ourselves, so that the future generations will know more about their heritage.This article will help you find the best way to do just that – make your familial memories immortal.

Design a Family Tree  

Treemily Family Tree

Visualizing your familial connections either on paper has been the go-to method for immortalizing your ancestry for centuries. You may even feel like a medieval nobility yourself when going all the way up to generation five or six. On top of that, nowadays you can also build your family tree online, as customisable as it gets. You can insert all kinds of photos, choose from different fonts and colors and, when all is done, you can print your family tree out and frame it. And don’t worry if your tree doesn’t stretch very far – we don’t all have the privilege of a well documented family history. Regardless of its size, all the hard work of a genealogical research and then the execution will surely make the end result very satisfying.

Start a Blog to Preserve Family History



These days, you can find blogs dedicated to practically any topic, and family memories are no exception. Genealogy blogs have only been growing in popularity, because there is just so much you can do with them. Not only do you get to document your family members’ lives, but also you get to share all that info with the outside world. And you don’t have to stop at just posting funny family stories, you can go full-on genealogical researcher. Aligning your ancestors’ lives with historic events, interviewing your oldest living relative, highlighting similarities between generations, putting your instant discoveries out there – all that and much more you can do with a genealogy blog. 

Start Journaling



Journaling, in essence, has a similar premise to blogging, with the key difference of it being personal, just for you and your family to read. It’s really up to you whether you want to go digital or old-school – both methods offer something different, while still achieving the goal of keeping your family memories well recorded. It is very exciting to realize that whatever happened to you or your loved ones on a certain day can be read by your distant descendants decades later. And it can all have your personal spin on it, too – it doesn’t have to be a dry, polished documentary-like collection of stories. You don’t have to push yourself to record every day, either. All that matters is that you have fun while putting down your family holiday memories, your grandma’s stories, your children’s misadventures and other kinds of family heritage.

Continue Family Traditions

Family Traditions


Does your mom still make that killer of a meat pie on Christmas? Or, maybe your dad still drives you to that one special place every year? Well, that cake may as well be a recipe that is decades old, passed on from generation to generation, and that place may be where your grandpa used to take his family too. Traditions are the heart and soul of a family and it’s very important to keep them alive. You must have heard many stories connected to them throughout your life and the stories of your own will be a new chapter in your family history. And it’s only cooler if these traditions revolve around creating something – in this case, by now your household should have an array of real family artifacts. And if you don’t have many familial traditions to boast about, why not come up with your own? In that case, you don’t just get to be the one to pass the tradition on, you get to be the one it all started from. 

Family History Book 

Family Book


Sounds like a very serious and, perhaps, even daunting task – when we think of a family history book, we probably think of a very thick old-looking book with hundreds of pages of text. But, in reality, it doesn’t have to be that. One of the easier and more fun ways to organize your family history book can be putting together a photo book. Choose a theme you want to illustrate or a narrative you want to tell and go dig into your familial archive to find pictures that fit the format you’ve outlined. For instance, you can cover one person’s biography, or document the history of your family reunions or family vacations. And then label or tag the photos with names, dates and stories, so that the rich imagery can be supplemented by texts. And if you don’t have too many family photos, you can always try and narrate your family history with the help of more text or even some items like familial artifacts.


Memories are some of the most valuable possessions a family can have, and it’s very important that these possessions aren’t lost. Luckily, there are many easy and fun ways to preserve those memories: you can use a family tree builder, start writing a blog, a journal, or even a whole family history book, or just keep your favorite traditions alive – just choose whatever works best for you and your descendants will thank you for that.


The Simpsons Family Tree

The Simpsons Family Tree

Matt Groening’s The Simpsons is a TV show that needs no introduction. It is such a central part of present-day popular culture, it may well be the best known TV series of all time. It has won practically everything there is to win, but if there is one award that best describes its place in the world of entertainment, it is Time Magazine naming it the best television series of the century.

At the center of the TV show is, of course, the Simpsons family. So here we take a look at this iconic family, where they come from, and the relationships between them.

The Simpsons Family Chart

The Simpsons Family: Origin and History

The Simpsons Family Tree

The origins of this hugely successful series start in 1985 when Matt Groening, the author of a successful comic strip called Life in Hell, was asked to adapt it for a TV show. Groening worried that this adaptation might cost him the rights to his successful comic strip, and he instead quickly came up with a group of characters inspired by his own family. The initial drawings of the characters, done in the lobby of the office he was going to pitch them in, were roughly done, under the assumption that animators would improve them later. They did not. And thus the characters that have entertained the world for decades were born.

Homer Simpson

Homer Simpson

A caricature of the working class father, Homer is an unashamedly crude depiction of a certain stereotype. He very often mouths off without thinking – often with dubious leaps of logic, pays little attention to his weight, drinks a little too much, but can surprisingly come up with great moments of wit and insight, and even athleticism when push comes to shove. While he isn’t necessarily the model father, he is also incredibly protective of his family.

Marge Simpson

Marge Simpson

As with most couples, Homer’s wife Marjorie (simply shortened to ‘Marge’), balances him out. She is considerably more thoughtful, tries to be the sensible one, and in true Simpsons form, is remarkably blind to the glaring issues that run throughout her obviously dysfunctional family. 

Bart Simpson

Bart Simpson Family Chart

The Simpson clan’s first-born. He is a razor-tongued boy, shows a callous disregard for authority, gets up to all sorts of mischief, and is terribly rebellious and invariably gets away with his escapades. In fact, his name is simply the word “brat” rearranged – which should express all there is to say about this character. 

Lisa Simpson

Lisa Simpson Family Chart

Two years Bart’s junior, Lisa is an incredibly talented, intelligent, and precocious child. She might as well be her father and brother’s alter-ego. She is vegetarian, shows remarkable political awareness with her support for the Free Tibet cause, and plays the saxophone. Her heart is always in the right place and she is constantly trying to do good. Although her efforts are always thwarted, in no small part thanks to the characters she is surrounded by.

Maggie Simpson

Maggie Simpson

The baby of the family, Maggie is nearly two and, oddly enough, still crawls around with a pacifier in her mouth. She is also thought to be exceptionally gifted, like her sister, though she hardly ever speaks.

Abraham Simpson

Abraham Simpson

Abraham, aka Abe, aka Grampa, is Homer’s dad, currently living in a retirement home courtesy of his son. He served in the Second World War and likes to spend his time regaling whoever happens to be listening with tales of the old times. While all the Simpsons are named after members of Groening’s immediate family, Abraham just happened to be a happy coincidence. Groening left the naming of this character to other writers. They just happened to settle on what turned out to be Groening’s own grandfather’s name!

Mona Simpson

Mona Simpson Family Chart

Mona Simpson is Grampa’s first wife. She turns up in the show and explains that she left her family after becoming involved with the hippie movement. She eventually dies in the show, leaving Homer wrestling with the reality of her passing. 

Patty and Selma Bouvier

Patty and Selma Bouvier

Patricia and Selma are twins, sisters-in-law to Homer. They detest him, and he in turn deeply dislikes them. They are both surly characters. Selma, the older of the two, has divorced multiple times and longs to find a partner. Despite their shared animosity, Homer and Selma occasionally come to each other’s aid. He even tried to help her adopt a child by pretending to be her husband. Patricia comes out as lesbian at some point in the show and starts to openly date women, abandoning the single life.

Extended Simpson Family

Apart from these main characters who are dominant in the series, there is a whole host of fringe characters who make up the Simpsons’ extended family. Here are some of the most colorful:

There’s Herbert, Grampa’s son from another marriage and Homer’s step-brother. Grampa put him up for adoption shortly before he married Homer’s mother. There’s also Abbey, rumored to be Homer’s half-sister, and allegedly fathered by Grampa during the war. 

There’s Chet, Homer’s uncle. Hortense, his aunt. Stanley, Homer’s nephew, and uncle Tyrone – a more elderly relative.

There are also a few ancestor’s of the Simpsons family tree who also make appearances in the show. Mabel Simpson, who came by the Simpson name by way of marriage, and Hiram, Mabel’s ex-husband. The two had a daughter, Eliza. Eliza rescues a slave called Virgil. He adopts the name Simpson and ends up running off with Mabel. Mabel and Virgil have a son, Abraham. It’s unclear how many children they have, but a generation after them comes Abe – Grampa. In the series, Grampa’s dad is said to be alive but the two are not in contact. Mainly on account of the fact that Grampa has no interest in talking to him.

A few other characters of note include Cyrus, Homer’s uncle, and Amber Simpson. Amber is both Homer and Grampa’s ex-wife, much to Homer’s relief, and Grampa’s disappointment. If you’re wondering how that came to be, the story involves mistakes made in Vegas, and deception to fix them. If you’re still stumped, well, that’s a pretty good cliffhanger to leave you on, and motivate you to watch the show!

Examples of Family Traditions to Keep Your Family Memories

Family Traditions

Documenting family history is very often thought of as a project. The task can be a daunting one, considering the sheer volume of information needed in order to piece together an entire family’s history. A change in approach may just help to ease this process considerably. Here, we take a look at some traditions that a family can adopt in order to make the preservation of the family heritage a continuous process.

What is a family tradition


There are probably as many family traditions as there are families. The variety of activities that families get up to as part of their culture is incredibly varied. What they have in common though, is that they serve to bring everyone together, to participate in something that is common to all of them and identifies them as a family. These could range from conventional activities, like Christmas celebrations, birthdays or anniversaries, to the more quirky, like elaborate gift hunts or full moon activities.

Why are family traditions important?

There are many reasons why family traditions are important and play a crucial role not just for the family as a whole but at the individual level as well.

Creates a sense of comfort and security

It might seem counterintuitive at first, but there is something to be said for the value of routines. Predictability imparts a sense of stability in people. So the familiarity of regular family rituals helps to give members a feeling of safety.  

Gives a reason for the family to get together

Family get together

As children mature and parents advance in age, households normally tend to drift apart. Each member going about their own lives, each in pursuit of their respective goals and ambitions. In time, it often turns out that people are scattered geographically. Things like having meals together, celebrating birthdays – activities that used to be regular events become less and less so. Having traditions gives everyone a reason to gather and be together again even when people are spread out across different geographical locations. 

Promotes a healthy work-life balance

If a person has a demanding job, as most do, it can often be a challenge to completely switch off from it even while they are at home. Especially with the advent of modern technology, which enables us to stay connected 24 hours a day, wherever we may be. Emails, and other notifications come in throughout the day. And even when they don’t, it is difficult to break the habit of continuously glancing at your screen to make sure you haven’t missed something important. Sometimes, finding something to be fully engaged in might be the best way to completely disengage from these other activities. Developing a family culture of getting together and doing some activity therefore helps people completely unplug from work and fully dedicate their time and attention to their families. 

Preserve your family history

Family memories

By regularly getting together, families create memories, and, in this day and age, lots of photo opportunities. Events also provide convenient time references for past events. For example, an end of year reunion very helpfully adds a time and date that can easily be determined just by looking at a picture years down the road. These occasions generate lots of images and other assets that could prove crucial for documentation of the family history should someone decide to do that at some point.

Examples of family traditions

There are many different traditions families can adopt that can specifically contribute to the preservation of family history.

Genealogy research

Carrying out family research can help people bond, help them discover long lost relatives and also be a fun activity for everyone. There are many different ways to carry out the research. You could, for instance, commit to building a family tree. Members of the family can all contribute in some way, adding pictures of relatives for example. This not only helps everyone understand their history better, it can also foster a sense of unity.

Family traveling

Family traveling

One of the most powerful ways to get in touch with your history is to physically visit places that hold significance to your past. Embarking on a genealogy trip will help you open up your past in a way that simply cannot be done in any other way. A trip to an ancestral home for example, or burial sites of your forebears can bring life to your family history in a very powerful and compelling way.

Collecting family recipes

Family recipe

A sense that is not often thought about in the discussion of history is that of taste. Oddly enough, being able to recreate the cuisine of your forebears brings you closer to their lives in a way that is unique and very personal. So by recording your special family recipes and collecting them, you almost get to sit at the dinner table with your ancestors, and you give those coming after you the chance to do the same with you. So make sure you add this activity to your family tradition menu as well.



Exchanging letters may seem quaint today, but a glance at the history books shows just how insightful this can be for future generations. It shows the hopes, dreams, cares and worries of the authors, and gives the readers an intimate look into their own history. So if you are not keen on the idea of licking stamps and envelopes and waiting a few business days to get your message delivered, let alone replied to, finding and collecting letters can be an extremely useful source of information for documenting your ancestry. The correspondence typically yields excellent anecdotes with which to enrich the narrative.

Family interview

It may seem like an unusual idea, considering that interviews seem like an activity exclusively for the famous or for something television-worthy. However, having a sit-down with a relative and having them walk through their lives with you can be an immensely precious resource – a first hand account that future generations would no doubt find fascinating.


Documenting your family history doesn’t always need to be a daunting, challenging, resource-intensive project. Your favorite family tradition may well turn out to be the best source of anecdotal information about you, your parents and your siblings. By regularly holding events together, and recording them in some form or another, you are well on your way to preserving your family history.

The Best Genealogy Libraries for Creating a Family Tree

The Best Genealogy Libraries

Don’t know where to get information for your genealogy research? In this article we’ve shortlisted the best genealogy libraries in the USA to help you decide which one offers the resources you need. And if you’re looking for general genealogy research tips, check out our comprehensive Genealogy Research Guide.

Allen County Public Library

Allen County Public Library

Allen County Public Library is, hands down, one of the best genealogy libraries in the country. Founded back in 1895, this Indiana-based facility boasts the largest genealogical collection in the United States.

Their family history library focuses on, but not limited to, the Midwestern region of the United States; their archives are particularly rich in genealogical periodicals and printed family histories. And their genealogy center provides such services as online research support, 30-minute librarian consultations, as well as tours around the premises.

On the website you can also find a number of genealogical and historical databases available from anywhere for free. However, most of them you can only access on-site. 

The Family History Library 

The Family History Library

The name speaks for itself – this facility is specifically designed to help people find more about their family histories. This genealogical research library was established in 1894 and is located in Utah, Salt Lake City. Their genealogy collection includes federal and state census records and indexes, US port passenger lists, naturalization records, and thousands of family history records.

When visiting a library, you get free access to an interactive discovery center with dozens of computers and large touch screens. There you can conduct your genealogy research, as well as scan photos and documents, convert physical media into the digital form and get assistance from a skilled researcher – all for free. 

Midwest Genealogy Center

Midwest Genealogy Center

Another mid-continent public library on the list – this research center is based in Independence, MO and is open to the public seven days a week. Since its opening in 2008, it has been offering its visitors a large collection of genealogical resources such as newspapers, censuses, vital records and more.

On their website you can also find a great number of downloadable and printable family charts which are there to help you organize your family tree. And as in many other such centers, you can access a massive database online and book an appointment with a genealogy consultant.

National DAR Library

National DAR Library

Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Library definitely tops the list of genealogical libraries when it comes to information on the American Revolution generation, but it doesn’t stop there. Its collection of around 150,000 volumes is also full of records on the colonial period generations, as well as the whole 19th century.

The library was founded in 1896 in Washington D.C. and offers all its resources to its visitors for free. Not to mention, all of their published materials and most of their collections are available online through their DAR Library Catalog.

American Ancestors by New England Historic Genealogical Society

American Ancestors by New England Historic Genealogical Society

New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is the oldest genealogical society in the whole US, and American Ancestors is one of their most important works. It’s a massive online genealogy collection containing various records: marriages, deaths, hospital admissions, port passengers, etc.

To get full access to all its 486 databases with 1.4+ billion entries, covering the US and 16 other countries, and spanning across half a millennium, you must become a paid member (for example, Individual Membership will cost you $99.95/year). Only 45 databases are available for free. 

Library of Congress

Library of Congress

There should be no surprise that one of the biggest libraries in the world would make an appearance in this list. Based in Washington D.C., this research center offers brilliant genealogical guides and indexes and boasts an impressive genealogy collection full of periodicals, local histories, city directories, maps, manuscripts, photographs, microfilms – the list goes on.

A special mention goes to their American Memory project, an online-database of various media converted into the digital form and spanning many time periods.

New York Public Library

New York Public Library

Another library that holds the title of “one of the biggest in the world”. NYC Public Library is proud of its genealogy division – its countless collections extend far beyond the local region.

Their ancestry library includes millions of names in vital and census records, as well as birth, marriage and death notices. There you may also find city directories, passenger lists and naturalization records, military and holocaust records, and much more. However, remote access to the ancestry library has recently been terminated – all the resources are only available on the premises.

Detroit Public Library

Detroit Public Library

Detroit Public Library’s database including a huge number of birth, marriage, military and death records, as well as federal and state census records, makes it one of the best genealogy libraries in the US.

However, the biggest downside for someone who likes doing their research from home would be that their Ancestry Library is only available to the public from any of the library’s locations. There are 7 locations in total, all of them within the city of Detroit, MI. 

Dallas Public Central Library

Dallas Public Central Library

This facility’s ancestry library is one of the largest in the southern USA. Thousands of their volumes, photos, maps and microfilms date back to the 18th century and include birth, death, tax, marriage, deed, probate records, both state and county.

Particularly interesting and rich is the military record database, spanning from the Revolutionary War to WWII. Unfortunately, as with the Detroit Public Library, the ancestry collection is only available on-site – online access to it was closed on Dec 31, 2021. 

Los Angeles Public Library

Los Angeles Public Library

This West Coast-located entry has 75 open access History, Geography & Genealogy databases containing numerous federal and state census records, vital records, family histories, obituaries, periodicals, etc.

It’s also especially renowned for one of the biggest map collections in the USA, African American and African Indian collections, as well as autograph collections. All of the above-mentioned resources will be available to you online.

Houston Public Library

Houston Public Library
Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research

Houston Public Library is home to the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research – a center most famous for its southern US area records, death certificates and family histories in particular. Special attention is also paid to African American heritage.

The current digital file collection is still being updated, as most of the center’s extensive collection is only available on-site; so to make the most use of their databases, it is highly recommended to do research on the premises.

His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Family Tree

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Family Tree

We’ve all heard of Dubai, the land where everything is described in superlatives. Many of us know it is an emirate – a land under an emir, in much the same way a kingdom has a king. Quite a few that know this also mistake it for the capital of the UAE, the United Arab Emirates. It is the most populous emirate, but not the capital. 

That would be Abu Dhabi. If you’re a bit of a geography buff, you’ll know Abu Dhabi is the largest of the seven emirates by quite a margin. This important emirate’s ruling family? That’s probably well into difficult TV trivia quiz territory. That’s where this article comes in.

But first, a bit of an introduction before we dive into Sheikh Khalifa’s Family Tree.

The House of Nahyan: The History

The House of Nahyan rules Abu Dhabi. This family is part of the Al Falahi family, which in turn is connected to the Bani Yas tribe. This tribe has ruled Abu Dhabi since the late 1700s, and before that, a territory called the Liwa Oasis. In a period spanning almost two hundred years, the region saw turbulent times, with 13 coups deposing five rulers and killing eight. A bloodless coup in 1966 ushered in a new era. The United Arab Emirates was formed in large part with the help of the efforts of Sheikh Zayed, who became the first president. This is where we start.

Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan

Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan

Sheikh Zayed was born on the 6th of May, 1918. His father was Sheikh Sultan, Abu Dhabi’s ruler at the time. However, Zayed’s father would only rule Abu Dhabi for only four years starting in 1922. His rule ended with his death at the hands of his half-brother, Zayed’s uncle, in 1926. Zayed’s uncle would in turn only hold power from 1926 to 1928 before he himself was killed and succeeded by Zayed’s elder brother, Shakhbut. 

However, during the course of four years of exports of newly discovered oil, family members grew disgruntled with a lack of development. They ended up enlisting British assistance in deposing the leader and replacing him with Zayed. Zayed’s subsequent reign saw the union of the emirates into a federation, many international diplomatic initiatives, and rapid development.

Sheikh Zayed died on the second of November, 2004 aged 86, after struggling with diabetes and kidney problems.

Hassa bint Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan

Sheikha Hassa was Sheikh Zayed’s first wife. Her father was Sheikh Zayed’s first cousin, as was her mother. She was born on the 17th of June, 1922 and died on the 28th of January, 2018.

His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Family Tree

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s first son was Sheikh Khalifa. He was born on the 7th of September, 1948 and became the crown prince when his father assumed power. He was therefore prepared for his future role from an early age. He took on some presidential tasks as his ailing father struggled with his health in the 90s. He eventually assumed power with his father’s passing in 2004. He set about diversifying Abu Dhabi’s economy in a push to reduce its dependence on oil, even helping Dubai with a multi-billion dollar bailout during the 200-09 financial crisis. He was named by Forbes in its 2018 list of the world’s most powerful people, a fact perhaps well-illustrated by the fact that the world’s tallest building at the time of writing – the Burj Khalifa – is named after him. Sheikh Khalifa died in 2022 and was succeeded by his brother Mohamed. He had in any case kept a lower profile in politics following a stroke in 2014.

Shamsa bint Suhail Al Mazrouei

Shamsa bint Suhail Al Mazrouei

Sheikh Khalifa’s wife was Sheikha Shamsa bint Suhail Al Mazrouei. Little is known about her, and even their marriage date is unclear. What is known is that they had eight children in a marriage spanning close to five decades.

Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan

Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan

Sultan is Sheikh Khalifa’s first born son. He was born in 1965, is extensively educated, holding, among other qualifications, a master’s degree in political science from the University of Salford, and two PhDs. He served as an advisor to Sheikh Khalifa during his reign and serves on the board of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi.

Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Sheikh Mohammed is Sheikh Khalifa’s second son. He was born in 1972 in Abu Dhabi, and, like his elder brother, is also on the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi. Sheikh Mohammed holds a position as one of the directors on the board of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, and has served as the Abu Dhabi Retirement Pensions and Benefits Fund’s chairman since 2009.

Shamma bint Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Shamma bint Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Shamma is one of Sheikh Khalifa’s six daughters. She graduated from Cambridge University and has a Masters degree in Sustainability Leadership. She heads an organisation called Alliances for Global Sustainability and is involved in projects related to the environment and development including serving as a member of the board of advisors of the Yale Centre for Environmental Law and Policy. 

Mouza bint Zayed Al Nahyan

Mouza is another of Sheikh Khalifa’s daughters. Information about her personal life is scant and little is publicly known about her marital status and other details.

Osha bint Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Like her sister Mouza, personal information about Sheikh Khalifa’s daughter is kept away from the public eye, and as a result, not much is known about her either. 

Sheikha bint Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Sheikha is Sheikh Khalifa’s fourth daughter. Like her sisters, she too shies away from the spotlight and keeps her life private.

Salama bint Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Sheikh Khalifa’s fifth daughter, Salama, does not have any publicly available information about her.

Lateefa bint Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Lateefa is the last born of Sheikh Khalifa’s eight children, like all her sisters, save for Shamma, not much is known about her life.

His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Family Chart


The Al Nahyan family has ruled the UAE for decades. With the passing of Sheikh Khalifa, one of their most influential leaders since the founding president, Sheikh Zayed, the oil-rich country and its ruling family have entered a new era in their history – a history to which this family tree is integral.


What is a Family Tree and Why is It Important?

Family Chart 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 make 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.Treemily Descentant Photo Family Tree

What Is A Family 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 ScrollsThe 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. 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. With the help of a Family Tree Builder you can save your history for generations.


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 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:ancestor family chart

available at

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

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 AtreidesFamily 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.