4 Family Trees of The Sopranos

The Soprano Family

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

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

The Plot

Tony Soprano

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

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

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

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

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

The Soprano Family Tree

The Soprano Family Tree

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

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

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

The DeAngelis Family Tree

The DeAngelis Family Tree

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

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

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

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

The Blundetto Family Tree

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

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

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

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

The Aprile Family Tree

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

News in Genealogy

News In Genealogy

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

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

Treemily Family Tree Builder Update

New Builder Features

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

Family History Library Expands Hours of Operation

Family History Library

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

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

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

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

Related to Royalty

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

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

Genealogy Helps Solve 2017 Murder

Genealogy Helps Solve 2017 Murder

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

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

A Rather Curious Holiday Gift

A gift rooted in family history

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

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


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

Gucci Family Tree Maker

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


Gucci Shop


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

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

Guccio Gucci 

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

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

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

Ugo Calvelli Gucci 

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

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

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

Ugo died in 1973.

Vasco Gucci

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

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

Aldo Gucci

Aldo Gucci Family

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

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

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

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

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

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

Giorgio Gucci

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

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

Giorgio died at the age of 92 in December 2020.

Paolo Gucci

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

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

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

Roberto Gucci

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

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

Patricia Gucci

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

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

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

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

Rodolfo Gucci

Rodolfo Gucci Family

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

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

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

Maurizio Gucci

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

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

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

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

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


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


Must-See Genealogy TV Shows That Will Inspire You

Old film

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

The Genetic Detective

The Genetic Detective

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

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

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

Where to find

Relative Race

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

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

Where to find

Genealogy Roadshow 

Genealogy Roadshow

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

Where to find

Ancestors in the Attic

Ancestors in the attic

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

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

Where to find

Strange Inheritance

Strange inheritance

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

Where to find



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

Where to find

Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Finding your roots

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

Where to find

Roots Less Traveled

Roots less traveled

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

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

Where to find

DNA Detectives

DNA detectives

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

Where to find

Long Lost Family

long lost family

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

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

Where to find

Who Do You Think You Are?

Who do you think you are?

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

Where to find

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


5 New Family Traditions to Start This Holiday Season

Team spirit

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

Make your advent calendar

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

Advent calendar

Create a family tree

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

Treemily family tree

Collect family signature recipes

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

Family cookbook

Make personalized ornaments and decorations

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

Family ornaments

Create a short movie about your family

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

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

The Treemily Walkthrough: Meet Our Enhanced Family Tree Builder

Treemily Family Tree Demo

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

What’s New?

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

Demo Tour for New and Existing Users

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

Treemily Demo

New designs

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

Suggested sizes

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

Treemily Free Demo

Improved performance for the Family Charts & Treemily editors

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

Visualize your family history now!

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

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

Family Trees of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris


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

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

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

Joe Biden


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

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


Paternal Line

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

Maternal Line

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

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

Marriages and Kids

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

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

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

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

Kamala Harris


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

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

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


Paternal Line

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

Maternal Line

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

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

Marriages and Kids

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

Final Thoughts 

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

Best Genealogy Blogs

Genealogy Blogs

Updated on August 9, 2022

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

Genealogy Gems

Genealogy Gems

Lisa Louise Clarke’s blog shares a lot of interesting and insightful tidbits on all things genealogy. You can listen to pre-recorded podcasts, navigate over to a YouTube page filled with even more information. Lisa Louise Clarke’s blog gives you tips on how to use the Wiki family search, solve issues you might encounter during your family history research, like conflicting birthdate evidence for example. An extensive collection of articles will tell you all you need to know about genealogy research, with advice on which websites are good resources, and even things like how to create an immigration story on Google Earth. Definitely worth checking out.



Geni has the stated objective of bringing the world together to build the ultimate family. The blog offers a free service in which you can invite family members to join your family tree and share pictures, documents, and other media. For an additional fee, you can join your family tree to the global, which, at the time of writing, is already over a whopping 100 million strong. Quite impressive. The blog also shares fun facts and interesting profiles of historical figures like Nelson Mandela and Queen Victoria. In the many articles on the site, Geni also offers suggestions on interesting genealogical activities you can do, and much more.

Kitty Cooper’s Blog

Kitty Cooper's Blog

Kitty Cooper’s website has a lot of useful information both for those who are just starting out, and those that want to take a deeper dive into some of the science behind genealogy. Kitty Cooper is a genetic genealogist and retired programmer, so it perhaps no surprise that her blog doesn’t shy away from topics like the science of chromosomes, haplogroups, and more advanced subjects like how to find common ancestors in family trees using automation. You also get links to various tools, some of which she has written herself, for genealogy.

Family History Fanatics 

Family History Fanatics

This blog offers tips and tricks that might come in handy when researching your family history. You’ll find information on how to proceed once you have Ancestry DNA matches, how to remove identifying details and facts before adding people to your family tree, writing tricks to liven up your family history, and other topics. If you’re interested in writing your family history, there are some helpful articles that will help you outline your book, things to include, where to find images, and more. There are plenty of little nuggets of information anyone going about their research will no doubt find useful.

Ancestral Findings

Ancestral Findings

A collection of different resources for both those who are new to genealogy and the seasons experts. Ancestral Findings features a podcast covering topics on everything from the history of Father’s Day, to suggestions of genealogy projects you can take up, and everything in between. There are eBooks you can dive into for more ideas on how you can investigate your history. Newsletters to stay up to date with the latest, and even genealogy cartoons for a bit of a chuckle at some of the common problems almost everyone faces as they hunt down their past..

Genealogy Just Ask

Genealogy Just Ask

Genealogy Just Ask has a very simple website. It may not seem like much at first glance, but as anyone who’s experienced some of the frustration that comes with genealogical research will tell you, you take your information anywhere you find it. Genealogy Just Ask features some very powerful stories narrating how people have found out about their past. In one article, the writer talks about how their third great grandparents and their family, African Americans, were released from slavery upon the death of their enslaver in the 1800s. Following these stories, you get valuable insight into how you too can go about your search.

Genealogy’s Star

Genealogy's Star

Genealogy’s Star is a collection of blog posts and articles featuring informational articles, and YouTube videos that take you along as the hosts work through a genealogy problem with no prior preparation to give the audience an opportunity to witness unscripted research as it progresses. Lots of useful information and interesting research strategies come to light as the team chases clues, interviews people and verifies information. There are other more tutorial-like posts on things like using internet resources in your search, and discussions of various case studies. 

Genealogy Jude

Genealogy Jude

Judith Batchelor created her blog, named The Door to Your Past, to share her love for family history, and use the platform to share stories that might ignite a similar passion in others as well. These are stories that offer a window into the lives of people from the past. Thomas Maton, for example, who was born in 1842 near Hampshire, started as a shepherd and ended up with a career in the police. Genealogy Jude walks us through some of the steps she took to piece together the information for this and other stories. 

Carolina Girls Genealogy 

Carolina Girls Genealogy

Cheri Hudson Passey is a professional genealogist who, among other things, has taken part in the effort to repatriate soldiers who have died in the line of duty. Using her skills, she helps identify the remains of the fallen soldiers, locate next of kin, and return their loved ones home. Her website, Carolina Girl Genealogy, is focused on offering online courses with self-paced video lessons, assignments, and written examples and instructions.

Are You My Cousin?

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

Amy Johnson Crow

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

The Family Curator

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

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

The Occasional Genealogist

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

best genealogy blogs

Heart of the Family

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

The Genealogy Reporter

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

The Sunburned Penguin

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

Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

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

The Genetic Genealogist

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

list of genealogy blogs

The DNA Geek

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

DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

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

The Legal Genealogist

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


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

Olive Tree Genealogy

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

top genealogy blogs

The Ancestor Hunt

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

Family Locket

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

Sassy Jane Genealogy

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

Genealogy Stories

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

Legacy Tree Genealogists

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


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

How Intergenerational Trauma Impacts Mental Health

Impact of Intergenerational Trauma

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

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

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

How Is Trauma Transmitted? Generation 1

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

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

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

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

What are the effects of intergenerational trauma

Effects of Childhood Trauma: Generation 2

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

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

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

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

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

Generation 3: What’s Next?

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

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

Childhood Trauma in Adults

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

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

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

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

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

Childhood Trauma in Adults: What About Men?

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

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

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

Effects of Childhood Trauma

Childhood Trauma: Impact on Parenting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Using Quarantine to Strengthen Family Bonds

How to support aging parents

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

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

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

Ways to Stay Connected to Your Family Members During Coronavirus

How to Entertain Your Kids During COVID-19

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

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

How to entertain your kids

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

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

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

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

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

How to Support Aging Parents During the Coronavirus Pandemic

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t Forget to Entertain Yourself

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

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

Ask Genealogists: Useful Tips for Your Research

genealogy search tips

There is a lot of guesswork and uncertainty in genealogy research. Many records contain wrong information, mistakes can be made in documents transcriptions, and, of course, there’re misspellings in censuses. What’s more, in the 19th century when publishing family genealogies was a popular thing, many genealogists often relied on legends, gossip, and erroneous family stories. As you can see, there’s a lot of room for human error in genealogy research, and even seasoned genealogists make mistakes once in a while. With this in mind, we’ve asked five genealogy experts to share their genealogy search tips for beginners.

Meet Our Genealogists

Melissa Barker: Melissa is a Certified Archives Manager, professional genealogist, FGS reviews editor, lecturer, teacher, and writer. Melissa has been involved in genealogy for 30 years and runs a genealogy blog where she shares her valuable experience with other researchers. Connect with Melissa on Twitter.

Paul Chiddicks: With 15 years of experience in genealogy, Paul is a blogger with an interest in military history. He runs his own online blog and often features in online genealogy magazines. Connect with Paul on Twitter.

Natalie Pithers: Natalie is a Professional genealogist offering research services. She started her own family tree when she was 18 – that’s almost 20 years ago! She is madly deeply in love with the past and runs her own blog. Natalie is a proud member of the Guild of One-Name Studies and an enthusiastic member of Historians Collaborate. Connect with Natalie on Twitter.

Kenneth R Marks: Kenneth started his genealogy journey as an amateur researcher 18 years ago and gradually turned into obsessed ancestor hunter sharing his considerable knowledge with others. Connect with Kenneth on Twitter.

Helen Tovey: Helen is editor of Family Tree Magazine, covering all aspects of genealogy research. Helen has been involved in genealogy since she was a teenager and now she encourages people to do family history research, helping them find answers to the trickiest questions.

1. How do you think the understanding of their past can benefit people?

Melissa Barker: Understanding our past can help us understand who we are, who our ancestors were and where we came from.

Paul Chiddicks: I think it can help us understand more who we are today and more importantly where we came from.

Natalie Pithers: I think that understanding the past helps us to avoid making the same mistakes again. Be that on a large scale (wars) or on a small scale (family dynamics). Understanding the past can also help us to understand why we are the way we are now. That’s something that can be very comforting or very challenging!

Kenneth R Marks: It gives us another dimension to our lives, allowing us to understand our ancestors. More importantly, it allows us to make connections with relatives that many times we didn’t know we had.

Helen Tovey: I think it can give people a much stronger foundation to their sense of self – it gives people a richer sense of their roots, the stories, lives, adventures, and tribulations of all sorts of ancestors, not just those of their immediate nuclear family – giving us a long view of history, of the ups and downs, of the opportunities and inspiring perseverance of those who came before.

2. Why did you start genealogy research? Is it your profession or hobby? What made you want to become a genealogist?

Melissa Barker: I started genealogy research because I was curious about my ancestors. At first, it was just a hobby then I decided to turn my avid hobby into a profession and became a professional genealogist. Then I went back to school and became an archivist.

Paul Chiddicks: I class myself as “an enthusiastic amateur”, I am not a professional. Sadly for me, my Dad died when I was just 3 years old, which left a big gap in my life, once I was old enough to ask questions about my Dad and my Family, I just never stopped asking questions.

Kenneth R Marks: Just as a hobby. I started because I was curious. Then I really got into it.

Natalie Pithers: My Mum inspired my love for genealogy. She’d tried to trace our tree, before the days of the internet. I was fascinated by her findings. I continued the research into our tree – and over the years I did the trees of several friends. I wanted to become a genealogist because I love so many aspects of the role. I love the challenge of research, logical thinking and problem-solving. Yet I also love the creativity of writing up the findings, imagining life in the past.

Helen Tovey: I’m not a professional genealogist but I’m lucky enough to have a job in the world of family history – something I’m hugely grateful for.

3. What path led you to transform your interest in genealogical research from a hobby to a career?

Melissa Barker: The reason I became a professional genealogist and made it my career is because I love helping others find their roots. I had so much fun finding my own roots that I wanted to help others do the same.

Paul Chiddicks: I currently only carry out my own research or unpaid work for friends, maybe one day I will take it to the next level. At the moment writing and blogging about my Family is taking up most of my time.

Kenneth R Marks: I wanted to help newer researchers with genealogy search tools and tips that I had discovered that would help others with their research.

Natalie Pithers: I had children! I’d had a full-time career as a contractor in Project Management. I really enjoyed it but I wanted something I could flex around the kids. Genealogy was perfect. I was genuinely passionate about it, found it stretched my brain and many of my project management skills helped with the organisation side (both in terms of running a business and in terms of managing the actual research).

genealogy advice

4. Did you just start by asking your family members? Did you start doing any research in libraries?

Melissa Barker: Both! I started by asking as many family members about what they knew and I found out that was much information. So, I turned to libraries, archives, courthouses and anywhere I could find records.

Paul Chiddicks: Asking family members first, record offices came after once I had established the key facts.

Kenneth R Marks: I started by asking my relatives and by performing online searches. Very little has been done in libraries.

Natalie Pithers: My Mum had already completed questionnaires with her side of the family. I started on my Dad’s side by quizzing my grandparents. I did go to the libraries – to access the Birth, Marriage and Death indexes.

5. What is one mistake you often see non-professionals make in their family history research, and how might they correct/avoid it?

Melissa Barker: The one mistake I see non-professionals make is believing everything is online. Being a seasoned genealogist and especially an archivist, I know that the majority of genealogical records are still sitting on shelves in boxes at libraries, archives, historical societies, genealogical societies and other records repositories just waiting to be discovered.

Paul Chiddicks: I write a regular blog for Family Tree Magazine here in the UK and one of my recent blogs was ‘The Top 10 Sins of a Genealogist’. Every single one of these sins/mistakes comes from my own experiences.

Kenneth R Marks: They don’t interview their oldest living relatives immediately.

Natalie Pithers: Not recording sources or conclusions. They think they’ll remember, but it’s amazing how quickly you forget where something was from – or why you concluded a piece of evidence was relevant (or irrelevant).

6. Are there any mistakes you’ve made that you regret about?

Melissa Barker: Yes! I wish I had taken better care to cite my sources for the information I gathered early on when I started doing genealogy research. I have records now that I have no idea where I got them.

Paul Chiddicks: All of them.

Kenneth R Marks: Yes, that I didn’t start 20 years earlier and interviewed my grandmother, who was brilliant and would have known everything about my family.

Natalie Pithers: I recorded sources but not exact citations. So, in the early days, I’d put that I’d discovered a fact in the 1901 census but have no further detail. It meant re-finding documents was difficult.

Helen Tovey: I regret not making recordings of both my grandmothers’ voices. I interviewed them, but just wrote down their quotes, and I’d love to have recorded the sound of their voices too. I also regret that when I started out when I came across something ‘untoward’ that I would often just tell other family members what I’d found. I’ve learnt with time, to be more diplomatic and cautious about what to say and how to say it.

7. What are some of the challenges you typically face while doing research?

Melissa Barker: The challenges I face are not having enough time to work on my own research. Being a professional genealogist, I work more with others’ researches than I do on my own research.

Paul Chiddicks: Time, I still work full time and have a grown-up family, so spare time for Family History is hard to come by.

Kenneth R Marks: None really. There are challenges everywhere in life. Goes with the territory.

Natalie Pithers: Gaps in records and my surname (Pithers) being mistranscribed or misspelled in original records. I have a very long list of all the variants I’ve found!

8. We all reach deadlocks sometimes. Is there anything that stimulates you to keep going?

Melissa Barker: Maybe it’s because I am an archivist working in archives every day but what keeps me going is knowing that records are being found in attics, basements and old buildings all the time and being donated to archives. Families are donating records after their loved ones have passed on a daily basis to archives which contain one-of-a-kind documents and information that has never been known before. This is what keeps me going.

Paul Chiddicks: I think all Genealogists have that ‘never say die’ or ‘never give in’ persona about them, it’s that tenacity that makes us good Genealogist’s.

Kenneth R Marks: Just the desire to find out as much as possible about my ancestors’ life stories.

Natalie Pithers: That burning desire to know the truth. To discover someone and remember them.

9. What are the benefits of hiring a genealogist over trying to research something on your own? At what point do you think a novice should bring in the professionals?

Melissa Barker: The benefit of hiring a professional genealogist is their expertise in their particular area. My area is Tennessee research and if you don’t know much about researching in Tennessee, a professional can be a huge benefit. A novice should bring in the professionals when they feel like they have done all they can do.

Paul Chiddicks: Again I have written a blog on this very topic, the link is here.

Natalie Pithers: Tracing your family tree is time-consuming and there’s so much to learn. Even experts continue to learn all the time. It’s not all fun either. Much as I love it, there is also a lot of data entry. Recording sources, proof statements, workings, research logs, etc.

If you are interested in discovering your ancestors, don’t wait until you ‘have the time’. Life’s too short and you never know what’s going to happen. If you don’t have time, hire a professional.

There’s also so much more that can be discovered in local archives. If you’ve done some online research consider hiring a professional that can visit the archives that are too far away from home.

10. What’s been your best genealogy discovery so far?

Melissa Barker: My best genealogy discovery so far is my 8th great grandfather provided wheat to George Washington’s army during the Revolutionary War.

Paul Chiddicks: This is a very personal and emotional story that I have shared here.

Kenneth R Marks: The discovery of a family still living in Germany that I communicate with regularly, and other “cousins” that I have met. Also, the discovery that several of my ancestors were murdered in the Holocaust.

Natalie Pithers: My Nan claimed that we had French ‘blue blood’. I discovered that my 4 x Great-Grandfather was the illegitimate son of a Reverend. That Reverend was the son of a Baron, and that family line was of French descent. With some suggestions, they may be descended from the Plantagenet line. Richard III was my favourite Shakespeare play so I was very pleased with this discovery.

Helen Tovey: My best discovery so far has been recently finding a living relative at RootsTech. I always love making connections online via my online trees, but it’s so much more special to meet them in person. I don’t have a single discovery in my research that stands out, but I do really enjoy digging deeper into my ancestors’ lives and making sense of them – understanding why they might have made the decisions they did, the difficulties they had to face, and what it was that made them who they are.

11. What’s your source of inspiration?

Melissa Barker: My source of inspiration is my ancestors. Knowing each one of them has a story to tell inspires me to keep digging.

Paul Chiddicks: Fellow Genealogists inspire me every single day, with their individual stories and their generosity and kindness in helping others

Kenneth R Marks: Just the motivation to complete as best as possible my ancestors’ life stories

Natalie Pithers: Everything I do, I wonder – how was this done in the past? What did it feel like? What did my ancestors think about it? Even simple things like making breakfast. I’ll wonder, what did they eat? That curiosity seems to be insatiable and drives me forward to discover as much as I can about our ancestors.

Helen Tovey: The thought of leaving my kids a rich and inspiring record of their ancestors, that helps me to keep organized, and try to gather as many photos and memories as possible. I also love online learning resources – from the digitized records to podcasts and webinars.

12. What advice would you give someone who wants to start their family history research and what tools would you suggest they use?

Melissa Barker: My advice to anyone starting their family history research is to start with yourself. Tell your story first and then move to your parents, grandparents, etc. The tools I would suggest that new genealogists use are a good computer genealogy database to keep up with all the information you gather, take good notes and use those archives records that are not online.

Paul Chiddicks: Ask questions of your elderly Ancestors before it’s too late. I use Family Tree Maker, but whatever you choose treat yourself to some software. Consider taking a DNA test.

Kenneth R Marks: Don’t get hung up on dates as the be-all, end-all to research. Verify that you have the correct individuals in your tree but use newspaper research to discover the stories of your ancestors’ lives.

Natalie Pithers: I’d suggest they ask their family for as much information as possible. That they get a really good ‘how to’ book or do a course. And that they use an offline tree provider, like RootsMagic or Legacy rather than just building on Ancestry. Avoid the hint system until you are confident you are building up your own chain of evidence. Secondly, don’t rely on just one website.

13. Where do you recommend people who are new to genealogy start out? What do you consider “Step 1” in family history research?

Paul Chiddicks: Join a local family history society in the area that your family lived. Also, join as many family history online forums as you can both these are packed full of all sorts of experience and expertise to guide you through the early stages of your research. Most important of all, have fun!!

Kenneth R Marks: Interview your oldest relatives.

Natalie Pithers: Start by ordering the birth and marriage certificates of your oldest known relatives. Then use FreeCEN and FamilySearch to begin looking at census documents. Learn to cross-reference the details between Births, Marriages, Deaths and Census before branching out into more records.

Helen Tovey: This advice is never going to go out of date – do start with yourself, then your parents, and grandparents, working backwards. Make the most of the opportunities to record and share family stories, photos, and memorabilia. These are the close bonds that help us to feel connected – and that feels to me like what’s at the heart of treasuring our roots.

30 Questions to Ask for a Better Genealogy Research

genealogy questions

Tracing your family history is a great way to maintain a connection with your past. It seems that with unlimited access to the internet genealogy search has never been easier: all you need is to enter a name and a date and then browse through multiple records. However, this approach is likely to make you feel overwhelmed and doesn’t always let you find accurate information. Genealogy research is a skill and if you follow the appropriate steps and strategies, you are much more likely to find what you’re looking for and create a family tree you want.

So the first thing to begin your research with is a family interview. To make the most of your interview (even if you are going to hold it through the phone or email) you need to get prepared. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • print your genealogy questions;
  • bring along a notebook and writing utensils;
  • bring a tape recorder or download a recording app on your phone;
  • bring old family photos or mementos that you want to learn more about to
  • help your interviewee bring back memories;
  • prepare a copy of your family tree to make sure your interviewee hasn’t forgotten any of the ancestors you want to ask about.

Prepare Research Questions

Genealogy research questions form the basis of your research. The more specific they are the better the chance to get detailed answers. For example, if you ask “How can you describe the life of my great-grandmother?” you will probably get a general description with basic facts. This question can’t give you a specific piece of information to set you on the right path.

Genealogy research questions

Genealogy can make you feel overwhelmed – we all want to know as much as possible about our ancestors, but no one can do it in a single session. That is why we need to divide research into smaller pieces and narrow it down to include only the information that may be helpful to you.

On the other hand, direct questions can sometimes lead to getting uninteresting answers, even though they are worth a goal. Try to formulate questions that are both direct and fluid, or ask them in a way that could help you get story-based responses.

One more important detail – you need to find triggers. For instance, if you’re holding an interview around holidays, you can ask about food. Food involves senses that are tied to memory so chances are you will trigger a conversation that can help bring memories back up to the surface.

If you’re just starting your genealogy research and looking for information to create your family tree, then you may need to focus on usual facts like:

  • names;
  • dates of births, death, marriage, etc.;
  • date and place when a specific event occurred.

General facts will help you to fill in basic details and set priorities for your further in-depth research.

Sometimes your research will require creativity. For instance, instead of asking “Where did you live in the 1960s?” you may need to ask “Where did you live when you were a child” and calculate the approximate age of your interviewee.

Here’s the list of questions for an interview – you may use all of them or add your own. Such an interview is a very personal experience so you may need to tailor your questions to your individual interviewee.

Genealogy research questions

No matter what your final list will look like, remember to enjoy the process. Most importantly, your interview should result in an exciting story that is both data-rich and interesting to share with your family – if you capture it properly, the story may become a treasure trove. Remember that a genealogist should be flexible and open-minded, only then your effort will be successful.

DIY Family Tree Template for Kids

Father and son Relations

Have you ever had to make a family tree at school? It seems that everyone was given a genealogy project at least once during the school years. For children, tracing ancestry can be confusing since it may be hard for a child to understand the entire lineage. Family trees help to make the process more fun.

Free Family Tree Template

If you need to help your children make a genealogy project at school or maybe you’re just trying to involve your kids into your ancestry research – the first step for any ancestry project is to start a genealogy tree. However, if you want to avoid the hassle of creating it on your own, then you can download a ready free family tree template or use our family tree chart maker. Our chart will help your children quickly organize ancestry information. It is great for class handouts and lets you hand-record your family history. All you need to do is to download the blank template and add data by hand. In addition, you can add color to the chart and make it look more striking.

Tips to make a family tree:

  • begin with what you know – your living relatives;
  • look for records somewhere in the drawers;
  • interview your relatives;
  • review other websites to see what other researchers have already discovered;
  • be patient – it may take a long time to discover your roots;
  • use a single dates and places format to avoid confusion.

Family tree template for kids

Trump vs. Obama: Who Is More American?

Trump and Obama family tree

Trump’s extreme policies at the border and deportations have garnered the most attention and outrage. It sounds like the current mood in the American Administration is the further you can trace your roots back to the Mayflower, the more American you are. So we decided to run quick genealogical research comparing the last two US presidents: President Donald Trump, and his predecessor, Barack Obama. Let’s take a look at their family trees, and find out who’s more “American”.

Continue reading “Trump vs. Obama: Who Is More American?”