Devon Noel Lee
Which website is the best to use for making fictional family trees?
What if you want to build a family tree, but you actually want it to be a fictional family tree?
Today, I will share a couple of platforms that you can use to build a fantasy family tree.
Now some of you long-time fans might be laughing, saying, "but aren't we supposed to build an accurate family tree?"
Sure. But there are times when people want to build a family tree, and they know that it's fictional.
Now the author might base the family tree on fictionalized real-life persons. But today, let's focus on tools for building an intentionally false family tree.
I am featuring my favorite fictional family - Ross Poldark and Demelza Carne.
Canva is a fairly easy-to-use program with a free version and a paid service.
If you wish to make a simple family tree outline, then Canva is for you! Canva has a few family tree templates that are colorful and inspiring.
After choosing a template, I customized the tree to meet my needs. I had to add a few shapes and lines, but Canva makes this so easy to do.
When finished, you can print out your tree so you can post it on the wall.
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I stumbled into this website called FamilyEcho. I think it is really great, particularly if you want to do a fictional family tree.
Using the sidebar on the screen, you fill out the information about the relative, including their partners and other biographical information. Then FamilyEcho will start building a tree.
You can add a partner, a brother, a child, secondary set of parents (because those do happen).
As you build additional branches, you will see nodes that help you switch between the ancestors of a couple. For example, in the view above, you can see Ross Poldark's ancestors. If you click the node above Demelza, we will actually see her parents.
If you're trying to do a more complex family tree that Canva allows, this website is free and easy to use.
Watch this video to hear this discussion in its entirety.
Another platform for creating a complex fictional family tree is Creately. There is a similar platform called Lucidcharts. People have recommended Lucidchart to me for several years. Unfortunately, I have found Lucidchart to be super wonky every time I use it.
However, I have found that Creately is a fantastic alternative to Lucidcharts. Creately has a few family tree templates that were easy to use. However, you'll notice the lines are kind of wonky because they are natural for flow charts rather than a family tree.
The above options I highly recommend for building a fantasy family tree. But, I wouldn't recommend that genetic genealogists or genealogy researchers use them. They just have limited functionality.
Famberry is different. You can create both a genealogy family tree or a fictional one.
I like Famberrry because I can add pictures to the profiles. While you can add photos to the other programs, it isn't effortless.
Adding photos to Famberry was "Super easy. Barely an inconvenience," to borrow the ScreenRant phrase.
When writing a fictional story, we want to keep track of the many different events happening in a character's life. As you build a complicated family tree, you may also create a timeline of facts. Famberry makes that task simple as well.
You could also use traditional family tree building tools such as genealogy software.
Genealogy software allows you to create a robust family tree, create a timeline, print charts, and most of the same functionality as previously mentioned options. If you're trying to write multiple novels with different people involved, then this might be a good solution for you.
The difference is, except for RootsMagic essentials, these are paid programs. So how much do you want to spend on building your fictional family tree?
Online Family Trees
Finally, you can use online family trees. The online family trees that I would recommend for a fictional family tree would be MyHeritage, FindMyPast, and Ancestry.
The key is to mark it as a private tree. We really don't want to be putting into the world that Ross Poldark married Demelza Caren in Truro in 1784. We don't want to be putting that into the world because it's not true.
If you're going to create a fictional family, there are several ways that you can make a free fantasy family tree in these programs. However, recognize the free versions limit how many people you can add to your tree.
What programs would you use to create a fictional family tree? I hope that was a little fun, and we will see you next time in a future blog post.
If you are a fictional writer who hasn't started your genealogy journey, be sure to check out these blog posts on how to get started.
For Tips for Getting Started in Genealogy
Beginning Genealogy: Don't Make These Mistakes While Climbing Your Family Tree