Including Family Tree Fan Charts in Heritage Scrapbooks

I truly believe a family tree should be included in heritage scrapbooks. The question is, “how to do it?” I recommend NOT including a gigantic tree. Keep the tree simple. In a previous post, I recommended using a photo-based tree. This week, I’ll share a different tree that I used



I discovered the fan chart for displaying genealogical information, and I love it. It’s different and pleasing. It’s not always the best option, but in this case, I like it.

I chose to use three different colors for the fan chart. The key person, Robert Geiszler, is in the tan color. The fraternal Geiszler line is in green. The maternal Zumstein line is light blue. All of these colors were taken from the overall color scheme for the album.


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After the names were in place, I had a decision to make. Should I include the dates? Should I include embellishments and photos? I decided that for the scrapbook that a dateless fan chart would be fine. I have other, more detailed family trees, in my family history books that are not in the scrapbook format. For the goal of this scrapbook, the names would work fine.


However, I did feel that the fan page needed something. I decided to include photos of young Robert in the upper right corner. I included his parents’ photo in the bottom center. The fraternal family photo would be on the left of the couple. The maternal parents were on the right. The only embellishments I used were frames for the photos and tag labels. I felt that anything else would distract from the purpose of this page. So, less can often be more.


The ‘ad designer’ in me thinks having Helen on the left of her photo (bottom center) with the family to her left leads the eye to believe that this is her side of the family, rather than George’s family. I relied upon the tagline to demonstrate that Bob’s parents are on the ‘wrong’ side of Bob & Helen’s photo. But they are on the correct side according to the fan chart coloration. Perhaps most people wouldn’t notice this. If you’re like me and it ‘seems’ wrong, then use the tagline for clarification. Problem solved.


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At the time I created this heritage scrapbook, I didn’t have a photo of George Geiszler and Evaline Peak in their youthful years. It would have been a nice compliment to Helen and Bob’s engagement photo and Victor and Clementine Zumstein’s wedding photo. After I printed the album, I was blessed to receive a photo of George and Evaline in their young adult life. Someday I will have to update this page


Hopefully, the past few weeks of Heritage Scrapbooking Tips have inspired you to include a family tree in your scrapbook. And now you can see two examples I have done and why I did them the way I did them.


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