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Creating Beautiful Family Tree Charts

If you’ve kept up with the Famicity blog or seen the posts on the Famicity Facebook page, you know that we are currently running a contest where five winners will receive a printed family tree or chart.

Famicity has partnered with Familytreeprints.com to provide these printed trees and charts to the winner. So who is Familytreeprints.com?

Let’s learn about Family Tree Prints from their founder, Jane Tanner, in this blog.

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1. What made you start familytreeprints.com? What’s the story?

When I was a little girl, my mom created a beautiful genealogy chart for our living room and another copy for my grandmother, all by hand. My grandmother’s copy has become a treasured keepsake since her passing and my mother’s chart still hangs in a prominent place in our living room. It is the most commented upon item in the room, and has provided wonderful opportunities for us to remember where we came from over the years as we shared our love of forever families with those who have come into our home.

Last year for Christmas, my husband and I were in charge of the siblings’ group gift for his parents and inspired by the experience of having a beautiful genealogy chart prominently displayed in my home growing up, we set out to create such a chart for my mother-in-law. We purchased a nice template from an Etsy vendor, and then spent 40+ hours perfectly formatting 9 generations of genealogy in Photoshop. The finished product was spectacular, but the process (as it had been for my mother creating her chart!) was painstaking and painful. Realizing how much we, each of our siblings and respective grandparents would enjoy such a chart in our homes, but that none of the work would transfer, we set out to find a better way.

My husband is a programmer, I have a lot of interest in family history, and we both have an interest in design, so creating Family Tree Prints was an amazing project to work on building together.

2.  Personally, what is your favorite design that you offer?

My favorite is our black circle chart (it’s called Clean Blackboard on our site!) We have a gorgeous 24”x24” version of this chart hanging in out living room and I smile pretty much every time I see it.

Chart - Back

3. What’s the most popular design that clients have ordered?

In terms of what’s most popular for our customers, our black circle template is one of the most popular there as well, along with a white circle chart and white fan chart—it’s hard to beat a classic black and white chart! Our most popular colorful charts are a gold and grey (Goldenrod Steel) fan chart and a yellow and blue (Beach Day) fan chart.

4. With respect to privacy, what is the most interesting tree or chart you’ve seen created using your Family Tree Prints software?

Definitely this one—it was designed by Michelle Franzoni Thorley, who is a really amazing artist. She created it totally custom, and it was amazing to see so much of the functionality our family tree maker app has actually utilized! Here’s her reference photo and how the chart turned out—so cool!

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5. What’s the largest chart or tree you have printed?

Our software enables our customers to display up to 10 generations in their family tree. We say nine because things start to look a little crowded after that but there’s a secret way to get to 10 if you really want it!)

6. How does familytreeprints.com work? What is the process?

  1. Customers begin by choosing a starting template from one of our collections followed by how many generations they’d like to display (4-5, 6-7 or 8-9).
  2. Once the customer clicks the button to use their specified template, they are taken into our family tree maker app where they can enter their personal genealogy, either manually or import through FamilySearch or GEDCOM file.

Note: From Famicity’s “What is a GEDCOM File?, you can learn how to get a GEDCOM file if you don’t already have one.

Regardless of whether a customer has imported names or began by entering them manually, they can edit each of the names and dates in their chart by simply clicking that cell and editing in the left panel.

  1. Once the names are all in (or before!), customers can completely customize their chart.
  • Changing the font, font sizes,
  • Changing the color palettes, individual colors, and chart shape
  • Adjusting the generation width (this comes in particularly handy if some of the ancestors have particularly long names, etc.)
  1. When the chart looks exactly like the customer likes and they’ve finished proofing, the customer just clicks to order their chart!
  1. A low-res preview of the chart will be shown and once the customer has checked out, they will be able to download the high-resolution file either directly from the website or from the download button that comes in the confirmation email.
  1. Customers can take it anywhere you’d like and print as many personal copies as you want!

7.  Who do you recommend to print the files that customers will download?

Really, it all depends on what an individual is looking for and what the budget is, which is a big reason why we just sell the file—some people want an archival quality print and others are looking for the most cost-effective way to create a lovely reminder of their ancestors. Once customers check out, we send a link to our printing recommendations, with recommendations for multiple budget sizes, as well as what size to print your chart depending on how many generations you’ve chosen! We’ve personally done printing and been pleased with charts we’ve done at our local print shop, as well as at Staples and Pix, but we’ve also heard great things about people printing at Artifact Uprising, which is why we include it in our official recommendations!

8.  Future Products?

We have a couple ideas in the works, but nothing we’re ready to announce yet! We’re keeping pretty busy with school (my husband’s finishing up a computer science Ph.D.) and our almost two year old!

About Jane Tanner FamilyTreePrints

Jane graduated from BYU (where she met her husband in a math class!) with a BS in Applied Physics and then received an MS from Stanford University in Management Science and Engineering.

Jane and her family are currently living in Palo Alto, CA while her husband finishes his Ph.D. Jane has the opportunity to be at home with her almost two-year-old son, which is amazing, while still working on Bookroo (a children’s book club subscription she runs with other family members) and Family Tree Prints.

Jane got her start doing family history for a self-improvement project during high school (part of the Young Women’s Progress Program if you’re familiar with the LDS church), but hasn’t done a lot of genealogy work until recently. Lately, she’s been working on one of her German lines with some help from her sister who’s German is far better than hers, and the increased love she feels for her ancestors has been truly amazing.


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1 Comment

Verna Hebert

Cost ?


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