Family Tree



we take a look at

requirement #6 of the Genealogy Merit Badge

.  I have heard on a few occasions that you do not know where your going unless you know where you have been. This is very true when it comes to genealogy.  You do not fully know who you are until you know who you came from.  For some it might be knowing why and how your family is really good at making raspberry jam. For me, it's understanding why there is a love of working with your hands and gardening.  Usually we tend to like and do the same things that our parents like and do... and where did they start?  Traditions in my mind define our families. In a good way our traditions separate us from others (how boring would it be if everyone was good at everything) and make us unique in this big melting pot of a world.

One why of showing your lineage is through a Family Tree or using a Fan Chart.  An excellent resource on creating these images is

.  This website is owned and maintained by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Another great website is

Family Tree

Family Fan Chart

Genealogy Merit Badge Requirement 1

    Genealogy Merit Badge
  1. Explain to your counselor what the words genealogy, ancestor, and descendant mean.

Genealogy: The study of family history.  The history of a particular family showing how the different members of the family are related to each other.

Ancestor:  A person who was in someone's family in past times : one of the people from whom a person is descended.

Descendant: Proceeding from an ancestor or source 

Genealogy Merit Badge

  1. Explain to your counselor what the words genealogy, ancestor, and descendantmean.
  2. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Create a time line for yourself or for a relative. Then write a short biography based on that time line.
    2. Keep a journal for six weeks. You must write in it at least once a week.
  3. With your parent's help, choose a relative or a family acquaintance you can interview in person, by telephone, or by email or letter. Record the information you collect so you do not forget it.
  4. Do the following:
    1. Name three types of genealogical resources and explain how these resources can help you chart your family tree.
    2. Obtain at least one genealogical document that supports an event that is or can be recorded on your pedigree chart or family group record. The document could be found at home or at a government office, religious organization, archive, or library.
    3. Tell how you would evaluate the genealogical information you found for requirement 4b.
  5. Contact ONE of the following individuals or institutions. Ask what genealogical services, records, or activities this individual or institution provides, and report the results:
    1. A genealogical or lineage society
    2. A professional genealogist (someone who gets paid for doing genealogical research)
    3. A surname organization, such as your family's organization
    4. A genealogical educational facility or institution
    5. A genealogical record repository of any type (courthouse, genealogical library, state or national archive, state library, etc.)
  6. Begin your family tree by listing yourself and include at least two additional generations. You may complete this requirement by using the chart provided in the Genealogy merit badge pamphlet or the genealogy software program of your choice.
  7. Complete a family group record form, listing yourself and your brothers and sisters as the children. On another family group record form, show one of your parents and his or her brothers and sisters as the children. This requirement may be completed using the chart provided or the genealogy software program of your choice.
  8. Do the following:
    1. Explain the effect computers and the Internet are having on the world of genealogy.
    2. Explain how photography (including microfilming) has influenced genealogy.
  9. Discuss what you have learned about your family and your family members through your genealogical research.