Family Tree Maker
Create a Timeline first for your Family Tree Maker!
If you want to simplify creating a personal family tree, you may want to look for software that will help you do it, including one programme that is called, predictably Family Tree Maker. But the one thing you need to keep in mind when you opt for a family tree maker, whatever its commercial name is, is that it isn't going to find the information for you. What a family tree maker programme will do is to help you to make it easier to display and view the information that you have found. YOU still need to do all the groundwork and find out who the important and relevant people are in your 'tree'.
So what exactly do you have to do?
First and foremost, if you want your family tree to be correctly presented, you will need to identify your own family's timelines and know where you came from. If you can't accurately track your mother, father and their mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, great-grandmother - and so on ad infinitum - then you aren't going to cut it. It won't be a worthwhile family tree. It may not even be accurate, which means you will have wasted your time and effort.
SO ... start by making a simple table. Put yourself at the bottom, and then draw in boxes that lead from you to your mother and father - and then from each of them to their mother and father - and from each of their mothers and fathers to their parents. Can you see how this will create a kind of tree form?
Basically any family tree traces, very simply, where everybody in an extended family comes from. It is a very simple concept. The problem though is that we don't always know the answers. So we have to do a whole lot of research. So where to start?
Talk to your close family members first. Then talk to people who have known older members of your family for a long time. Find out where they went to school and where they worked. You might amaze yourself in terms of what you can discover in a relatively short period of time.
Once you have as much information as possible, only then start using a family tree maker.