Create a family tree by using online tools or programs specifically designed for genealogies or by mapping out the descendants and ancestors of an individual by hand. A family tree traces the descendants and ancestors of an individual or family by showing parentage and marriages within a family.
Individuals use genealogies to trace descent and determine the distance and nature of relation to relatives. People refer to genealogies as family trees when depicted in visual form, with the depiction often in the shape and symbolism of a tree, with the most distant ancestors forming the top "branches" of the tree and recent descendants forming the "trunk." Family trees are also sometimes used to trace connections that are not blood or legal familial relations, such as the influences of musicians and artists.
Some organizations use family trees to trace the inheritance of certain genes or genetic disorders or to map out social relationships between individuals. A genogram is a family tree that displays in-depth data of this nature. The use of genograms or pedigree charts is common when regarding the sale or verification of purebred animals, such as dogs or horses, and may include more precise genetic information to prevent the spread of undesirable genes or traits.