Some examples of tattoos symbolizing family are trees, birds, hand and footprints, and parent and child images. Scottish clan tartans, family crests or even copies of handwriting are additional options.
The family tree is probably the most obvious family symbol. This is as simple or elaborate as the recipient chooses, such as a simple image of a tree or a tree with the names of the immediate family. One idea is to include a flower or piece of fruit in the tree for each family member. Birds have been a symbol of family since medieval times and often represent such in heraldry. The tattoo wearer might opt for a flock of birds that represents all the members of the family. Hand or footprint tattoos are an excellent way to commemorate the birth of children. Images of parents and children are also popular family symbols. These might be simple, stylized images or something more whimsical, like stick figures.
Those of Scottish ancestry might choose to incorporate a family tartan into a tattoo, perhaps as a banner. While, traditionally, a coat of arms was an individual symbol, there are some true family crests that would make an excellent inspiration for tattoos. A very personal and sentimental option is to find a copy of a family member's handwriting to incorporate into a tattoo.