Fan Trees at FamilySearch

Did you know that FamilySearch can display a tree in fan format?  And that within this fan format you can show countries of origin, which ancestors have pictures, and more?

First of all, I recommend you register for a free account at FamilySearch and build a FamilySearch Tree.  You can share your research on this free website where anyone can access the information about your deceased ancestors, unlike on subscription websites.  Collaborate with other who have also researched.  This is a great platform.  Just be aware of a few issues that may crop up.  Others can modify your tree; just in case, keep another copy of your information elsewhere.  Even Elizabeth Shown Mills’ FamilySearch Tree was messed with, so don’t think yours can’t be.  And of course, not everyone has posted good research, but many people have.

Family Lines

Here is a fan tree of my great-grandfather Kenneth Beckman.


This is the format that initially comes up, the Family Lines format.  The root individual is in the middle, with paternal ancestors on the left and maternal on the right.  Any spouse and any children are listed below.

Birth Country

The second option color-codes based on Birth Country.


This shows that two of these ancestors were born in Germany, and the rest in the U.S.


The third option shows Sources.


Everyone here has at least some sources attached.  I can look at the ancestors with fewer sources attached to see what can be added.


The fourth option shows Stories, which is not really interesting for this tree because none of these people have any.



The fifth option shows Photos.


Research Helps

The sixth option shows Research Helps, meaning anyone with a hint, data problem, or research suggestion.


Additional Generations

Any of these charts can be shown with up to 4, 5, 6, or 7 generations.  This is the 7-gen chart for Kenneth:


Hopefully this gave you some ideas how you can use FamilySearch Tree fan trees.  You never know what you might discover if you look at a family tree a little differently.  Happy researching!

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