How to represent relations of family members?

Relationship of family members (genealogical data) can be represented in several formats, for example, as a Shajra (family tree), pedigree, descendant chart, ahnentafel, ancestry chart, fan chart, Silsila (spiritual genealogy), linear lineage or others.

What is a Shajra (Family Tree)?

The term "Shajra" comes from the Arabic word شَجَر (Shajar), meaning "a tree" or "a plant." A conventional tree structure is similar to a genealogical chart representing family relationships over many generations (ancestors & descendants). Shajra is made up of family members such as paternal grandfather (father of father), paternal grandmother (mother of father), maternal grandfather (father of mother), maternal grandmother (mother of mother), father, mother, paternal uncles (brothers of father), paternal aunts (sisters of father), maternal uncles (brothers of mother), maternal aunts (sisters of mother), brothers, sisters, stepbrothers, stepsisters, spouse(s) (husband/wife), sons and daughters. The Shajra was first used to keep information about the origin of a specific caste, and it was only used to prove the purity of a family’s ancestry or the grandeur of their past. Now thousands of families around the world are using the free-forever encyclopaedia of Shajra to archive their lineage for their descendants because it's easy to build and maintain, anywhere, anytime and on any device. The Shajra also has an evidence-based approval mechanism to ensure the authenticity of updates.

What is a Pedigree?

It comes from the French “pied de grue” (“crane’s foot”) because the branches and lines of a pedigree resemble a thin crane’s leg with its branching toes. A pedigree is a map that depicts the different members of a family and their connections. It is a graph, and it makes assessing who is connected and their relationships, such as parents, siblings, cousins, apparent by visual inspection. Pedigrees use a standard set of symbols to make them easier to understand. Males are represented by squares, while females are represented by circles. Parents are connected by horizontal lines, and vertical lines stemming from horizontal lines lead to the symbols for their offspring. The generations are also clearly marked with numbers, with I being the first generation, II being the children of the first generation, and III being the grandchildren,

What is a descendant chart?

It depicts all the descendants of an individual and forms a chart with the narrowest at the top and widest at the bottom. Some descendant charts might include all members of a particular surname or only male-line descendants.

What is an Ahnentafel?

An Ahnentafel (German for "ancestor table") is a genealogical numbering system for listing a person's direct ancestors in a fixed sequence of ascent: 1:Subject, 2:Father, 3:Mother, 4:Paternal grandfather, 5:Paternal grandmother, 6:Maternal grandfather, 7:Maternal grandmother.

What is an ancestry chart?

A tree showing the ancestors of an individual and not all members of a family, will more closely resemble a tree in shape, being wider at the top than at the bottom. An ancestor chart records the ancestors from whom you directly descend, those for whom you intend to compile a complete and correct family unit. In some ancestry charts, an individual appears on the left and his/her ancestors appear on the right.

What is a fan chart?

A fan chart features a half-circle chart with concentric rings; the subject is the inner circle, the second circle is divided into two (each side is one parent), the third circle is divided into four, and so forth. Fan charts depict paternal and maternal ancestors.

What is Silsila?

Silsila (Arabic: سِلْسِلَة) is an Arabic word that means "chain, link, or connection" and is frequently used in various contexts of lineage. In particular, it may be translated as "spiritual genealogy", where one Sufi Master transfers his khilafat to his khalîfa, or spiritual descendant.

What is a linear lineage?

A textual representation of lineage usually represents male-line ancestors or descendants. Descendant linear lineage starts with the oldest generation, separating the father-son relationship with an arrow (from father to son), while the son-father relationship is separated by the words "son of" in ancestor linear lineage.

How useful is the family tree?

Better understanding of relationships: The family tree helps you to learn about the family members whom you have never met or known. This increases the bond with the distant family members who are also a part of your family. One gets to understand the different relationships that are necessary for an individual.

Sense of identification: You get to understand more about your family history and ancestors. Knowing about the ancestors is quite fascinating as to from where they came and where they lived. You tend to identify yourself with the family, and this is most important.

Feelings of pride: There is no doubt about the fact that getting familiar with family history brings a sense of pride within an individual. You will come to know about the hardships that they have faced and how easy our lives are. Such things definitely bring a feeling of satisfaction as well as happiness. One feels fortunate to come from a family that is so strong and survived through the tough conditions.