Discussion:
Does anyone know of software or an app that is good for creating a large chart to represent multiple descents from a person/couple?
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Jordan Vandenberg
2017-05-21 00:42:31 UTC
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Good day,

I was wondering if anyone had experience creating large charts that show multiple descents from a person/couple in medieval times, and if so if they know of any decent software, or an app that is good for creating such a chart?

Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Jordan Vandenberg.
Vance Mead
2017-05-21 05:12:20 UTC
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I have used Family Tree Maker, which you can use for ascendancy and descendancy charts. I'm not sure what you mean by "multiple descents". With FTM you can show all of the descendants of a person for a selected number of generations.
Post by Jordan Vandenberg
Good day,
I was wondering if anyone had experience creating large charts that show multiple descents from a person/couple in medieval times, and if so if they know of any decent software, or an app that is good for creating such a chart?
Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Jordan Vandenberg.
Jason Quick
2017-05-21 06:12:36 UTC
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Yes FTM is great for basic descents and quite customizable with fonts, borders etc. For multiple and complex descents you would have make multiple trees in FTM and use editing software such as Adobe Photoshop to stitch them together and delete overlapping info.

The problem is Photoshop is expensive and to know how to use all the features with layering, dpi sizing, and so forth. I am not aware of a complex tree maker that exists, if you find one leg is know.
Jason Quick
2017-05-21 06:14:36 UTC
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Yes FTM is great for basic descents and quite customizable with fonts, borders etc. For multiple and complex descents you would have make multiple trees in FTM and use editing software such as Adobe Photoshop to stitch them together and delete overlapping info.

The problem is Photoshop is expensive and to know how to use all the features with layering, dpi sizing, and so forth. I am not aware of a complex tree maker that exists, if you find one let us know.
Ian Goddard
2017-05-21 13:09:00 UTC
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Post by Jordan Vandenberg
I was wondering if anyone had experience creating large charts that show multiple descents from a person/couple in medieval times, and if so if they know of any decent software, or an app that is good for creating such a chart?
It's not clear from what you say whether you're meaning multiple
descendants from a single couple or multiple lines of descent from the
couple to a later individual. I wouldn't expect standard genealogical
programs would do the latter very well; I think you'd end up with a
standard looking family tree which, on closer inspection, has the same
person appearing in multiple places.

What I've done (I have a ggmother with 4 lines of descent from a single
C17th couple) is to use a straightforward chart drawing program. In my
case it was Draw from LibreOffice. I've stacked boxes on top of each
other to produce the following effect (I hope you're using a fixed pitch
font to read this)

+---------+
| Husband |
+---------+
| = Wife |
+---------+
| Child |\
+---------+ \
\+---
| Hu
+--
|
etc.

Where there are multiple children in the descent multiple boxes can be
used. If there's a 2nd marriage that can be shown below the box for the
child of the first marriage and so on. You can use your own judgement
on how to place these to best show multiple descents. You can colour
code the surnames by setting the background colours of the boxes.
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at austonley org uk
j***@gmail.com
2017-05-21 18:42:31 UTC
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Ftm maker (at least the 1998 version I use and prefer) shows multiple lines by putting a number in he box of repeated individuals. Descendants of the repeated individual are not then repeated at all.

In this way I can show all descents between Charlemagne and an chosen American gateway without having it be insanely large.
Jordan Vandenberg
2017-05-21 13:43:18 UTC
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Thanks for the responses.

What I am trying to do is take for example, William Marshal and show multiple descents to a colonial ancestor, or a present day person. In this case the descents would be through more than one of his daughters. I do have family tree maker and am somewhat proficient with photoshop, so splicing lines together that way as suggested may work.

Ian, you suggestion to colour code surnames or even when a line branches from a common ancestor is a good idea.

I am looking for something that when produced would be visually appealing enough to display, so with the ability to change background colour/design, font, borders, etc.

Thanks,
Jordan.
Post by Jordan Vandenberg
Good day,
I was wondering if anyone had experience creating large charts that show multiple descents from a person/couple in medieval times, and if so if they know of any decent software, or an app that is good for creating such a chart?
Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Jordan Vandenberg.
Stewart Baldwin
2017-05-21 19:27:51 UTC
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Post by Jordan Vandenberg
Thanks for the responses.
What I am trying to do is take for example, William Marshal and show multiple descents to a colonial ancestor, or a present day person. In this case the descents would be through more than one of his daughters. I do have family tree maker and am somewhat proficient with photoshop, so splicing lines together that way as suggested may work.
Ian, you suggestion to colour code surnames or even when a line branches from a common ancestor is a good idea.
I am looking for something that when produced would be visually appealing enough to display, so with the ability to change background colour/design, font, borders, etc.
I would be very surprised if there is a satisfactory solution to this
problem that does not somehow involve the manual editing of the tree,
such as the splicing solution already suggested. Computers are not good
at making the aesthetic judgements needed to make a good genealogical table.

Stewart Baldwin
Jan Wolfe
2017-05-21 20:36:46 UTC
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I had never tried this, so I did the following:

With FTM 2005, I chose "Descendant Tree - Standard" with the option "Direct descents from William Marshal to Ella Frances Miles" (my grandmother). Under Format, I chose custom layout, automatic. I also selected a nice border and wrote a title. I just chose to put the name in each box, no dates, etc.

Then in FTM under File, Print Setup, I selected "Specific Printer" and "Microsoft to PDF" and chose 0 for all margins and deselected overlap pages.

With the information about medieval people that I have currently included in my FTM file, my grandmother has seven descents from William Marshal (one from Isabel, four from Eva, and two from Maud). The tree fits on 4 pages with the above options.

Then I selected File, Print Descendant Tree. (I am using Windows 10, the Export the Descendant Tree to Acrobat (PDF) function in FTM 2005 does not work on Windows 7 and later. Choosing it crashes the program.)

Then I used the website http://pdftoimage.com/ to produce 4 jpg images of the four pages of the pdf.

Finally I used IrvanView (from http://www.irfanview.com/) to stitch the images together, using the Image, Create Panorama image command. I did this by creating a horizontal panorama from images 1 and 2 and a horizontal panorama from images 3 and 4. Then I created a vertical panorama from the two horizontal panoramas. For each panorama I chose -1 pixels as the space between the images because with the default 0 pixels, there was a little gap.

I think the final image would be good enough to hang on a wall but printing a legible version would require a printer that accepts large paper. I suppose one could print it at a print shop that had such equipment.

There is one odd thing about the Descendant Tree made by FTM 2005. The line to each descendant goes from the spouse of one descendant to the next descendant instead of from the = sign that joins the spouses.

Jordan, I'll send you my jpg file so you can see if you like the result well enough.
Chris Hampson
2017-05-22 23:06:23 UTC
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You could try a network approach like this http://chris-hampson.com/wp/welcome/family-history/. I've done a more elaborate version using Gephi, open source software that provides more capability. I just haven't got 'round to putting it up on my site.
j***@gmail.com
2017-05-21 13:44:22 UTC
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Post by Jordan Vandenberg
Good day,
I was wondering if anyone had experience creating large charts that show multiple descents from a person/couple in medieval times, and if so if they know of any decent software, or an app that is good for creating such a chart?
Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Jordan Vandenberg.
I agree Family Tree Maker is a good choice. But if you don't want to get Photoshop (which can be subscribed to at www.adobe.com, not purchased), try Gimp, where is a freeware photo editor (www.gimp.org). You could also do crops and merges in desktop publishing software.
Jordan Vandenberg
2017-05-21 16:31:07 UTC
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I just found what appears to be a really good app for this called draw.io.
It is free and allows you to create complex flow charts. You can colour code, add pictures, backgrounds, change fonts, connect boxes in different ways, etc.
You have to individually create boxes and input the information, but you can copy and paste to duplicate your boxes and connectors individually or in groups to save time.
It is worth checking out.
Jordan.
Post by Jordan Vandenberg
Good day,
I was wondering if anyone had experience creating large charts that show multiple descents from a person/couple in medieval times, and if so if they know of any decent software, or an app that is good for creating such a chart?
Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Jordan Vandenberg.
Tim Forsythe
2017-05-23 04:24:57 UTC
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I wrote a program (free) that will list all lines connecting a descendant and an ancestor in what is basically a trimmed down ancestor's list. It is not a graphical chart however. You would need to configure the Descendant Lists option. http://gigatrees.com
r***@gmail.com
2017-05-27 09:56:25 UTC
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Hi Jordan , another option is "Smart Draw 2010" version, free download, and block it from calling home with free "Zone Alarm" firewall, so it doesn't time out of the free trial period. It allows to you to do amazing charts, one of the features is called "Family Tree", it displays a box for each person , you can choose to add an ancestor, descendant or sibling at any point at any time, go any direction as far as you want, and the lines can be color coded to distinguish each descent, then save it or export it as a JPG to send to others who can view it fully by moving and enlarging(using the "Zoom" function.

Robert
Jordan Vandenberg
2017-05-27 16:51:56 UTC
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Thanks everyone for the responses. There are a lot of good suggestions to check out. One question that I have is, when you have ancestors that appear in multiple descents is there a way to have them appear once with multiple branches from them, rather than appearing multiple times. This would require for the lines to intersect. I am not sure if this is something that can only be done if you create the chart manually rather than generating one with software based an already inputted tree.
Post by Jordan Vandenberg
Good day,
I was wondering if anyone had experience creating large charts that show multiple descents from a person/couple in medieval times, and if so if they know of any decent software, or an app that is good for creating such a chart?
Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Jordan Vandenberg.
Ian Goddard
2017-05-28 10:16:03 UTC
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Post by Jordan Vandenberg
Thanks everyone for the responses. There are a lot of good suggestions to check out. One question that I have is, when you have ancestors that appear in multiple descents is there a way to have them appear once with multiple branches from them, rather than appearing multiple times. This would require for the lines to intersect. I am not sure if this is something that can only be done if you create the chart manually rather than generating one with software based an already inputted tree.
I suspect manual creation will be needed*. You probably have more
constraints than simply showing the lines of descent. At the very least
you'll want it to be aesthetically acceptable. In my example that I
quoted (4 lines of descent) one particular requirement was to highlight
the fact that all these lines were providing brides to 4 successive
generations of one male line so I started out by drawing that in at one
side and adding the multiple descent beside it. If that hadn't been a
constraint an automated layout might have not made that aspect obvious.

You might also need to decide what genealogical conventions you need to
ignore. Running generations along one axis is probably the last to go
but you may well need to choose between avoiding cross-overs and
representing the various children of a marriage in chronological sequence.

*It might also be a good deal quicker than hunting for a genealogical
application that does it for you!
--
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at austonley org uk
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