Reconnecting With Your Roots: A Guide To Creating A Family Tree With A DNA Ancestry Test

Family is everything, and it’s important to cherish each moment you have with them. One of the best ways to recall the good times is to look at family photo albums together. As you go through old memories, you may even start thinking of the best way to scan old photos for safekeeping so that you never have to worry about losing them.

But why stop there? Show off your renewed family pictures with a family tree display and learn more about your ancestry! Not only will a family tree help you preserve your memories, but it’ll also help you discover surprising facts about all your relatives.

Read on to learn how you can create a beautiful family tree and celebrate your roots!

Why You Should Make A Family Tree

A family tree is a diagram that helps you keep a record of your lineage and connect with your ancestors. By learning about your family history, you may discover similarities between yourself and your relatives – helping you gain a better sense of identity in the process. In addition, a family tree is a wonderful way to introduce children to their roots so that they develop a deeper sense of belonging as they grow up.

How Does A DNA Ancestry Test Work?

A DNA ancestry test works by taking a sample of an individual’s saliva to create a DNA profile of the person. Afterward, their profile is examined to see which of the existing DNA population profiles from the database it most closely resembles. The database includes a ton of reference populations from different locations in the world – this allows companies to provide clients with estimations of where they may have ancestors.

How Accurate Are DNA Ancestry Tests?

DNA ancestry tests are based on probability, meaning they are never 100% accurate. Since companies each use different reference populations, the ancestry results you receive will vary depending on the company you choose. Sometimes, certain reference populations share a common marker in a specific part of their DNA profiles, making it more difficult to pinpoint exactly where the client has ancestors.

The Benefits Of Using DNA Ancestry Tests

While DNA ancestry tests aren’t the most accurate in determining the locations of your ancestors, their databases can be quite helpful. Ancestry databases keep records of everyone who has taken an ancestry DNA test which means they can easily help individuals reunite with their estranged relatives. Typically, people who were adopted or are diagnosed with a terminal illness avail of these services in the hopes of reconnecting with their biological family.

How To Make A Family Tree

A lot of work goes into creating a family tree and it can easily feel overwhelming to get started. Follow these steps for a stress-free experience of creating a family tree that you can pass onto the next generation!

Step 1: Gather All Existing Family Records

Start with the information you know about your biological family. For some, this means rummaging through old boxes to find photos or documents of their relatives.

Asking your elders about other family members is another way to begin gathering information for your family tree. However, if you have no connections to your biological family, you may try to look into adoption records for information on your parents and start there.

Step 2: Scan The Documents

Physical photos and papers tend to deteriorate over time. Since you’re collecting information for your family tree, some of the documents you’ll be looking at are going to be in poor condition. To make sure you don’t lose any valuable information, scan your documents for digital copies of everything you find.

Step 3: Organize The Files

Organize your files into folders for each family member. Label these with their names and birthdays so you can easily organize them into the family timeline later on. In their folders, you can include things like their birthday, siblings, children, residence, occupation, and fun facts. We recommend having a separate folder for relatives whose identities you’re still unsure of for further research.

Step 4: Search For Missing Documents

Finding out who some of your mystery relatives are might feel like a tough case to crack. But with the help of DNA ancestry tests, you can discover information on estranged relatives. Your goal is to fill in the gaps with the clues you have and find documentation to back up your guesses.

We also suggest you find clues from what you already know about other relatives. For example, if the mystery relative tends to appear in photos with your grandparents, then you might try to uncover if either of them had another sibling you didn’t know about.

Step 5: Draft Your Family Tree Diagram

Review what you have so far to get a feel of how your family tree is coming together. You can draft a simple chart of the family members you have enough information about and mark the ones who are still a mystery to you.

If you’re happy with what you have, then you can move onto the next step. If not, then you can continue researching about your relatives.

Step 6: Choose A Design & Layout

Now for the fun part: the layout and design! Think about who you’re making this family tree for and whether you plan on displaying it. Most physical displays incorporate a mural of a tree and photo frames for each family member placed around the tree’s leaves.

On the other hand, a classic genealogy chart is excellent for those who prefer a digital family tree that is simple and neat. This type of layout usually uses different colors and shapes to represent each generation of their relatives. What’s great about this design is that you can always revise and edit it easily in the future.

Step 7: Start Filling Out The Tree

After finalizing your design and layout, it’s time to fill in your tree. Whether you choose a digital or physical display, we recommend adding a small information note for each family member below their photos. The note can include their name, birthday, relation to you or your kids, occupation, and one fun fact about them. This adds more depth to their stories and who they were as individuals.

Step 8: Share Your Family Tree

After going through all that hard work, you deserve to flaunt your family tree to your loved ones! Sharing your family tree is a great way to commemorate and celebrate who your ancestors were. It also gives those around you a chance to get to know more about your history and identity. It might even encourage your friends to make a family tree of their own to learn more about themselves!

Additional Tips On Creating Your Family Tree

  • Since it takes lots of time and research to create a timeline for your family history, be patient in the process of constructing your family tree. We recommend creating a weekly schedule for the tasks you’d like to accomplish by the end of each week to keep things rolling.
  • Make an excel sheet as an additional step in organizing your documents. This can help you easily track all the family records you collected and outline your family tree by generation.
  • Check out your local family history center for census records. Marriage and death certificates are great sources that can give you helpful information in discovering a distant relative you didn’t know about.
  • Consider signing up to an ancestry DNA website to be a part of their database. These websites let you know if anyone takes an ancestry test that shares your DNA so that you can reconnect with them and add them to your family tree online.

A Family Tree To Last Generations

Making a family tree is a tedious process. It takes a ton of planning, organizing, and researching especially when you know very little about your biological family. But with the help of this guide and DNA ancestry tests, you can work your way from the ground up until you have yourself an impressive family tree.

So, what are you waiting for? Start learning more about your family history and make a family tree that you can proudly pass onto the next generation.


  • Zuhair Sharif


    Hi, I'm Zuhair Sharif, editor at Health-Livening. I believe in providing people knowledge to make smarter, healthier choices in their lives. Me and my expert panelists are determined to make our followers feel better and live longer without outrageous restrictive diets or lifestyle changes.