A family tree, sometimes called genealogical tree, is the graphic synthesis of the parental bonds that exist between people who belong to the same family. The graphic representation of individual family members and their relationships are usually presented in the form of a tree: at the bottom, where there are the roots, is placed the oldest ancestor (progenitor), on the trunk are represented the generations that derived from him. The collateral lines are placed on the branches. The traditional tree structure is often built placing the oldest generation at the top and the most recent generations at the foot of the tree.
The genealogical data can also be represented through a “family tree by four quarters”, which is commonly used to illustrate the direct line of a single individual. Unlike to the traditional family tree, which begins from the ancestor more far away in the time, the family tree by four quarters starts from a basic subject and move backward to his known ancestors, including those of the maternal line. It is said so because, in addition to parents, it shows also the ascendants of the four grandparents of the starting person.
Actually, to build the family tree of your own ancestors can be used different types of genealogical graphs as the fan chart, the butterfly chart, and the hourglass chart. It is important to remember that all family trees are the final product of the genealogical research: the genealogical data obtained from the sources stored in the various archives allow us to create graphic representations through which it is possible to show how our relatives and ancestors are related to one another.