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How should you organize your family tree information? Traditionally, descendant family trees are published in a format like the Royal family tree following. This format is well understood and is therefore ideal except for the fact that it takes more space than is necessary. It is fine as long as all of the information can be displayed together. Most family trees become much too large to display everyone together in this format. This format has another problem in that it spreads out excessively in the horizontal direction.

Queen Elizabeth II b.1926 m. Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, son of Prince Andrew
             
       
Charles, Prince of Wales b.1948 m. Diana Spencer Anne, Princess Royal b.1950 m.Captn Mark Phillips Andrew, Duke of York b.1960 m. Sarah Ferguson Edward, Earl of Wessex b.1964
            m. Sophie
            Rhys-Jones
Prince William of Wales b.1982 Prince Henry of Wales b.1984 Peter Phillips b.1977 Zara Phillips b.1981 Princess Beatrice of York b.1988 Princess Eugenie of York b.1990  

A much more space efficient way of displaying a family tree is by using simple tables as shown in the example below. In this format, the families are displayed vertically rather than horizontally.  This has the advantage of using the minimum of space and also keeps all the generations in alignment. Using the minimum is space, means that you can put more information on one page an large family and multiple generation relationships can be better understood. Tables like this are well supported by word processing programs and are ideal for web publishing. If you need to describe a family in an e-mail message you can use lots of words or you can include a table.

Queen Elizabeth II b.1926
m. Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, son of Prince Andrew of Greece
1st Generation 2nd Generation
Charles, Prince of Wales b.1948 m. Diana Spencer Prince William of Wales b.1982
Prince Henry of Wales b.1984
Anne, Princess Royal b.1950
m. Captain Mark Phillips
Peter Phillips b.1977
Zara Phillips b.1981
Andrew, Duke of York b.1960
m. Sarah Ferguson
Princess Beatrice of York b.1988
Princess Eugenie of York b.1990
Edward, Earl of Wessex b.1964 m. Sophie Rhys-Jones  

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