Family History

Ever wanted to know if you have a famous family ancestor?

The next few weeks give you a great opportunity to learn more about your family! You are going to create a family tree (a.k.a. genealogy) - a family tree is a map of all the relationships within your family like marriages, brothers, sisters, cousins. It can even include your step or extended families. A family is what you chose. Some family tree's even include information about when people were born, when they died and what jobs they did.

What you will need:


  • Paper

  • Pencil

  • Post-It Notes/Squares of paper (optional)

  • Internet access (optional

Online tools:

Here are some online tools to help you research your family history.

These ones are all free to use, there are many many that may charge you. But it doesn't have to cost you anything.

To make your family tree:

  1. Research: You're going to need to find out as much information about your family as possible. Start with your immediate family (your mum, dad, brothers and sisters) and work your way out and up! To do this you can talk to your parents, talk to your grandparents, talk to aunties or uncles - they'll really enjoy hearing from you and it gives you lots to talk about! There is a google doc for you to possibly use with 20 help questions to get you started. If you want to go even further you can start using genealogy websites (we've listed some below).

2. Decide how far back to go: Our families go back many, many, MANY generations so you need to work out where you're going to stop for now. You can always do some more research and add to your family tree. Do you only want to research one side of your family? that's ok. or perhaps you only want to look at the people who lived through World War 1 and or 2? that's ok too.

3. Organise: Order and organise the different parts of your family. You might want to use post-it notes or cut up squares of paper with people's names on to arrange the family tree. You can also use pages from the internet that already have a family tree set out. You could look here.

4. Draw and design: You can be as creative as you want to be with finalising your family tree. You can add as much or as little information as you like to is and make it as colourful as you want to! You might even be able to include pictures. You could do this on paper, a word document or an online family tree designer.


Miss Ford at Outwood Academy Portland made a simple family tree going back as far as her great-grandparents and including her first cousins once removed (her cousins children).

The BBC have created this family tree of the Royal Family.

Credit: BBC.

Tell us about it!

How you can support your child:

If you want to share your family try, take a picture of what you have produced, you can submit it using the form found in the navigation bar titled "Tell us about it." You can also tweet us and tag @OGATrust on twitter, don't forget tagging your academy twitter account as well!

You can help out too! How?

  • Building a family tree can be quite a task! Encourage your child to start small and work their way out.

  • Building a family tree will be a great way for children to connect with extended family in these difficult times so please encourage them to contact relatives first, (remember to stay safe) before they start using websites and other resources.

  • Student's can complete their family tree with as little as pen and paper but there are lots of other resources online. We would always suggest being vigilant about what your child is accessing online and ensure they do not submit personal or bank details to any unknown websites.