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Charting the Past

For the last couple months, I’ve been working on-and-off on an ancestry chart for the upcoming Mohr family reunion next month. All of my genealogy data is in Reunion, which excels at making great-looking charts. After some waffling, I’ve decided to make a chart that includes all direct-line ancestors and their siblings, but excludes more distant relatives. This seems to give a nice balance between size and completeness. (When I tried creating an “all-relatives” chart, Reunion told me it was going to be 187 feet wide.)

Even so, getting a chart this size formatted just right is quite an undertaking. I’ve found a place that specializes in printing large genealogy charts (and does so much cheaper than Kinko’s), but I decided I wanted to see a rough draft first. So last week I printed the chart on the laser printer and taped the sheets together to make this:

Wow. It’s 28 feet long and a little less than three feet wide. The chart includes 634 individuals and covers 21 generations (or would if I hadn’t left off the row of sheets at the bottom that include my generation–not enough floor space!). The earliest ancestor on the chart was born 684 years ago, around the same time the Aztecs founded Tenochtitlan and just a decade before the start of the Hundred Years War.

Now I’m in the process of adding interesting tidbits to the chart–things that go beyond the facts of birth and death. I think the end result will be pretty cool.