Quick Tip: What to do if Your Family Tree Becomes Unmanageable

Not long ago I showed someone my family tree. It’s a pretty decent size at around 2000 people, although I’m sure some of you have far bigger ones.

This person asked me a very good question. They wanted to know how I could find anything in there. It just looked like one big jumbled mess to them.

You see, I primarily work with my entire family tree. I’ve gotten very good at finding what (or whom) I need. Between knowing my tree and knowing my software it just hasn’t been an issue.

But for a new family history researcher, or simply one who wants to be better organized than me, there’s a simple way to get around an unmanageable tree. Just break it up into smaller trees.

That’s the beauty of the tree format, isn’t it? Every branch is the equivalent of someone else’s tree, and a bunch of trees fit together like an elegant puzzle to become yours. If yours gets to be too much in its full form, save the branches you’re researching currently as a separate tree and go from there. It’s a simple solution, but are often the best!

Jenn is a professional writer and publisher, and the founder of Climb Your Family Tree.

She first became interested in genealogy as a teenager. Since that early start, she's spent 28 years putting her personal passion and professional research skills to use in exploring her own family history while assisting others in their genealogical journeys.

In addition to running Climb Your Family Tree, Jenn is a long-time PR, social media, and online marketing specialist and she's been a digital publisher / web developer for over 20 years. She owns a variety of web properties including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, Kiss My Biz, and NakedPR.

2 thoughts on “Quick Tip: What to do if Your Family Tree Becomes Unmanageable”

  1. 2,000 people on your family tree! That is incredible. I am just getting started on my own. On my journey I realized that there was not any one good source of county clerk contact information, so I made my own database. I have since published it online because I think it can be valuable for others as well. Ignore the ads- they just help to defray the cost of hosting 🙂
    County Clerk Court Records


Leave a Comment