How to Create a Genogram in Microsoft Word

A genogram is a family tree chart with additional information pointing out noteworthy events and characteristics of the chart's members. Creating a genogram in Word is a project that helps you remember highlights in your family history. One benefit of using Word to make a genogram as opposed to a more graphics-oriented program is the ability to add additional words or images in the pages before or after those displaying the genogram. Those viewing your genogram can refer to that information for details about particular people on the chart.

Step

Click the "Insert" tab, then click the "Shapes" button. Click the rectangle icon from the gallery that appears, then drag on the page to draw a square, which represents the male ancestor highest up on the tree. This is the oldest male ancestor.

Step

Click the "Insert" tab's "Text box" button, then drag above the square to create a text box to hold the male's birth and death dates. Release the mouse, then type those dates in the text box.

Step

Use the previous instructions to draw a text box below the male ancestor for the ancestor's name. Type the name in the text box.

Step

Use the instructions from Step 1 to draw a circle for the wife or partner of the male ancestor from whom children came.

Step

Click the straight-line icon from the "Shapes" gallery, then click below the male ancestor's box and drag to draw a short line straight down. Repeat this step for the ancestor's wife, then draw a horizontal line linking the two vertical lines you just drew. This line represents the generation that begins with the children of the male and female ancestor.

Step

Use the instructions from Step 5 to draw short vertical lines down from the horizontal you just drew, for each of the children of the male and female ancestors. Then draw the circles and squares representing the children, as you did the male and female in Steps 1 through 4.

Step

Repeat the previous step for each generation of the genogram, then use Step 2's instructions to create a new text box. Drag the box near the circle or square of an ancestor about whom you'd like to attach a comment. For example, if your great uncle Joe earned the Congressional Medal of Honor, write that in the text box.

Step

Complete the previous step for each person about whom you would like to add a note to finish the genogram.