One thing that is certainly true about genealogy is the need for different ways to visualize the data that comes through. Looking at a family history as branches of a tree is the most common in today’s world, but it is not the only means of organizing relevant date into a more easily understandable format.

Another common method is a fan view as demonstrated by the image below. This also helps to visualize the notion of exponential expansion of family trees — one starts out with two parents, then four grandparents, then eight great-grandparents, then, in succeeding generations, 16, 32, 64, 128, and so on.

example of a seven-generation fan chart

There is also the often-confusing notation of cousins. Here is a chart that hopefully explains the relationships.

Cousin Chart, courtesy of

Genealogists traditionally worked with recorded instruments to document their research and findings, be it census or church baptismal records, family Bibles, probate records, and the like. With the advent of DNA evidence, one can now obtain this type of record but must still find ways of organizing it to render it useful. That is where special groups come in. Often found on Facebook or on specialized websites, I belong to the following groups:

Best of British DNAFacebook
British GenealogyFacebookOne of the largest groups of people who are interested in Genealogy. To bring together like minded people who want to know more about who they are and where they are from and help others to do the same
Devon and Cornwall DNA GenealogyFacebook
Enslaved and Enslavers Ancestors DNA ProjectFacebook
Finnish DNA Match IdentifierFacebook
Finnish RootsFacebookA group for you who has roots in Finland. Maybe your grandparents lived here before and immigrated to another country and you want to know more about Finland, culture, food etc.
FTDNA BigY Facebook
GEDMatchGEDMatch.orgThe GEDmatch story is one of connecting people. From amateurs to professionals, genealogists, historians, researchers, and adoptees have leveraged the large pool of data on the site to build family trees, find birth families, and learn more about their DNA and by extension, their history. Recent advancements have also allowed genetic genealogy to make communities safer by putting violent criminals behind bars and exonerating the innocent. Protecting your privacy remains the top priority, with our commitment to safeguarding your information at the foreground of every decision.
Irish GenealogyFacebook
Ireland and the Irish Around the WorldFacebook
Skinner Family AssociationFacebookThe Skinner Family Association is a group of people who have organized their efforts in search of their Skinner ancestry. Established in 1984, the pioneers of the Association wanted to have a place where they could collect material regarding the history and genealogy of the Skinner families and subsequently disseminate it to other researchers.
Your Ancestors Were Smith and Jones and BrownFacebookThis group is a General Genealogy group for those of us who have Smith or Jones or Brown or other very common names in their family history.