November 24, 2017

9 Unique Family Tree Designs That Will Take Your Breath Away

These unique family tree designs–some hundreds of years old–are creative and artistically stunning. Some are about actual families, and others re-create the family tree of an entire culture or empire. Which ones inspire you?

unique family tree designs

These 9 Unique Family Tree Designs Will Take Your Breath Away

I found these gorgeous and unique family tree designs online. Some of them are hundreds of years old; others are much younger. Some are brightly-colored; others are not. Whether murals, wood-carvings, engravings, or drawings, they are all absolutely stunning. Though I may not paint my living room ceiling with images of all my ancestors, they certainly inspire me.

1. A Russian Royal Pedigree Mural

This show-stopping “Genealogic tree of Russian sovereigns” ceiling mural appears in the front vestibule of Moscow’s State Historical Museum. The Museum itself is home to over four million artifacts, but I could probably spend all day just staring at this one.

unique family tree designs

Creative Commons Photo: Wikipedia / Shakko. Click to view full information.

2. A “Crooked” Family Tree

The image below comes from the collection of the Wellcome Library, “one of the world’s leading libraries on medical history and the human condition.” It’s an engraving with no known date or artist attached to it. Although it appears to be a caricature drawing of a family tree, the item description disagrees: “A type of family tree with the parents occupying the centre space surrounded by their progeny with each of the figures appearing to be suffering from some kind of deformity.”

unique family tree designs

Creative Commons Image: Wikimedia, click to view. Credit: Wellcome Library, London, wellcomeimages.org. Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

3. A Carved Beauty in a Remote Palace

This is carved family tree of Edward Woynillowicz, found at the Sawiczy palace in the Minsk region of the Russian empire. Edward was the leader of the Minsk agricultural society and a humanitarian leader during World War I. The carving appears to be dated 1905. It’s sure beautiful!

Wikimedia Commons image; click to view. This work is in the public domain in the U.S.

4. “Uncle Sam’s Family Tree”

In 1900, John F. Waite published this drawing of “Uncle Sam’s Family Tree,” along with a folksy description of the history of the United States (or the growth of this “tree”). He cleverly portrays the “grafting” in of various branches or states of the country as they were acquired by conquest or purchase. Here’s the article, and following, a close-up of the tree itself:

5. A Drawing with Great Genealogical Value

This “Family tree of the Weigert Family – showing the birth, etc. of Paul Ehrlich and of his cousin Carl Weigert” is another Wellcome Library image. It’s not just a fancy drawing. Look closely at the detail image shown here, and you’ll see that genealogical information is actually written onto the tree.

unique family tree design

Creative Commons Image: Wikipedia. Wellcome Library, London. wellcomeimages.org. Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0. Click to view.

unique family tree design

Creative Commons Image: Wikipedia. Wellcome Library, London. wellcomeimages.org. Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0. Click to view.

6. The Family Tree of Noah

This 1749 engraving of the “Genealogical tree of Noah after the Biblical flood” was created by J. Hinton for the Universal Magazine:

unique family tree design

Creative Commons Image: Wikipedia / http://www.peopleofar.com/category/literature/page/2/. This work is in the public domain. Click to view.

7. A Princess and her Pedigree

This portrait of Empress Elisabeth Petrovna (1709-1762) with her family tree provides an at-a-glance family history for this Russian royal. It also dates from the mid-1700s.

unique family tree design

Creative Commons Image: Wikipedia. Click to view. This work is in the public domain.

8. Magnificent Mayolica Mural

This unique family tree design is artfully executed in colorful Mayolica tiles. It’s titled “Arbol geneologico del comienzo del mestizaje” (Genealogical tree of the beginning of the mestizo), by Gorky Gonzales Quiñones (Museum of Artes Populares, Mexico City, Mexico).

unique family tree design

By AlejandroLinaresGarcia (Own work) GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons. Click to view.

9. A Tombstone Tree

This is a headstone in the burial ground of the Abbey of Dulce Cor in southwest Scotland, better known as “Sweetheart Abbey.” Carved in stone is the Jardine Family Tree. According to a note on the image file, “This is quite substantial; the family tree continues on the other side of the stone.” This creative approach to sharing your family tree isn’t cheap. Genealogy Gems Contributing Editor Sunny Morton shared with me a recent article in Ohio Genealogy News that priced “tombstone tree” carvings at $10,000 or more. But this is certainly a lasting monument. (Just make sure your tree is right before you invest in a project such as this one.)

unique family tree designs

Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Wikipedia Image: click to view.

More Unique Family Tree Designs on Pinterest

Pinterest Lisa Louise CookeOne of my Pinterest boards offers even more unique family tree designs and other heritage decor for your own halls, walls, and display areas. Click here to take a look at my How to Display Your Family Tree board–then follow me on Pinterest to keep track of the genealogy eye-candy I share there!

 

 

 

About Lisa Cooke

Lisa Louise Cooke is the Producer and Host of the Genealogy Gems Podcast, an online genealogy audio show and app. She is the author of the books The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, Mobile Genealogy, How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers, and the Google Earth for Genealogy video series, an international keynote speaker, and producer of the Family Tree Magazine Podcast.

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