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Hourglass Charts

An hourglass chart starts with a single individual at the narrow part of the hourglass chart and then shows all of his or her blood ancestors above him or her, and all of his or her blood descendants and their spouses below. At the narrow part of the hourglass chart where the starting individual is, the spouse or multiple spouses of the starting individual can also be included if desired, but not their ancestors. Only the ancestors of a single starting individual are shown. Siblings of the single starting individual can also be included if desired, but their spouses and descendants will not be shown. On the lower portion of the hourglass chart, if there are stepchildren in any family, they won't appear on the bottom portion of the hourglass chart as they are not blood descendants. If you'd like any stepchildren to appear on your hourglass chart, you will need to enter them a second time in your genealogy software under their step-parent as if they were actually a blood descendant. You don't need to change their last name.

Depending upon the size of the family and the number of generations of ancestors and descendants you select to be shown, hourglass charts are normally wide like a descendant chart or vertical ancestor chart. Hourglass charts can be used for just a few generations of ancestors and a few generations of descendants, or they can include numerous generations of ancestors. For example, you may want to start with yourself and show 10-15 generations of your ancestors and 3-4 generations of your descendants. If you're designing your own chart, your genealogy software program may lay out your information differently than the examples shown below; however, since we can print from most any genealogy software program, the actual design is not an issue for us. To view other examples of family tree charts, return to our examples page.

Below is an example of an hourglass chart which begins towards the center and then branches upward to show 6 generations of ancestors, and then downward to show 2 generations of descendants. Using 12 point bold for the names and 10 point regular for the birth, marriage, and death facts, this chart which includes 8 generations would measure about 8 feet wide.

Click on the chart image below to see a larger version in a pop-up window

image of an hourglass chart
Below is an enlarged portion of a small section of the hourglass chart shown above
image of a family reunion descendant chart

If you haven't already designed your family tree chart so that it is ready for printing, we can do the chart design for you. Once we've completed the layout and design work we will send you a non-printable PDF preview of what your chart will look like when printed for you to review and approve. At that point we will also know the dimensions of your chart which is what will determine the cost for printing. If the design, size, and cost for printing are satisfactory to you, we then, and only then, proceed with printing.

In addition to the other types of family tree charts shown on our examples page which you just came from, there are also many other examples of printed family tree charts on almost every page on our site, so please take the time to browse around for awhile. There are even a few examples of charts with a photographic background on our page about enhancing your chart. We've also included several tips to keep in mind on our page titled submitting your order that you might find helpful as you go about designing your chart.

We're so sure you'll love our genealogy printing services that we confidently provide a complete money back guarantee on all orders. We look forward to being able to work with you and your family.

Please call us at 630-653-8400 or e-mail us at if you have any questions about our family tree chart printing services or submitting your order.  International callers can also Skype us if preferred; however, we ask that you email us to set up a convenient time for a Skype to Skype call.  We are located in the central time zone of the U.S. (GMT/UTC-6 and -5 in the summer), and can make arrangements for incoming Skype to Skype calls up to around 10:00 PM local time on most nights. We only accept Skype to Skype calls that have been pre-arranged by email. 

Table of Contents

This table of contents is at the bottom of every page on our website.
arrowAbout Us
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arrowGenealogy Charts
Family tree printing (home page Home Page)
Genealogy chart benefits
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Family Tree Maker printing tips
Enhancing your chart
Software we support
Printing from a GEDCOM file
Printing from genealogy sites
arrowChart Ordering
Submitting your order
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Storing your charts
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10 generation charts
9 generation charts
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6 generation charts
5 generation charts
arrowFREE Downloads
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Family tree clip art
Family data sheets
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arrowLinks & Tips
Family reunion planning
Preserving your research
Family tree software
Family tree printing problems
Genealogy sites
Headstone rubbing
arrowHistory Timelines
History timeline - Vol. 4
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