What is a family tree? How is it used? Why should we have a family tree? Why is a family tree important? These questions and many more must always be wondering in your mind when you think of the term, family tree.
A family tree is in fact a map-like representation of all the individuals in a family who are genetically related (or share the same gene pool). In its real sense, the term is basically used for humans’ family. However, for scientific and research purposes, many scientists, biologists and research organizations make use of the family tree in order to define and understand the relationships between different types of animals. This helps in understanding the ecosystem in a better way and makes the study of ecology very useful. The term family tree was derived from the branching representation of a genetic map that generally resembles a real tree, therefore called a tree. Many biographies and autobiographies also make effective use of the family trees right in the starting of their books to let their audience know of their ancestral history and hierarchical details.
For visual purposes, family trees serve a great role by establishing a connection or a relationship between individuals in big and distantly located family. They also helps when studying history and learning about the history of various dynasties and kings. Historians often make use of family trees to understand the family history of royal dynasties, emperors, etc., how they led to allegiance and also to uncover the ancient relationship between many countries and nations of the world. A family tree also helps to locate how two distant countries were united many years back and were drifted because of strong water currents and sea bodies making their way in between the land, separating the land regions.
Many terms such as first cousin, second cousin, third cousin, etc. came into existence after gaining exact knowledge of a family tree and bringing it to use to establish relations among individuals. Using a family tree, a person can check for who all are the second cousins in the entire family and what relation does that person hold with anybody in the family, for example his or step aunt. During historical times and the times when royal dynasties used to rule many parts of the world, the trend of intermarrying was much in place. In such cases, the family tree derived is very confusing and to derive the exact relation between two individuals in a family is a hassle in itself. In such a case, the family tree gets very complicated because there are many lines that move haphazardly in all directions.
In the study of genetics as a subject, a family tree is used for tracking all kinds of genetic traits and finding any common thread or link between different groups of animals. A family tree also serves as an important technique that allows scientists and biologists to arrange different animals under common groups. To be more specific, family trees have been in existence since a long time and have been continuously used since the time of the great Mendel. All through these years, family trees are used to uncover facts about human beings—facts that are difficult to uncover from visual appearances.