The Gift of an Organized Family Tree

My own 4-generation pedigree chart, and my paternal grandparents, Archie Raymond Thornton Sr. & Hazel Islery Clay, on their wedding day in 1925. Aren’t they a handsome couple?

Who wants their chart done? Family tree pedigree chart, that is?

If you think pedigrees are just for royalty, dogs, and horses, think again! Genealogy makes history personal for everyone. And a family tree makes a great gift for a loved one…or for yourself!

If you think pedigree charts are just for royalty, dogs, and horses, think again! Click To Tweet

There’s no such thing as a bad time to get interested (or re-interested) in your family history.  Some may say funerals, but I say any time the family gathers is is a good time to find out more about your family, or to share what you’ve learned. Meanwhile, there are some definite great times to give the gift of an organized family tree:

  • Weddings

    Family history binder with 4 generation pedigree chart for a cover

    Family history binder with 4-generation pedigree chart for a cover. Or, you could use family photos for the cover and put the chart inside.

  • Graduations
  • Mother’s Day
  • Father’s Day
  • Anniversaries
  • Reunions
  • Birthdays

I just finished a 4-generation pedigree chart (up to the 8 great-grandparents level) for a client. I sent her a bunch of supporting documents to print out and put into a Family History Binder, along with some family photos, using the chart as the binder cover, for her Dad’s birthday. Here’s what she and others have had to say:

Thank you so much for all your hard work, this information you have put together is so fascinating!! I have really enjoyed sharing it with my parents!  — K.Z.

I’m so glad Hazel did my family tree – you should get her to do yours! — J.B.

Oooh! This is interesting! Thanks for finding my grandparents’ marriage license and helping to solve our family mystery. — J.N.

Here’s how it works:

1. Contact me (or schedule a call) to discuss your project. Is it for you, a family member, a friend? Do you have an upcoming special occasion? (Please allow plenty of time.) What do you already know about your family? Are there any stories you’d like to prove or disprove? What else are you curious about?

2. I will email you an Org4life Genealogy Client Agreement which discusses what you can expect of me in terms of Scope of Work and Deliverables. It also describes the ways in which I will ask for your Insight, Patience, and Understanding.

3. I will also send Family Group Sheets for you to fill out as best you can. I do need some information to get me started. Once you return them to me I will use internet subscription tools such as (and many other online resources) to find documents pertaining to your family. To these resources I will add 20+ years of old-school (and modern) genealogy research experience to help me assemble the puzzle pieces I find and help you tell the story of your family.

Family Tree

Me and mom reading together. Albuquerque, summer 1959.

4. All genealogy clients will receive a report with the following sections:

  • Summary cover letter
  • Notes Specific to Your Project
  • Next Steps & Resources
  • If you have an Ancestry account (or want one)
  • About Census Records
  • About Misspelled Names, Conflicting Dates & Locations
  • About the Women in Your Family
  • Instructions for Creating a Family History Binder
  • Attached Records (the documents that support my findings)

5. Once you’ve assembled your Family History Binder, you can add your own photos and stories and grow the binder contents as you desire. (For an additional fee, if you prefer, and if there’s time, I can assemble it for you and deliver or mail it to you.)

6. Enjoy and share with your family! (Or, give as a gift.)

Genealogy makes history personal. A family tree makes a great gift for a loved one! Click To Tweet

This blog post describes some sample “projects”.

The current cost of a “project” is $300.

Family Tree

Left: my maternal grandfather, George D. Hankins (1898-1974), whom I knew. Right: his great-grandfather (my 3rd great-grandfather), Jacob J. Keysling (1789-1855). Note the similarities in face, build, pose, hands (clenched), and hair. I found the older photo on!

Click here to schedule/purchase.

Gift certificates and coaching are also available.

See my Family History Research Services page to learn more.

Want to do it yourself? This blog post will help you figure out whether you are up to doing your own genealogy research. I can teach you how. This is absolutely something I can help you with virtually (remotely)! (Read Why Virtual Organizing? to see if it’s for you.)

If you are the family genealogist, I can help you organize your research and materials. Read FAQ for more ideas and info.

Are you curious about your own family history?

Already an amateur (or professional) genealogist?

Please leave a comment below!


Copyright 2017 – 2019 by Hazel Thornton, Organized for Life.
I welcome social media links directly to this page!
Please contact me for other types of reprint permission.








Share this:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted in


  1. Andi Willis on December 7, 2015 at 6:00 am

    Hazel, this is a great new service for your clients. As my family’s historian, I’m always amazed when people don’t know much about their family histories. What a great way to help them understand themselves better!

    • Hazel Thornton on December 11, 2015 at 8:35 am

      Well, I didn’t know much about mine until I got curious and started learning how to do the research around age 35. I discovered that I come from a long line of Quakers. Between the last of the Quakers (disowned for marrying outside the faith and such) and my Dad’s generation was only one generation during which there was apparently no mention of Quakers at all!

  2. Janet Barclay on December 12, 2015 at 7:22 am

    You have definitely piqued my interest! Can’t wait to see what you discover and to share it with my siblings.

    • Hazel Thornton on December 12, 2015 at 7:26 am

      I am learning that there are differences between Canadian research and US research!

      • Janet Barclay on December 12, 2015 at 12:24 pm

        Happy to provide you with a value-added learning experience! 😉

        • Janet Barclay on February 26, 2016 at 8:47 am

          My family and I are getting a lot of enjoyment from the research you did for me. I’ve even managed to use the information you supplied to make some discoveries of my own!

          • Hazel Thornton on February 27, 2016 at 6:32 pm

            Yay, glad to hear it, Janet! It’s fun, huh?

  3. Seana Turner on December 12, 2015 at 7:35 am

    Definitely takes patience and tenacity to do these. My husband’s uncle went through this process and it was very fun to see where the story took us:) I think your price is very fair!

    • Hazel Thornton on December 12, 2015 at 7:51 am

      It’s just an introductory price. And a learning curve when it comes to determining the boundaries of the project. And each one’s different!

  4. Sabrina Quairoli on December 12, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Great service Hazel! Good luck wih it. I am responsible for my family and my husband’s family but do it on the side when I feel up to it or there is a new life changing event. I will keep you in mind if I have any clients interested. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hazel Thornton on December 19, 2015 at 5:54 pm

      Thanks, Sabrina!

  5. Sarah Soboleski on December 12, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    How great that you’re branching out in your services! And this pairs so nicely with your recent APPO certification. Keep us posted how it goes!

    • Hazel Thornton on December 19, 2015 at 5:53 pm

      It does! Thanks, Sarah!

  6. Claire on December 30, 2015 at 7:38 am

    What a lovely idea for a gift! My Nana is brilliant at this sort of thing.

    • Hazel Thornton on December 30, 2015 at 1:52 pm

      Thanks, Claire!

  7. Natalie Gallagher on February 2, 2016 at 9:13 am

    This is such a UNIQUE service offering Hazel. I’ll be sure to share with my tribe!

    • Hazel Thornton on February 2, 2016 at 10:17 am

      Thanks, Natalie!

Leave a Comment