My Ancestor Chart

Unique Six Generation Wall Chart Creator



My Ancestor Chart User Guide


My Ancestor Chart is a database program that has the ability to quickly and easily create six generation pedigree wall charts suitable to:

frame and display in your home,
add to your family history archives
give as gifts to your family.

My Ancestor Chart is unique in that there is enough space to include all birth/christening, marriage and death dates and locations for every ancestor in your tree (birth details only for siblings) as well as up to 37 color or black and white portraits. All this in one compact chart.

The capability of the chart is as follows:

• 62 ancestors and the source individual can be displayed in each chart.
• up to six siblings of the source individual

The chart has been designed to be printed onto quality paper and displayed in a standard 18” x 12” frame. However, with the included pdf conversion utility, you can shrink or expand charts to any standard paper size such as A2, A3, A4, A5 and quarto, ledger etc.

Software Installation.

Software included on the CD or downloadable at

My Ancestor Chart (FileMaker runtime program)
PDF995 PDF File Creator
Adobe Reader

My Ancestor Chart is the program in which you create your Ancestor Charts. Further details can be found at

PDF995 PDF File Creator is the fast way to create documents in the popular PDF file format. Its easy-to-use interface allows you to create PDF files by simply selecting the "print" command from any application, creating documents which can be viewed on any computer with a PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader. Further installation details can be found at:

Adobe Reader is a free application for viewing and printing Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files on your computer. Further installation details can be found at

To install My Ancestor Chart to your Program files directory simply insert the CD in your CD-ROM drive. The auto-run feature will show a presentation screen. Here you can download the the installation programs. Follow the instructions.

A desktop icon will be placed on your desktop and you may launch the My Ancestor Chart program immediately.

The program may take up to 30 seconds to run. You should then see an an introduction screen.

Installing PDF995 onto your computer

We recommend you load the free PDF file utility immediately and set up the Print Set Up options before creating a wall chart. Simply press the “Install PDF995 PDF File Creator” button on the Installation CD. It will automatically install the program. Very easy. It may take up to a minute to load the program without advising you of progress. You may see a splash screen at the end. Just close it to go back to My Ancestor Chart program.

Alternatively download it from :

Print Set Up - Important!

Do not set up your normal Printer at this stage! You need to set up the printer as PDF995 so that the program can save your chart as a PDF file

Select File in the Menu toolbar then Print Setup
Ensure the following parameters are selected:

Print : Current Record
Printer Name: PDF995
Double check that PDF995 is the printer name set or you will come unstuck.
Select Properties….
Size: A3
Orientation: Landscape

Press OK

My Ancestor Chart Basics

My Ancestor Chart is is essentially a database, where you can create and store one or many wall charts. . When you start the application it may take up to 15-30 seconds to see the initial introduction screen. you can then press a button to go to the Chart or Generations view. A blank template appears… in FileMaker it is called a “record” but we call it a chart. You are now ready to begin entering your wall chart data.

Tip: To make a new blank chart (or “record) press the New Chart Button.

All data entered onto the chart is automatically saved. There is no need to manually save the chart file.

A completed sample of a Ancestor Chart is included in the program. Press the arrow button back or forward to toggle back and forth to the sample chart or to charts you have created.

You can decrease or enlarge any layout view by zooming to other sizes. The default Chart View is set at 75%. At this level you can see the entire chart. in 1028 x768 pixel screen mode. If your screen mode is set at 800 x 600 you may need to zoom to reduced levels. Other zoom levels are 50% 100% 150% 200% 300% and 400% . Zoom levels that do not have a button can be adjusted in the bottom left hand corner of the screen where you see the graph icons.

Entering My Ancestor Chart details

You can enter your ancestors name, birth, marriage, death dates and places directly into the chart in Chart View. Use the zoom button to magnify the chart and scroll over to Person #1.

However the Generations View has a six Generation layout that starts at the 1st Generation and scrolls progressively down the screen to the 6th Generation and Siblings. Using the Generations View can make it more comfortable to add your ancestor details. To use this feature press the Generation View button.

Begin entering your prime ancestor’s name and birth, marriage and death dates and places. Replace “Start Here! Person #1” and enter the person’s full given name, using the format convention as "title case" for the Christian names and "uppercase" for the surname. For example: John William SMITH. Always replace the "parent title" with the "parent" actual name.

The next three lines are for the birth, marriage and death dates and places. The characters * = and + mean:

* Birth or Christening
= Marriage
+ Death or Burial

For dates the international convention is:

dd mmm yyyy = where dd is day, mmm is month and yyyy is year. Therefore September 29, 1930 should be formatted preferably as 29 Sep 1930.

For places there are approx. 32 character spaces available. You can use your own preferences to enter place details. To conserve space we recommend you use the Chapman Code abbreviation for State / Province and Country.

For example: Mesa, AZ, USA or Sydney, NSW, AUS or London, LON, ENG

A full list of Chapman codes can be searched at:

Many genealogy publications also feature Chapman code conversion charts.

Now continue by entering details of the father and mother of Person #1 in the places indicated where it says #2 Father and #3 Mother and follow that with the grandparents, great grandparents etc. as indicated. The paternal side of the family completes the left hand side of the chart and the maternal side completes the right hand side. Marriage details are not shown in the female spouse fields.

There is space to add up to six siblings of Person #1 You will see the six picture place holders and detail fields adjacent to and below Person #1 There are connecting lines drawn between each sibling. If any line is not require simply click on that connecting line and press delete on the keyboard or select Edit then Clear on the Menu Bar.

Easy peasy!

When you have completed filling in as much detail as you can about your ancestors please ensure the family name in inserted in the field that already shows the words “{Your Name} Family Tree”.

Adding portrait images of your ancestors.

When adding portraits of your ancestors......

Recommended image size: 100 pixels across 128 high. You can vary this but see notes below.

Minimum image size: 50 pixels across 64 pixels high.

The approximate portrait ratio of the picture placeholder is: 4 wide : 5 high

Image sizes higher than the recommend size or other format ratios will automatically reduce to fit into the image placeholder. Inserting excessively large pictures in the image placeholder may crash the program and / or make the resulting chart file size unnecessarily large causing the printer to print the chart rather slowly.

Color images and black & white pictures can be used. The following common picture formats are acceptable:


You can add a portrait of an ancestor to a image placeholder by inserting it, using drag and drop, or by pasting the graphic from the Clipboard.

Inserting an image from a file.

1 In Browse mode, click the image placeholder where you want the image to appear.
2 Press the Insert Picture Button
3 In the dialog box, locate and select the image file.

Deleting a picture from the chart.
1 In Browse mode, click the image placeholder.
2 Press the Delete button on your keyboard (not Delete Chart button!).


Some default images appearing in Gallery can be used in case you don't have a portrait of an ancestor . To copy an image just insert the cursor onto an image and press Ctrl: C. Go back to the Chart and insert the cursor to the location where you want to insert the picture and press Ctrl: V The picture will appear.

Seven Generation Wall Chart Alternative Layout

It is possible to configure My Ancestor Chart as a Seven Generation Wall Chart. In this situation only your paternal or maternal ancestors are shown as well as Source Person #1 and spouse and four children of that couple. To do this simply enter the Source Person as No 1 and the spouse beside that Person #1. Remove connecting line not required on the same row. Then use the four detail and image placeholders below that couple for the four children. Remove connecting lines not required between children.

Preview the Wall Chart

You can preview the chart at any time by pressing the Preview Chart button. To see the preview displayed correctly you must ensure that you have set up the Print Set Up parameters as described in Print Setup above.

Saving the Wall Chart as a PDF File

We highly recommend that you check your work before printing the chart. One friend printed six quality copies of his chart only to discover he had spelt the name of his sister Donna as Doona!

It is possible that the wall chart may show details in some ancestor fields truncated. This will happen if you entered too many characters in a field particularly in Generations View. You may need to abbreviate the contents of some fields to accommodate this

The wall chart size is approx. 27.5cm x 27.25cm and within is designed to be printed on (420 x 297mm) A3 paper (approximately U.S. ledger size) in landscape orientation.

Note that the buttons you see on the around the edges of the chart in Chart View will not be printed when you print an actual chart.

Few genealogists will have a large format printer to print in A3, ledger or similar. However by using the printer plug-in called PDF 995 which came with the software provided, you can print to almost any paper size large or small. If you own a copy you can also print to the FULL version of Adobe .

When you are ready to print a particular Wall Chart press the “Print to PDF” button. The program will open the print dialog box.

IMPORTANT Ensure the Print Set Up parameters are as described in Print Setup above.

Press OK

Press OK

The screen may blank out temporarily while it does this. Then a dialog box will be presented to “save as” the pdf file. Type in a file name such as “your family name” for the file and a location (such as your Desktop) to save it to. A “sponsor” screen may also appear which you should close before proceeding.

Printing the Chart in Adobe Reader

A copy of the Adobe Reader installation program has been included on CD versions. Alternatively you can download Adobe Reader at

The file created can now be printed on your home printer to any size of your printer's capability such as A4, A3, quarto or any other size.

To do this you need to open the file in Adobe Reader. This program is included with My Ancestor Chart program on CD.

Locate the PDF file you created and by double clicking on the icon or filename it should open the Adobe Reader program and you will see your wall chart displayed in Landscape mode. To view the image more closely you can zoom in to any chosen zoom level..

You will need to select your Adobe page set up and printer setup requirements before printing

Page Setup

Select your Output Printer ... that is the printer you intend to print to.
Choose your paper size such as A3, A4, Ledger, Quarto or even very large format paper sizes.
Select Landscape mode

You may need to experiment with differing paper types. You can print on plain white paper or you may choose a colored paper. The best effect is on 90gsm Marbled Parchment Paper. “Antique Beige” color is particularly attractive.

Printer Setup

Important: Tick “Shrink oversize pages to paper size”
Important Tick “Auto-rotate and center pages”

Then go for it.. Print your chart.

Using a Print Shop

Most of you will ultimately want to print a the chart in a large paper size. Companies such as Kinkos (many countries) or Officeworks in Australia will print the chart for you for a small fee. They will have some standard paper types and sizes. We paid Au$2.70 for per A3 print size at OfficeWorks. The images were digital color printed and the clarity and vibrance of charts printed this way made the Ancestor Charts absolutely stunning.

Genfindit can also supply Antique Beige A3 (420x297mm) Parchment Paper and ship it to you for Au$14 per 10 sheets including postage in Australia. Contact for details.

Framing your Chart

18" x 12" frames are a common size that can be purchased as a stock line from most picture framing outlets or stores.


The My Ancestor Chart program and 6 generation layout design is copyright © by Julian van der Veer. Please don't make copies of the program as this will ultimately affect our ability to improve the software for future release.


If you have difficulties with the program please contact Julian at

We hope you enjoy using the MY Ancestor Chart.

Julian van der Veer






VISIT OUR ONLINE UK ORDERING SERVICE AT   Established 1998 28 Hilma Street Collaroy Plateau NSW 2097 Australia  


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