This personal project of mine began in 2005 and compiles both sides of my family spanning over a thousand years of ancestors. On paper, it measures 36" × 175" and was composed by hand in Adobe Illustrator. To accompany the 1,774 names, I added maps, a timeline, and narratives to provide a broader understanding of time and place. It is typeset in Neue Frutiger LT, a compact sans-serif typeface with efficiency and clarity. Freight, a serif by GarageFonts, is used for the narratives and map labels. These typefaces were chosen for their modernity and weight range and their ability to evoke a classical yet sensible aesthetic.
Two families on this tree — the Taylors and the Morgans — trace back to ancient times. The dependability of the information beyond the break points is anyone’s guess. My confidence in any line drops at about twenty generations. In the case of the Welsh ancestors who date to the Iron Age, sources connect kings to mythological creatures when genealogy and folklore commingle. For the French lines that connect to Rollo, Viking and first ruler of Normandy, it seems almost convenient that the research ends with such a prominent figure. On the other hand, twenty generations calculates to about one million ancestors, and forty to one trillion, meaning that connections to the Vikings, French royalty, or kings of pre-historic Britain actually seems less far fetched.
Typography & Illustration
Early Print, 2006