Monday, July 24, 2017

Our Family ChartMasters Heirloom Family Tree

Our Family Tree, by Family Chartmasters
Quite a few years ago, in 2011, I met Janet Hvorka of the Family Chartmasters at the Southern California Genealogy Society Jamboree in Burbank, California.  She had a lovely booth all set up with lots of family trees, and we admired them and dreamed about ordering one someday.  We looked at their pretty fan charts, and ancestor charts with photos, and just couldn't decide. Time went by…

In 2013 I met Janet Hvorka at her lovely booth again at the RootsTech genealogy conference in Salt Lake City.  This time we ooohed and ahhhhed over more new family tree charts and dreamed a bit more about having a nice tree to display on the wall.  There were big charts with lots of generations, all sizes and shapes, and even some that looked like real trees.  Our daughter was getting married so we decided to wait so we could put the happy couple on a future family tree.  Time went by…

In 2015 Janet Hvorka was at the New England Regional Genealogy Conference (NERGC)  in Providence Rhode Island, with her lovely booth and even more charts and trees.  She showed us all the new layouts and designs for family trees and multigeneration charts.  We were very excited because the happy couple, my daughter and son-in-law, were expecting our first grandchild.  We discussed a possible tree with Janet, and she explained how we could show all the ancestors, and our descendants on a family tree.  Wow!  We decided to wait until the baby was born so we could include the new name on the chart.  Time went by…

NERGC is a biennial conference, so this year at Springfield, Massachusetts we toured the vendor hall and – you guessed it – we bumped into Janet Hvorka and her lovely Family Chartmaster booth again.  Years had passed since we first thought of this possible family tree,  and even though the vendor hall had several other vendors selling custom charts, and even though our grandbaby is now almost two years old WE DID IT!  We gave Janet a down payment on a large wall chart with our family tree!  It was a new kind of tree (drawn like a real tree), just like the 19th century tree charts I have admired in the past (click here to see a HASKELL family tree I photographed at the NEHGS library in Boston: )

Well, you know me by now.  NERGC was in April, and it is now July.  Time went by…  as we considered all our options and finally submitted our GEDCOM file to Janet.  Then FamilyChartmasters got to work finagling all the generations and names into a free form tree with my ancestors on the right side branches, and Vincent’s ancestors on the left, and our descendants down in the roots.  We worked via email with a very patient and skillful employee named Christine.
Over the next few weeks Christine took our email suggestions and tweaked branches, added generations, and squeezed in hundreds of names.  The final result was wonderful!

Between email, this little booklet and the website
we were able to work with FamilyChartmasters to design
our family tree

We had the chart professionally framed and it hangs in our family room.  At a family birthday party last weekend everyone had fun finding their branch on the tree, or even finding their own name!  I don’t know if you can see in the photo because of the glare on the glass, but each leaf is not only labeled with a name, but the name of the country or state is on the leaf, too.  There are nine generations in the branches, and our grandchild is down below!

Thanks Janet, Christine and everyone at Family Chartmasters!  I would recommend their family trees to anyone who would like to hang a chart in their home. The process was easy, and well worth the time, affordable, and provided us with a real family heirloom.  We all love the final result!

The Family Chartmasters website: 

Family Chartmasters at Facebook:


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Our Family ChartMasters Heirloom Family Tree", Nutfield Genealogy, posted July 24, 2017, ( accessed [access date]). 


  1. beautiful! Do they have a template to do all the wavy names or do they do the names by calligraphy?

    1. Hi Randy! It looks as if it were computer generated, but very nice calligraphy. I hope Janet or one of the Family Chartmaster staff members sees your question and can give us the answer.

    2. Hi Randy and Heather. We don't have a template. Each of our designs are customized to your family information. Our designers (like our awesome Christine) are able to work our magic between your software and our in-house software to make magical things happen. :)

    3. Thanks, Janet! It definitely does look like magic!

  2. I love this... will have to look into it.

  3. Thanks for the wonderful post Heather! We're so glad we were able to finally help you create this chart that you've been dreaming of for so long. It is so fun to see what you've done with it and to see that Isabella will be playing right underneath it. She is a lucky granddaughter to have such wonderful grandparents who are going to teach her all about her amazing family history. Enjoy!