Does anyone have this problem? To make a beautiful genealogical chart that tells a visual story, I have discovered many knots that I wish to portray clearly. This chart shows how two families interlinked. It gets more complex from this point too; cousins married cousins at least half the time. There are several entire sibling groups that married each other!
Charting out such complications is a major visual challenge. It took hours to figure out this chart, which is edited from the Schmitt side. I did not include the marriages without descendants, which add more connections. It might require overlays to convey. Or might it need a 3D model?
Not living in an era of arranged marriages, we don’t have such patterns anymore. And I have not seen a genealogical chart that conveys it. Have you? Most charts just show direct line (I show the above chart edited to only the direct line below), not the inclusion of sibling marriages or the mixing of families. To me, this is where the story reveals itself, and when the numbers really speak. Beyond this chart, the branches continued to mix, increasing all the interrelations.
So now the problem becomes: What do you call relations that are closer than cousins yet less than siblings? Is not the genetic connection much closer in the children of two pairs of siblings? It would be as if my father and his brother married two sisters. My cousins would be much closer genetically than my cousins are today. It does make the gene pool a lot smaller, as it makes charting a lot harder. These charts only focus on six interlinked marriages, from the Schmitt side. There are many more that connect into this structure. And, subsequent generations all marry each other and make more connections between this beginning.
Did all European families do this? My family is fairly average, I figure. They were tradespeople who crawled out of the middles ages, became entrepreneurs, and half immigrated to other countries in the mid 1800s.
Maybe others don’t chart this way because to make a clear framework for it is complex in itself. With all the data at my finger tips to wade through, just revealing these connections took time as each clue revealed itself. It reinforces my fascination with how much life has changed, as well as how much there is still to learn from the past.
—Always inspired, Liane
Liane Sebastian wears an editor’s hat, designer’s coat, and artist’s shoes.