Create An Eight-Generation Family Tree In Google Sheets

An eight-generation tree goes up to 128 great-great-great-great-great-grandparents.

Our layout in Google Sheets prints on six portrait pages that can be easily taped together (three pages across and two deep).

If you’re too busy for the thirteen steps in this tutorial, jump down to the end to grab our “done for you” Google Sheets template bundle.

What The 8-Generation Pedigree Tree Looks Like

The picture below shows what the top half of the tree looks like. This is a zoomed-out view.

This structure is repeated once.

Other sizes

If you want smaller trees that print on less pages, here you go:

But if you want larger trees, try one of these:

Step 1: Set Column Widths And Row Heights

Create a new worksheet.

To change the width of any column, follow these steps:

  1. Select the entire column by clicking on the letter at the top.
  2. Right-click and choose “Resize column” from the drop-down menu.
  3. Enter the sizes below (this is in pixels).

Set these sizes:

  • Set columns A and U to 35.
  • Set columns B, E, H, K, N, Q, T, and V (eight columns) to size 159.
  • Set columns C, F, I, L, O, and R to 23.
  • Set columns D, G, J, M, P, and S to size 12.

Set this column height:

The spreadsheet needs at least 128 rows which makes this a long tree.

I want to use the least amounts of printed pages. That means that I decrease the row heights from the default.

  1. Select rows 1 to 130.
  2. Right-click and choose “Resize row” from the drop-down menu.
  3. Enter size 15.

Step 2: Start With The Father Name Box

We start with the first section of the tree by adding the father.

Follow these steps to create this first paternal name field.

Merge two cells

  1. Select cells E32 and E33.
  2. Expand the Format menu in the top ribbon and choose “Merge cells”.
  3. Choose “Merge all”.

Add an outside border

  1. Select the merged cells.
  2. Expand the Borders menu in the top ribbon.
  3. Choose the “Outer Borders” option.

Set the font type, size, alignment, and color

I like to use a narrow font type that first more letters into the cell. This allows longer names to display in full. My preference is “Archivo Narrow”.

  1. Select the merged cells.
  2. Expand the font list and choose “More fonts” (if you don’t see your preferred option).
  3. Change the font type to “Archivo Narrow”.
  4. Leave the font size at 10.

Set the text alignment

I prefer names to be left-justified and vertically centered in the merged cells.

Cells are left-justified by default so all you need to set is the vertical alignment.

  1. Select the merged cells.
  2. Expand the vertical alignment dropdown.
  3. Set to the middle option.

Format the coloring

I like to use a different color in the name field for male and female ancestors.

My preference is a light blue for males.

To change the color of the name field:

  1. Select the merged cells of E32 and E33.
  2. Set the background color to light blue.

Step 3: Copy For Male Ancestors From The 3rd To 7th Generations

We are going to use copy-and-paste as much as possible in this process.

I’ve already worked out where each ancestor should go. Just follow these placements.

Select and copy the two merged cells E32 and E33.

Select each cell below in turn and paste the selected range into the cell. This copies the two cells.

4th Generation

  • H16

5th Generation

  • K8
  • K40

6th Generation

  • N4
  • N20
  • N36
  • N52

7th Generation

  • T1
  • T5
  • T9
  • T13
  • T17
  • T21
  • T25
  • T29
  • T33
  • T37
  • T41
  • T45
  • T49
  • T53
  • T57
  • T61

We’ll deal with the final eighth generation later.

Step 4: Create The Paternal Grandmother Box

This is the first female box on the page.

Select and copy the two merged cells E32 and E33.

Paste into cell H48.

Change the background color to light orange.

Step 5: Copy For Maternal Ancestors In The 4th To 7th Generations

Select and copy the merged cells H48 and H49.

Paste the range into the cells listed below. This copies the two merged cells.

4th Generation

  • K24
  • K56

5th Generation

  • N12
  • N28
  • N44
  • N60

6th Generation

  • Q6
  • Q14
  • Q22
  • Q30
  • Q38
  • Q46
  • Q54
  • Q62

7th Generation

  • T3
  • T7
  • T11
  • T15
  • T19
  • T23
  • T27
  • T31
  • T35
  • T39
  • T43
  • T47
  • T51
  • T55
  • T59
  • T63

We’ll deal with the 8th generation next.

Step 6: Create The 8th Generation

This furthest generation has a different format from the others.

 In order to fit the 128 people onto two portrait pages deep, the layout only gives a single row to each person in this generation.

We’ll format the first male and female boxes. Then we can copy them down the column.

  1. Set the color of cell V1 to light blue.
  2. Put an outside border around V1.
  3. Set the color of cell V2 to light orange.
  4. Put an outside border around V2.

Now copy these two cells down as far as V64 is filled with a pink cell.

Now we’ll create the connector lines for this quarter of the tree.

Step 7: Create Connector Lines From The Father To His Parents

Create a vertical line using borders:

  1. Select cells G17 to G48.
  2. Place a left border along these cells.

Create three horizontal lines using borders:

  • Select cell G17 only and place a top border on this cell.
  • Select cell G48 and place a bottom border on this cell.
  • Select cell F32 and place a bottom border on this cell.

Step 8: Connector Lines From The 3rd to 4th Generations

Create the first set of connector lines at this level:

  1. Place a left border along cells J9 to J24.
  2. Place a top border on cell J9.
  3. Place a bottom border on cell J24.
  4. Place a bottom border on cell I16.

Now we have a set of connector lines around one set of ancestors, we can copy the cells down to the other ancestors in this generation.

In other words, follow these steps:

  1. Select and copy the range of cells from I9 and J9 down to I24 and J24.
  2. Paste into cell I41.

Step 9: Connector Lines From 4th To 5th Generations

  1. Place a left border along cells M5 to M12.
  2. Place a top border on cell M5.
  3. Place a bottom border on cell M12.
  4. Place a bottom border on cell L8.

Now copy these bordered cells to the other ancestors in this generation.

  1. Copy the range of eight cells from L5 and M5 to L12 and M12.
  2. Paste into cell L21.
  3. Paste into cell L37.
  4. Paste into cell L53.

Step 10: Connector Lines From The 5th To 6th Generation

  1. Place a left border along cells P3 to P6.
  2. Place a top border on cell P3.
  3. Place a bottom border on cell P6.
  4. Place a bottom border on cell O4.

Now copy these bordered cells to the other ancestors in this generation.

  1. Copy the range of four cells from O3 and P3 to O6 and P6.
  2. Paste into cell O11.
  3. Paste into cell O19.
  4. Paste into cell O27.
  5. Paste into cell O35.
  6. Paste into cell O43.
  7. Paste into cell O51.
  8. Paste into cell O59.

Step 11: Connector Lines From The 7th To 8th  Generation

This connection is just a single horizontal line.

  1. Put a bottom border on cell U1.
  2. Copy the two-cell range of U1 and U2.
  3. Paste the cells all the way down to U63.

Step 12: Create The Home Person

The last step is to add yourself.

  1. Merge cells B64 and B65.
  2. Set your preferred background color.
  3. Add a border around the cells.
  4. Set the vertical alignment to middle.

Add the connector lines to the parents:

  1. Place a left border along cells D33 to D97.
  2. Place a top border on cell D33.
  3. Place a bottom border on cell D97.
  4. Place a bottom border on cell C64.

Step 13: Print Settings

When you print your eight-generation spreadsheet, use these settings:

  • Paper Size: A4
  • Page Orientation: Portrait
  • Show gridlines: unchecked

This is the print box:

Done-For-You Bundle

If you want a short-cut, we have pre-made templates in Google Sheets. Everything is laid out perfectly, you just need to fill it in!

We have two versions in the spreadsheet package:

  1. The classic template with names and dates.
  2. The simpler template that shows names only.

Margaret created a family tree on a genealogy website in 2012. She purchased her first DNA kit in 2017. She created this website to share insights and how-to guides on DNA, genealogy, and family research.

2 thoughts on “Create An Eight-Generation Family Tree In Google Sheets”

  1. Simply amazing.
    Thankyou for such clear, easy to understand and follow instructions.
    I just needed a little tree that goes to great grandparents and I’m so glad I found your article. It was the 6th or 7th I clicked onto. I’m so glad I kept looking.
    I’m not sure how long it took me, but it doesn’t feel like a long time. And I am not frustrated or throwing in the towel.
    Instead, I am so pleased with the spreadsheet. That is all thanks to you.
    I’m putting you in my favourites on my computer.
    Once again, thank you so much.

    Reply

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