A family genogram is a graphic display of a “family tree” – how people are related and what generations they belong to. A genogram includes information on medical histories and any genetic testing performed on any of the individuals. The family genogram can help determine family members’ chances of developing specific diseases, such as some types of cancer. Some genograms include social relationships or designations for the emotional state of the relationship.
Family genograms can also be called a McGoldrick-Gerson study, a Lapidus Schematic, or a Family Diagram. This type of diagram was popularized as a clinical tool by Monica McGoldrick and Randy Gerson in 1985, after their book Genograms: Assessment and Intervention was published.
How is a Family Genogram Used?
Geneticists and genealogists use family genograms to portray the complex history of a family through the eyes of as many members of the family as possible. How various generations are related, who married and divorced whom, what specific family members died from, chronic illnesses suffered, disowning of family members, if any children were adopted, and when different branches of the family were created (such as through remarriage or adoption) can all be included in the family genogram.
For many people, genealogy is a fun pursuit to learn more about what part of the world their families came from; however, for many others, family genograms become important for tracing risk factors for disease in themselves or their children. Family genograms for two partners who wish to have a child, but who both have family histories of similar diseases, can help determine the risk factors for developmental issues in some cases.
Why Should I Use a Family Genogram Template?
Whether you are curious about when your family came to the United States, or if you want more information on potentially genetic diseases, a family genogram template can help you start filling in branches of your family tree with information about names, relationships, births, deaths, etc. Download our free family genogram templates today to get started!