Our Story

ModernRoots exists because I wanted to display my family tree - and I wanted it to be a beautiful (and interesting!) piece of art. I couldn't find anything that matched my style out there so I went for it myself.

As I thought about the design of traditional family trees I realized there was so much information left out that I wanted to bring to life. My inspiration came from yearly family trips to Yosemite when I was young. I love(d) the Giant Sequoias. I was amazed to think that a tree could be over 2000 years old. On display near the Sequoia groves, was a section of a fallen tree. The rings of the tree were labeled with imporant dates - showing when Columbus sailed or when Jesus was born. This 'timeline in a tree' inspired my own family tree design.

Instead of using the analogy of the tree's branches I used the tree's rings to mark out the lifespans of my ancestors. This brought facinating insights that were hidden in the simple names and dates format. Adding special 'rings' for world events brought even more insight. I could see into my grandfathers life story simply through the dates - born shortly after WW1, 10 when the depression hit, 21 at Pearl Harbor and serving in WW2, married shortly after the War ended and my mother coming not long after that, 50 when man walked on the moon. It was a new family history experience, deeper than I had had before, but it used just the names and dates I already had in the computer

I next turned the idea on its head to create a diagram of all my grandparent's descendants. This time I was inspired by the beautiful trails of light left by stars as the earth spins, the north star at the center. Again I could see all the kids, the grandkids (my cousins), and the great grandkids in ways I never could before.

More design ideas have come since and I will continue to offer them here.

I hope I can create one of these unique and beautiful family trees for you and your family. It will be an instant family treasure as it celebrates and illuminates your family origins and legacies. Email me to learn more: