Family Tree Portraits
Unique, personalised family tree chart portraits created from your own family tree history.
A different way to display and present a genealogical chart showing your ancestry.
Hand drawn pencil sketched images relating to the ancestors within your tree.
We will work with you to create your own bespoke commissioned portrait that can be kept as a treasured keepsake for generations.
Flexible and affordable prices.
A family owned business helping you to bring your family history to life.
You choose the images and story you want to create.... we will do the rest!
How we got here
My name is Rob Gill and I am a pencil artist located in central England, in Nottinghamshire. I have been producing family tree portraits since 2017, when I had the idea of working on a portrait as a gift for my Father-in-Law. It was from this that Family Tree Portraits was created as a service. Having been a fan of programmes such as "Long Lost Families" and "Who Do You Think You Are", I decided to investigate my family history, and using websites like Ancestry and Findmypast, I have been researching my family history over the last 6 years. While in the process of researching, I had an idea for an interesting way to display my family trees, and how to put a little meaning into the research being done and show the results of the hard work that that had been put into the hours and hours of searching for my past ancestors. Over the years I’d seen many versions of family trees used, family tree charts, pedigree charts, record sheets, family tree wall displays, family tree pictures, all portrayed in different ways, and it was by seeing these that I had the inspiration to attempt something slightly different. I asked myself, how could I display a family tree chart or show my family tree history, and exhibit all the hours of research that I had done.
It was my Father-in-Law’s 80th birthday in 2017, and having completed his tree up to the mid 1700’s, covering 7 generations, I thought I could present the history of his family name in a different way. Rather than just listing all his ancestors on a tree, the idea I had was to create a hand drawn pencil sketched portrait showing images relating to his ancestors, with his family tree placed over the background images. I decided to locate images relating to his ancestors and put pencil to paper to produce something personalised for him.
As I’d found a colourful family history for my Father-in-Law, with a local connection dating back to 1752, deciding upon the images was quite easy. Firstly, there was a family home where my wife grew up with her parents. Next were a few occupations; the colliery where my father-in-law worked; the exact bus that his father drove, transporting the colliery workers to the pits; the trades of joiners, blacksmiths and wheelwrights that his grandfathers and many of his great uncles had with their family businesses in the area. Other places of interest and residences relating to the family were also included on the portrait; the inn that the family were licensees of that was handed down from generation to generation for 140 years; the yard that was named after the family, adjacent to the inn and where the family lived and ran their many businesses from; and finally the church where several generations were baptised, married and buried.
The portrait took a couple of weeks to complete, just in time for the birthday event, and I was happy with the result.....but would my Father-in-Law like it! On the day of his birthday, the portrait was given to him and much to my delight, he and his family loved it. He’d known a little of his family history already, but it was a pleasure to explain the names and images, and what I had discovered over the time of my research.
Since I had been a member of a few ancestry groups over the years, I decided to share my portrait with one of the groups as I had also seen some interesting things that people had shared too. I didn’t expect what would happen next! From the moment I shared my portrait the response kept my phone pinging with notifications over the next couple of weeks, and produced almost 1000 “Likes” and over 250 comments. Comments ranged from complimentary, statements of what a unique idea it was, to requests if I could produce one for other people, even to suggestions that it would make a fantastic little business.
After a few weeks taking this all in, and deciding if I’d like to take this further, I contacted the first person that had asked if I wanted to produce one for her. My first client, living in Scotland, confirmed that they would definitely like a portrait producing, this one as a gift for her father’s 60th birthday.
Working with my first client, we discussed about the various options available to her, how to set up the portrait, and what type of images she would like. With a bit of research I came up with a design, and after just over a week the portrait was completed. Packaged up and posted, off it went up to Glasgow in Scotland. Would my first customer like it as much as my father-in-law had liked his? As she couldn’t wait for it to arrive she asked to see pictures of the completed portrait. She was delighted and quite emotional, happy that everything that we had discussed had been included. I was nervous while waiting for a response to say that it had been delivered safely to it’s destination, and relieved when I was told that it had arrived and she loved it!
Now that the first one had been completed, and after beginning to understand how much work was involved, it was then I made the decision that I’d like to pursue this endeavour, mix a couple of my favourite pastimes, and see where it went. Before making the decision to go ahead I thought I would see how the next couple of portraits would turn out, a couple of orders I had just picked up, one for another family member, and one for a client in Yorkshire as a birthday gift. The portraits were again received with kind comments and this then sealed the decision for me to carry on.
Following the successful start to this venture, we are now producing these memorable keepsakes, bringing family tree histories to life in the form of our portraits, and the chance to show your history in a different way!
Family Tree Portraits
Family Tree Portraits produce personalised portraits that bring your very own family history to life, telling the story of your ancestors with images all relating to the ancestors within your tree. We can create commissioned portraits of graphite pencil drawings from your supplied family tree history and photos or images that you would like on the portrait. Working with you, we will create your own bespoke portrait that can be kept as a treasured keepsake for generations. Family Tree Portraits aim to provide a friendly and professional service, and are always keen to discuss your requirements via email or messaging when commissioning your portrait, offering advice and ideas along the way. Don't have an image you could provide but have an idea what you would like? Don't worry, images can be researched to provide something suitable that can be used on your portrait. Portraits are despatched securely via special delivery postage to ensure that they arrive safely at their destination. Offering flexible and affordable portrait prices, we are a family owned business helping you to bring your family history to life. You choose the images and story you want to create..... we will do the rest!
Commissioning a Portrait
The Process Involved
At the moment we can produce 2 sizes of portrait that can be displayed in either landscape or portrait style. These are 16" x 12" (40cm x 30cm) to fit a standard frame with a mount, or 20" x 16" (51cm x 40cm) to fit a standard frame without a mount. The portraits are drawn onto an Arcoprint Milk 300gsm off white and slightly textured board. This is an acid free material that will help prevent the yellowing of the board with age. Portraits are suitably packaged and despatched unframed.
Prices of the portrait are determined by the size, number of generations, and number of images drawn on to the portrait. Generations can include a main family ancestor such as Grandparent, and also include Siblings and / or Spouse. Images priced to draw are for each main image such as an ancestral home, church of baptism etc. Smaller images can be incorporated into the portrait such as smaller logos or graphics, and these can be discussed at the consultancy stage. The level of detail and how much work is involved reflects the price of the portrait. It is entirely up to the customer how much detail is required, some want more, some less. Please see the prices section for more information.
The process begins with choosing a size of portrait, but other factors can often determine the most suitable size of portrait to display your family tree before the decision is made about what size portrait you would like, and before the commissioning is made.
Style of Family Tree
The style of tree required can often determine the size and layout that the portrait can be produced on. We tend to display the family tree as an ancestor view, with the oldest ancestor/s at the top of the tree with the following generations below leading up to the youngest members at the foot of the family tree. There are obviously different variations how to display the information on your tree, and we will work with you to recommend the best way to display it.
Some factors that can determine the size and style of the tree are:
Number of generations required
On a portrait style view the generations can be as few as 5, with as many 7 or 8. Using a landscape style allows perhaps less generations. The size of portrait chosen and amount of information per generation can also determine this.
The number of family members per generation
The portrait style view will allow for less family members across the portrait, and a landscape style will allow for more. Again, the size of portrait chosen and amount of information per generation can also determine this.
Family member information
This can range from Christian name, Middle name, Surname, year of birth, or location of birth. As a rule of thumb, it is often better keeping to the information that you really need for a few reasons; too much information can make the portrait look cluttered; it can reduce the amount of space between each generation; and throw off the balance between family tree information and images drawn. Again, we can work with you to recommend the most suitable way to present the information you need.
Spouses and Siblings
If following a maternal or paternal name, you can show the siblings of the generations, including your direct ancestor, with or without spouses. However, the more family members per generation, the more space it will take on the portrait.
For variations of the above, please have a look at my photos and gallery to see some of the styles that we have produced so far. For different styles of family tree, please discuss with us and we will endeavour to fulfil your requirements.
In order for us to work on your tree, we will need your family tree information, any images you wish to send us, and an idea of any other images required if you don’t have them, to start getting an idea how it can fit on to the portrait style you require. All of this can be sent to us via email on firstname.lastname@example.org. From this information we can then discuss with you and advise about how all of this can fit together on your portrait. We call this the consultancy stage. The family tree details can be provided in text format, listing what names and details are required for each generation, and we will provide a proof back to you to confirm these details are correct. Any images provided ideally need to be as high a quality as possible as we will try to put in as much detail from the provided image as possible. Old and blurred photos can be used but we will try our best to cover as much detail from the photo as possible. If you are in doubt with the detail of any provided images, we can discuss this at this stage. If you have an idea for an image, but do not have any images that you can provide, we can research this to try to find something suitable. Any images that we find can be approved by the customer.
Once the consultancy stage has determined the layout and details of the portrait, we will then send you a confirmation of order email describing the specifications of the portrait being ordered.
Proofing and Production
The initial production stage will be to provide you with a proof copy of the details of the family tree, an important step as this will enable both us and the customer to ensure the details are correct before the portrait commences production. The time taken to discuss the details of the portrait are all important, and it may take a few emails, messages or conversations to iron out any details. After seeing the initial proof and you would like something amending, we can provide a re-proof with any amended details. It is important to know that once all of the details have been approved, and production of the portrait has begun, it can be difficult to amend anything. Once you are happy with the details and proof, we will start the portrait. Upon order confirmation, the portrait can take 2 weeks minimum to complete, again, depending how much work is involved. We will keep you up to speed along the way to let you know the progress if you wish.
At the near completion stage we will contact you to let you know that your portrait is almost complete, and we will send you your invoice via email. Once payment has cleared we’ll send your portrait off to you and confirm when your delivery is expected. If in the UK, we despatch via Royal Mail Next Day Special Delivery, details of which are on the pricing section. This service enables the portrait to be tracked in postage, and requires a signature upon receipt of delivery. Your portrait is fully insured during transit. If you’d prefer to collect and are near Nottinghamshire, collection is possible on arrangement.
The following lists the various prices for the two sizes of portraits we produce. Portraits are supplied unframed. If you have an idea of what you want that is not listed, or want a bespoke size, just let us know and we can work out a price for you. All costs listed are for portrait, postage and delivery. No additional charges are listed unless you are paying by Paypal.
Note prices listed are for customers paying by personal cheque, cash, postal order or internet bank transfer. For Paypal payments, please add 3.5%.
16” x 12” (40cm x 30cm)
5 6 7 8
5 Generation £120 £140 £160 £180
6 Generation £140 £160 £180 £200
7 Generation £160 £180 £200 £220
8 Generation £180 £200 £220 £240
Postage and packaging = £10.00 (Royal Mail Tracked Special Delivery)
20” x 16” (51cm x 40cm)
5 6 7 8
5 Generation £170 £190 £210 £230
6 Generation £190 £210 £230 £250
7 Generation £210 £230 £250 £270
8 Generation £230 £250 £270 £290
Postage and packaging = £15.00 (Royal Mail Tracked Special Delivery)
Prices Including Research
If you were interested in any of our portraits, but haven't completed or started your family tree, we can provide this as additional costs on top of the portrait prices above.
16” x 12” (40cm x 30cm)
20” x 16” (51cm x 40cm)
Research costs (approximate)
5 Generation £100
6 Generation £120
7 Generation £140
8 Generation £160
Please message us for more information
If you decide that you wish to have a copy of the portrait for any siblings or other relatives, these can be provided. Upon completion of the portrait we will take a high resolution scan and be able to produce any number of printed copies. Produced on a 150gsm uncoated Epson material, these are excellent copies that are extremely close to the original hand drawing. Ordering multiple copies enables the price to be less for each print as the cost reflects a make ready price of the printing process, and a run on price for the prints once the printer is made ready. Prices are listed below.
16” x 12” (40cm x 30cm)
First copy £30.00 / additional copies £10.00 each
20” x 16” (51cm x 40cm)
First copy £50.00 / additional copies £15.00 each
Family Tree Research
August 20, 2019
Genealogical research is now a service offered by Family Tree Portraits! Prices for research for your family history and commissioning a portrait can now be offered as a combined package. With the ability to search for your family history from 5 to 8 generations we are able to provide competitive prices for your genealogical research as well as producing a keepsake for you to treasure!
May 18, 2019
After almost a year in preparation in confirming family tree information and dates, Dave Valentine today received his prize that he won in the competition that was ran by the Federation of Family History Societies last year. The prize was offered by Family Tree Portraits for the competition held in the Federation's monthly newsletter. Presented by Steve Benson from the Federation, and Dena Fanshawe of the Chesterfield & District Family History Society, Dave was delighted with the portrait that depicts his family history going back to his 2x Great Grandparents. Hope you enjoy your portrait Dave!
Family chart templates
May 20, 2019
Our first attempt at a family tree chart template. Printed from a hand drawn portrait, at the smaller size (16" x 12" / 40cm x 30cm) of the portraits we produce, it has been printed on the 150gsm uncoated Epson material we provide on our additional copies, and are excellent copies that are extremely close to the original hand drawing. Specific to the county of Derbyshire, it displays generic popular landmarks and places within the area. The portrait is a 5 generation, showing 5 images, obviously has no names, and display the family tree chart that lets you fill in your own details, right up to your 16 2x Great Grandparents. Perfect if the majority of your family are mainly from the county of Derbyshire, and if you would like to purchase a more competitively priced portrait for you to fill in yourself.
If successful, we will follow this with other areas / counties. Prints priced at just only £10 exc delivery, these are significantly cheaper than our full personalised portraits.....please contact us if you would like to know more!
Chesterfield & District
Family History Fair 2019
May 18, 2019
May 2019 saw the return of Family Tree Portraits to the Chesterfield & District Family History Fair after being invited back for a 2nd year. An eventful day, it was a great opportunity for us to present the competition prize offered by us to Dave Valentine.
Sheffield & District Family History Fair
June 9, 2018
Following the first successful attempt at a family history event, we exhibited at another event a month later. The Sheffield & District Family History Fair was held at Hillsborough, the Sheffield Wednesday FC stadium, and again proved to be an extremely successful event!
First Family History Fair
May 19, 2018
On the 19th of May, 2017, we were presented with the opportunity to exhibit Family Tree Portraits at our first family history event. The Chesterfield and District Family History Fair was held at the Proact Stadium, the home of Chesterfield FC, it was a great experience where we had the chance to meet many people interested in genealogy and family history.
Federation of Family History Societies
March 25, 2018
Following the success of the first article being published, Family Tree Portraits were invited to display an article in the newsletter published by the Federation of Family History Societies. Published at the end of March, we were also proud to offer a competition prize of a portrait to 1 lucky winner!
First article in e-publication
March 14, 2018
March saw the first article describing Family Tree Portraits appear in a Family History publication. The Bolton Family History Society were kind enough to share Family Tree Portraits with its readers in its monthly e-publication newsletter.
Creation of Family Tree Portraits
February 1, 2018
Today is the day that Family Tree Portraits is officially launched. After several months in the thought process, producing a few initial portraits along the way, we are proud to announce that we up and running. We will continue to develop along the way, and look forward to producing memorable keepsakes of your own family history.