A pedigree is a way of visualizing a person’s family history by putting it on paper. There is a specific way of drawing a pedigree and specific symbols used such that it can be read and understood quickly. Pedigrees can be a useful tool in medicine when tracking disease through a patient’s family history.

How to Draw a Pedigree

The figure below shows some of the more common symbols used when drawing a pedigree. When drawing a pedigree, sometimes it is helpful to write the names of the family members if given, as well as ages and any other important information about them.

Pedigree

The DNA Learning Center has a click-through tutorial on how to draw a pedigree: http://dnalc.org/mediashowcase/media_item.html?id=1084

“Making a Pedigree.”DNA Learning Center. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. 12 December 2008. http://www.dnalc.org/mediashowcase/media_item.html?id=1084.