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Box Descendant charts are User Items that create descendant charts where generations are aligned in columns. Children appear to the right of their parents.

For people in the chart who have a person entry, the chart entry links to the person entry and vice-versa.

A Box Descendant chart is a Content Item and does not create a page of its own. You must add it to a Page User Item or you will not see its content.


The following screenshot shows a portion of an Box Descendant chart. The subject is George Bezanson, and the chart includes his daughter Eunice Bezanson and some of her children and grandchildren.

screenshot of box descendant chart showing some descendants of George Bezanson
Example Box Descendant Chart without Spouses

The following screenshot shows a portion of an Box Descendant chart. The subject is George Bezanson again, but this version was created with Include Spouses checked.

screenshot of box descendant chart showing some descendants of George Bezanson and their partners
Example Box Descendant Chart with Spouses

Edit Box Descendant Chart

The Edit Box Descendant Item window controls the properties of a Box Descendant chart.

Shared Properties

Chart colors are determined by the Theme but can be changed by the user via the properties in the Theme.Chart section. Other stylesheet options are controlled via the subsections under the the Styles.Charts section.


The Title property identifies the User Item in the User Items list.


See Enabled in the Common Properties section of the User Items help page.


Specify the ID number of the subject of the chart in the Subject textbox.


You may use the Picklist button to select the subject.


Use the Generations textbox to specify how many generations the chart should contain. The default is 999 generations, which should be enough to include all generations except in unusual usage scenarios.

Include Spouses

If the Include Spouses property is checked, the chart will include partners with whom a descendant had children.

Include Childless Spouses

If the Include Spouses property is checked, and the Include Childless Spouses property is also checked, the descendant report will include partners who have a FAM entry in the GEDCOM file shared with the descendant even if the union did not produce children.

Use Spouse Style

If Use Spouse Style is checked, spouse boxes will use the Chart Spouse Box style. If Use Spouse Style is unchecked, the spouse box will be styled based on gender.

Show Marriage Date

If spouses are included and the Show Marriage Date property is checked, spouse entries will include the marriage date in the lifespan. The default value is unchecked.

Suppress Duplicates

If Suppress Duplicates is checked, GedSite will detect duplicates in the chart and stop processing the lineage for the second and subsequent duplicates. The default is checked.

Duplicates entries include a button to scroll the original into view.

screenshot of chart entry with duplicate button
Chart Entry with Duplicate Button

Chart entries that are linked from one or more later duplicates are marked with a small circle.

screenshot of chart entry with original marker
Chart Entry with Original Marker

If Add On-Chart Links is checked, GedSite will add button links on the page to scroll the chart from the current location to an entry above or below. The buttons are added when there is a large vertical gap between the current person and the next or previous peer.

screenshot of on-chart link buttons
On-Chart Link Buttons


Person Legend

The Person Legend property determines whether GedSite adds items that explain the entries in the chart that are colored by gender, and if so, where they will appear:

  • None – not added to the legend
  • Top – added to the top legend only
  • Top, Bottom – added to both the top and bottom legend
  • Bottom – added to the bottom legend only

Accent Legend

The Accent Legend property determines whether GedSite adds items that explain the entries in the chart that are colored by an Accent, and if so, where they will appear. The choices are the same as listed above.

Legend entries are mixed together. The subject item appears first, then Accents, if any, followed by the person items.

screenshot of chart legend
Example Legend

In the example, the "Direct Ancestors" item was created with an Accent.


The Class textbox allows you to specify the name of a CSS class that will be added to the chart's container. To alter the appearance of every chart that shares the class name, define the class using a User Style.

Add References

If Add References is checked, GedSite will add a chart-type reference to each person who is included in the chart.

Add Spouse References

If Add Spouse References is checked, GedSite will add a chart-type reference to each spouse who is included in the chart. Add Spouse References is disabled if Add References is not checked.

Person Filter Tab

Use the Person Filter tab to reduce the set of people included in the chart.

People must pass the basic requirements to be included in a chart before the Person Filter is applied. So, for example, in a descendant chart limited to five generations, a person must be a descendant of the progenitor within five generations. In addition, the People section filters are applied before the Person Filter and so living or excluded people may or may not be eligible to be in the chart.

If those requirements are met, GedSite applies the Person Filter. The Person Filter may decrease the number of people in a chart, but it cannot increase the number of people because of the processing described in the paragraph above.

For example, using a Person Filter with a DNA Descendant Of criteria term may be used to limit a descendant chart to the subset that inherits a particular type of DNA from the progenitor in the criteria term.

See the Filters page for more information about filters.

Name and Date Tab

Name Format

The Name Format pull-down menu controls the format of names in the chart. The choices are "Full Name" and "Name w/ Middle Initials". The default is "Name w/ Middle Initials".

When Name Format is set to "Name w/ Middle Initials", GedSite transforms the given name field into a first name and middle initial.

Given names that include any of these characters are not changed:

" ' , ; : ( ) [ ]

For example, "John (Jack)" will appear as "John (Jack)", i.e., it is unchanged.

If a given name begins with one or more initials, the first non-initial middle name is retained. For example, "J. William Henry" will appear as "J. William".

If a given name includes more than one middle name, only the initial for the first middle name is retained. For example, "John Jacob Jingleheimer" will appear as "John J.".

When a chart includes a shortened version of the given name, the visitor may hover over the chart entry to see the person's full name.

Date Format

The Date Format pull-down menu controls the format of dates in the chart. It has the same choices as the date formats property described in the Dates section. The default is "Aaa yyy".

Lifespan Format

The Lifespan Format determines the format of lifespans in the chart. The default value is "(b. birth, d. death)".

The tooltip that is visible when a visitor hovers their mouse over a chart entry shows a lifespan will full dates.

Images Tab

Include Images

The Include Images property determines whether GedSite adds the person's primary image to a box in the chart.

When a person has a primary image, and that image can be included in the site, GedSite will expand the box and embed the image. The layout of the chart will be adjusted to accommodate the image, and that may include increasing the size of rows and/or columns in the chart.

Images are subject to one of the "Show Primary Image" detail filters in the People section.

Image Alignment

The Image Alignment pull-down menu controls the alignment of the embedded image. The choices are "Left", "Right", "Top", and "Bottom". The default is "Left".


Image Guidelines

GedSite expects images that are taller than they are wide. This is a common format for formal photographs and works well with images that show the head and shoulders of the subject.

The chart will look best if the all the images use the same aspect ratio. The aspect ratio is the ratio of the pixel width to the pixel height. So, for example, if you assign primary images that are all in the 4:5 ratio, then good image sizes are 200x250, 400x500, 800x1000, etc.

The best image ratio for use with GedSite is 4:5. Other portrait-mode (taller than wide) ratios will also work well.

Boxes Tab

The Boxes tab includes several properties for managing the layout of the chart.

The Width and Height properties control the size of the boxes.

The Row Leading, Connector Offset, and Connector Width properties control the spacing of the boxes in the chart.

Spacing When Spouses Are Not Included
Spacing When Spouses Are Included

Accents Tab

Use the Accents tab to add Accents to highlight selected members of the chart.