Family tree

I had the idea to do this about 5 or 6 years ago. My girlfriend at the time had cousins that were almost the same age as her parents, which seemed odd to me. It happens if one generation, i.e. her parents’, spans over many years such that, when the first sibling has children, the last sibling is still pretty young. I was curious to see whether this was the case for my family as well, so I came up with the infographic below. It is not a family tree, as the point of a family tree is to start at you and work backwards in time.

Judging by the version number of jQuery used, I coded this in the winter of 2010. I wanted to use SVG so that the resulting infographic was zoomable, and went with a library called Raphaël. My whole code is available on GitHub and you can build your own graph if you want, as long as you use the Chrome browser[1].

My data should be accurate. To preserve some privacy, I left the birth days and months out and only kept the years. I also removed the last names. My pedophile uncle Martin Leimgruber was also left out. I’ve only put up my grandparents, uncles and cousins, not my cousins kids (6 so far).

You can view the infographic in fullscreen. You can also click on a person’s line (not the name) to highlight its “ancestors”.


We’re a somewhat lucky family, with only 4 deaths. My grandma died of cancer at the age of 58 on the same day as Elvis Presley. Her husband died at 73. My mom had a sister who was run over by a car at the tender age of 7. Finally one of my cousins sadly died at 1.5 years.


There is only a 17 years gap between my grandma and my oldest uncle. Then there is a 10 years gap between my youngest aunt and my sister – who is the oldest of the cousins generation. There is also a tiny 8 years gap among cousins between Sarah in 1987 and Dominik in 1995. Finally, not represented on this infographic, there is an 8 years gap between my youngest cousin Luca and the first child of one of my cousins, Noan. So the generation gaps are getting narrower. Visually, this results in a pretty regular waterfall.

Some more numbers

On my mom’s side, they are 3 siblings. On my Dad’s they are 9. These 12 people had 27 children – my sisters, cousins and me. A couple of cousins are married and/or have children. There is a suprising low number of divorces: 4. And as far as I know and physical evidence suggests, no bastards ;)

  1. You need to use a browser that supports date inputs. Sorry. ↩︎