<< Back to document library

Note: This factsheet has been designed as a post-session handout for learners taking part in a Genomics Game session, but can also be used as learning resources in other settings. See the full collection here.

Key facts

  • A medical family history provides health information of an individual and their closest relatives.
  • A genetic family history shows how family members are related to each other and any medical conditions they may have.
  • It is usually presented in a pictorial diagram, using a collection of specific symbols and lines so that the diagram can be read by anyone.
  • By drawing a genetic family history of an individual and their close family members, it may be possible to identify patterns or clues that could indicate an inherited condition.

Did you know?

  • Taking a genetic family can often be an appropriate first course of action if an individual is worried that there is an inherited condition in their family.
  • Clinical clues from a family history that could indicate a genetic condition include:
    • an unusual presentation;
    • a condition known to run in families; or
    • a young person with a condition associated with later life.
  • Information from a genetic family history could also help to provide a diagnosis or inform effective treatment strategies.

Find out more

To view videos on how to take and draw a genetic family history, visit our family history page.


Publication type

Education and training resources

Genomics Game

First published

27th June 2019

Page updated

18th November 2019

Document Download

Game factsheet 7 Family history