The Genealogies Recorded in the Sacred Scriptures, According to Every Familie and Tribe. With the Line of Our Saviour Iesus Christ Observed from Adam to the Blessed Virgin Mary
John Speed, c.1618
The historian and cartographer John Speed (1551-1629) drew these genealogies to provide readers with a mnemonic device by which to trace relations described in Biblical stories. Such images became the foundation for many European family trees, whereby secular genealogies were grafted on to sacred ones in family bibles. Tree imagery was later appropriated as a taxonomic device in nineteenth-century evolutionary theory, and later became an inspiration for the anthropological kinship diagram.