I grew up hearing stories about my ancestors. As I learned the details of their lives, I wondered what it would be like to get a glimpse of their world. The Family Tree app recently added a feature that, in some cases, can help that become a reality by allowing you to map key events in your ancestors’ lives directly in the app.
Not too far from where I now live, I found my great-great-great-grandparents’ home using the addresses attached to their life events and memories on FamilySearch.org. I then searched Google Maps for the address to see if the home is still standing today, and I discovered that it is!
The following are pictures of the home. The top two were attached as memories to my family tree, the bottom left is the image I found on Google Maps, and the last photo is of my dad later visiting the home. While specific street addresses may not always be available, you never know what you’ll stumble on. Try mapping your ancestors with the Family Tree app to see what hidden treasures you can find!
Please note: This feature is currently available on Apple phones and will soon be available on Android as well.
How It Works
Open the Family Tree app, tap More in the bottom right corner, and then tap Map My Ancestors. A map will then show you a 100-mile radius around your current location. Here’s what the icons on the map mean:
- The blue pulsating dot represents you.
- People icons represent ancestors who lived in the area.
- Blue icons with numbers represent multiple ancestors in the same location. Tap the icon to view the names of those ancestors. To exit the list, tap the x in the corner of the list.
Zoom in or out of the map to show fewer or more ancestors at a time. You can also tap the i icon to change the appearance of the map or to limit the number of ancestors you see by tapping “Show only direct line ancestors.”
View Specific People
To see the locations of events from a specific ancestor’s life on the map, tap that ancestor’s name or type their name in the search bar. Icons representing their life events will appear on the map along with a list of the events. Tap an event to learn more about it.
To open this same person-specific view from your ancestors’ page in Family Tree, tap one of their life events, and then tap the map that appears.
Add Burial Locations
Add location information in Family Tree about your ancestors’ burial to view more events in the map and to ensure that the locations you see are accurate. If you know the name of the place where one of your ancestors was buried, open the tree, and select the ancestor in question. On the Details page, tap the burial event, and then tap Edit. Enter the name of the cemetery under Place. Finally, add an explanation for the change. Then tap Save.
Give It a Try
Explore the Map My Ancestors feature to discover places you can visit! Here are some instances where it might be particularly useful:
- Find ancestors who lived near you. This map can make it easy to find nearby landmarks from your family history.
- Plan a trip. Search the map by location to find some sentimental stops along the way.
- Trace your roots. Get a quick glance of where your ancestors came from around the world.
Download the app to try it out!
Source: New on FamilySearch