The ecosystem growing up around FamilySearch Family Tree is an increasingly compelling reason to add your data. Here’s another interesting program and an interesting way to visualize your data.
RootsMapper.com is a free website that shows your “pedigree” in geographical format. For the map below I mapped myself, although I could have specified any Family Tree PID (person identifier). I specified four generations (which doesn’t include the root person.) RootsMapper then animated backwards the migration of my ancestors.
A circle with a generation number indicates the birthplace of each ancestor. Blue indicates male, and pink, female. The root person is indicated with numeral “0” (which is currently highlighted in yellow in the map below). Parents are indicated with the numeral “1,” grandparents with “2,” and so on. Just like a pedigree chart, lines link each person to their parents (although they can be turned off).
Hover over a circle and RootsMapper pops up a box with the person’s name, birth year, and death year. Click on a circle and it pops up a person card with name, full birth and death information, a photograph (if available), the PID, and options to remove that circle or extend the pedigree beyond that point.
The first time I ran this four generation map several points jumped out at me.
I have southern roots! Lots of them! I have an Irish line! And I have a Scandinavian line! Of course I already knew all that, but I’ve been suppressing it to avoid collisions with burned counties, Irish research, and patronymic names. (You’d think someone comfortable with pseudonymic names would be fine with patronymic names, but apparently not.)
The program can map up to eight generations of all ancestral lines, but that takes an extremely long time. A better approach is to map several generations and then extend particular lines. That can be done up to 20 generations.
The program has several options. One displays the number of births per country. Another displays a small pedigree of the mapped generations. Another isolates the display to only one line.
To run the program, you’ll need a (free) FamilySearch account. And of course, you’ll only see what information you or a relative have added to Family Tree. If there are errors in your tree you’ll have to fix them in Family Tree before the RootsMapper map is accurate. While free, donations are accepted.