Have you ever wondered what a map that showed the migration patterns of your ancestors would look like? You could attempt to piece it together by hand, on various copies of paper maps. Or, you could give RootsMapper a try.
RootsMapper is an interactive website that allows genealogists to easily visualize the migration patterns of their ancestors. It takes the data that it is given and puts together the line on the map for you.
RootsMapper is something that genealogists can use for free. There are things to be aware of, though. RootsMapper is a FamilySearch certified website. Those that want to use RootsMapper must have a FamilySearch account. If you don’t have one, you won’t be able to use RootsMapper.
FamilySearch is one of the most popular genealogy websites. It is provided as a service by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Everyone is welcome to make an account at FamilySearch. You do not have to be a Mormon, or of any religion at all, in order to use the website for free.
It appears that before you can start using RootsMapper, you need to put some information into your FamilySearch account. It is not possible to put your family tree, or the birth locations of your relatives and ancestors, directly into RootsMapper itself. This is why you need the FamilySearch account in order to use RootsMapper.
The key piece of information that is requires seems to be the birth location of each relative or ancestor. One of the FAQs notes that if you find that your parents are not being plotted on RootsMapper, it might be because you had not entered their birth location into your FamilySearch account. It also could be because RootsMapper does not instantaneously pull data from FamilySearch. Wait a few minutes so it has time to catch up, and your parents may appear on RootsMapper.
Pink pins are used to indicate female relatives and ancestors. Blue pins are used to indicate male relatives and ancestors. If you use RootsMapper to select a specific person, his or her pin will turn yellow. This probably makes that person easier to see.
The colors of the lines that plot an ancestor on the map are also color coded, but not in the same way as the pins are. A blue line represents the paternal ancestors of the root person. The pink lines represent the maternal ancestors of the root person. It is also possible to have the lines of a highlighted person turn black after you have selected that person.
RootsMapper will automatically map up to 10 generations from the root person of your choosing. You can manually expand individuals up to 32 generations by selecting certain pins.
Image by Tristan Martin on Flickr.
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