For today’s Establish a House post I want to tell you about an amazing new web app called RootsMapper that shows you the birthplaces of your ancestors. You log-in with your FamilySearch account and then sit back and watch the fireworks. Really! It starts with you and then depending on how many generations you choose (up to seven) you watch as each generation’s birthplace gets plotted. Here’s a view of mine.
The numbers tell me how many generations back that ancestor is while blue indicates if is a male ancestor and pink is for female. Sometimes family lived in the same spot for generations so the numbers get stacked onto each other. When you click on them they explode to show you all the generations. Here’s my ancestors from Mexico!
There is a zoom feature to really see where your ancestors lived. I am doing research to see if this Spanish ancestor really lived in Saipan (as did his parents) or if Spain is just spelled incorrectly on his information.
Once you get to 7 generations you can manually click on each one and choose to map their parents, and their parents, back until the 20th generation if your genealogy goes that far back. Here’s my 20th generation grandmother from England!
When you click on a number that ancestor’s information pops up. I learned a few things by watching the birthplaces of my ancestors being plotted. I didn’t know I had an ancestor from Argentina! But the most interesting is my ancestor Sarah Simmons. I knew my paternal grandmother’s ancestors all came from Wales and England. I know the family stories and knew that going back 5 and 6 generations they all go back there. But take a look at #7 in New England.
That’s Sarah who migrated back to England from America where her family had been living since the 1620s. Reverse migration! She was born in Rhode Island and died in Rhode Island but traveled back to England where she married and raised her children. I am descended from her son Charles Holder. I never knew I had ancestors who are some of the earliest settlers of New England America. November is going to be so much fun as I share exactly when they came over and why. Here are a few of the earliest ancestors who were born in America.
Look at Elizabeth’s birthdate and place! Her parents, John Alden and Priscilla Mullins are listed on the Mayflower Passenger list. How cool is that!! I think our Thanksgiving is going to take on new meaning because when we talk about the Pilgrims we are talking about our own family.
Try out RootsMapper and see where you came from. I bet you’ll find some surprises like I did! Oh, and I think that reverse migration may not be as rare as I thought. When we ran Mr. Ferrero Rocher’s genealogy he had a couple of ancestors who did the same thing! If you find something interesting to you I’d love to know about it.
P.S. You do not need to be LDS to have a FamilySearch account. If you’d like to try rootsmapper you’ll have to do a little work and create a FamilySearch.org account and upload all the genealogy information you have on your family.