Sunday, April 9, 2017

Interactive Family Tree: Places of Birth

This article follows up a previous discussion of a family tree tool by Bradford F Lyon, available (free) at his site.

Places of birth is a new display option.  You can display flags of countries (for a screen shot see my blog post about ethnic calculations based on DNA) or more specific locations, such as states of the United States.

The idea is similar to My Colorful Ancestry created in an Excel spreadsheet.  The bonus of the Lyons tool is that the result is interactive.  You can choose to highlight a specific place, which then blinks to draw your attention to ancestors from that location.

Interactive places of birth family tree
Courtesy of Bradford F Lyon

Ancestors of David Lutter
Highlighting those born in Connecticut.
His ancestors were concentrated in New Jersey and New York.

Zeroing in on a place of birth can help visualize migration paths.  If you are planning a research trip, you can see at a glance which branches were in your intended destination so you can look for their records.

And for the DNA pursuits, you can quickly find an ancestor or branch that was in a specific geographic location.  Surnames, matching or not, is not enough.  You need an intersection of geography and time.

Another new feature is selecting an ancestor and then displaying the direct line of descent to the home person.

Interactive family tree to display direct line of descent
Courtesy of Bradford F Lyon

In the above screenshots, I chose my father's eighth great grandmother, Mary Chittenden (1645-1712), from Connecticut.  From there, you can display these eleven generations all the way to today, ending with the home person, my father.  The information includes their lifespan.

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