Saturday, March 26, 2016

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Ancestral Birthplace Chart

I knew this was coming.  When I saw Paul Hawthorne's post earlier this week about the cool table he had designed, I just knew that Randy Seaver was going to pick up on it for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun this week.  And I was right:

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1) My friend and colleague J. Paul Hawthorne started this on Facebook, and many geneabloggers have already done it.

2)  The challenge is to create a five- or six-generation ancestor chart that shows your ancestors' birthplaces.  You can download Paul's sample chart (an Excel spreadsheet) available at  Pat Richley-Erickson created another spreadsheet (5 or 6 generations), available at

3)  These are spreadsheets (use Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice, Google Sheets, or similar), so you will have to enter text in the cells and then use the background and font color features to make it correct and look colorful.  You could make your own in some other program also. 

4)  Use your genealogy program to figure out which state or country your ancestors came from, then enter the data into the correct cell.  Make an image of your spreadsheet; I used the Windows Snipping Tool and saved the image as a .jpg file.  You could make a screen capture of your spreadsheet and save it as an image also.

5)  Share your Ancestral Birthplace Chart with the genealogy world on your own blog post or on Facebook or Google+.

This was a fun little exercise, but it reminded me of the custom maps Randy posted about last year.  The map of my family in the U.S. in 1865 showed only three states.  Then I found a site that created maps for the entire world — and in 1865 my ancestors lived in only three different countries (which I had to show as five due to border changes).

I used Paul's Excel spreadsheet, changed colors (because I like blue better than orange), and took a screen capture of the image.  Because I'm currently on the hunt for my grandfather's biological father, nothing is filled in for that branch.  Here's the six-generation color-coded chart with my ancestors' birthplaces:

I have family lines with long roots in New Jersey, England, and the Russian Empire.   But they're easier to research because they didn't move much, right?

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments on this blog will be previewed by the author to prevent spammers and unkind visitors to the site. The blog is open to everyone, particularly those interested in family history and genealogy.