Success Story: Converting a 79-year-old 8-mm Movie to Digital


Last Saturday (17 Mar 2018), I attended an indoctrination session for the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Memory Lab at the South Euclid/Lyndhurst branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library. The objective: learn how to convert old home movies to digital files. The Memory Lab has a Wolverine Film2Digital MovieMaker unit that library subscribers can use for free.

Today (22 May 2018), I did a test run of the process by converting a 50-ft reel of 8mm film to a digital file in the MP4 format. The label on the film said that it was made in 1939, making it 79 years old. The subjects were my late wife, MJ, and her brother, Sid, also now deceased. The cameraman no doubt was my father-in-law Clyde Van Court.

The result is a black-and-white “movie” that runs for 2 min 19 sec at 30 frames a minute. The action is speeded up but it still is wonderful to see MJ and Sid as little kids. I had never seen this before because it was in 8mm and apparently the Van Court 8mm projector stopped working decades ago and it was tossed out.

After doing some research on the Internet, I learned that I can “slow down” the film so the action appears more normal through manipulation with an application. It sounds simple, but I haven’t tried it yet.

In any case, I consider the trial a success and I am going to work on converting other old films, including some Super 8 films that we made when our kids were growing up. The Wolverine unit is designed to handle Super 8 as well as 8 mm.

The main task will be to organize the many film reels to prioritize the time I spend at the Memory Lab. A 50-ft reel of film takes about 30 min to convert. But the price is right: FREE.

If you are interested in reading more about how the Wolverine unit works, go here to download a user guide. It is easy to read and understand. Also, there are several YouTube videos available.

The Memory Lab has several other audio-visual conversion systems available for use by library patrons.


What Are Double Cousins? Wikipedia to the Rescue


I just ran across a reference to double cousins and didn’t know what the reference meant. To find out, I went to Wikipedia, my go-to source of information when I have access to a computer or other digital device. I wasn’t sure what I would find or how detailed the explanation would be. But wow, Wikipedia came through with explanations of all types of cousin relationships on the page devoted to Cousin

The Wikipedia article covered other cousin relationships that I didn’t know existed in addition to double cousins. I’ll provide more about the scope of the Wikipedia article in a moment. First, I want to provide an example of double cousins involving my wife’s paternal grandparents, Mary (born Heinselman) and James S Van Court.

Mary Margaret Catherine was the oldest daughter of Christian Heinselman Jr. Her brother Thomas Jacob Elwood was the seventh child of Christian with his wife Rachel Kemp.

At the time of her wedding, Mary was age 32 and the widow of Albert Butcher. She married James S Van Court, age 22, on 10 Oct 1894 in Ritchie County, West Virginia, USA. It was a double wedding because Mary’s brother Thomas Jacob Elwood Heinselman, age 17, married Anna Belle Van Court, age 17. James and Anna Belle were children of Truman Daniel and Mary Ellen (born Kirby) Van Court.

According to the Wikipedia article, my wife’s father Clyde Van Court would be a double cousin of Mary Jane Borquin (born Heinselman). Clyde was the son of James and Mary while Mary Jane was the daughter of Thomas and Anna Belle (see test above and chart below). She became the wife of Elmer Edward Borquin. Here is a chart illustrating the double cousin relationship between Clyde Van Court and Mary Jane Borquin (born Heinselman).

The Wikipedia article provides this starting point for understanding cousin relationships:

People are related with a type of cousin relationship if they share a common ancestor and the most recent common ancestor is two or more generations away from both people. This means neither person is an ancestor of the other, they do not share a parent (siblings), and neither is a sibling of a common ancestor (aunts/uncles and nieces/nephews).[3]

The cousin relationship is further detailed by degree and removal. For example the second cousin once removed relationship is a second-degree cousin with one removal.

The removal of the cousin relationship is the number of generations the cousins are apart.

Many other cousin relationships are defined in this Wikipedia article, including first cousin once removed, half-cousin, stepcousin, and cousin-in-law.

The article also includes several charts that illustrate the various cousin relationships.


Walfrid Huskonen’s Dream: Andover Pattern Co.


My mother, Mary Jane Huskonen (born Dingman), passed along to us the promise that my father, Walfrid Herbert Huskonen, made to himself to be in business for himself by age 45. He achieved that goal when he quit working as a patternmaker at Glauber Brass in Kinsman, Trumbull, Ohio, and founded Andover Pattern Co. in 1952.

The first years of the company were in the garage and basement of our house at 496 South Main St. in Andover. Eventually, he was able to build a stand-alone building — the “shop” — for the company on his property behind the house (and behind the cottage had built for his parents, but that’s another story).

Yesterday, I found among the various items of memorabilia a newspaper clipping from the 4 Mar 1992 issue of the Pymatuning Area News. It was saved originally by my brother or sister and passed along to me a few years ago.

For the record, here is my transcription of that clipping:

Andover Pattern an area fixture for 40 years

By James Roethler, Area News Editor

Andover Pattern may not maintain as high of a profile as other industries in the village, but they have been a staple of the area economy for 40 years.

Located at the end of Propsect Street Extension, the company was founded in 1952 by Wally Huskonen [that’s my dad] and Roland Totten. The pair had been working together at Glauber brass Company in Kinsman when they decided to open their own shop on South Main Steet in Andover.

At first the entire company consisted of Huskonen and Totten, but it has now grown to eight full-time and two part-time employees. After Huskonen died in 1966 [actually 2 Sep 1965], Totten purchased the other half of the company [from my mother]. Today it is operated by his son, Tom Totten.

In 1983, the company expanded and relocated to their present location.

The company produces cast iron molds that are used by a variety of manufacturers. They do tooling for retred tires for Goodyear, make the molds for lamp bases, make molds for bed frames, and they produce a variety of molds that they don not know the final function of.

Tom Totten said, “We don’t know what most of the things we make are used for. We make a mold according to blue prints sent to us.” Totten did say most of the patterns they produce are valves of a variety of sizes. “The valuves range in size from an eight inch sink fixture to a 40 pound back flow preventer for sewage.”

To get a finished pattern, a piece must move through three departments — pattern, molding, and the foundry.

In the pattern department one of three pattern makers emplyed by the company will use blue prints to produce a wood pattern. Using plaster, rubber or plastic, the pattern maker will then use the wood pattern to create [a] master pattern.

The master pattern is sent to the molding department where a molder will create a same mold of the object before sending it to the foundry.

Once in the foundry, molten pig iron is poured into the mold. After given time to cool down, the cast-iron mold is near completion. The casting is sand blasted before final machining.

No finished produces are actually produced at Andover Pattern. After the casting is complete, it is sent throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico to the manufacturer who will use it to mass produce the finished piece[s].

Totten said it requires 6 to 8 weeks to take a molding from a blue print to a completed casting.

The Tottens are long-time residents of the Kinsman area. Tom lives in Fowler and his father in Kinsman. Everyone they employ is also from the immediate area. Employees come from Andover Village, Andover Township, Williamsfield, Wayne, and Kinsman.

Andover Pattern will be upgrading their iron furnaces this summer. The present gas furnaces that produce a half-a-ton of iron each hour will be replaced by an induction melting furnace that will double their capacity.

It would be a mistake to confuse quietness with inactivity at Andover Pattern.

My grandson, Korey, wrote about his great-grandfather, Walfrid, in a family history writing competition sponsored by the Western Reserve Historical Society. I posted on this blog about it under the title “My Grandson Wins Family History Writing Competition” on February 4, 2013. I invite you to go to that post and read some more about Walfrid and Andover Pattern Company.

I plan to post more about my dad and Andover Pattern Company in the future.

Making Sense of My DNA Test Results


I have tested with AncestryDNA, MyHeritageDNA, and FamilyTreeDNA, so I have a lot of results to study and work with.

Today, I discovered two YouTube videos by Crista Cowen at In them she explains two key aspects of my DNA test results:

1.You Received Your Results. Now What? (Part One) | AncestryDNA

2.You Received Your Results. Now What? (Part Two) | AncestryDNA

Now these videos have been available for awhile — they were published in Sep and Oct of 2016. The information Crista provides is basic and but still current. And her explanations are very understandable.

For example, she gives some insight into why ethnicity results may not be quite what I (or you) expect. About 50% of my DNA is identified by AncestryDNA as coming from Finland/Northwest Russia. That’s what I expected. And the results are similar in my tests with  MyHeritageDNA and FamilyTreeDNA. But the reason that this ethnicity estimate is what I expected is that AncestryDNA was able to create a test panel of native Finns whose ancestors had lived in Finland for many generations. It is what is called deep ancestry. The same is true with MyHeritageDNA and FamilyTreeDNA.

Other parts of my ethnicity are more ambiguous because it has been difficult for Ancestry and the others to create test panels with the necessary deep ancestry. A good example of this is Germany. On my mother’s side, I have several lines going back to Germany. But there is no ethnicity identified as “German.” Again, this is because it is difficult for the AncestryDNA and the other testing companies to settle on valid test panels with deep ancestry in only what today is called Germany. I don’t like this outcome, but I have to accept it and work with it.

Crista also talks about differences that show up among siblings and cousins. This makes it easier for me to accept my own DNA results — and still explore and work with them with confidence.

Here are the links to Crista Cowen’s two helpful videos:

  1. —
  2. You Received Your Results. Now What? (Part Two) | AncestryDNA —



DNA Testing FAILS at Living DNA — Three Times


Today I received an email from Living DNA stating that my THIRD attempt at testing with Living DNA had failed. Here is the text of the email:

Following on from the testing of your third sample, we are very sorry to have to tell you that this third attempt has also generated a LOW CALL RATE. What this means is that it has not been possible for us to identify up to 1% or approximately 6,800 marker locations within your DNA on that sample.

We do know that some people will struggle to swab enough DNA to test. This is because they naturally do not shed enough cells when compared to others which makes it harder to extract enough DNA for testing.

This is not a medical condition and unfortunately as a individual, you cannot increase your shed rate.

Because we have worked with you to collect three samples and reduce errors in the collection method, we believe that a low shed rate may be the reason that there has not been enough DNA in your samples.

Sadly, this means it is likely that we would not be able to get results for you with further testing and we have to say that we have reached the end of your journey with us.

We understand that this is very disappointing news and that you have paid to receive your results, which will not be supplied.

Because this is such a very rare occurrence we would like to offer you a refund for the cost of your testing.

I’m thankful that Living DNA will refund my purchase price.

I have tested successfully with AncestryDNA (spit), MyHeritageDNA (swab) and FamilyTreeDNA (swab), but the Living DNA test (swab) was unsuccessful in three separate tries. I was very careful to follow all the directions, including swabbing counterclockwise for the recommended time, cautions about eating before the test, etc.

Go figure.

A Sneak Peek into the MyHeritage DNA Lab


Today I received an email from MyHeritageDNA reporting that a test kit for a relative is being processed. Here is the text of the email (I have blocked the test subject’s name for privacy).

Hi Wallace,‎

__________’s DNA sample is currently being processed in our CLIA-certified DNA lab.

Status: DNA extraction in progress

We wanted to take this opportunity to let you know how the DNA gets processed at our lab.

Here is the process, step-by-step:

Our technicians inspect the sample and make sure it’s intact.

The DNA is extracted from the cells in the vial and amplified. In other words, we make copies of the DNA in order to make sure we have enough of it to analyze.

The DNA is placed on a custom-made DNA genotyping chip and heated to a high temperature so the DNA can attach itself to the chip (hybridization).

A computer reads the hybridized chips, producing the DNA data.

The DNA data goes through a rigorous review to ensure it meets our high quality standards.

The DNA data is uploaded to the MyHeritage website, where it is analyzed and matched, and the results are served to you!

Best regards,
The MyHeritage team

The email includes the URL for a video showing how MyHeritageDNA conducts its testing. Go here to see the sophisticated equipment and procedures used for MyHeritageDNA testing.

The subject of this test is a nephew of my late wife, M.J., and it will be interesting to see how his test results compare not only with hers but also those of an aunt, a first cousin, and a first cousin once removed, all on his father’s side.

What I am really hoping for is a match to a distant cousin who might be related to his four-great grandfather so that we might be able to figure out who the four-great grandfather’s parents were. The four-great grandfather’s birth year and birthplace have been widely reported (though not documented by primary sources), but no one has connected him to parents and earlier generations.

FYI, MyHeritageDNA is offering test kits for only $69, plus shipping. Click here if you want to order a test.

More About Fred Holzhauser


Today, my son Kurt and I traveled to Vermilion, Ohio, for the graveside ceremony for Frederick L. Holzhauser, Kurt’s step-grandfather. Fred passed away at age 98 on 5 Feb 2018. His cremains were interred next to the graves of his parents in Maple Grove Cemetery.

Kurt and I represented the family of Meta, Fred’s wife who passed away in 1999. Fred and Meta were married in 1973 and shared a wonderful life together for 26 years. Meta was Kurt’s maternal grandmother and my mother-in-law.

Fred’s family was well-represented by a brother and two sisters, as well as many nieces and nephews.

When I returned home, I was inspired to do some Internet research, and I’m glad I did. A Google search led me to a news item in the Sandusky Register dated 6 Sep 1950 which reported that Kent State University had conferred on Fred a masters degree in mathematics. It further reported that Fred had earned a bachelors degree from KSU in education.

I was aware of Fred’s education, but the fact that the Google Search led me to this newspaper account was a revelation to me. I have access to through my subscription. But I wasn’t aware that I could find items using Google.

The same Google search led me to another item: The University Communications and Marketing records collection at Kent State. Apparently, there is a file with clippings and information about Fred and his days as a student at the university. I found details at

So I guess I need to take a road trip to Kent in Portage County, Ohio, and the Special Collections Department at the University.

While I am there, I will make an effort to learn about my Grandma Grace’s study there, as well as more information about my mother’s student days there. They both earned teaching certificates.

For my earlier post about Fred Holzhauser with more details about his life and times, go here

RootsTech 2018 Is Over, But Presentations Are Available Online FREE


As this is written, RootsTech 2018 has concluded and thousands of genealogists have already headed home from the Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, Utah. We don’t have attendance figures, but we can indicate the scope of this annual convention by pointing out that there are 182 exhibitors listed on the RootsTech 2018 website. You can see who was exhibiting by going to this year was expanded to four days, Wednesday through Saturday, February 28 through March 3.

We didn’t attend this event in person, but we have taken advantage of many of the presentations being made available via streaming video over the Internet.

The schedule of available presentations offered for viewing FREE from home or wherever you are with a computer or tablet — and at your convenience — is at Each presentation listing provides a link for easy online access.

The 2018 website suggests that you save the date for next year’s event: February 27–March 2, 2019.



In Memoriam: Frederick L. Holzhauser, 1920-2018


Frederick L. Holzhauser Jr passed away 5 Feb 2018 while residing in Admiral’s Pointe skilled nursing facility in Huron, Ohio. He was 97 years old.

Fred was the husband of Meta Scheppelmann, the step-father of Mary Jane Huskonen (born Van Court) and Sidney Van Court, step-grandfather of Karen Frame (born Huskonen) and Kurt Huskonen, and Eric Van Court and Natalie Heath (born Van Court).

Fred was born on 26 Dec 1920 to Frederick L. and Ethel G. (Paige [sic]) Holzhauser in Cleveland, Ohio.1

In the 1930 Census, he was enumerated in the family household at 61 South Main St. in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. In addition to his father and mother, other family members were siblings Joyce E, age 13; Dwight C, age 11; Ruth H, age 7; and Gladys M., age 5. At this time, Fred Sr. was working as an automobile salesman.2

Fred attended Memorial School in Chagrin Falls through the sixth grade.3

Later, his father worked for the City of Cleveland. When he lost that job, the family moved to Fowlers Mills in Geauga County. Fred attended 7th and 8th grades in a two-room school building in this community. He attended 9th grade in Chesterland in a school building on U.S. Route 322. His father was employed at a nursery during this time.3,4

Later, Fred’s father met a gentleman by the name of Bradner, who was involved in forming a dairy cooperative. He hired Mr. Holzhauser to manage the dairy in Leroy Township, Lake County, Ohio.3

The family moved to Painesville and Fred attended 10th and the first half of the 11th grade at Painesville Harvey High School. About Christmas time, Mr. Holzhauser lost his job and the family then moved to the Cleveland area where Fred attended school for about a month in the Cleveland school system.3

The family then removed to Garfield Heights and Fred attended the last half of his Junior and his Senior year at Garfield Heights High School. The family lived on Edgepark Dr.3

In the 1940 Census, the Holzhauser family lived at 1446 East 109th St in Cleveland. Fred, the father, was employed as a master mechanic for the city in road repair operations. Daughter Joyce, age 23, was employed as a stenographer for a machine products company and son Douglas [Dwight], age 21, was employed as a tractor driver for an excavating company. The other children listed in the household were Fred Jr, age 19; Ruth, age 17, Gladys, 15; Harold, 7, and Ethel G, age 5.4

At this time, Fred’s uncle, Fred C Page, worked for Goodyear as a standard practices engineer (per 1940 census5) and Fred spent the winter with him in Chagrin Falls so he could attend Kent State University. He traveled by bus to KSU for three years.3

Following are yearbook listings in the Kent State University Chestnut Burr yearbook: 1939 — Frederick Ludwig Holzhauser Jr. 4849 Edgepark Dr., Cleveland, Ohio; 1940 — 1446 E. 109 St, Cleveland, Ohio, recording secretary of Alpha Phi Beta Fraternity; and 1941 — Math, Biology, Alpha Phi Beta.

With the beginning of WWII, Fred got a job at Plumbrook Arsenal near Sandusky as a maintenance engineer/oiler. He stayed with an aunt in Milan, Ohio, while working in this job.3

In 1942, Fred received his draft notice, and on 17 Aug 1942, he was enlisted for the duration of WWII as a private in the U.S. Army.6 He spent a total of 38 months in military service. During his service, he carried a rifle for only one day. His service time included 28 months in India along with time needed for travel by steamship to and from India.3

The U.S. Army was maintaining a presence in what was called the China Burma India Theater under the command of General Joseph Stilwell because the Japanese occupied nearby Indochina. Fred was assigned to the Quartermaster Group, and on the voyage to India, this caused problems because there was no chain of command for his organization on a troopship with thousands of Army troops. Even reporting for meals was a challenge until this situation was finally straightened out. The voyage was on the SS American, a cruise ship converted to serve as a troop ship.3

The voyage took Fred to Bombay where he disembarked and traveled to Agra (near the Taj Mahal) in northern India for his assignment with the Engineers Group.3

Later, he was transferred to Garyot, near Calcutta, for similar duty.3

At the conclusion of the war, Fred began his voyage home from Calcutta. The ship stopped in Australia, but he and the other troops were not allowed to leave the ship. Fred disembarked in Los Angeles, and he traveled to Atterbury, Indiana, where he was discharged. Ironically, Joyce’s husband, Frank, arrived there as he was discharged.3

Fred noted that he couldn’t qualify for the U.S. Defense ribbon because he was only in the U.S. for 10 months of his service.

Following his discharge in 1945, Fred went back to college at Kent State, this time under the G. I. Bill. He lived in a rented room off campus.3

Following graduation, he taught math and physics for one year in Butler County, Ohio. He then taught one year at Eastern Illinois State University.3

He returned to Kent State to earn his master’s degree before beginning his teaching career at Shaker Heights High School in 1953. Fred stayed with his sister Joyce and her husband Frank Davis in Cleveland, Ohio.3

He learned about a teaching position at Shaker Heights High School by word of mouth, and he applied there and was hired, beginning in January 1953, teaching mathematics.3

Shaker Heights SunPress, 17 Jul 1958

Shaker Heights High School Gristmill 1961, p 165

In 1964, he purchased a house and farm in Richmond Center, Ohio, for his father and mother to live in. From 1964 through June 1976, he commuted from Richmond to Shaker Heights, a distance of 82 miles each way.3 Fred Sr passed away on 7 Apr 1970 7 and Ethel died on 10 Sep 1971.8

On 1 Jan 1973, he married Meta Elizabeth Van Court.9 It was his first marriage and Meta’s second, she being the widow of Clyde Van Court who passed away on 25 Aug 1969.

The couple lived in Richmond Center in the house Fred had purchased for his parents and across the street from the Van Court farm where Meta’s son, Sidney, lived.

On 01 Jan 1998, Fred and Meta celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.9

Meta passed away on 17 Sep 1999 at the age of 86 at the Rolling Fields Nursing Home, Summerhill Twp, Crawford, Pennsylvania.10

Fred sold his farm and home in Richmond in 2001 and moved to The Commons of Providence, in Sandusky, Ohio, where he could be near his Holzhauser family members.3

While living at The Commons, Fred enjoyed visits by his step-grandchildren and siblings, nieces and nephews. Many visits were capped off with a trip to Toft’s Ice Cream Parlor in Sandusky for ice cream sundaes.

Fred with MJ Huskonen, Karen Frame, and grandkids Kaelyn, Matti, and Maegan Frame in 2009. Photo by author.

In 2017, Fred fell and suffered a broken leg. He moved into a skilled nursing facility for the rest of his days.

1. Frederick L Holzhauser entry, “Ohio Birth Index, 1908-1964” online database, State File Number 1920118827 [Note: Mother’s maiden name recorded as Paige, should be Page], retrieved 2012 12 30 from subscription database provider,
2. 1930 United States Federal Census, Ohio, Cuyahoga, Chagrin Falls Village, Sheet No. 1B, Lines 74-80, Fred Holshauser household, retrieved 2012 12 30 from subscription database provider,
3. Interview with the subject by Wallace D. Huskonen in 2009.
4. 1940 United States Federal Census, Ohio, Cuyahoga, Cleveland, Sheet No. 9B, Lines 74-80 and Sheet No. 10A, Lines 1-2, Fred Holzhauser household. Retrieved 2012 12 30 from subscription database provider This census record indicates that the family lived in rural Geauga County in 1935.
5. 1940 United States Federal Census, Ohio, Summit, Cuyahoga Falls, Sheet 4B, Lines 71-77, Fred C Page household. Retrieved 2012 12 30 from subscription database provider
6. Frederick L Holzhauser entry, “U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946” online database. Retrieved 2012 12 30 from subscription database provider, The entry noted that Frederick had 3 years of college. The complete record is included at the end of this post.
7. Fred L Holzhauser Sr entry, Certificate 024366, “Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-2007” online database, retrieved 2012 12 30 from subscription database provider,
8. Ethel G Holzhauser entry, Certificate 063576, “Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-2007” online database, retrieved 2012 12 30 from subscription database provider,
9. Anniversary celebration announcement in possession of the author.
10. Meta E Holzhauser, Local Registrar’s Certification of Death No. 4283719, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Dept of Health Vital Records, issued 20 Sep 1999.

World War II Army Enlistment Record: Holzhauser, Frederick L
Retrieved 2013 04 17 from free online database maintained by the National Archives at

BRANCH: ALPHA DESIGNATION Branch Immaterial – Warrant Officers, USA
TERM OF ENLISTMENT Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergencies, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
EDUCATION 3 years of college
CIVILIAN OCCUPATION Apprentices to other trades
MARITAL STATUS Single, without dependents
COMPONENT OF THE ARMY Selectees (Enlisted Men)

What’s New: Map Your Ancestors (on Your Smart Phone)


The headline is from a blog posting last month on the FamilySearch blog at


What’s New: Map Your Ancestors

January 9, 2018 By Alison Ensign

You can map your ancestors on FamilySearch’s app.

I grew up hearing stories about my ancestors. As I learned the details of their lives, I wondered what it would be like to get a glimpse of their world. The Family Tree app recently added a feature that, in some cases, can help that become a reality by allowing you to map key events in your ancestors’ lives directly in the app.

Not too far from where I now live, I found my great-great-great-grandparents’ home using the addresses attached to their life events and memories on I then searched Google Maps for the address to see if the home is still standing today, and I discovered that it is!

The following are pictures of the home. The top two were attached as memories to my family tree, the bottom left is the image I found on Google Maps, and the last photo is of my dad later visiting the home. While specific street addresses will not always be available, you never know what you’ll stumble on. Try mapping your ancestors with the Family Tree app to see what hidden treasures you can find!

Visit places your ancestors lived! Find places your ancestors lived!
How to visit your ancestor’s life events. Find and visit family history locations using the FamilySearch Tree app.

How It Works

Open the Family Tree app, tap More in the bottom right corner (iOS) or the top left corner (Android), and then tap “Map My Ancestors.” A map will then show you a 100-mile radius around your current location. Here’s what the icons on the map mean:

The blue pulsating dot (iOS) or the blue dot with a ring around it (Android) represents you.

People icons represent ancestors who lived in the area.

Blue icons with numbers represent multiple ancestors in the same location. Tap the icon to view the names of those ancestors. To exit the list, tap the x in the corner of the list.

Zoom in or out of the map to show fewer or more ancestors at a time. You can also tap the i icon to change the appearance of the map or to limit the number of ancestors you see by tapping “Show only direct line ancestors.”

View Specific People

To see the locations of events from a specific ancestor’s life on the map, tap that ancestor’s name or type their name in the search bar. Icons representing their life events will appear on the map along with a list of the events. Tap an event to learn more about it.

To open this same person-specific view from your ancestors’ page in Family Tree, tap one of their life events, and then tap the map that appears (iOS) or the map icon (Android).

Add Burial Locations

Add location information in Family Tree about your ancestors’ burial to view more events in the map and to ensure that the locations you see are accurate. If you know the name of the place where one of your ancestors was buried, open the tree, and select the ancestor in question. On the Details page, tap the burial event, and then tap Edit. Enter the name of the cemetery under Place. Finally, add an explanation for the change. Then tap Save.

Give It a Try

Explore the “Map My Ancestors” feature to discover places you can visit! Here are some instances where it might be particularly useful:

Find ancestors who lived near you. This map can make it easy to find nearby landmarks from your family history.

Plan a trip. Search the map by location to find some sentimental stops along the way. Trace your roots. Get a quick glance of where your ancestors came from around the world.

Download the app to try it out!

As I said, I downloaded the app to my iPhone 7 and was amazed at what is presented. Now I will have a map locating my ancestors with me wherever I go.