What’s New: Map Your Ancestors

January 9, 2018  - by 
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 FamilySearch.org. 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.


Learn how you can map your ancestors.


How you can find where your ancestors lived and died.


How you can find where your ancestors lived and died.


Learn how you can map your ancestors.


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.”

Learn how you can visit the locations your ancestors were.
How to see a map of all your 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).

How you can map your ancestors on the FamilySearch Tree app.


How to use the FamilySearch Tree app to view a map of your ancestors.


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.

Learn how to use the Map My Ancestors feature on the FamilySearch Tree app.
Learn how you can map your ancestors on the FamilySearch Tree app.

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!


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    1. Barbara, have you tried selecting the More icon in the top left corner and then selecting Map My Ancestors? As an Android phone, I believe the feature should work on the LG7. If not, the Family Tree app may need to be updated before you can see the feature. Check for any updates and try again. If you’re still having issues, let me know!

  1. Just installed. Good start, but the views are so small, it’s hard to use – expanding and reducing screen size all the time. I know that can’t be helped, which is why building mapping into the webside platform would be much better.

    One other factor I’m not comfortable with is the location of device requirement. This really has nothing to do with where I am, but where my ancestors were. I value NOT revealing my location to anyone, so I have to remember to manually turn off location when I’m not using this program.

    Would please you speak with the app developers about this and ask them to decouple ‘location’ from the app? It’s really not necessary for the functionality of mapping deceased persons. Thanks.

    1. Jan, I recommend providing your feedback here to make sure the right people see it.

      The app uses the user’s location to help users find significant family history locations near them, allowing them to potentially visit those locations. I hope this helps.

  2. I love this as I’m going on a trip where there are 3 ancestors buried. Is there a way to see how we are related? I love that it shows that we are, but not through which family line, etc. Any help would be great!

    1. Jeni, you can see how you’re related by selecting an ancestor from the list, and tapping on their name to open their Person page. Then, select the menu in the top right corner and tap “View My Relationship” to see how you’re related to that individual. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

    2. On iPhone the iPhone there are two ways to see your relationship quickly: 1) If you press and hold on a person in the list it will show you your relationship to that person. 2) Select a person on the map, it will take you to another map that shows all the events for that person. You can press and hold on the person’s name there as well to view your relationship.

  3. I would like to see the App available for Windows, as I do all my Ancestry on a Windows Desktop PC.

  4. I’m disappointed the map only covers 100 miles from my current location while all my ancestors lived across the country. Any hope this feature will grow to cover the whole U.S.?

    1. Carole, you can zoom in and out of the map the same way you would be able to zoom in and out of the map app on your phone. I hope this helps!

    1. Gilbert, this feature is only available on the app at the moment. If you have an apple computer or a Chrome book, you may be able to download the app and use the feature on your computer.

  5. Good idea, but when I use the map I get people I am not related to and are in my tree showing up on the map. Any idea why?.

    1. Linda, FamilySearch uses a global tree, meaning you can connect your ancestors to ancestors already in the tree as well as all of their relations. Other users can also add relationships and people to the deceased people you’re connected to. My guess is the people showing up are in your tree somewhere. To find out how they’re connected to you, you can click on the person and click “View My Relationship.” I hope this helps!

  6. This is a great feature added to the Family Tree app! I am glad to see people getting more interested in the places where their ancestors lived and died. If you like this feature you should try the certified partner app, The Family Nexus. It takes mapping your ancestors to the next level by sending you alerts when you get close to locations! It also allows you to Check-In and update the street address or precise GPS coordinates of any event. You can learn more in the FamilySearch App Gallery: https://www.familysearch.org/apps/product/the-family-nexus-app/ios

  7. I wish the Kindle Fire version of FamilySearch Tree had this feature, or that I could do it from my computer at familysearch.org

    I have an android phone, but I think Map My Ancestors would be more enjoyable on a bigger screen.

  8. This is a cool feature, why are these features not available through the browser on my computer where I can easily see it on a larger screen?