Where Are Your Ancestors From? Map Your Heritage with 'Where Am I From' Activity


Find out where your ancestors are from—and ultimately where youare from—using FamilySearch’s new Where Am I From? activity. See your family’s movement on a map, discover the countries your ancestors lived in, and explore the heritage and traditions of those countries.

To use the Where Am I From? activity, you need to have a FamilySearch account (create one for free here). You also should have at least four generations entered into your family tree, which will provide enough data to get you started on seeing where your ancestors came from.

What 'Where Am I From?' Will Show You

Once you sign in, the activity shows four key experiences.You can switch between them by selecting one of the options at the top of the main navigation bar.

Generations: Pinpoint on a Map Where Your Ancestors Are From

The Generation experience pinpoints where your ancestors lived on a large, interactive global map.

At the bottom of the page, use the slider to limit how many generations you see on the screen. For example, if you choose to see only 4 generations, you will see points on the map for ancestors and descendants only as far back as your great-grandparents.

You can zoom into a specific point on the map by using the + and - options on the right of the screen or by clicking one of the points on the map. To zoom back out to global view, click the world icon on the right of the screen.

Family Lines: Trace the Migration of Your Family

Family Lines also maps where you and your family have lived,but on specific ancestral lines. That means you can see the family migrations to different countries and movement to different towns across several generations.

Map of where your ancestors migrated. where am i from screenshot

The left part of the Family Lines screen shows the beginning of your family tree, with you and your parents branching off of you. Click either your mother or your father’s image to start tracking the family movement on the map.

Continue clicking the people in your tree whose movement you want to track. You can also choose to go back and select a different person on the tree to look at a different family line.

My Heritage: Learn About the Countries You Come From

My Heritage pulls data from your family tree to show what countries your ancestors came from. The page displays both a flag and the percentage of your family members in the tree that lived there.

Percentage of countries you and your ancestors are from. where am i from screenshot

You can also add countries using the grayed-out flag icon. You can choose from at least 240 countries and provinces.

You can learn more about the country by clicking the country name, which will take you to a separate page. Use the top navigation bar to read about the country’s food, recipes, family life, social customs, fun facts, and traditions.

More information on countries of where your ancestors are from. where am i from screenshot

Timeline: See Where Your Family Was During Major Events

The Timeline feature allows you to see where your relatives were at a specific time in history. Use the slider at the bottom of the screen to limit or expand the range of time.

Timeline of where ancestors were during major world events

On the slider, you can also select Filter to the right and choose from a menu of historical events. After you select a historical event, the map will pinpoint where your family was during the time of the event.

You can also see a personalized timeline of a relative’s life by clicking his or her point on the map. Toggle back and forth between a timeline of life events, world history, and United States events. (If you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you also have the option to see a timeline of Church events.)

Personalized timeline of an ancestors' life

Other Features

When using the Generations and My Family Lines options, if you click a person shown on the map, you will see a page that tells you more about the person’s life.

More information about your ancestor, including a timeline, photos, stories, and more.

This page shows you your relationship to the person, as well as a timeline of the person’s life. Using the menu bar below the person’s name, you have the option to look at photos, stories, and documents or to hear audio about the person’s life.

You can also upload photos, stories, documents, and audio from these pages.

How to Make the Most of These Experiences

The more data you have in the tree—names, birth and death dates and places, photos, and so on—the more this tool will map out your heritage.

The Family Tree is the world's largest shared tree. When you connect to it, your ancestor's information might already be available for you to find.

For help adding to your tree, check out the following Family Tree articles.

October 29, 2019
The FamilySearch Family Tree is an incredible tool that can help you organize information about your family and learn more about them along …
June 12, 2019
If you’re ready to get started learning about your family tree, then FamilySearch.org is the perfect place to do it. Opening your own free a…
July 19, 2019
FamilySearch’s Family Treeis all about discovering and making connections. Many people on FamilySearch find these connections by uncovering …

To find out where your ancestors came from on your mobile device, download the Family Tree app to use the Map My Ancestors experience.

Note: This experience is currently only available in English. Spanish and Portuguese versions will be available later this year.

About the Author