Posted by Ancestry Team on November 20, 2008 in Website now helps you visualize where important events occurred in the lives of your ancestors by placing their events on a map.


How do I use it?
We’ve updated the family tree so that just about anywhere we show a place, you can click on that place and see the link on the map.  When we display the map we’ll also show all the events for the person.  It’s been fun for me to start visualizing these places in my tree that I’ve been staring at for so many years.  The map let you see the streets and roads, or select an aerial view to get satellite images.

We’ve worked hard to make this easy to use, but for any who want a fun tutorial, we’ve created a pretty great tutorial that walks you through all the map’s features. Just click the question mark in the green circle at the top right hand corner of the screen.


In addition to viewing the important places in your family members’ lives, you can also find places to help you in your research efforts.  We have links to show local cemeteries and courthouses, and “Other Places” link displays a list of additional display options where you can find historical information—churches, historical sites, libraries and archives, and government buildings.


If the locations in your tree aren’t found by our mapping tool, we’ll help suggest possible matching locations to display. If you have no location entered for some of your events, the map feature allows you to enter in location information which will then be stored to your tree.

Got Suggestions or Feedback?
We have lots of plans for the future on how to make this feature even better than it is.  Your feedback is a crucial part of the improvement process; please let us know what you think of the map feature and what improvements you would like to see.  Add a comment or send me an email (kfreestone at

Bugs we’re working on

  1. A pop up will randomly flash when clicking between the pins and the side panel.
  2. If a group is open and you want to click a single pin that’s not in the group (appears grayed out), you have to mouse over the side bar to close the group before the single pin is clickable. This only happens if you want to click on the pin rather than on event in the list.
  3. Most of the point-of-interest data (cemeteries, courthouses etc.) shows up in the U.S., Canada, and to a lesser extent European countries. We are working on acquiring more relevant and accurate point-of-interest data.


  1. Jade


    Heheheheh-hohohoho, the googlemaps program and contents are highly buggy.

    Among the bugs:

    Quite unsuitable for genealogical applications because it has no historical boundary data. So (for example) persons who enter data related to places and events in what was then Prussia, cannot get a map with your link showing the boundaries of Prussia and the place location within it. If they do not enter the town, landkreis, or whatever name as existing now in Germany, Ukraine, Poland, Croatia or whatever, they cannot get a locational link in googlemaps. Kingdom of Wessex? Patuxent Hundred, Prince George’s Co, MD? You are out of luck. Oh, and if the person has spelt the name as given during the time of the Prussian Empire, it’s just too bad.

    cannot locate a US County center.

    cannot locate a Township, New England and Wisconsin Town, WV Magisterial Districts, Hundreds in DE and the many Beats and Judicial Districts in the southern US. This is connected with the silly and infuriating gedcom-platform failure to be able to deal with rurally-defined areas and to distinguish between villages and Townships by the same name. Try locating Bowling Green Township, Licking Co, OH and googlemaps will probably pinpoint Bowling Green, Kentucky. It will not say “oh, sorry, can’t find the place you mean, did you mean . . . .?” It will just establish the wrong link and you won’t know until later you look at a linked-up map.

    has built-in biases and preferences. For Beloit, Ohio and Beloit, Kansas, you are likely to get Beloit, Wisconsin instead.

    cannot locate cemeteries that are not already entered in the USGS GNIS database. You can, as I have, spend thousands of hours trying to establish links to the correct places. This is especially difficult when there are several same-named cemeteries even in the same Township in a given County. You gotta know the territory, and since GNIS maps (that googlemaps depends on) often do not show even Township names, and googlemaps does not ever specify what Township a place is in, there is a very high error rate.

    These are just the major problems.

    Don’t even try to think you can ‘train’ submitters of gedcoms to convert all the historical place names to currently-defined locations. Three people working 3 years might be able to create an adequate overall place-name converter.

    Good luck to you.

  2. Valerie

    Here’s a few comments, after playing around a while. It really is very easy to figure out and use, but there are a few bugs

    – The “feedback button” doesn’t work

    – It takes a while to load, just like the new home pages

    – The back button becomes an issue. It seems as if you have to hit back three or four times to return to your tree (and yes, I do see the button to “return to tree”)

    – The map doesn’t know where “Greenwood, Greenwood, SC” is, but it can fine “Greenwood (city), SC.” But the pin says both city and county? Also, a problem with other “city, county” locations, but not all.

    – Also can’t find: historic locations, addressed that can be found in Google maps (ex. 302 Glenwood Ave SE, Atlanta, Fulton, GA), and address that are attached to pins!

    -The map “zooms” off center – it seems to close up to the right of the center of the page. So, if you want to zoom to a city and place it in the middle of the page, you’re going to end up no where near where you wanted if you zoom all the way in. (and also when zooming out)

    – It can’t find “Germany”

    Here are some suggestions for upgrades:

    – Drag & drop pins – especially for when the map can’t find a location

    – The ability to add cemeteries and churches. I can’t find a lot of old country churches and cemeteries on the map that I know are there.

    – A timeline would be nice, where lines would go chronologically from pin to pin

  3. ltornell

    Wow! This is going to be an incredibly valuable resource. I can appreciate the immense amount of work that is going into it. Thanks!

  4. Holly

    I love it! Perfect addition.
    No more going to mapquest or such to find the nearest towns, location, etc.
    Thank you!

  5. Louis Patrick

    Great idea but genealogists live and die by county information, and this mapping system doesn’t understand anything about counties.

  6. PaulE

    Hopefully, the addition of a historical mapping database can be added in the future. Such a database would contain the historical names and the lat/lon coordinates for mapping. While this will not be of much use to show borders as they were in the past, it will at least map the location.

    I purposefully choose a city I knew exists today, but with a different name: Berlin, Otoe, Nebraska. It was renamed Otoe, Otoe, Nebraska on 6 Sep 1918.

    Also, anything that can be done to get the markers to pin on the actuall location? There’s always a little to the left and up from the real location. Zooming in, they get closer to the real location, but are always the same number of pixels off center. When you’re zoomed out, it’s really off: when viewing all of the USA, I had a marker for a town in Nebraska look like it was pinned to Colorado!

  7. Anja

    Great add-on and very appreciated by someone who works with digital maps every day. 😉

    I would love to see historical city names included though, as most of my ancestors come from East Prussia. The old german names are polish names now and the software doesn’t seem to find any of it. I want to keep the historical names in my tree but would love to find them on the map matched to the new ones. Is that something you think you could make work for in the future?

  8. Jade

    Regarding Valerie’s #2, Louis Patrick’s #5 and Matt’s #7: no it can’t find countries or Counties in the US nor center locations for Shires in England, either.

    It is city based, possibly suitable for post-1930 family research.

    If the team is to do a fundamental fix to the ‘places’ SQL database it must be familiar with US geographical history – preferably *not* the same people who have compiled the locational databases based on ‘keyword’ instead of actual place, and not the ones who had anything to do with the State Resources pages that include so much quite unrelated material in the linked lists.

  9. Cindy

    A nice addition and it looks like it could be a time saver for geographical research. Did have trouble finding townships and counties as they are listed with census records.

  10. Walter Gallant

    Please! If you are going to add these links to family trees, make them configurable! I don’t want them, they get in the way, and I want a way to turn them off!

  11. I like the new map feature, so far. It saves time looking up new places in the atlas or going off line to another map program. So far, I am pleased with what I have seen. Thanks

  12. Liz

    I really like having the map w/the tree — have been thinking of making a Google maps for my family.

    However, I agree that two map musts that are PARAMOUNT for serious genealogists (even us serious amateurs) are city/county/state (US) format (or include provinces or regions for other countries) AND historical place names. Some towns my ancestors lived in don’t even exist on today’s maps.

    And I have a lot of historical place names that I really don’t want to change just for the map. Some don’t have a modern equivalent; they don’t exist any more!

    ******A compromise for adding historical place names would be the ability to pinpoint on the map where it USED to be & type in the community name ourselves — that would be a great tool!********

    Also, having counties helps a lot when you have more than one town of the same or similar name in a state. Counties are very impt. for us because so many US records are kept by county officials.

    I’d like a delete option for the markers, as well. I put the wrong place name & am stuck w/the marker until you have a delete option.

    thanks for listening!

  13. I totally agree with #12 and also several of the other replies who do see great value in this link.

    I just don’t want to be automatically moved to the maps with no way to return to what I was working on except to close out.

  14. jamesperry196

    Great new feature. Embedding spatial informtion as well as temporal information in an online family tree is a huge bonus. With additions it will be great for contacting people interested in the same area – e.g. people that have ancestors that lived on the same street as yours.

    It will be nice if future releases also allow more than one ancestor at a time to be displayed on the map.

    It will also be good if in the future you could display geotagged photos and other records on the map.

    When will this make it to

    Will it be possible to export the spatial inforamtion along with gedcom export e.g. to kmz file? I will not want to spend time adding spatial data without this function.

    3 things that really need to be added:
    Ability to delete a pin
    Ability to move a pin’s location manually and add own location text.
    Abiility to let you find a location and then link it to life events for mulitple ancestors e.g. all family at once.

  15. I love the map feature. It just popped up for me the first time today and I was amazed. It may have bugs at first, but thanks for letting us see what you have in store for us. I am sure as time goes on you will work out the bugs and continue to make Ancestry the premier genealogy site.

    Thanks for all you do to help make records available to those of us who can not get to all the courthouses and other repositories all over the world.

  16. Lee E. Cloe

    The map indicates the position near Clare (unincorporated) Indiana in Hamilton County. Correct county but way off base. Correct location is the southwestern quadrant of Hamilton County. CLAY Township.

  17. Bryan


    Just came accross this by accident. What a great addition to Ancestry!

    Of course there are bugs, but what a great start!

    One bug you can probably fix, without to much of a problem, is:

    When you bring up the map, and select the portion you want, it is horizontal.

    When you print it, it is both vertical, and contains an information column, which makes it even worse. It is completely vertically streached.

    For down the road, Especially in the U.S. as a start, it would be very helpful to view the states as counties as they were at the time: 1650 to the present, reflecting the changes over 50 year periods.

    I know this is a massive undertaking, and I thank you for your important contribution.


  18. Biggest and #1 problem is that the maps require flash. It a notorious resource hog and is known for killing browsers left and right. Considering that NONE of the major mapping sites require or even use flash its very puzzling that maps were implemented in this way. Its quite frustrating to watch my browser’s memory usage double just to load this page.

    Second Microsoft Virtual Earth is often inaccurate and really would be my last choice for use as a mapping API. The suggestion in comment #10 is an excellent one. Using the USGS GNIS database and / or would be much preferred to the locations from MS Virtual Earth.

    Include more specific loactions for things like hospitals, battle sites, etc.

    Allow users to create / edit locations on the map. Adding locations of family farms, locations that don’t exist any more would be very helpful.

  19. Kenny, I’d like to be able to display the blue event markers for more than one person at a time. I’m presently comparing the event time and places for 2 brothers in early Missouri but can only display one persons events at a time on the map. I’d like a clean map of the whole U.S. that I can pin markers to from multiple individuals so I can see and compare entire family groups and migration patterns. Thanks !

  20. Phillip

    I like the feature and it can be very useful, but can I turn it off when I don’t want to use it?

    It really seems to slow the loading of profile pages.

  21. Shelly

    Would love to be able to move the push pins to the correct location when using historical names of places that no longer exist. I have been using VE and Google maps for my research for the past year and when I show family members where our ancestors live they love it.



  23. Bethakamom

    I hate the map! If I want to see a map I’ll find it and then pull it up. I hate when I go for information that stupid map comes up.
    I usually do not swear, but when I go to look and that map comes up, I SWEAR!!! Take it off and allow a person to pull it up when they want it. I pull up a census and get A STUPID MAP.

  24. Cathy481

    I don’t need it to poop up each and every time I cleck on a toen and I realyy don’t need it to pop up ona a town that no longer exits.

  25. Jeannie

    The system seemed really slow this evening, and I was frustrated. Then, the map popped up unexpectedly. WOW! This is wonderful! I have not fully explored it, but it is impressive. Thank you so much!

  26. Walter F. Hatfield

    I think is great. I always like to check out places of death,cemeteries, which gives address which is great. This should answer alot of unanswer questions.

  27. dee hunter

    This will be an amazing addition! I think it is awesome that you have made this an addition to the site and look forward to using it !

  28. You folks should really get the basics right before trying to do a little of everything just to get folks to join hoping they will someday actually find what they search for.
    Leave the maps to the maps people or get them on your team.
    The census records need to be cleaned up as do the rest of the records.
    Your search engine needs a tune up, the results that come back are not even close sometimes, how about adding filters to use on the results?
    I could go on but you get the idea, right?

  29. Maudotha Ratchford

    I don’t care about the location. I would like to see the documentation that this information has been pulled from. Either the or the US Census. I can locate their places with out all this up-to-do. When I get to the point of needing a map I think I can ask for it. Please show the information requested. Maudotha

  30. Cory

    One thing that would be nice, is if one of my records has an exact address of where my great great great grandfather died. I would awesome if you could put the address where the pin is located.

  31. Christine Bates

    Love it. I understand you’re working the bugs, and will probably grab dates to tie in with the historical maps. This is going places.
    I already found several hints with the first map I pulled up. May not have all the historical places yet, but if you’ve studied the area, you can hone in and I’m sure will be able to drill down, as you modify the search capability.

  32. Jade

    Re: Maudotha’s #34:

    Very few ‘Trees’ are based on actual records research. Most are lifted from other gedcoms that were lifted from other gedcoms . . . etc. An original gedcom might have been compiled from published genealogies and / or family group sheets submitted to LDS and / or material lifted from newsletters or published queries. Some Tree submitters have even manipulated actual evidence in various ways, such as dropping inconvenient children in order to lump a couple in one place with a different couple in a far-away place (no evidence existing of any connection whatever).

    If the tree you are looking at does not give evidence (not to be confused with “sources”), consider it to be fiction.

    Good hunting,

  33. Shirley Horst Walker

    My parents lied about who the were and where they lived when they finally were married and I am having difficulty putting my mother in the right town and her correct birth, both time and place. How can I change or add her correctly, Help!

  34. Jane Hunter Hodgson

    I love this new addition.
    I notice that you refer to old place. Does that mean you will make provision for old names and county designations places?

    Remember genealogists use:
    Town or township, county, state, County

    Over the years the same place in Virginia was in Dunmore then Frederick then Shenandoah County, Virginia

    Or Clarksburg, Harrison County, Virginia became Clarksburg, Harrison, West Virginia.

    Or boundaries between Switzerland and France changed.

    I note that Family Tree Maker has the same modern day maps but they do allow for listings in the old naming patterns.

    This could be designated by the person entering the data if the program allowed for the thumbtack to be moved to the proper setting by the user.

  35. Richard

    If Possible the Ancestry Places (beta) needs a distance measurement feature both a single mileage and a path measuement, and being you are working with google earth that should be possible. I have in a couple other suggestions ie: map save and map print friendly, Thanks Rich

  36. P Ridenour

    Too cool! My maps are so marked up that I can hardly find anything on them. A nice addition to all the other things that are available. Thanks. The bugs others are finding create no problems for me at this time.

  37. Sam Eaton

    I understand about beta software. Still it would be nice to be able to correct errors in location. I would like to place something some how, some way, even manually on Elm Street in Denton (County Seat City) of Denton Texas instead of having the marker locked onto Little Elm (town) Denton County, Texas.

    Something like the Google Maps ability to place locator pins by moving the pin around the map would work wonders.

  38. I see you’re using the Microsoft Mapping program. Recommend full blown version of Google Maps, especially to find places in the United Kingdom, where the names change frequently. Need access to old boundaries of English traditional counties like Staffordshire, Shropshire, and so forth.

    It also couldn’t find Fredericksburg, Virginia without some help, like “Fredericksburg, Independent City, Virginia, United States.”

    George Beddoe
    Fredericksburg, Virginia

  39. Harry

    This is a welcome, delightful and very useful addition…albeit a bit buggy right now (which is certainly understandable I guess).

    Right out of the starting gate, there is, apparently, a geographical “location” glitch in the “address” database. For example, one of my ancestral addresses is 196 East Houston Street in Manhattan, New York City, NY, USA.
    Do a search for the above and it “locates” the pin somewhere well south of that address near City Hall. (As an interesting aside btw, Houston Street marks the northern boundary of the “SoHo” section of Manhattan and is short for “South of Houston”)

  40. Connie Stewart

    I am getting trapped in this site and I cannnot find a way to get back to my search, the only apparent option being the logout. I don’t want to do that. When i havae time I u=will play with this format, but right now I am looking for other information. Thanks.

  41. wlangacker

    This program is unable to locate places in Europe that are easily found on other map sites find quite easily. For example, the town of Skarboszewo in Poland is easily located on Maplandia.

  42. Tim

    Great idea.. and thanks for sharing the Beta. A few teething problems that I’ve noticed:
    – Majority of residences from my tree return not found, even though they are in Town, County, Country format from US Census.
    – Once a “pin” has been assigned I can’t figure out how to correct or remove it. For example, one of my entries was assigned based on County, but now I’d like to move it to the correct Town.
    – What do the letters in the pins mean? Majority seem to be labelled “O”. It would be nice if they could be numbered or somehow associated with the life events
    – This one is a nit, but drives me crazy. When working with a person’s timeline, I try to select an event – but ancestry decides to start “searching for possible hits” – the Timeline information is pushed down to accomodate the “Searching” frame. Invariably the wrong entry is selected – this bahavior is even worse now, since half the time I accidentally select a address and fire up the map. There’s similar screen movement within the Family Members bar on the RHS. Is it possible to reserve space in the screen layout , so that the “Searching” frame can be added without causing the rest of the screen to jump around?

    Thanks for the opportunity to provide feedback, and keep up the good work.

  43. Leila Lieberman

    I want to look at the census records for 1900. I am not sure where my father was born. I thought you had census records available.

  44. I agree with most of the people here on historical names. Our database, which is approximately 50,000 people, strives to describe the event at the place name where the event happened AT THE TIME IT HAPPENED. So, for example, if you were looking up Jesus of Nazareth, he would show up as being born in Bethlehem, Iudaea, Roman Empire, and not Bethlehem, West Bank, Israel. And we state that an ancestor was born in the Holy Roman Empire frequently, only using Germany in the 19th and 20th century. Even for U.S. place names, there are historical problems. The program, for example, doesn’t know where New Sweden was (in the Delaware-Philadelphia area, not in Maine). Doesn’t account for places names in old Virginia that aren’t in Virginia anymore. Literally doesn’t know where New England is… thinks it’s in North Dakota. I haven’t even tried someplace in Rupert’s Land which encompassed most of modern Canada… I just KNOW it can’t find it. Doesn’t recognize that Massachusetts used to be called Massachusetts Bay Colony and thinks that’s in Kentucky or Somalia.

    This is not just a complaint with Googlemaps but with the whole program, which confuses some researchers who aren’t as savvy about historical geography as some of us are. Now, I realize that some of you might not savvy about the ancient location of Native American nations, but some of these things are gimmes. Everyone (except your program) knows New England is not in North Dakota, and that Massachusetts is not in Kentucky or Somalia, or that South Carolina is not located in Puerto Rico. I expect the more commonly known things to be accounted for in your programs, such as the examples I cited, and they are not.

  45. Jade

    Re: Leila’s #54, Here is a link to the US Federal Census list:

    Bookmark this link in your browser.

    Be sure that you are not in ‘New Fuzzy Search’, pay attention to the yellow band at the top of the search page; if it says change back to old search, click on that link and then use your bookmark to get back to the census list. Using Old Search you can readily scroll through the list of what is available.

    Also just above the search box is a link to the ‘census’ general category just before the US Census title. If you click on ‘Census’ you can see all of the Census enumerations that are available on, including State Censuses, in the same handy single-page scrollable list.

    If you use New Search the list of available enumerations is on several pages that you can’t navigate through and have to wait for each listing-page to load. The reason for this is that Ancestry wants you to give them ad ‘hits’ for each page you have to click through.

    The reason for searching a specific Enumeration year is that if you use the general Census search Ancestry will give you pages of results for years and places you are not interested in, often with names that are not even close to the one you are searching for, beginning with possibly hundreds of so-called ‘hits’ in the 1930 enumeration.

    Good hunting,

  46. Jade

    Re: Liz’s #55:

    Ancestry is not going to make its map provider take the requisite number of years of staff-time to create a database of historical places and co-ordinate with recreations of old maps.

    The compromise we arrived at in the place database I have been working on is to give location as described in *present* geopolitical naming systems, and in parentheses give the historic designation. Unfortunately there is no mapping program with historical maps such that one can choose time frames for geopolitical designations, such as ca. 100 BCE-400 CE.

    This works best if you have a specific location, such as Bethlehem, and can *manually* establish the GNIS co-ordinates link.

    Ancestry will not allow you to get access to the SQL places database, and will not allow you to choose where the pin goes when you have only a general location such as “China”. This database is already incredibly huge and chaotic, since different users will represent the same location in different ways. I truly don’t know how Ancestry’s present map-provider would handle parenthetical place-names.

    Good point and good luck,

  47. Jim Hannaman

    This is a very useful enhancement to the Ancestry site. (Some of the respondents apparently don’t grasp the concept of this being a “beta” application.) One feature that would be useful to me is an indication of “scale” – is it already available and I’m simply overlooking it?

  48. Alesha Palomino

    I looked for Copala Toliman Jalisco Mexico.I was shown the other copala in Jalisco.Copala Toliman is located near Sayula and Ciudad Guzman. Thank You!

  49. Dale Frank

    As for me, I’d trade all of the “bells and whistles” in the world for something less than a 2 minute response time during peak periods. (I am using a 100MB line)

  50. Kenny Freestone

    Thank your for the fantastic feedback. It is great to hear your suggestions and thoughts.

    From your comments, it seems like the following issues are most critical:

    –Too many place names not found (So true! This is a top item to address during our beta period.)

    –Slow to load (Also so true! We think we’ve got a clever way to address this, so hopefully soon we’ll have this working faster)

    –Counties are key (Yes. Unfortunately counties are not included in this version. We’re going to try to find those and add them. My hope is that if your tree says, for example, “Hardin County, Ohio” we can show you a shaded outline of that county. It doesn’t make sense to show a pushpin when the geographic place is so large.)

    –Historical places (So this is going to take some doing–probably not something we’ll solve right away, but definitely is incredibly important. It seem like we should offer a way in the tree & map for you to add both the modern name and the historical name, and maybe choose which you prefer to display.)

    –Printing is poor. (Pathetic, really…This is also something we want to address during this beta period.)

    We’re really excited about the maps,and hope to continue improving it to address the items above, plus the dozens of other enhancements you’ve mentioned. Please keep the feedback coming!


  51. Christine Bates

    Would be nice as a side feature too, with the records search, to see if someone your serious about adding/researching further, is even close in proximity. I’d rather research the map, before I add them to the tree. The date on the actual record could tie to a historical map.

  52. Glen

    I think it is a brilliant idea.Do you think that in the future it will be possible to add more remote places?!I am constantly surprised, and pleased,at the way the site is developing Thank you.

  53. Rene Thompson

    Kenny, I agree with Jade that we need the ability to adjust place names by time periods. As counties were created, boundaries changed and we need the capability to give accurate information.


  54. Jade


    In addition to Counties, needed are such subdivisions as Towns, Townships, Magisterial Districts, Beats, Judicial Districts, Parishes, Hundreds.

    In the US, huge numbers of cemeteries are not entered in GNIS. Quite a few of these are located on various web sites, but I suggest *not* simply **taking** the information as is the practice of those who lift and install Trees on by taking others’ gedcoms. Not to mention **taking** images and documents using your new crime-assisting Toolbar (aiding copyright violation, similar to music file-sharing software). And hardly to mention Ancestry’s equivalent of **taking** submitters’ Rootsweb genealogical and biographical content a few years ago.

    Your legal department could argue that locations are ‘facts’, but those who have taken the trouble to locate them, gone onto property after locating the owner and getting permission, walked and in many cases cleared the cemeteries of overgrowth, and gone to the trouble to transcribe, write and post detailed locations as well as gravestone readings would see it differently.

    You’ll also have to decide how you want to handle churches, hospitals, nursing homes, etc. as sites of vital events, with the complication that such events as births and deaths almost never actually occurred in the Monthly Meetinghouse or Parish Church where the events were recorded. The latter point is one of major confusion on the part of gedcom creators.

    Have fun,

  55. Gayle

    I would like to see maps of the early 1900’s like County Plat Maps with townships. I have a hard time finding them on the internet. But this is good what has been done so far. Keep impproving.

  56. Gordon

    You do have a lot more work to do on this project BUT “thank you” for taking it on! Everything has to start somewhere. When the bugs are worked out, what a terrific resource it will be.

  57. Marcia Krech

    I LOVE the new mapping feature. I agree, the things mentioned by various commenters would be nice, but I am happy to see working on the concept of mapping.

    Thank you!

  58. SuzieQ

    I used Google Maps and had far more luck locating things. It just seems more accurate. I also could take a walk down streets my dad walked as a child. I’m sorry you didn’t choose Google maps with their advanced tech it real is better. I did not have the problems I have experienced with your map service. For example .. I could see the name on the map but the search said they could not find it .. it hit the county but could not find the map as clear as day on their own map.

  59. Mary

    This is a wonderful feature! I often attach GNIS maps to my individuals and hope to one day be able to create a world map tracking migration of all of the family members. I’m sure the bugs will get worked out. I agree with the comments on those. I would add that the map for my current residence is wrong. I live 35 miles outside of Philadelphia. The map has me on the other side of the state near Gettysburg!

  60. joshualyn

    i cant figure out how to get to the map thing on my profile and use my family names ???? please help!

  61. Heather

    Map is a great idea!
    Just an idea but how about layers that could be turned on/off like the wildfire mapping @ this location:
    Half formed thought but may be a way to solve the historical location problem.

  62. Jackie

    I tried the map feature and found it limited. It put a site in Minn instead of Mo and there is no way to take the marker off and fix it.
    My suggestion is to allow us to place the marker ourselves instead of the automatic sellection only. This has potential, but not very good yet.

  63. I tried the map feature and found it misleading. I clicked on the birthplace Viller, Lorraine, France and was given several options of similarly spelled towns. None of them correct. I clicked on one choice to see how close it might get to the actual village and was taken to another area. Unfortunately, now the map always links to the wrong town. The correct village can be found on the map by scrolling around to it but, you would have to know exactly where it is located. Too bad…this could have been great.

  64. Jade, I’m not asking for the sun, the moon and the stars here. Trying to get accurate historical county changes, for example, would be nigh on impossible. However, some of these things are rather simple. New England is NOT in North Dakota. South Carolina is NOT in Puerto Rico. I cannot see how it confuses a program to key on the word Massachusetts, which is literally the only place Massachusetts has ever existed in the world. What I’m saying is some of the more simple known things, which are frankly, somewhat stupid not to know, turn up wrong in Ancestry.

    I am not surprised that the program has a problem with China when it has a problem with South Carolina.

    BTW, so y’all know… yes, we have to distinguish between Massachusetts, Massachusetts Bay Colony and the Province of Massachusetts Bay. Because they were different political and geographic entities. At one time, the Province also included Maine. Mass. Bay Colony was a separate entity from Plymouth Colony… Plymouth was not part of the original Massachusetts. Yes, we have to distinguish between what lays in Virginia today, what was Virginia from 1792 to 1863, and what was Virginia prior to 1792 because in old records, Kentucky and West Virginia used to be part of Virginia. We’re doing this to CLARIFY, not to be petty and confuse mapmakers.

    And it does confuse novices to the system and ends up presenting bad data, especially when you encourage people to use other peoples’ data.

    I’m not really expecting miracles, and I’m not expecting it to know that what was Hohokam in the 1400’s is Phoenix today, nor do I expect it to know every single border change in human history, but I am sort of expecting common sense concerning commonly known places. That’s all I ask.

    And something that could conceivably be helpful. Most modern mappers have two type of maps, maps in all English and maps with cities in the native language of the country in which they lay. (i.e. Vienna=Wien) And some common knowledge place names, like Istanbul is Constantinople, St. Petersburg is Leningrad, Beijing is Peking, etc. That’s not all that hard really.

  65. Kathy Lynch

    I heartily second all the comments about historical changes — very, very difficult. The drag-and-drop feature proposed by an earlier poster would be terrific; I know exactly where some ancestors lived, and the pins appear miles away. Very frustrating!
    I like the idea in general of having a map to show areas where I have not lived — it’s when I know more than the map (LOL) that I want to pull out the pins!

  66. Jade

    Re: Liz in #75:

    All you ask for is historically accurate maps.

    That is a lot to ask of Ancestry, which can’t even keep land records for Ohio Counties and old Natchez, Mississippi records out of a list of State of Delaware resources.

    Those of us who chase after actual records want to be oriented to what the geopolitical jurisdiction and records-keeping authorities were at the time and place of a given quest.

    Ancestry does not have most of these records, and practically no one at Ancestry appears to have done detailed 17th- and 18th-century research even in the USA.

    This seems to be why the New Fuzzy Search Engine interface is somewhat good at finding post-1900 data but terrible at locating what earlier data is on board, and quite inept at excluding photos of late 19th century NY passenger ships or post-1900 Manitoba, Canada newspaper items from a search for data on a person born about 1760 in Delaware, died 1816 in WV.

    There is also a tendency on the part of Tree People to put in the site of a record for the site of the event, such as “Philadelphia Monthly Meeting”, meaning the records kept in the meetinghouse, when the event took place in Frederick County, VA when the Quaker records for this area were kept in Philadelphia for the earliest Quaker settlers in the Northern Neck of VA from New Jersey (before organization of the first VA Monthly Meeting for the area).

    It can be quite a challenge to reconcile current place-names with historical ones, regardless what part of the world one is looking at. Given Ancestry’s record with its really unworkable Search Engine Interface revision (not fixing the fundamental indexing and actual Search Engine limitations), I have no confidence that it will come up with solutions to historical mapping. People who want to show Prussia locations ca. 1890 will not be happy with mapping related to the various German kingdoms and principalities of ca. 1730, and vice-versa.

    Merely incorporating a map series showing changes in Virginia/West Virginia county outlines would be beyond the scope of what Ancestry would be willing to do.

    After all, this mapping project is oriented to Trees, which are mostly unrelated to actual records research anyway. Why would users who seem not even to read the trees they post be interested in when Sussex Co., NJ was subdivided, when they have no intention of looking for the records for the people in their tree at *any* point in time?

  67. amy

    Well it would be really nice if the phone # to the cemetery popped up with the address to aid in research timesaving.
    You could call all in a row and be done with it!

  68. Jade

    Re: Amy’s #79

    The majority of existing cemeteries are on privately owned land or in churchyards of now-defunct churches. Only the largest and most modern are incorporated and have an office where someone would answer a telephone number, or are operated and maintained by an existing religious organization with office and and telephone.

    For nearly all existing cemeteries no burial records were ever kept.

    In a great many areas, someone in the neighborhood may occasionally mow a given cemetery, but this kind soul usually does not have any information on most of the persons buried there.

  69. ssheehan57

    I’m looking forward to seeing more of Maps, it’s an interesting addition but as others are pointing out the database needs historical maps and the search will need to consider the Year associated with the Place of the event (at least the century the year falls within).

    Military maps would be particularly nice to pull up for military events tracked for our veteran ancestors.

  70. tolmanscott

    Your beta webpage popped up without warning when I attempted to remove redundant census information from an ancestor. Maybe I missed it but I don’t see a way to return to the search I was working on. I’d rather have the option of using the map function rather than having it pop up automatically.When I need a map, I’ll access it.

    In general, I am disappointed with the dumbing-down of Ancestry’s services. I got a lot more primary source information prior to about three years ago.

  71. Virginia C Hordusky

    Please remove this fact. This is a woman and I’m looking for a man, Morris Breed.
    I don’t know how.
    Thanks for trying.

  72. Joseph

    Get rid of this MAP BS. You aren’t going to be able to ‘show’ places that don’t exist today. Your website is really slowing down because of all the useless ADDED features. it’s distracting.

  73. Robin Toler

    Is there anyway to save the copy of the map to all members in one family, or do you have to do it as an individual person? Thanks.

  74. Mary

    Great addition but would love to see historical towns and villages as well as country cemeteries added. Many of those have been destrpyed but progress but there must be records of them somewhere. This addition would be amazing in helping to locate ancestors. Keep up the good work.

  75. Mary

    Great addition but I would love to see historical towns and villages as well as country cemeteries added. Many of those have been destroyed by progress. There must be records of them somewhere. This addition would be amazing in helping to locate ancestors. Keep up the good work.


    No, the feature may not have all the ‘bells and whistles’ (yet) and kinks worked out, but I can now visualize my family’s historical facts with the physical location!

    Thanks again!

  77. Kim Wilson

    Kenny: This is awesome! I’ve been thinking for a long time that this would be a great idea. I’m glad someone else did too, and had the capability of making it happen!


  78. Kylie

    This is really good and I was really excited to see this option now added to my tree. Just a few tweeks that I’m sure you are already working on though.

    I can find a town on the map but the map can’t, is there a way to manually add the location?

    I added a location in Hereford (UK) and it put the pin on a town of the same name in Somerset and I can’t delete it.

    This is all I’ve really looked at so far, I think it’s a fantastic idea, hope it all works out in the end.

  79. RussMcCle

    Leeland, Jefferson County, VA is NOT Located north of I-70 in Colorado. It is in VIRGINIA. This feature is worthless at the present time.

  80. John Westerdale

    Map may be useful once our family structures are in place. All of a sudden I am on another site regarding Ireland? I have ADHD and get distracted enough!!!! Please leave the Map stuff an add on to be added when I ask for it. This is a new fabric, but ancestry is charted -more- thru time, secondarily by location. BTW – Google maps is way better. The Color crap on MS maps adds nothing but weight.

    How much will this cost once its established as useful?

    My $.02.


  81. Jody Ackermann

    Are you creating the ability to show county and territorial boundaries known for particular years in history? i.e. 1640 versus 1770 versus 1930 in the current state of Virginia?

    I’m enjoying this map feature and find it very helpful to envision individuals’ family histories.

  82. Alfred W. Dorsett

    I am not sure how to correct misinformation in world tree, you would never be able to locate the place listed because it does not exist. the town listed is in an adjacent county
    Branford, Lafyette County, Floida no such place it should read
    Branford, Suwannee County, Florida

  83. Gary

    Great feature, but using the “back arrow” on Explore only reloads the page.
    The return to previous page works.

  84. janet davis

    as a newcomert to genelogical research in general. All i can say is yea. Having maps available on site instead of having to go between ancestory and maps is a huge timesaver and easier. Having all events for a persons life on one map is HUGE. Save me en enormous amount of time, energy and eventually money to print.
    counties change, names change, fact of life.
    Great idea, keep up the work and maybe with time there will be ways around the complaints that some people have………..JMD

  85. Adam

    These maps keep popping up without me asking for them – and slow the system down considerably.
    Not impressed.

  86. Sharon Babcock

    Please make this an option that I can easily turn on and off. I agree it gets in the way, slows me down, and gives me info I do not want at the time. If I want a map, I’ll find one.

  87. Allison Hoopes

    It gave me the wrong city in Germany, and I need a way to unattach the arrow. It won’t let me attach my record to the correct location.

  88. Rod Caldwell

    “City Cemetery” in Connersville, IN is located on Western Ave (it shows on the map) in the city, not where the current pin is located on the west side of town.

  89. David Jones

    I like the map area. However, it is very hard to figure out where the boundaries are for the different counties. Perhaps that could be a feature you could turn on or off. Also, when I look at multiple locations, it would help to have them identified by number, so that I knew specifically which one I was looking at. Is it possible to turn off a particular event once I have identified it, but not have to leave the map?



  90. David Jones

    Is your map a current map? That is what it looks like to me. Are you working on period maps? If I have an ancestor who setteled in Kentucky Co., Virginia (Which doesn’t exist today) then a current map is useless to me. I love the idea. It just needs more info.



  91. Linda

    Thanks for the maps! They are just great and easy to use, too. But I have a suggestion.
    For the thousands of us who have McDonald ancestors from Scotland, it would be exciting to make Glencoe ‘findable’. I tried to click on it yesterday, to no avail.
    Later I found it.
    I know there are a lot of tourists who visit the Highlands of Scotland, and many of those are descendants of the McDonalds. It would be exciting to click on Glencoe, Scotland, United Kingdon from
    Thanks again,

  92. Dawn

    This is *SO* cool! Who hasn’t wondered how one location is situated relative to another? Granted, locations and boundaries have changed over time. Perhaps a future version will have capability to layer maps from different time periods. Still, this is going to be very, very useful. Press on, Kenny!

  93. Sandra Boff

    My husband and I were married on USNS Roosevelt Roads Base which is located closest to Ceiba Puerto Rico on the west coast of the island. When I click on Ceiba, Puerto Rico I am sent to the interior of the island nowhere close to Ceiba. Not sure if this can be corrected.

  94. janice

    i got here accidentally by clicking on a place on a profile — but i think it rocks. It took me a bit to figur eout how I got here, but now that I figured it out, I’ll be playing with it all night!
    thank you.

  95. nan

    I appreciate all new ideas and applications that you add to Ancestry. I’m sure you will get the bugs worked out soon!

  96. Gregory Armstrong

    Noticed lost of grave sites were missing in locations where I live particulary those on private property. Would you compensate me for my efforts to survey those locations?

    Also, I would like to have been able to input GPS coords for my family details to include residences, grave sites, churches, schools, locations of civil war battles, to include my own locations of military service.


  97. Kenny,
    I just now used the map feature and love it. Mapquest did not show me the 2 towns I was seeking and your map did. Now I would love to have a “printable version”!

    The map location in Germany I was seeking was Wachtersbach with Schlierbach just north of it. I have a post card in German with “Schlierbach b. Wachtersbach” and do not know what the ‘b’ stands for. Any ideas? I’m not sure if if Wachtersbach is part of Schlierbach or vica versa.

    Keep up the good work. Thanks so much. Terry thomas

  98. You have saved me tons of time by creating this site. I have been using the text available on PhotoShop to add information to the other maps available on line. I added census from 1790 to 1930 to the same map, but maybe you will add that ability to your application. The family names on the census with all their ages are also listed. I used a map showing the states from TX to NC.

  99. Ray

    Please allow users to drag and drop pins on locations and define the place name. The village of Warwick in Cumberland, England is on the other end of the country from the city of Warwick in Warwickshire.

  100. Jean Taylor

    Not good:
    1) The link to go back to family tree does not work.
    2) The system does not allow going back by Xing out either.
    Not very satisfying.
    Jean Taylor

  101. Lenou (MH) Dere

    I love the link to google maps and I can find on the map the birthplace of several people. But the list of places the ancestry database uses doesn’t match the places on the map.
    What would be really helpful is if when you find the place on the map-you could link that place back to the place name in the database (using latitude & longitude, for example) especially in cases where even if the place is on the map but so small that the name is not recognized by the search engine. Just an idea-may not be feasible…

  102. Van Johnson

    Map is ok but should be selective & not automatic popup. It takes foreever to get rid of it.
    In a yes or no vote it would definately be a no.

  103. Gerald Stevenson

    The maps are a goood feature, even if somewhat buggy at this time. As having the ability to place a marker on a specific town or village in a country which has had it’s borders altered is going to be near impossible, as well as having available every spelling of every city, town, village, county, etcetera that ever has existed. Some alternatives must be found. The ability to move a marker and annotate same on the map would be of great benifit. I am trying to mark the location of a neighborhood which has ‘disappeared’ over 160 years ago. I have a marker placed, however it is actually some distance from the area in which I wish to have it and on the opposite side of the town.

  104. Penny McKenzie

    This map pops up when I did not click on it, and I cannot click the back button to get back to where I was. I have to exit and start all over again. After a while that gets really agrivating.

    Penny Broome McKenzie

  105. Great idea, love it!

    But is going to need a lot of work!
    For instance USA & Australia use most of the English town names and counties upon their foundation, this program just assumes every town exists in USA only.

    An easy way for tree owners to edit map location information is essential!!

    I think, as mentioned already, drag & drop pins will work the best, that way your work load is reduced as the individual tree owners will do most of the work …. and it will be accurate!

    You could just do a scan and log points, already checked as accurate, for your database.

  106. I have just registered on your site, and cannot retrieve my mothers’ Birth place, it is no where on your map, and when asked to type it in, the response is that it cannot be located. If my family tree cannot be retrieve what would I be paying for.
    If you cannot help. PLEASE CANCEL MY ORDER NOW.
    Thank you,
    Monica Williams

  107. C Mueller

    I do not like the map being automatic.I would prefer that it is available as a choice. It gets in my way. I don’t find it particularly useful to my research. I would prefer that you spend more time adding new record sources.

  108. joan gatturna

    These maps seem to pop up whether you ask for it or not and then there is no way to get back to where you were in you search.

  109. AJ Satter

    Love the interactive maps. Did have a minor problem when I included the farm name, then municipality or District, County, Country for Norway. Farms, especially in earlier times were an address. The interactive application, should be able to split this off and use the remainder for a lookup.

  110. Rod Gray

    The map idea is great BUT markers are all over the place.
    eg Adventure Bay, Bruny Island, Tasmania is marked but for place of death the marker points to Opossum Bay!!!
    Agree with another reader about Prussia. Don’t know how but you need to get older maps so places can be identified.

  111. Beth Blote

    Missing cemetery information, ie: Ibba Baker Tetherow and husband, Solomon B Tetherow are buried in Fircrest Cemetery, Monmouth, Polk County, OR, USA.

  112. Julie Moskal

    I would love to be able to actually click on a cemetary (which don’t actually highlight when you want them to) and possibly get some snapshots of headstones from that cemetary. Same thing with access to microphish from archives from foreign countries with automatic translation. This would save me lots of time and money having to go over there myself. Anyone working on that? I know it’s a big job, but then again, so is getting our guys out of Iraq. 🙂

  113. Michael Broderick

    ahhhhhhhh Not that impressed!

    When the map has “found” a location on th map you can not change it even if its wrong. Apperently Blackfriars London is in Bedfordshire!!!

    Please add a correctional option as this is very anoyying!



  114. Penny McKenzie

    I did not click on this map, but it poped up anyway, and wont let me use the back button to go back to the page I was on, so I will have to close everything out and start over. It does this quite often.

    Penny Broome McKenzie

  115. Wendy

    It would be valuable to be able to indicate the pinpoints that are located on the actual map, but the search feature can’t find something that shows on the map.

    For instance, my ancestor’s town of Skarboszewo, Poland is located near Poznan, Poland (which it can’t find). Once I zoom into the tiny town, I would like to be able to “stick” a pin into the location.

    I do understand that Polish spellings don’t always translate or that some maps may prefer to use the German name, but when I put the place in letter for letter, according to the map that is provided, you’d think it could find it!

  116. Derek Edwards

    I agree with the comments of “Jade”, this does not work for genealogical applications. The parish references in the UK census returns from the early 19 & 20th century were based on church district boundaries.
    For example one of my ancestors in the 1851 census lived in St Giles, Middlesex, England which was an area around St Giles in the Fields, a church in the modern Borough of Camden, in the heart of London. Your map locates my ancestor in “St Giles on the Heath” in Devon in the South West of the country. Very misleading for any researcher living outside the UK who did not understand the old English Church Parish boundary system.

    Regards Derek.

  117. Edward Stravato

    Ancestory’s website just become worse everytime I log on. Stop the stupid changes. Taking too much time downloading maps etc that I don’t wish to see. Ok to have them, but let me pull them up if I want them. Don’t know what you people are doing but I don’t like it.

  118. Stephen Missel

    It would be great if you added drag and drop pins, as I know the location on the map, and your pins are often miles off, but I can’t come any closer with a descriptive address. It would save a lot of time and frustration.

  119. Heather Cave

    While there might be bugs, maps really helped me out by allowing me — for the first time — to see on a map the locations where my ancestor was born, married and died… all in relation to one another. This helped because I am not familiar with the towns and areas in which my ancestor lived, worked and died. Maps helped me see and understand the names of places in relation to one another. I could see where he was born, where he lived when he first was married and where he was buried. Then I was able to see the churches, cemetaries and court houses nearby. This will allow me to do a complete road trip and visit all pertinent sites. Too cool. Can’t wait until it launches so that I may explore the application further with each my ancestors.

    Perhaps we will even be able to track movement of the family through out time on the map? Now that would be cool!

  120. My great grandmother, Annie Currie is the daughter to Hans and Johanna Alline, of Denmark; Annie was the wife to Fred W. Jenney and their children are: Earl, Dorothy-my grandmother, Hazel Lona, and the Fred W. Jenney–who also named his adopted son Fred W. Jenney. So there are three Fred W. Jenney’s in a line of ancestry.
    These are the only records I know for sure are right. I don’t have any info on Hans Alline nor his wife, Johanna Jareenson Alline of Denmark. Phyllis in this record is the daughter of Annie Currie, my late great-aunt. May all these souls rest in peace.

  121. Ted Harris

    I didn’t ask for this facility. The information you posted was wrong. It showed Preston in Yorkshire and not Preston in Lancashire. I am unable to source a date of birth because when I click onto it I am diverted to a map I didn’t ask for which is wrong anyhow. I cannot get rid of it.

    However, I am sure that some may find it of interest and useful.

    Why did you attach it to live files without my permission?

  122. WOW! I clicked o a census record and athe map of Somerset shire, England came up! Plus, I showed where my GGGrandmother lived in 1841, 1851, and 1861. TOO Cool! Now I need to find out how to save it to my GGGrandmother’s recore.
    Contact me if you want to discuss, suggestions.
    Robyn Angle

  123. Lucinda S. Elliott

    I was connected to a map for my name and date of birth. It had a letter on it. It was the Virtual Map presentation. What was that supposed to represent, place of birth? How did you get this information?

  124. Draya Stahl

    I just love your ancestry maps. It is so great to be able to click and find where my ancestor lived and navigated in life. If I had my dream, I would love to be able to somehow attach a small version of their birthplace, events and death and place them on my ancestors profile page. I just love having the whole story of an ancestor on a page along with their timeline at a glance to tell their story. Thanks for giving me what I want before I even know I want it. Draya

  125. Judy

    This feature is very misleading and shows erroneous locations. It is worthless and can lead newbies way off their path.

  126. Theodora Johnson

    I would like to use the map link more often. This last view showed me where my great grandmother once lived in Hahira, GA (1880). This is the only record I have found of the Carter family. How precious is this to me. How ironic it is because my grand mother lived a just few blocks away. This information had never passed on to me.

  127. Theodora Johnson

    Please correct error in name of cemetery. Instead of Chestnut Hill Cemetery at 1990 Jonesboro Road, SE Atlanta, GA 30315, it should read South View Cemetery Association at the same address. Phone number is 1-404-524-5646.

  128. Jay

    Really slow to load. For some reason a block located right where my pin was would not load. Personally, I think integrating with Google Maps and Google Earth would be a much wiser choice. MS Virtual Earth is inferior.

  129. Kim Haslam

    This would be a good feature IF it put the place in the right place, i.e. Radford, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire is not Radford, Worcestershire but that is where the pins are. It seems there is a fair bit of work to be done before this becomes anything but a beta model. Keep on trying, though, I’d like ot see it work.

  130. Marnie

    Came across this by accident and found it very inaccurate. Brighton, Lorain, OH is shown in the middle of Cinncinnati in Hamilton County OH. Another search put Brighton in Kansas. I don’t even want to look up any other places. Google maps takes me right to Old Brigton Cemetery at the sw corner of Quarry and Jones Roads. I agree with others. Give up on this.

  131. norma blanchard

    I spelled my father’s (Joseph Giumentaro, birthplace incorrectly. Made error and typed in Italu, should be Italy! How are corrections made?


    Norma Blanchard

  132. I agree about the maps not being too accurate. We all seem to be having the same problems, eg. wrong places being found. I’ve just completed an enhancement request asking for the facility to move a pin to the correct location and also the facility to create and label one’s own pins for when a place doesn’t exist on the software database. These facilities would surely help to keep down costs of R&D.

  133. terri l mcmurphy

    wow!!!!!! something works on/w/my mozilla ! i’ve tried every add on/download i could find and this map thing clicks in. thanks a lot. what other goodies next? somethind to help me get rid of duplicates? how about 4plicates? anyway thanks

  134. Alan

    Its a great ideal! Works well most of the time but when I try to hone in on my Knox County Tennessee kin folk from 1860-1930 the maps take me half way across the state to Mufreesboro Tennessee.

  135. to kenney i would like to get in touch with mr walter f. hafield as i have been trying to find out about my ansesters in your familey tree but cant seem to get into it right as i am registerd to ansesters .com but nothing seems to get done so please get me intouch with him as if you need to my # is 719-784-7703 as we want to move my familey from colorado to kentuckey but need to find my ansesters over there so that i can find out where they are .ok please thank you for any trouble that this will couse ………….

  136. I was looking for the location of the death of Sir John de Segrave who died 1 April 1353. Your site showed me an Island off Quebec, Canada. It was not discovered until the mid 1500’s by Portugal. Thanks for the site. It’s real neat locating places.

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