Mapping my family

I feel the need to have a better sense of the geography of my ancestors. In my research so far, which goes back as far as 10 generations, all ancestors but one were born in the U.S. The fact that I’m dealing with just one country makes me feel like I can get my arms around this.

I decided that I wanted to be able to see where my ancestors lived on a map. I’m sure I could probably map them online and create something to look at on my computer screen. But that’s not what I want. I want a big map, on my wall, with pins on it. I want to sit back in my chair and gaze at that map. And I want the satisfaction of putting in a new pin when I identify a new person.

So I bought a large map of  the U.S. on Amazon. I need to mount it on some foam core and hang it on the wall and start sticking pins into it.

I’m still pondering what to pin. Birth places? Burial places? Both? I’m figuring I’ll color code by branch of the family using one color for each of the branches starting with each grandparent. It might be the kind of thing I have to try before making a final decision.

I find myself itching to get this project done. Just today I was looking at information on an Iowa Genealogy Crash Course webinar being offered by Family Tree University. I do have Iowa ancestors, but off the top of my head, I don’t know who they are (or which branch of the family they’re from), nor what part of Iowa. I want to just glance at the wall and get that information. That will be satisfying.

I’ll post again (with a photo) after I finish this project and let you know how I decided to use the pins!


  1. Jerry Brown says:

    I am your Mom’s first cousin – son of your grandfather crawford Brown brother Max. I have quite a bit about the Brown family and their ancestors

  2. Hi, Jerry, I’m so glad to hear from you! I will email you to compare notes. I would love to learn the info you have about the Brown family!

  3. Sue Ellen Curry Hughes says:

    I am your cousin from Milo/Nevada Missouri. I was named for my Aunt Sue. Uncle Crawford was my mother’s brother. My mother was Nancy Ellen Brown Curry. My mother was the youngest child of Rhoda and A.J.Brown. I would love to show you around Milo/Nevada. I actually have some pictures of your family that I would love to give/send to you. I am so glad to make contact with you. We had a family reunion this past July and we talk about Crawford’s family and wanting to make contact with your family. There is one sibling that is still alive and that is Mary Brown Laflen. she lives in a nursing home here in Nevada. there are several cousins in this area. it would be fun to have a mini reunion just to meet the cousins! Looking forward to meeting you.

  4. Sue Ellen, thank you so much for your note. I would love to attend a mini reunion of cousins. And I can’t wait to see the pictures you mention. I might have to make that research trip happen soon! I look forward to meeting you too. I’ll email you.

  5. John Wabaunsee says:

    I am your Indian cousin. My mother was Iona Brown Wabaunsee; Crawford, Nancy, Max, Newt and Mary’s sister. My grandparents were AJ and Rhoda Brown. My full name is Albert John and I was to be called AJ or little AJ. My sisters and I were born in the Dakotas I remember traveling to the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962 and staying with Uncle Crawford and Aunt Sue in Spokane. We stayed with a cousin in Seattle while we visited the fair.

    My wife and I live Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    John Wabaunsee

    • Hi, John!

      Thanks so much for you comment. I have fond memories of Aunt Iona and Uncle Buck. They visited Walla Walla when I was a kid at least once. And their visit caused great excitement among us kids. We were proud to say we had an Indian uncle!

      Great to hear from you.

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