One new web site offers a very unique service: online maps of where your ancestors were born or lived. The maps are available online, drawn on Google's mapping service.
This new service provides a tool for you to present your family history in a visual format that will enable you to bring genealogy "to life." You will obtain a free web site as you trace your ancestors' paths. You can even zoom in on the satellite images of your great-great-great-grandparents' back yard. However, I should note that the satellite images are quite recent. Chances are there weren't any picture-taking satellites over your great-great-great-grandparents' back yard during the years they lived there!
The maps show "balloons" at every location where an ancestor lived or was born. You can click on a balloon to view an ancestor photo, if available. You can zoom in and out on the map, as well as click and drag it to see nearby areas. The site also displays a pedigree chart below the map.
To request a free MapYourAncestors.com web page, you need fill out an Excel spreadsheet that is available on the site. You then send the spreadsheet via e-mail to the owner of MapYourAncestors.com. Your personalized web site will be available within 48 hours or so. Two versions of the Excel spreadsheet are available: one for genealogy beginners and another for those who have been doing this for a while.
You can see examples of George W. Bush's ancestry at http://www.mapyourancestors.com/index.php. It is interesting to note that the President has no Texas ancestry; most of his ancestors are from New England or the Midwest. The map shows this much more clearly than a printed list of locations. Another example showing international migrations of ancestors can be found at http://www.mapyourancestors.com/lybbert/.
Map Your Ancestors is a free service although the site owner does suggest voluntary contributions to help defray expenses.
You can find more information, apply for a web site of your ancestors' birth places, or make a contribution at: http://www.mapyourancestors.com