Friday, February 6, 2015

Checking Out Grandma's Pie - a Nice Treat!

I saw a blog post by Jana Last on Wednesday titled Have You Tried Grandma's Pie?  This was new to me, so I clicked on the link and quickly figured out what "Grandma's Pie" was all about.

"Grandma's Pie" is a website, in Beta development, by the Family History Technology Lab at Brigham Young University, that uses the FamilySearch Family Tree and colors in a circle chart by country origin of your ancestors up to 8 generations.

You do need to have your ancestors in the FamilySearch Family Tree, and the information needs to be accurate and consistent to see the contributions from each country.

The "Pie" aspect of this is that you can see slices of your ancestry by generation or your whole ancestry back so many generations (up to 8 generations, the 6th great-grandparents).

Here is the home page:

There is an excellent video at that explains the concept and shows how to make it work.

After clicking on the link for "Log in with FamilySearch" and providing my credentials, the site opened and showed me a big blue pie, noting that this was my parents generation:

The color key on the left says they were born in the United States.  If I move the slider below the words "Grandma's Pie" to the right, say to the 3rd great-grandparents, I see the slices of the pie for that specific generation (i.e., 32 possible in the 3rd great-grandparent generation):

Now I have more color.  The "Percentages" table on the right tells me the country percentages for that specific generation.

So far, I've kept the box checked (above the color code list) for "Show Single Generation."  If I select the next item down that list for "Show Multiple Generations," then I can see all of the pieces of the pie for all five generations selected (to third great-grandparents) on the slider bar in parts of concentric circles:

If I run the slider bar out to the maximum 8 generations (6th great-grandparents), then I can see the origins of all of those persons:

On any of the pie images, the user can run the mouse over a piece of the pie and the person's name will be shown.  On the image above, I had my mouse over Ann Marshman born in England. Using this feature, I know where I am on the pie chart.

There are some missing generations in my pie chart (that have no color) - I either haven't found those persons or haven't added them to the FamilySearch Family Tree.  There are also some extra "countries" in the country color code list because some of the Family Tree entries are not standardized - so I have more standardization work to do.  There are also some "Unknown" (light orange) colors on the chart because the person in the Family Tree does not have a birth location identified - another research and collaboration opportunity.

I saw one of my 8th generation ancestors had "N.Y." as the country of origin before I made the screen shots above, went into the FamilySearch Family Tree and modified the birth place for that person, and re-drew the pie chart and the change was reflected in the chart above.

I captured my current "pie" in an image using the Windows Snipping Tool:

This is another very useful online program to use in conjunction with the FamilySearch Family Tree.  I like the concept and the implementation of it.

I haven't found a way to change the key person whose parents are in the inner-most circle - if a reader knows how to do that, I would love to know about it.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver


Jana Iverson Last said...

Thanks for mentioning my blog post Randy!

Unknown said...

Thank you for nudging me to enter some more data tonight with the beta links. They looked so interesting that I just had to try them but needed more family.
Now I am well on my way on the family tree.

Diane Gould Hall said...

Thanks for this post Randy. I had seen the title on Jana's blog, but hadn't read it. I'm going to try this now that I've finally uploaded my GEDCOM to FS.