Have you ever wished for an easy way to map all the events from your family tree, or even receive notifications when you are near those locations? Well, The Family Nexus app was created to fill that need. We have been using this app since it first came out and planned to use this fun resource for our family road trip through Utah and Arizona.
The app downloads your family tree data from FamilySearch Family Tree and then maps the vital locations from your ancestors’ lives. In June, The Family Nexus added premium features to enhance the experience even more. These features include filters to show or hide particular branches of your tree, and options to show local places of interest such as schools, cemeteries and churches. Our friends at The Family Nexus provided a complimentary one-month premium subscription for us to review during our trip. This review is entirely our own opinion and experience using The Family Nexus app.
When we first opened the app to prepare for our trip, we noted 84 family history events occurred at our destination.
EVENT & PLACE NOTIFICATIONS
The notification settings allow you to choose the distance to be alerted from when you travel in the proximity of a family history location. You also receive alerts on birthdays, anniversaries and death dates. This creates a nice balance of calendar and map based notices, always keeping family history fresh in your mind.
The premium filter feature allows you to turn on or off each branch of the family tree, choose which relatives of a particular ancestor to show, as well as limit the map to a particular type of event. This proved useful for the family reunion we attended. We were able to limit the map to the person the reunion centered on and their immediate family members. This allowed us to share the map with those at the reunion and every event on the map pertained to their personal family history.
Once the filters were set, the maps and notices focused in on the events from the Wiltbank line. Looking at the filtered map helped us learn some historical context: we noticed family members traveled to the next town over (St. Johns) to get married because the bishop (minister) lived there.
The premium version shows FamilySearch Memories directly in the app. It was nice to find a person’s event on the map and then explore their close family members, photos and documents right in the app.
The Family Nexus premium version includes some layer features that can show cemeteries, schools, museums, etc., at the city level. In the particular town we were in, my husband already knew where all these buildings were, so we did not actively use this feature. However, had we been in a new-to-us town, this feature would have been very helpful to locate all these places of interest.
One feature that provided unexpected fun for the family was getting event alerts driving through little towns along our route.
We received an alert about ancestor Jes Jessen who lived in Carbon County, Utah. We knew nothing about him before this notice, but learned much about him using all the features on The Family Nexus app.
When we passed near the area of Manti, Utah, we received an alert that over 60 family history events happened in the area. This is an area which we have always been drawn to, even talking about buying a cabin property there someday. What a surprise to find through The Family Nexus app that I have a lot of family history there! This has made us love the area even more. We want to take a trip there soon to explore more about our family history with The Family Nexus app.
The Family Nexus app really broadened our understanding of the places our ancestors lived. It is a very useful tool that provides a different way of looking at your family tree. Download the app and try it today. You might be surprised at what you discover about the tree you already feel you know so well!