ABCs of Family History: F

F…

is for family art. This term includes art pieces (1) collected by an ancestor and (2) created by an ancestor. For example, the following piece was created by my dad during his college years.

Family art is valuable because it can shed some light on your ancestor’s personality. Several studies have shown that certain personalities are drawn to particular art styles. For example, more outgoing, romantic folks tend to gravitate toward modern art. Here’s a handy table that summarizes some of the more common art styles and corresponding personality types.

Art StylePersonality Types
AbstractCreative; extroverted; open-minded
CubismControversial; open-minded; provocative; shocking
ImpressionismAgreeable; avoids conflict; conscientious; mediator
ModernAmiable; open-minded; outgoing; romantic
Pop ArtFall in love easily; fun-loving; optimistic; vibrant
RenaissanceConservative; prefer the simpler things in life
TraditionalConservative; mature; rule-follower; won’t rock the boat

Do any of these ring true with your ancestors and the art they preferred? Tell me about it in the comments below. It could be that your ancestors merely collected pieces that were in vogue during their lifetimes.

Also, if you have family art, why not share it? I guarantee that future generations will come to cherish those pieces and their collectors/creators. Your genealogy “to-do” for this month is to photograph (or scan) any family art pieces you have and upload the images to the “Memories” section of your FamilySearch account (or to whatever genealogy program you use). I promise you won’t regret it.

FamilySearch’s “All About Me” Tool

Over the past few years, genealogy giant FamilySearch has introduced tools to get people interested in family history. Two of these tools—the Ancestor Infographic and Compare-a-Face—are discussed in earlier posts. As the name suggests, the All About Me tool is, well, all about you. It takes your birth year and provides significant events that occurred during that year. (It’s like a digital version of those year books you could buy at the Hallmark store.) Topics covered by the tool include the following:

  • How popular your name is.
  • The meaning of your name.
  • The world’s population in your birth year.
  • Top news stories of the year.
  • Top technology breakthroughs of the year.
  • The cost of gas, a movie ticket, and a stamp in your birth year.
  • The president of the U.S. in your birth year.
  • Championship teams of various sports leagues.

Some of the items are presented in an infographic, and others involve mini trivia games.

All About Me: The Cost of Gas in 1978
All About Me: The Cost of a Movie Ticket in 1978
All About Me: The Cost of a Stamp in 1978

Have you tried All About Me? If so, let me know what you think in the comments below. If you haven’t seen it yet, click here for more information.

FamilySearch’s Ancestor Infographic

Genealogy giant FamilySearch has been experimenting with different ways to make family history more entertaining. Its latest campaign involves the Ancestor Infographic—a fun, visual way to present data in your family tree. I tried it out this morning and enjoyed what I saw.

Ancestor Infographic

The Ancestor Infographic provides a helpful snapshot of the people who came before you. Try it out and let me know what you think in the comments below. You can access the tool by clicking here. (You will have to login with your FamilySearch username and password.)

FamilySearch Releases “Compare-a-Face”

Genealogy giant FamilySearch has introduced a fun new feature called “Compare-a-Face.” Through facial recognition software, you can discover which ancestor you resemble the most. All you need to do is simply upload a picture of yourself. Then, the program scans the portraits of the ancestors in your family tree and provides a list of matches. (Obviously, the tool won’t work if your tree lacks pictures.) I eagerly tried it out and was pleasantly surprised to be matched to my great-grandfather Harrison Hunley.

Compare-a-Face

FamilySearch’s “Compare-a-Face”

As you can see, it gives you a similarity percentage. It also gives you a list of other ancestors at the top, from highest similarity percentage to lowest. This is a great new feature that adds an element of fun to family history work. It looks like FamilySearch will add other entertaining features in the near future, so stay tuned. Click here to learn more.

Have you tried “Compare-a-Face?” Let me know what you think in the comments below.