Make a Pie Chart of your Ancestors’ Home Countries with Grandma’s Pie
Have you tried the fun little website called Grandma’s Pie? If so, you might be wondering how I changed the pie chart it generated for me from the orange color scheme into this blue one:
In this post, I’ll show you how. First, for everyone who hasn’t seen Grandma’s Pie before, here’s a little introduction.
When I was in high school, I thought it would be interesting to make a list of all the native countries of my ancestors to see what percentage I was English, German, Irish etc. What I found was that most of my family lines extend back in the United States so far that we haven’t found what countries these early American colonists came from. Later, I found that the Ancestry.com DNA test gives this info in their “ethnicity estimate.” But for those of us who don’t want to buy a DNA test, you’ll be delighted to discover that Grandma’s Pie gives you a free ethnicity estimate!
Grandma’s Pie is a FamilySearch.org Certified App. It was developed at Brigham Young University by the Family History Technology lab. When you log in to Grandma’s Pie with your FamilySearch credentials, Grandma’s Pie extracts birthplace data from your Family Tree for up to 8 generations and creates a pie chart. If you don’t use FamilySearch.org but would like to try it, here’s how to transfer a family tree to FamilySearch.org.
Each slice represents an ancestor. The colors represent their birthplaces.
In Grandma’s Pie, there are two ways to view your pie chart –
and Multiple Generations:
The multiple generation chart shows your parents in the center, with your grandparents in the next ring, and great grandparents in the following ring – and so on. The outer ring of this chart shows the birthplaces of my 5th great grandparents. For more info about how to use Grandma’s pie, you can view the tutorial video on their homepage.
Besides generating an interesting graph, Grandma’s Pie can also show you where you need to standardize place names in your tree and lines that need further research. In the pie chart above, the royal blue color shows unknown birthplaces. Grandma’s Pie has a feature that lets you “extrapolate unknowns,” meaning fill in the unknown portions with the colors surrounding them. This is helpful if you want your pie chart to look cleaner.
I wanted to make a clean looking version of my pie chart to share, print and display. I decided to go with the single generation chart showing all of my 6th great grandparents (all 256 of them). There are a significant chunk of those that are unknown. However, I clicked the “extrapolate unknowns” and got this:
As you can see, I cropped the chart and added my own labels (using PowerPoint). To do this, take a screen shot or use the windows snipping tool. Copy the screen shot into PowerPoint. Use the “crop to shape” tool to crop the pie chart to a circle:
Then click crop again to crop evenly around your pie chart:
Next you can add text boxes with the labels you want.
Now you have a pie chart with colors that aren’t customizable at Grandma’s Pie. So what can you do? You can recolor the picture in PowerPoint (I’m using PowerPoint 2010). Select your pie chart, then click the Format tab. Click “color” then choose one of the options to change the color.
To get to the recolor option another way, just right click on your chart and then select “Format Picture.” From there, select “picture color.”
I chose blue! Then I experimented with adding the flags of each country.
I decided I liked it better without flags, so my final product to print and display looks like this:
As I continue to research, maybe someday I can discover where my early American colonists came from! Until then, I have a fun chart to share with my family about our heritage.