In my search, I sometimes find some fun websites that somehow become useful.
Check out the Distance Calculator. At first, I thought the website was fun for killing boredom. Then, I realized a distance calculator would give me some perspective where my family lived and how much effort it took to move around the Soviet Union, escape the place and immigrate to the USA.
Both sides of my mother’s family came from Kursk Region in central Russia. After I was able to figure out how to spell both families’ villages in English, I learned they lived about 35 miles from each other.
Then I decided to calculate the distance from the villages to Kiev, where they later moved. It is 250 miles. That is quite a hike in the early 1900s.
I also have used the Distance Calculator to determine how far my grandma was born from Kiev. She says she was born in Kiev but she was really born 12 miles away. Also, it has been interesting to see how far my relatives had to travel to see their family for special occasions.
The Distance Calculator is very user friendly. After you type a few letters, matches will appear and then change as you get closer to spelling the full name of a location.
The website can be fun and useful, especially if you try to calculate the distance between the places where your ancestors lived and where their descendants later lived.