I guess because I became a dad about a 9 months ago, I'm experiencing an even larger curiosity of the origins of my forefathers. So today I created the beginnings of Julien's Family Tree, but spun a different approach on it. I used Google Maps.
If you create a Google account, you can actually have a 'My Maps' section on Google Maps. On Julien's Family Tree, each person is represented by a placemark where that person 'grew up', and each line represents a parent / child relationship. Every placemark has a comment associated with it, in which the birth date (and possibly death date) of each ancestor appears, along with comments about the life of that person. Google Maps also lets the user put links to Wikipedia info, photos, et cetera.
What would be really cool, would be if some clever web developer were to integrate the Google Map API, some AJAXy glue code, and a database.
Having directed line segments joining parent and child would be useful. You could graphically see the journey that your ancestors made throughout their life, with fairly accurate historical info one click away at the Wikipedia. Maybe it would be possible to have a dynamic application built to scan the Wikipedia and narrate based on a combination of historical info and per-person tidbits.
I love hearing the stories that my grandparents tell me to this day - they're full of thrills and drama. Every grandparent should have a book or movie created about their lives, in my opinion. I'm really glad that Julien met his great-grandparents. I sometimes wish that we lived around the block, so that we could hang out every day after work ;-)