Linking maps with family history research can help us better understand the lives of our ancestors. Here are our top resources for finding early U.S. maps!
As genealogists, we love maps. They’re such a helpful way to show a client where an ancestor was living, especially if the ancestor lived near the border of another town or county, which can affect what records need to be searched.
Here are some great resources for early United States maps:
We love http://mapofus.org. When you click on a state and scroll down, you get to a section that shows county boundaries by year. For example, here’s Tennessee in 1801:
Isn’t it great to see what your ancestor really bordered when the 1800 census was taken?
Another huge map collection is at http://www.davidrumsey.com. Here’s a 1796 sketched map of Tennessee:
We also love plat maps. Finding these means finding a goldmine of information because you get to better understand who your ancestor’s neighbors were and really start to visualize where they lived. These can be very valuable in solving migration or immigration problems, since people often traveled with neighbors.
Here’s a look at an early plat map:
Ancestry.com has indexed a huge collection of plat maps. Their database is called U.S., Indexed Early Land Ownership and Township Plats, 1785-1898.
As professional genealogists, we are skilled at thinking “outside-the-box” and researching every possible avenue to discover your family’s story. We’d love to help you learn more about your ancestors, and will leave no stone unturned in our quest to do so! Contact us today for your free quote.
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