Thursday, February 25, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Week 8 - Online Maps

The topic for this week's "52 Weeks to Better Genealogy" series by Amy Coffin is:

Discover online map collections. Historical maps are wonderful tools for historical research. Fortunately for genealogists, many map collections are located online. Some of the more prominent collections are: the American Memory Collection at the Library of Congress, the David Rumsey Map Collection, and the Perry-CastaƱeda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas at Austin. Take some time to browse each of these collections. You may also want to check the library web site of your local university (or one near your ancestral home) to see what maps they may have online. If you have a genealogy blog, write about any special maps you find during this activity.

I checked out each of the 3 collection to see what they had available for the area where my ancestors lived. I looked for Switzerland county, Indiana and only found it in the David Rumsey Map Collection.

The Perry-CastaƱeda Library Map Collection only contained current maps of Indiana and no counties. These were statewide maps and not county or town specific.

The Library of Congress did not have any maps from Switzerland county. I think that this collection is great though if you are adding stories to your ancestoral stories as there are many battle maps and transportation maps.

The David Rumsey collection had one map of Switzerland county. It was a map from 1876 and shows where all the township lines are and will be very helpful in determining where the land that my ancestors purchased was located.

I hope that more maps are continually added to these collections to make them even more worthwhile to me and other researchers.

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