Maps & Gazetteers


Pinpointing your ancestor's residence can help your genealogical research in many ways. For example, you'll be able to identify the nearest courthouse, cemeteries, churches, schools, roads and navigable rivers. Neighbors may have migrated with your family from a different state, and most people married a person who lived nearby. Plotting your ancestor's land may reveal portions he inherited, perhaps from his wife's family, thereby providing a missing maiden name. We may be able to find a map that shows the outline of your ancestor's buildings on his property.

The borders of towns, counties and states have evolved over time. We can help you identify the changes in boundaries which would affect where the records you seek are stored.

Some types of maps helpful to genealogists are plat books, township atlases, land entry maps, Sanborn Fire Insurance maps, historical atlases, highway maps, topographical maps, census enumeration districts, city ward maps, and aerial photos.

Help Me!  Find a town or other geographical landmark on a map.

Help Me!  Locate a town or place that no longer exists.

Help Me!  Plot my ancestor's land.

Help Me!  Identify the boundaries of townships, counties, etc. at a particular point in time.

Help Me!  Tell me the correct abbreviation for a state, Canadian province or foreign county.

Help Me!  I have a legal description of where the land was located, can you show me where it is on a modern map?

To ask these or similar questions, click on Help Me!, fill out the form that comes up, and submit your questions.