Quick Links: Reference Maps upgraded to higher resolution, include map labels

Texas County Map

The new Reference Maps section on randymajors.org has been upgraded to include higher resolution map images and map labels.  This applies to the following Reference Maps: County Maps of each U.S. State City Limits Maps of each U.S. State Civil Township Maps by State ZIP Code Maps of each U.S. State Section Township Range Maps by State Using Texas Counties as an example on the County Maps of each U.S. State page, you’ll see this thumbnail: You can click the image thumbnails on the reference map pages to go to the interactive map tool focused on your state of interest. … Read more

New tool shows Civil Townships on Google Maps

Check out the new Civil Townships tool to see township boundaries on Google Maps, with an option to also see township name labels on the map. Civil townships are active levels of government in about 20 states.  They are typically referred to as “towns” in New England, New York and Wisconsin, and are “charter townships” in Michigan.  There are an additional several states beyond the 20 that have “inactive” townships, meaning they have recognizable names that the locals may refer to, but that do not serve a governmental purpose.  Long story short, all of these flavors of townships are shown … Read more

Quick Links: New Reference Maps section on randymajors.org

Reference Maps Section of randymajors.org

Sometimes, you just need a quick reference map image rather than a fancy interactive map tool. Well, for those times, you can now visit the new Reference Maps section of the randymajors.org Research Hub website. On the Reference Map menu, found at the top of every page, you’ll find links to the following state-based map images: County Maps of each U.S. State City Limits Maps of each U.S. State Civil Township Maps by State ZIP Code Maps of each U.S. State Section Township Range Maps by State Using the Civil Township Maps by State as an example, click the image of … Read more

Quick Links: County Maps of all 50 U.S. States

Map of Iowa Counties

If you ever need a map showing the counties of just one state, complete with county name labels, you can find links to those on the aptly titled County Maps of all 50 U.S. States page. For example, clicking the Iowa County Map link on that page will take you to the County Lines on Google Maps tool already filtered to show just Iowa counties, complete with labels.  It looks like this: Once on the page, you can zoom in, turn on city limits and townships in the lower left corner, and so on. Also, if you need to find … Read more

Let this FREE tool do the location work for you as you search on Ancestry.com or FamilySearch.org

Historical U.S. Counties Auto-Checker free version

U.S. county boundaries have changed over 17,600 times since America was settled in colonial times. Don’t sabotage your search for ancestors by not knowing the correct county for the historical years you are researching. While searching on Ancestry or FamilySearch, the free Historical U.S. Counties Auto-Checker extension for Google Chrome automatically checks that the county existed in the year you are searching, warns of boundary changes, and links to historical county lines on Google Maps for the place and years you are searching! Install for free today and never let an ancestor fall of the map again! For a step-by-step … Read more

New map tool shows Coronavirus Shelter-in-Place & Stay-at-Home Orders on Google Maps

In an effort to try to provide useful information during this trying time, I’ve been working to maintain an up-to-date interactive map showing all Coronavirus Shelter-in-Place & Stay-at-Home Orders on Google Maps in the US. The map overlays all U.S. jurisdictions with Shelter-in-Place* or Stay-at-Home* Orders currently in effect or imminent due to the Covid-19 Coronavirus. Below is a screenshot of the tool, but I encourage you to go to the live map to ensure you’re seeing the latest updates. As with all map tools on this website, you can zoom in and see the relevant county lines, city limits, townships … Read more

New feature: DRAW ANY SHAPE on the map to reveal all of the Counties, ZIP Codes, Cities, Townships and more

With all of the Map tools on the randymajors.org Research Hub, you’ve always been able to click on the map to know what ZIP Code, city, county or Section Township and Range that you clicked on. Now with this latest version of the map tools, you can DRAW ANY SHAPE and identify what’s there! Here are the simple steps: Click the “Drawing Tools…” button on the left side of the map Select the shape you want to draw (line, custom polygon or rectangle) in the upper left corner Draw any shape on the map and double-click the map when you’re … Read more

Which U.S. states have which levels of local government…and why should I care?

This topic is more complicated than it sounds, so I’ll attempt to keep it high level. Whether you’re doing present-day or historical research about a place, it’s important to know which levels of local government exist in the state you are researching (e.g. counties, cities, townships).  Why should you care? It may determine which place houses the records you’re looking for The exact location often determines which local taxes are levied and which local laws are applicable  It determines who has jurisdiction for a given location (e.g. police, sheriff, etc.) In addition to providing some definitions, I’ll also point you … Read more

So…what is randymajors.org Research Hub anyway?

randymajors.com Research Hub homepage

“So what is your website all about?”  I increasingly get asked some form of this question about randymajors.org Research Hub. A BRIEF BACKSTORY:  Back in 2006-2010, the randymajors.org website was a fairly small collection of blog posts about family history plus some of my photography.  Then, in 2011 I launched the AncestorSearch on Google Search and Historical U.S. Counties on Google Maps tools primarily aimed at genealogy and historical research. FAST FORWARD TO 2018:  I decided to broaden the appeal of the mapping and search tools to a more general audience by launching the present-day County Lines on Google Maps tool.  I continued to … Read more

Now you can get access to an AD-FREE version of AncestorSearch on Google Search too!

Back in December, I announced a way to get access to all of the map tools AD-FREE and FULL-SCREEN. I’m pleased to announce an AD-FREE option is now available for AncestorSearch on Google Search as well! The functionality is identical, but with no ads: The ad-free versions of the map and search tools are formatted to work equally well on your smartphone or tablet too! All the details are on this page:  NEW:  Enjoy ALL of the map and search tools AD-FREE and FULL-SCREEN! GOOD NEWS:  If you have already signed up for access to the ad-free map tools, you now … Read more