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

How to link to an HISTORICAL County Lines map for any Year and Geographic Area of Interest — overlaid on Google Maps

NOTE:  This article relates to HISTORICAL County Lines.  Here are the instructions for linking to PRESENT-day County Lines. If you have a website or blog and want to create a link to an HISTORICAL county lines map for ANY YEAR and ANY US STATE,  this article is for you! Using the instructions below, you can create a link to Historical U.S. Counties on Google Maps for any historical year already zoomed into a particular State, and optionally display the labels showing the county names as of that historical year. Here’s how it works:    To create a map zoomed into a state for a … Read more

AncestorSearch and the Historical Google Maps tools are back in action!

Sorry for the site outage the last 24 hours or so. A blogger.com configuration change triggered it, but all is back in working order now: AncestorSearch using Google Custom Search: searches using the full power of Google, and then filters exceptionally well so you’re more likely to find mentions of ancestors you otherwise might miss buried in thousands of Google search results.  Many people are surprised at what AncestorSearch finds, even for ancestors that they had searched for exhaustively over the years. Historical U.S. County Boundary Maps interactive tool: find the correct U.S. jurisdictions for the place and historical timeframe … Read more

New and more interactive version of the Historical U.S. County Boundary Maps tool released!

Check out the new and more interactive version of the Historical US County Boundary Maps tool! Here’s a quick run-down on what’s new: Show me the answer now please!  Now, when you type a Place and a Year* and click the Go button, you will be zoomed to that place and an information panel will automatically appear above the map, as highlighted here: I want the details.  The information panel above the map shows the year, county name, full place name, and details about the latest evolution of your county of interest’s boundaries as of the year you chose.  Source … Read more

Are you sure you’re looking in the right county for those records?

When doing genealogical or historical research, it’s helpful (if not essential) to know what counties to search for the timeframe you’re interested in.  And as we all know, boundaries shift over time.  So you may think you know what counties to search, but is there a chance you’re missing something? Take a look at this example.  Let’s assume you’re looking for records for your homesteading ancestors who settled in the region between Albuquerque, Los Alamos, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.  This animation shows the boundaries by decade from 1850 to 1950.  Those county boundaries were anything but stable.  Take for … Read more

Historical World Boundary Maps back to 2000 BC!

This is an update to my original post here. The Historical World Boundary Maps tool has been updated to include boundaries from 2000 BC to 2008 AD. Just type in a PRESENT-day city and country, and a HISTORICAL year, and click Go!  The boundaries will appear, and you can then click the map to see what the name of the country, empire, or kingdom was at that location for the year you typed. Note:  The information for all years prior to 1946 includes very generalized boundaries, very rough timeframes for the boundaries, and includes some errors and omissions. As such, the information … Read more

First U.S. Counties…now The World!

Please see an update to this post here. It’s great to see that so many people are getting good use from the Historical U.S. County Boundary Maps interactive tool on this blog.  (There’s a write-up on the tool here.) A number of people have requested historical World country boundary maps as well, so I’ve built another interactive map tool for that:  Historical World Boundary Maps UPDATE: The Historical World Boundary Maps tool has been updated to include boundaries from 2000 BC to 2008 AD. Just type in a PRESENT-day city and country, and a HISTORICAL year, and click Go! The … Read more