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

New and simple online tool uses Google Maps to show historical county boundaries

THIS POST CONTAINS UPDATES FROM 06 JUN 2011: Thanks so much for all of the interest in this tool, and for your positive comments and constructive feedback!  I’ve incorporated several enhancements into the current version. We all know the importance of county governments for maintaining various types of records that are useful for genealogical research.  But how often have you tried searching for an ancestor’s historical records for a given county, only to realize that you were searching in the right place but the wrong county?  In fact, according to John H. Long, the director of the Atlas of Historical … Read more

Visited Merchant’s House Museum in NYC today

Its the best-preserved 19th-century house in Manhattan. They’re also currently exhibiting Civil War wound photos from the Burns Collection (not quite as gruesome as it sounds, yet quite moving).  I recommend the museum; Google the museum for more info.