Google Maps service fully restored on randymajors.org

Following a couple of days of problems, Google Maps functionality has been fully restored on the randymajors.org website and the following tools should be fully operational again: County Lines on Google Maps Historical U.S. County Boundary Maps Historical World Boundary Maps ZIP Codes on Google Maps Background:  Over the last couple of days, there had been many reports of “over query limit” and rate-limit problems when people were using the above tools.  Working with Google support, those limits have been reset. This issue was caused by pricing changes that Google has put in place for users of the Google Maps … Read more

First County Lines, now ZIP Code boundaries on Google Maps!

QUICK LINK TO ZIP CODES:  ZIP Codes on Google Maps QUICK LINK TO COUNTY LINES:  County Lines on Google Maps After the great response to my County Lines on Google Maps tool, I’ve heard a number of suggestions for other types of boundaries that Google Maps doesn’t show.  One that has come up a number of times is for ZIP Codes. Yes, you can see one ZIP Code boundary at a time on Google Maps desktop version, but that’s of limited use if you’re trying to see all of the ZIP Codes in an area and don’t know what they are … Read more

How you may be sabotaging your search for ancestors…and how to fix it!

UPDATED MARCH 2020: NEW!  Let this FREE tool do the work for you as you search on Ancestry.com 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, 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 … Read more

For Your Maximum Viewing Pleasure

Yesterday, I released one of the most frequently requested features for the Historical U.S. County Boundary Maps tool (as a reminder, this tool lets you view on a Google Map the county boundaries as of any HISTORICAL date or year for ANY U.S. location!). The new functionality is simple but very useful:  the ability to work with a much larger map in an immersive full screen experience!  (Also, keep reading to learn of a couple more enhancements.) To go into fullscreen view, just hit the button in the upper right corner of the map, highlighted in redbelow.  You will see a much … Read more

Free online versions of my recent Family Tree Magazine articles

In my last post, I mentioned my recent articles I wrote for Family Tree Magazine.  There are now slightly modified free versions of the articles available on their website. The “Moving Targets” article is recast as “How to Use Old Maps to Find Missing Ancestors“, and my case study is found as “How to Use Old Maps & City Directories to Research House History“. I hope you enjoy the articles!

randymajors.org website and I featured in Family Tree Magazine

Many thanks to Family Tree Magazine for featuring me in their May/June 2017 “5 Questions” Q&A column, part of their regular “Genealogy Insider” section.  In other news: Who knew I was an insider? :) It was also great fun co-authoring an article with Sunny Jane Morton in the same issue of the magazine.  Previewed on the cover as “4 Ways to Find Ancestors with Old Maps”, the 8-page feature article beginning on page 48 is called “Moving Targets” and provides genealogy research suggestions for what to do when the ancestor you are researching apparently falls off the map. The article … Read more

History buffs: With one click, see a timeline of every county, state and country the spot where you’re standing has ever been a part of.

Just type in your address or city in the box at www.randymajors.org/maps, type a year as late as 2000, then click Go! County boundaries as of your chosen year will appear.  (Sorry for those outside the United States — this only works for U.S. locations) Now, find the check box just below the map, and click it. Sit back and travel back in time through every county, state, territory and country your red marker location ( ) has been a part of!  See the example below showing Durango, Colorado — part of La Plata County, Colorado today — all the … Read more

A couple of enhancements to the Historical U.S. County Boundary Maps tool — and a thank you!

I’ve recently made a couple of enhancements to the Historical U.S. County Boundary Maps tool that make it easier to read and see the results of the search (see screenshot below). Thank you, The Family Nexus, for your article that had very nice things to say about the tool, and also made me aware that the text was a tad small. Another enhancement is the addition of a little “maximize” button above the “Go!” button that expands the map window for much easier viewing (see the little square in the top right of the above screenshot). Finally, one last enhancement is … Read more

Take me to the tools

Looking at search statistics on my websites, it seems the vast majority of people who visit this site are looking for a few tools I’ve created.  So this post is simply to make it easy to find those tools, starting with the most popular: AncestorSearch using Google Custom Search Searches using the full power of Google, and automatically applies advanced Google search techniques so you’re much more likely to find mentions of ancestors that are otherwise buried in thousands of Google search results.  Great for genealogy and also searching for living people.  Linked to by over 100 professional and amateur genealogy sites, … Read more

Viewport to 1836 New York

Explore present-day New York City with a viewport using an 1836 map. Try Swapping Views using the button in the upper right.  Link: http://goo.gl/DRXIdP Courtesy ESRI and the David Rumsey Map Collection.

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