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

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

Create a link to a map of ANY Section, Township and Range, including your CURRENT location

If you have a website that makes use of legal land descriptions, now you can quickly create a link to a map centered on any Section, Township and Range.  Or if you are traveling looking at large land parcels, you can see what Township, Range and Section you are currently* in. This is an advanced capability of the Section Township Range on Google Maps tool. To zoom into a particular Section, Township and Range, create a link such as this: https://www.randymajors.org/township-range-on-google-maps?state=CO&sec=15&t=4&td=N&r=69&rd=W Clicking this link takes you to this map: TIP: copy/paste the link above and customize to suit your needs … 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

Use your smartphone to instantly know what City, Township and County you are currently in

Have you tried the What County Am I In? tool?  Using your smartphone, it quickly lets you know what county you are currently in…as in where you are standing or sitting right now. And now, the What County Am I In? tool has been enhanced to also let you know what city you are in (if you are inside incorporated city limits), and what township you are in (if you are in a township). When you go to the tool’s web page (https://www.randymajors.org/what-county-am-i-in), you’ll see a map like the following, and the listing of the city, township and county you … Read more

County info added to Section Township Range on Google Maps tool, plus a tip for historical county research

Sometimes it’s hard to determine where you are when using Section, Township and Range Maps.  So to help provide more geographic context when searching for a land parcel, county information has now been added to the Section Township Range on Google Maps tool. For example, let’s do the following “Find parcel” at the bottom of the map: That will show the following map, now including the county name on top as well as dashed gray lines for the county boundaries, like this: Note the county name shown in the upper right (highlighted with the red box above), and the county line … Read more