Sunday, November 21, 2010

Land Ownership Maps

What an amazing document to add to your family treasures.  Yesterday I went to a craft fair.  There was a women there selling reproduced land ownership maps from the late 1800's.  I had seen this on Ancestry.com and knew that my family's homesteads were plotted on the 1876 map of East Dedham, MA, but, did she have it.  YES!  How amazing,  they are reproduced on parchment paper and just look amazing.  I am going to frame it and hang it  on my family room wall.  Both my great grandfather O'Neil and my great great grandfather Mahoney are on the map.  How cool is that!  She primarily does New England and I got her business card.  If you want to check it out, the link is http://www.oldmapsne.com/

OK so what can you do with this map, genealogically speaking?  Do you know what town and state your ancestors settled in?  Were they here in the late 1800's?  There are over 1400 land ownership maps covering over 1000 counties in the 46 states.  If you have done your research already and the approximate location of where they lived, finding them on the maps is fairly simple.  Once you have located them, you can also go to google maps http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl  and input the street, town, and state.  Google maps allow you to go to street view which you means you can virtually walk down the street your ancestors lived on.  If you are lucky enough, maybe the house still exists.  This is especially helpful if you don't live in the vicinity.

OK so now you have found them on the land ownership map, walked the street on google, and found the house, yes it still exists.  What can you do now?  Do a google or yahoo search for that town and assessor.  Many towns are now using online assessor systems.  This is public information and anyone can gain access.  Put in the street information and when you find the house, click on the link.  You will be able to see what the house looks like, the year it was built, and at least partial historical ownership information with book and page info if you ever want to do further research.  You can also right click the picture of the house and save a copy to your computer.  What a great extra to add to your families genealogical file.

HAPPY HOUSE HUNTING!!!

1 comment:

Cathy said...

I might to do this house hunting tips. Thank you. See also family trees to trace your family heritage.