Saturday, March 1, 2014

"Finding the Neighborhood" lecture guide

Today I'm giving four lectures to the Georgia Genealogical Society about geographic resources for genealogists. That was the seminar topic requested and I interpreted that to mean mapping, neighborhoods, platting, and a hodge podge of other sources (like atlases and gazeteers). The title I've given my four lecture series is "The Neighborhood: Find It, Map It" and the first lecture is "Finding the Neighborhood." Below are the links from the handout and links to the mapping examples.

"Finding the Neighborhood" enumerator's path example

Example 1: Identifying a Census Enumeration Route With Modern Maps
This example comes from a client report where there was no time to hunt up historic maps to find an address listed on the 1930 census. I can usually find time to pop an address into Google Maps (not Google Earth, in this case) and that's what I did. Historic maps may exist, and probably do, for this location but for the point of the example please pretend they aren't accessible, you may run into a similar situation in your research. This was an urban location with standard street numbers and street names. Unfortunately the "street" I was interested in wasn't found in Google Maps. Instead I tried some of the addresses on the streets enumerated before and after. Below are the results (this is not what was supplied to the client, it is an illustration for the lecture, specifically).

"Finding the Neighborhood" township and range example

     This is another example performed for a client. You may find this technique useful if you just want a better idea where your ancestor lived (a specific part of the county or in this case, a specific part of a township and range) when ownership records aren't available, such as with non-land owners. However, for this client the purpose was even more important. The ancestor of interest had not conclusively been identified in pre-1900 records and the surname was somewhat common. Everything used in this mapping example was available online, either through Ancestry.com or for free from other sites.

"Finding the Neighborhood" modern location from Sanborn maps

This blog post accompanies my lecture series "Finding the Neighborhood."

This is the third example and is not as "research" intensive as the previous township and range example. It can help bring your family history to life by locating an historic residence on modern streets.
As with the first example, an address was found in 20th century census records. Once again, the address can't be found via Google Maps. Below is a satellite image with the historic location(the small pink shape) overlaid.
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It's not surprising this address didn't come up since there are no houses on the entire block but the street name has also been changed.