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To learn more about maps in general, go to the Maps Record Page.

Online Maps

Tips for Using Maps

Maps must be used carefully for several reasons: Several types of maps are useful for genealogists. Some give historical background of the area or show migration routes such as roads, rivers, and railroads. Topographical maps show physical features, such as creeks and hills, and man-made features, such as roads, cemeteries, and churches. Plat and land ownership maps and other types of maps are described in United States Maps.

  • There are often several places with the same name. You may want to use a Gazetteer to help you.
  • The spelling and even names of some towns may have changed since your ancestor lived there.
  • Boundaries changed over time. Use historical maps to understand boundary changes.

For more tips and information on using maps, go to the general Maps Record Page.

Types of Maps

Different types of maps help you in different ways, for example:

  • Historical atlases describe the growth and development of countries, showing boundaries, migration routes, settlement patterns, military campaigns, and other historical information.
  • Road atlases are useful because of the detail they provide.
  • Other types of maps include: parish maps, state maps, tourist maps, topographical maps, and air navigation maps. City maps are extremely helpful when researching in large cities.

To learn more about different types of maps, go to the general Maps Record Page.

Historical Maps Collections

Historical map collections are helpful because they can show you the geography of your ancestor's residence at or around the time they lived there. The following collections are helpful:

Resources