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# Wednesday, June 05, 2013
Six Tips for Mapping Your Family History
Posted by Diane

One of my research goals is to visualize my family history on a map showing all the places my ancestors lived and worked.

I found plenty of advice in last month's Family Tree University One-Week Workshop, Map Your Family History With Google Earth. Participants studied course materials and created a family history map project with guidance from Google Earth expert Lisa Louise Cooke.

Here are a few tips from Lisa for using Google Earth and finding old maps of places your family lived:
  • A great source of old maps to use with Google Earth is the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection. Sign up for a free account for access to the highest resolution downloadable maps (You can still download up to about medium resolution if you aren't signed in).

    Instead of using the "Search the Site" box, scroll down on the home page and use the Map Rank Search tool to search by year and location.
  • Lisa recommends using Google to find online plat maps (these show property boundaries and owners' names), which might be anywhere from large mapping web sites to a genealogist's own site. Try doing a Google Image search with keywords such as Indiana "Randolph County" "Plat map."
  • Another strategy to find plat maps is to run a Google Books search on a county, state and the term "plat map." If the book you want isn't fully digitized, copy the title and search for it at WorldCat to find libraries that have that book.
  • You can have Google email you when Google Maps or Google Earth map images are updated, or Street View becomes available, for the areas where your ancestors lived. Go to Follow Your World, log in with your Google account, and follow the prompts.
  • Google Earth doesn't auto save, so if it crashes on you, you'll lose your work. Every so often, go up to the menu and select File>Save My Places to save everything in My Places.
Enhance your family history search with the maps and how-to guide on Family Tree Magazine's new Genealogy Map Collection CD.

Check out Family Tree University's next One-Week Workshop, How to Research Genealogy Records, with video classes on essential family history records and guidance from expert researcher Lisa A. Alzo.

Historical maps | Research Tips
Wednesday, June 05, 2013 10:26:51 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, September 10, 2012
Prepare to Plot Your Ancestors
Posted by Tyler

Lisa Louise Cooke is both an author and podcaster extraordinaire. She produces the Genealogy Gems podcast, as well as the official podcast of Family Tree Magazine. In this guest post, she writes an open letter to those considering coming to her sessions for Family Tree University’s Fall Virtual Conference:

In the real estate world they say it’s all about Location, Location, Location! And the same holds true in the Genealogy world. Location is a key element in understanding the context of our ancestor’s lives and obtaining coveted genealogical documents. What better way to zero in on a location than with maps? My class Best Websites for Finding Historical Maps delivers the goods in a big way!

If you have ever listened to my show The Genealogy Gems Podcast at then you know that maps, and working with them in programs like Google Earth, is one of my specialties. Historical maps offer an exciting way to do your own genealogical time travel. Please join me in a map-packed half hour that will provide you the best resources for obtaining FREE downloadable historical maps that will take you back to the time, and place, of your ancestors. See you in class!

NOTE:Act quickly—the conference starts this Friday, Sept. 14! Register now for the Fall Virtual Conference and save $40 with coupon code FRIENDSOFLISACOOKE.

Family Tree University | Genealogy Events | Historical maps
Monday, September 10, 2012 4:16:24 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Historical Mapping Site HistoryGeo Announces Grand Opening
Posted by Diane

HistoryGeo, the web-based historical mapping service from Arphax Publishing we blogged about a few months ago, is out of beta and holding its grand opening.

Improvements include:

  • All subscriptions now include access to all maps, nearly 42,000. No more having to add maps to your map collection and no more limitations on how many maps you can view.

  • All maps from from Arphax's Family Maps books and Texas Land Survey Maps books published so far are included, plus select historical maps and atlases

  • It's easier to annotate maps with Custom Markers, as well as move, edit, and delete your markers

  • Uploading images to associate with Custom Markers is simple in the Map Viewer

  • You can do a Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) search of US populated places and cemeteries, with links to Google Maps for items found

Subscriptions are based on quarterly, semiannual or annual renewal. Regular prices range from $49 to $129, but the site is offering reduced grand opening rates.

HistoryGeo works for PC and Mac users and web browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Google Chrome. Learn more about the service with these how-to videos.

Look for more about HistoryGeo in an upcoming issue of Family Tree Magazine.

Genealogy Web Sites | Historical maps
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 2:32:29 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]