Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Find your ancestor's home in 19th century

Dick Eastman blogged about the Historic Map Works web site several weeks ago, and I just got around to looking at it.

They have historic maps that show the owners of homes in some towns and counties in Delaware, Texas, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and Pennsylvania. Maine and New York seem to have the most, and most of those are for 1876. Still, it is a good resource if they cover your town or county of interest. They also have City Directories for some New York and Maine cities.

To find out if they have a map for your ancestral home, you can click on the "Browse Map" button. Then click on one of the states and you will get a list of the maps available.

I was interested in Newton families in Oxford County ME, and they have an 1880 map that shows 33 plates, including Andover and dixfield (probably my ancestral towns). The Dixfield map shows Newton Brook running past H. Newton's house - we were just nearby there last Thursday!. The Andover map shows several Newton households.

You can magnify the map by clicking on the + symbol, and you can move around on the map using the up, down, right, and left arrows.

Be sure to note the neighbors of your ancestors too - that info can be vital to determine if you have the right people in census or deed records.

While the offerings are limited now, it's worth a try! When they have more maps available, this will be a great research site.

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