Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Canadian County Atlas Project - Wonderful!

One of the many questions that we genealogy researchers want to answer is "where did my folks live?"

As I was wandering through my 15-inch pile of "paper to be entered into my database and/or filed somewhere" today, I came across two maps from Norfolk County, Ontario. They showed where the lands of two of my ancestors, James A. Kemp in Middleton township and Alexander Sovereen in Windham township, weres located. However, the print of the maps I had was really fuzzy, and I couldn't find the exact land location even with a magnifying glass.

Fortunately, one of the maps had an URL on it - http://digital.library.mcgill.ca/countyatlas/ so I entered that URL and saw:

The screen above is the portal for the collection of 32 County Atlases for the Ontario for the time period 1874 to 1881. I quickly clicked on the "County Atlases" button and saw the explanation of the atlases - what, when, where, why and how they were made:

At the bottom of that page is a "Search" button so I clicked that one and saw:

The user has the choice of doing a "People" search or a "Maps" search. I chose the "Maps" search to start with - and clicked on that button:

The screen above shows the colorful counties of Ontario with numbers keyed to the list in blue on the right side of the screen. Norfolk County is #6, so I clicked on the County on the map (I could have clicked the link also):

The screen above shows a map of Norfolk County, with the seven townships outlined. I downloaded the map as a JPG file to my hard drive for further analysis.

I want to look at individual townships to find my Kemp and Sovereen folks, so I opened the dropdown menu for the Townships (all of Ontario, not just Norfolk County), and chose "Middleton:"

When I clicked on the "Get Map" button, the Middleton township map appeared:

I saved this map also to my hard drive, and think I found my Kemp family.

In the next post, I'll go back and do a "People" search for both "Kemp" and "Sovereen" and show you what I found.

This is a really neat website, and it's been around since 2001. However, since I last visited in June of 2007, the contents on the site and the search process has been changed and improved.


BDM said...

Randy, this is an exzcellent resource but I hope you also know about the Norfolk County Branch OGS website and the Norfolk County GenWeb.

Lynn Palermo said...

Hi Randy
This website has maps of all of the counties in what would have been considered Upper Canada in the early 1800's. I found my GGGGGrandfather's property using this site. By the way Randy, I am a resident of Norfolk County.This site is listed in the resources section of my article Finding the Pioneers of the Huron Tract in the Nov/Dec issue of Discovering Family History.