Saturday, June 2, 2012

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Google Maps of Ancestral Homes

Hey there, genea-cartophiles, It's Saturday Night - time for more Genealogy Fun!!!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  Identify an ancestral home address ( preferably one with a street address...) for one of your families (You do know where they lived, don't you?  If not, consult the 1900 to 1940 US Census records or City Directories.

2)  Go to Google Maps ( and enter the street address (and city/town if necessary - usually you can pick from a list) for your selected ancestral home.

3)  Look at the street map, the satellite map, and the street view.  Zoom in or out, or manipulate the image as you wish.

4)  Tell us or show us your map images in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status post or a Google Plus Stream post.

5)  Do you have maps and street view pictures for all of your known ancestral homes?

Here's mine:

1)  I picked my wife's mother's home at 46 Rivoli Street in San Francisco.  Edna May Schaffner was born there in 1913, daughter of Paul and Edna (McKnew) Schaffner, and lived there until she married Leo Leland in 1937.

2)  I did this (there were five entries on the dropdown menu for "46 Rivoli").

3)  and 4) The street Map view is:

This address is in the Cole Valley neighborhood of San Francisco, just northeast of Mount Sutro.

The Satellite view shows the surrounding area with vegetation, and you can get some idea of the terrain:

A zoomed in view of the house on the Satellite view shows that this house is on a street going uphill from left to right:

The Street View picture shows the front of the house:

Of course, the Street view is canted to the right because the Google vehicle was going uphill when it took the picture!  One interesting note - they blurred out the license plate on the car in the driveway!

5)  I have Google Map images for many of my ancestral homes (at least for those after 1900 where I know the street address), but not for all of my homes, and certainly not for all of my wife's ancestral homes.  Another project!

That was fun!

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver


Cousin Russ said...


I did this for my 1940 Census project and blogged about it here:

Zooming out or moving a little, will show small house ICONs. Each ICON has a picture of the house, taken in 2012.

Great idea.

Thank you,


Jane Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jane Adams said...

Roxbury MA Lettish community 1900-1920 or so

Chiasa Kelly said...

This is cool. I was able to find my grandmother's house, which I used to always visit as a child. It has been painted a little differently than I remember.

I am going to use this to get a pictorial timeline of the succession of houses my parents my parents owned.

Tammy said...

The empty lot on the right is where my great-great-grandparents lived in South Philadelphia in the late 1910s-1920s:

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about how I discovered in which of the many vacant lots it had once stood: