I do intend to finish up my post on Understanding Topographical Maps for Genealogists, but in the first post I asked a question about what state lies to the south of Arizona. This was not a trick question. I was not going to say something like, Florida, because it is "south" of Arizona. I really meant what state lies to the south of Arizona.
Well, I did get the answer but the person who got the right answer was my daughter so that really doesn't count. I also got the right answer from one of my sons. They are all Bloggers and definitely online.
Arizona's neighbor to the south is commonly called Mexico. But the real name of the country is (translated into English) The United States of Mexico. (Estados Unidos de Mexico or Estados Unidos Mexicanos). Mexico has 31 states and one Federal District. If you are interested, here is a list of the Mexican States in Wikipedia. The state to the south of Arizona is Sonora. People in Phoenix are more aware of this than other places because of the license plates from Sonora.
The point from a genealogical perspective is simple. Sometimes we are not even aware of how little we know about our world geographically speaking and that gets in the way of our genealogical research. Some of the insurmountable genealogical mysteries can move towards solution if the locations of the events are accurately identified. I have been talking about topographical maps for a while because two places on a map might look relatively close together but there just might be a major river or mountain in between. We used to live on the Ohio River. Even though we lived about a mile from Indiana, it would take us about half an hour to drive to the town across the river, because we had to drive to a bridge. Back in the 1800s there were no bridges and living across the river would have been a major obstacle.
Also populations migrated along rivers, railroads and canals. Knowing about the lay of the land and the proximity of developments makes a huge difference as to why and where people lived.
Just remember, there is a state south of Arizona. Sonora.