|Europa in Geologischer Beziehung nach den Hauptmassen der Gebirgs-Formationen. 3te Abtheilung: Geologie, No. 4. Gotha, bei J. Perthes. 1843. David Rumsey Maps|
These name changes often reflect differences in where the records about the ancestral family may be found.
As part of the methodology for solving these difficult immigration problems, maps are a good starting point for not only finding obscure locations but also for providing a perspective of the country boundaries at the time your immigrants left the Old Country for the new. However, depending on the type of map, the information may be vague or very specific.
Identifying the place where your ancestors lived is crucial in separating them from people with the same of similar names. Sometimes the identification needs to be as specific as the house or farm where they lived. Some historic maps have that degree of detail.
One type of map with detail down to the identify of individual houses or farms are the ordnance maps of Great Britain. Here is an example from Scotland:
|Sheet 32 - [Edinburgh]|
Publication date: 1857
The determination of which jurisdiction was in power at the time of your ancestor's event may be crucial in determining if the information is at all reasonable. Maps provide the insight into the lives of the ancestor and his or her family. It is important to remember that as you go back in time, the distances people could travel every day had to decrease.
Here is an map of Europe from the early 1800s.
|Faden, William (1749-1836)Composite Map: Map of the Ce…1816|
Another valuable website with access to tens of thousands of historical maps is OldMapsOnline.org. Here are some of my earlier posts that have references to map resources:
- Maps of German Empire -- Always Finding New Things Online
- Major Improvements to OldMapsOnline
- Using Pictorial Maps
- Use Cadastral Mapping to find your ancestors
- 8000 Historic Norwegian Maps Online
- Online Digital Map Collections by State