A Good Reason to Search for Old Maps

Tips by Jeannette Holland Austin

old map

One should always be on the lookout for old maps because the names of towns and communities change. Also, borders. Once, I researched a family and came to a deadend in the census records. The one particular family was not listed in the county where he resided.

Only to discover later that according to an old map, he resided in the adjacent county, one whose boundaries had changed! The map is a very big item for genealogist, because it helps the researcher to understand the movements of families, where they resided, and their neighbors. The elusive marriage record may be discovered in another county altogether, where other relatives resided.

Much later, while reading old Revolutionary War pensions, I discovered that my ancestor had relatives in Abbeville County and that after the war certain of these relatives had removed to Georgia. Not only that, but the marriages were fond in Abbeville, where they no doubt had other close relationships. Taking out the map, perusing the legend, visiting the old homeplace, reading deeds and other documents at the court house, enhance the understanding.

If we know “why”, we can find answers!

For 50 plus years I trace genealogies professionally, collect old wills, estates, wills, marriages, host georgiapioneers.com which includes AL GA KY NC SC TN VA