The Lay of the Land: Using Maps in Genealogical Research

April 10th, 2017 by National Genealogical Society Blog Editor

BCG Skillbuilding, S451, “The Lay of the Land: Using Maps in Genealogical Research,” 4 pm, Saturday, 13 May 2017 by Sara Anne Scribner, CG

From your speaker:

Learn how to decode the significance of your ancestors’ whereabouts.

Maps tell the story and significance of places in a way that text alone does not. Maps can solve identity or relationship problems, and give context to your ancestor’s life. Knowing that a tall mountain stood between two “neighboring” farms shows how daunting visiting that neighbor might have been. Therefore your great-great-grandfather likely met his future wife on his side of the mountain.

In this lecture I’ll lay out “best practices” and genealogically sound methods for mining evidence from geographical tools. I’ll show examples of the types of maps best suited to genealogical problem-solving, and then move on to discuss how maps can augment or even star in your proof arguments.

We’ll examine case studies and proof arguments which relied on map evidence from both rural and urban settings. Be ready to enjoy a lot of colorful maps of all types, some hand-drawn by event participants, and others created with the latest technology.

Your four page handout will list key sources for finding maps, mapping software, great “how-to” articles and published cases proved with map evidence. It is my hope that you will gain new perspectives and take home tools to prove and solve your genealogy problems.

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