Genealogy Maps, Geography, Deeds and Photography

To achieve an overall picture of your family's lineage, it is important to employ the use of genealogy maps, deeds and photography. Maps and photographs, in general, allow you to achieve a graphic description of your family's history.

You may want to consider an atlas or a book of road maps when mapping your family tree and its progression. You could use a contemporary road map, or if you're lucky, you may be able to snag an historical map of the town in which you are interested from the area's historical society or library. Once you have accessed this information, you can then begin to get a better idea of the area from which your family came.

Photographs can also yield important and interesting information in your genealogy research, such as additional relatives to consider, potential home addresses, and even occupational or religious associations based upon the apparel worn. In addition, photographs give your family members a face, connecting you with them on an emotional level.

Finally, using genealogy maps allow you to make sense of the lineage of your family members. This tool is a great asset to help you to see the "big picture" when it comes to your family tree.


  • U.S. Geological Survey's - The U.S. Geological Survey website is a comprehensive website that can help genealogists locate historical topography maps for their genealogy searches. In addition, this website features the National Atlas, which offers a number of maps that can include country lines, cities, lakes and rivers, among other topographical points of interest.
  • Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) - The U.S. Geological Survey website features the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS), which contains information about physical and cultural geographic features throughout the United States. Individuals using the GNIS can search for both current and historical information.
  • Maps Can Help You Trace Your Family Tree - The U.S. Genealogy Survey website features a section called "Using Maps in Genealogy," which explains the usefulness in using maps in genealogical research. This website includes information about basic genealogical research skills, as well as topographic maps.
  • Odden's Bookmarks: the Fascinating World of Maps and Mapping - Oddens' Bookmarks is a search engine and informative site for individuals who are researching their genealogy using maps, atlases, and map collections. It features links to cartographic and geographic societies, departments of cartography, libraries and touristic sites.
  • The Perry-Castade Library Map Collection - The website for the University of Texas at Austin features a number of online maps, including historical maps and cartographic reference resources. The website features both current and historical world maps, including the United States and national parks and monuments.
  • U.S. Gazetter - The U.S. Census Bureau features a page for the U.S. Gazetteer, published in 1990, 2000 and 2010. Some of the information available on this site includes files for places, counties, county subdivisions and census tracts.
  • British Columbia Archives and Records Service - The British Columbia Archives has a website for cartographic records. Cartographic records often include maps, architectural drawings and maps. The B.C. Archives features over 63,000 maps, atlases and architectural drawings as they relate to British Columbia.
  • Cartographic Records Pilot Project - The British Columbia Archives has a website for cartographic records. Cartographic records often include maps, architectural drawings and maps. The B.C. Archives features over 63,000 maps, atlases and architectural drawings as they relate to British Columbia.
  • Direct Line Software - Direct Line Software produces DeedMapper, a software program that features old land records. This website is ideal for genealogists who want to plot old land patents, grants and deeds and transfer them to a modern map.
  • Land Record Reference - Direct Line Software has a section entitled Land Record Reference that features information on how land was acquired, the state-by-state histories of land acquisition, the process of buying and selling land, how land transactions work, and the property described in deeds.
  • Research Directory - Direct Line Software features a Research Directory section that allows genealogists to find out who is doing land record work in different areas of the country. This site allows individuals involved in the same work to share ideas and deeds.
  • Deed Data Pool - Direct Line Software features a Data Pool, which allows individuals to share their deed files with one another. The DeedMapper software provided by Direct Line Software can be used to view and edit deed files.
  • City Gallery - City Gallery is a community forum that allows individuals to explore the topics of vernacular images, or photographs of the life, work, culture and circumstances of ordinary people. This website encourages individuals to preserve and interpret vernacular images.
  • Heritage Map Museum - Carto is a "software as a service" company that provides a GIS-centric line of business applications that provide increased employee performance, productivity and decision-making skills. This software is designed to provide greater performance to the employee with a lower total cost to the business owner.
  • Your Past Connections - Your Past Connections is a website that is designed to help individuals locate lost items and memorabilia from their past. Links of last names leads people to a database, where they can search for items and memorabilia as it relates to their family name.
  • Genmaps Home Page - Genmaps features old and interesting maps of England, Wales, and Scotland. You can choose the county of interest and then peruse relevant maps as they pertain to your genealogy research.
  • Dead Fred - Dead Fred is a website that features genealogy photo archives. This website allows people to post photos, search for photos and share and connect with others who are also interested in discovering and sharing historical photographs.
  • Family History Collections - The Family History Collections from the Past is a website that share old photographs, marriage records, land records, books, letters, etc. that may be historically significant or simply significant to another individual searching for information on their ancestors.
  • RetouchPRO - Retouch Pro is a website that teaches genealogists to restore, retouch and repair old photographs. This website is community-based, meaning that there are a number of bulletin boards, blogs and live events that allow users to share information with one another.

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