The theme for the July 2020 genealogy blog party with Elizabeth O’Neal is Where in the World?
Suggested topics include (but aren’t limited to):
- Where in the world your ancestors lived
- Vacations and trips
- Maps and map repositories
- House histories
- Land records and deeds
- Immigration routes
- Migration trails
- One place studies
I’ve written about most of these suggestions in the past and I had to think about which topic I might want to revisit. I couldn’t make up my mind, so I’ve decided to share links to resources and information.
Maps and Repositories
Maps and Repositories (including some links to U.S. migratory trails) – This is the link to my research toolbox. Our blog party hostess, Elizabeth, wrote a fabulous post about Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps just last month.
Another excellent (free) resource to complement your map work is the FamilySearch Wiki – U.S. Migration Trails and Roads.
There is one book I would also recommend: Atlas of American Migration by Stephen A. Flanders (Facts on File, Inc., 1998), currently available on everyone’s favorite online website for under $10.
One of my personal favorite posts is Your House Has a Family History, Too: 4 Ways to Research It. I learned way more about the past life of my childhood home than I ever thought possible! Your house has a family tree, too. Learn about it!
One Place Studies
One-Place Studies – I have thought off-and-on about creating a one-place study of the village of Udol (formerly Ujak and the next door even smaller village of Hajtovka in Slovakia is part of the church parish), but I don’t think I have the time to properly devote to it. If you have thought about this type of project, the Society for One-Place Studies is located in the United Kingdom (but not limited to UK place locations).
WikiTree also hosts a One Place Studies Project.
I don’t know of a single collection of land records that has a search engine to bring up names of grantors and grantees. However, FamilySearch should be your first online stop. Do a county search for your place of interest. Then scroll down the list for the Land and Property category.
Here is a sample for Cumberland County, Kentucky:
Note that some of these items have authors while others cite county records. You will find that many (not all) of the authored books are not digitally available, but those aren’t the best of the resources. The collections you want to search are those held by the county clerk. (Again, some county records aren’t available digitally either, but many are.)
When you click on a county collection, often a list of the land records will pop up and will include an index. Sometimes, there is one separate index covering most, or all, of the land deed volumes.
Just as if you were looking at these books in person, flip through the index to your surname of interest and write down all the volumes and pages at which you want to look.Then go to it!
If you haven’t ever read recorded land deeds, you are missing out on a great resource. I have found deeds that list the former home of a buyer (proof about where they came from), the new home of a seller (proof of where they moved to), a list of all the heirs (with spouses if married and minors noted by guardians) selling off property and statements of how a seller came to own the land (e.g. “land I received by the will of my father, so-and-so, deceased.)
Last, but not least, are you tired of this pandemic and ready for a vacation? I know I am, but with the lockdown, no one is going far for quite some time.
However, we are much luckier than ancestors who suffered through pandemics because we have the ability to take virtual vacations.
- Use Google maps to visit an ancestral home. Then drag and drop the little yellow guy onto the street and talk a virtual stroll through the neighborhood.
- Create a vacation memories book or slide show to share with friends and family. There are many vehicles (pun intended!)of choice. Try out Adobe Spark, which is pretty easy to use.
- Want to feel like you are really there? Take a virtual tour of Westminster Abbey, The Hermitage in Russia, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan, the Paris Catacombs.
- Want something a bit different? There is something here for everyone! Check out this list of 50 Free Virtual Tours of Unique and Famous Places.