Category Archives: Google Earth

My English Origins Mapped Out with Google Earth

I have many ancestors that settled in the American colonies well before 1650, all on my mother’s side of the family tree. When I began researching in 1980, a few of the English hometowns had been uncovered, but many were still a mystery.

Since then, much research has been accomplished and when I took a look to see how many places in England I could identify with one or more ancestors, I was a bit surprised, as there are just about 100!

I decided to pin them all using Google Earth:

Source: Google Earth

This is as much of the map as I could get in one cropped shot. The problem is that, although I can enlarge it to show even more of the town names, when I do that, it also brings in highway markings and other cities that aren’t on my list.

Even with that limitation, I think it’s pretty cool to see a map dotted with all my ancestral villages. If you see any familiar places and think we might be cousins, here are the surnames that go with each town:

Alcock – Mancetter
Antrobus – St. Albans
Arnold – St. Albans
Baldwin – Aston Clinton, Cholesbury
Bate – Lydd
Belden – Heptonstall, Gisburn
Bigg – Cranbrook
Blood – Ruddington
Boyse – Halifax
Brooke – London
Brown – Inkberrow
Browne – Sawbridgeworth, Childerditch
Bunker – Odell
Burt – Harberton
Butterworth – Halifax
Clarke – Theydon Garnon
Coffin – Brixton
Coley – Tring
Cramphorne – Sawbridgeworth
Eveleth – Exeter St. Thoas
Farrington – Olney
Fenn – Stewkley
Folger – Norwich
Foote – Shalford, Royston, Colchester
Fosdick – Hadley
Freeman – Irchester
Foule – Charlton Musgrove
Giddings – Clapham
Glover – Saltwood
Goodale – Downham, Great Yarmouth
Green – Toppesfield
Harre – Hadley
Haskell – Charlton Musgrove
Hearne – Colnbrook
Hilelay – Halifax
Holden – Lindsey
Holton – Holton St. Mary
Holyoke – Alcester, Kimcote and Walton, Tanworth
Hayward – London All Hallows
Howlat – Bures St. Mary
Hudson – London All Hallows
Huse – Salisbury st. Edmunds
Ingalls – skirbeck
Jenckes – London St. Anne Blackfriars
Knapp – Bures St. Mary, wormingford
Lakin – Ruddington
Lane – Rickmansworth
Lawrence – St. Albans
Lide – Inkberrow
Lobdell – Northam
Lockwood – Combs
Loker – Bures St. Mary Essex
Lynde – London All Hallows & Dunstable
Major – Odell
Marbury – Berkhamstead
Marche – Dean Prior
Martin – Tenterden
Mason – Bolton
Newhall – Sherrington
Nubery/Newberry – Exeter St. David
Pratt – Maldon
Prudden – Kings Walden
Purrier – St. Albans
Sargent – Gildersome, Meare
Scarlett – Nayland
Scott – Glemsford
Shatswell – Sibbertoft
Smith – Whatfield St. Margaret
Stevens – Brixton
Stockton – Alcester
Stokes – Yardley
Stowe – Biddenden
Tarbox – St. Ippolyts
Tompson – Preston Capes
Torrey – Combe St. Nicholas
Tue – Little Horkesley, Wormingford
Tuttle – St. Albans
Warren – Nayland, Wissington
Wathen – Bristol St. Stephen
Wells – Ringstead
Wheeler – Cranfield
Whipple – Bocking

Google Earth is a great tool and the best part is that it can locate even tiny little villages almost anywhere in the world.

Next, I think I am going to plot out all the New Brunswick, Canada towns where my Loyalists settled.

Recap: Family History + Google Earth = A Great Partnership

My last four posts have been about implementing various pieces of Google Earth into family history. I am just a beginner when it comes to Google Earth, but I hope you learned some new tips from my posts.

There is much more that can be done in Google Earth, which are a bit beyond my limited skills. Video can be added and actual Family History Tour Maps can be created. The Family History Tour Map is something I will try out next on my own.

Besides providing nice visuals for ourselves, Google Earth is a great way to interest younger members of the family in genealogy (the digital natives of the 21st century) and may also draw in the interest of older family members who just want small doses of family history at a time. 🙂

I rarely mention products for sale because I am all about finding free stuff. However, Lisa Louise Cooke is the only person I know who has detailed information available about using Google Earth with your family history. Therefore, if you like what you have tried out and want to learn more, then you need to visit Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems website at She has a free Google Earth for Genealogy tutorial available.

She also has a book, The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, which includes details on Google Earth for genealogical use and sells a 2 CD set, Google Earth for Genealogy. I bought all of these because I am not a very tech savvy person and my husband, who is, rolls his eyes back in his head when he hears the word “genealogy.” That leaves me on my own to self teach and her products are very simple to follow. When I got stuck, I emailed Lisa with my question and she answered promptly and solved my problem.

UPDATE: Lisa is advertising the brand new 2nd edition of The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, to begin shipping on January 31 for the introductory price of $19.95, plus shipping.

If you are attending FGS-RootsTech 2015, she will have a booth in the Exhibit Hall.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems nor have I received any compensation in any way, shape or form for mentioning her products. The thumbs up is  my own opinion.


Family History + Google Earth = A Great Partnership, Part 4

Today’s Google Earth activity is quick and easy. There are only a few steps to complete:

1. Have your image ready. It MUST be hosted on a website, as it can’t be uploaded from your own computer. If you have a website of your own, it can be located there. Otherwise, you can use a free site like Flickr or  Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems mentioned Photobucket, so I signed up with them.

2. Open Google Earth and fly to your destination. I used Calais, Maine, where I previously created the historical map overlay.

If you click on the Google Earth image, you will see a yellow Placemark labeled “Thomas Coleman’s Land.”

I have a copy of an old postcard photo of Thomas Coleman’s grandson’s station, located on or very close to this property in the 1920’s and 1930’s.

I want to add this photo to my Placemark in Google Earth. Here are the next steps  to insert the photo:

3. Remember, you have already flown to your destination in Google Earth. Now, click on the yellow push pin in the Google Earth toolbar at the top of your screen to open the description box. It should look like this, but with your own destination on the map. You may or may not have added an historical map overlay. That doesn’t matter for this activity.

You will also see the Placemark push pin in the center of your screen with a flashing yellow box around it. Drag the push pin to the spot you want to mark.

4. Next, copy the URL for the image you wish to insert. Photobucket displays a box with four choices for copying. I just chose “Direct,” clicked once on the address and was told it was copied. I didn’t even have to right click and copy. After you paste the URL, be sure to click OK next to the URL box.

5. Type in any description you would like for your image.

6. Before you click “OK” at the bottom of the box, click the push pin icon in the top right corner of the description box. Select the camera icon, which is in purple near the bottom of the icon choices and click OK.

7. Last, click OK at the bottom of the Placemark description box. Now when you click on the camera icon, the photo should open:

Have fun trying this on your own!