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Source Information

Ancestry.com. U.S. Map Collection, 1513-1990 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.
Original data: See source or bibliographical info attached to each map.

About U.S. Map Collection, 1513-1990

This database is a collection of maps detailing land areas that comprise the present United States. It contains a variety of maps created for different scopes and purposes, including political and geographical, and covers various years ranging from 1513-1990. The maps have been categorized into seven map types:

  • Cadastral
  • Discovery and Exploration
  • Military
  • Panoramic
  • Thematic
  • Topographic
  • Transportation

To locate a map in this collection use the search template above by filling in one or a combination of the following fields: year; state; region; country; type; or keyword. Maps and other geographic tools are great sources for family historians to learn more about the places their ancestors lived.

Maps, atlases, and gazetteers are essential tools for family historians. Maps may be either topographical (emphasizing land forms) or historical (emphasizing historical events) in nature, though either type can show cultural features, such as town and creek names that are important for research. Public libraries and especially college and university libraries usually have good contemporary maps. Historical maps are sometimes more difficult to find. Genealogical and historical societies in the area you are researching are likely repositories for old maps. The Internet is also a good place to locate obscure maps.

Taken from Loretto Dennis Szucs, "Chapter Nine: The Historical Dimension," in Family History Made Easy, (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1998).

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