Monday, July 19, 2010

Tracking American Counties - The Newberry Library of Chicago, Illinois has just released an excellent new tool that can provide a great genealogy brick wall solution. Counties are often the principal source of certain types of genealogy records in the United States, such as land records and court records. Yet, over time, county boundaries can shift, counties can merge and sometimes counties even cease to exist. When looking for historical country records, it is important to know which county may contain a particular record. For example, it is perfectly plausible that a single ancestral farmstead can shift between a couple of counties over the years. This is where the new Digital Atlas of Historical County Boundaries comes in handy. This interactive map tracks all the changes in the size, shape, location, name, organization and attachment of every US county and state from 1634 to 2000. This data has been available before, but not in such easily-accessible format. This new interactive map can be used in a variety of different formats and can even be integrated into Google Earth. The Newberry Library that hosts this great new genealogy tool is an independent research library with an extensive collection of rare books, maps and manuscripts. Access is free. From the Genealogy In Time Newsletter. July 2010