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  • Writer's pictureTheFormidableGenealogist

More Maps

I read a lot of old deeds. They are such great sources of information because they can include details far beyond property ownership.

However, sometimes the land is exactly what I want to learn more about. For example, I can try to pinpoint a parcel's physical location so that I can determine who a person's neighbors were.

In the eastern U.S., before the National Public Land Survey System Grid of ranges, townships, and sections, land parcels had physical descriptions based on natural landmarks. Many times that included a waterway.

In 1764, George Cummins purchased 200 acres of land "on the north side of Reedy Fork of the Haw River" in North Carolina. If I wanted to find that location on a map, I might find that the most commonly used mapping websites can't always handle natural features like rivers and streams.

After locating the correct Haw River, I can trace it back to Reedy Fork. I can then get a sense of the location and even the GPS coordinates if I wanted to transfer that data to a different online map.

Of course place names may have changed in the last 259 years, but this is a place to start when more popular mapping websites offer little help.


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