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Historical Maps Cheat Sheet


View your ancestor’s community and learn where to find historical maps online! This quick-reference guide shows you how to use historical maps for genealogy, with sample vintage maps, databases where you can find historical maps online, and strategies for applying old maps to your research.


Genealogists and historians alike love old maps! In addition to being beautiful pieces of artwork from centuries’ past, historical maps can be valuable resources for your genealogy research. Using maps, you can pinpoint your ancestor’s home or farm, find missing ancestors in census records and view your ancestor’s community as he would have seen it. This cheat sheet download will show you how to find and use historical maps online, plus how to apply them to your research. Inside, you’ll find:


  • Seven of the most useful kinds of historical maps, plus annotations that highlight their research value
  • Resources for finding maps online
  • Tips for using web tools like Google Earth to compare historical maps with modern ones

Once you download the Historical Maps Cheat Sheet, you’ll need a PDF reader, such as the free Adobe Reader software, to open it. Adobe Reader is available for both Mac and Windows computers.

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