Best Geographical Genealogy Websites of 2015

By David A. Fryxell Premium

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Access historical maps, find land records and more with these geographical genealogy websites.
A new map interface makes it easier to find your ancestors’ land holdings among more than 5 million federal land title records issued since 1820. Now you can learn even more from images related to survey plats and field notes, dating from 1810.
This “residential genealogy” site serves up more than 1.6 million historical maps, either pay per view or for $124.99 a year. You can search or browse, and more than half the collection has been overlaid with modern Google maps in Historic Earth, a “geographic time machine.”
Using a large collection of antique maps, this site’s First Landowners Project has created a single, interactive map of more than 9 million landowners in 20 public land states plus Texas. Access costs $59 a year.


Contribute your own pin in the form of old photos of places to this collaborative effort now boasting more than 400,000 submissions, each plotted on Google Maps. Even if you don’t add anything, you can still view images of yesteryear against a modern street view.
Historical topographic maps show your ancestral places back when, while the National Atlas, Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) and National Map help you find them in the here and now.
By uploading old photos tagged with location and year, you can help contribute to “a photographic history of the world (or at least any place covered by Google Maps).” Free registration is required to add images, but not to view or search.