Atlas of Historical County Boundaries Interactive Map is BACK!

One of the most valuable FREE tools for genealogists (in my opinion) is finally back!  The Newberry Library has released a test version of the interactive county boundary maps.  You can find it at

Although the information on county boundary changes still existed while the interactive tool was being overhauled, many have been waiting patiently for the return of the interactive map.

What makes this tool so valuable?

One of the time consuming mistakes a genealogist can make is searching in the wrong location for our ancestors.  I learned this when I first started researching.  I was searching for some of my Maryland ancestors in Harford County, Maryland.  I couldn’t find any records for them in the 1700s even though I knew they were there.  Turns out I was right, they were there except it wasn’t Harford County, it was Baltimore County.  Knowing that Harford County wasn’t formed until 1774 would have saved my months of searching for records in the wrong location.  Once I realized that I should have been searching Baltimore County instead of  Harford County, I found many of the records I needed.  If the interactive map had existed back then I would have saved much time and head scratching.

Once I discovered the interactive map it was a definite “go to” site, especially when beginning research in a new location.

Check out the new tool.  Users have the ability to provide feedback on the interactive map as well via email.


Mappy Monday: Maryland Map, City Directory and Land Resources

Maps and Land Records are my favorite records to search.  Since I had many ancestors that lived in Baltimore City, Maryland, city directories are invaluable for me as well.

If you are researching in the state of Maryland, you may not be aware that there are several on-line resources (mostly free) for Maryland.  This list is not all inclusive, but a list of my favorite and most helpful resources. – Maryland Land Records
All land records are available with a free account.  There is a learning curve.
**Once you get your account and log in, be sure to read the “Help” menu for hints on using the system. – FINDER Online
Web based GIS system hosted by the Maryland Department of Planning.  Provides property maps and parcel information.  Also links to the Real Property Data Search (below). – Real Property Data Search
Provides current property information from the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.  Very helpful when tracing a property backwards from the present day.
**Read the “Guide to searching the database” – Digital Image Reference System for Land Survey, Subdivision, and Condominium Plats
Access to various plats (many times referenced in deeds from Maryland Land Records.
**Read the “Beginners Guide” – Papenfuse Map Collection –  Enoch Pratt databases
An Enoch Pratt library card is required for access to Sanborn maps through ProQuest. – Baltimore City Directories
Requires a account.  (If you do not have an account, be sure to check your library or society to see if they have institutional access.) – Baltimore City Archives listing of Baltimore City Directories (electronic or otherwise). – Newberry Library Atlas of Historical County Boundaries
**Unfortunately the interactive maps are currently unavailable but the site does have a downloadable KMZ file that can be used with Google Maps and Google Earth.

As always, please be sure to read the copyright information for usage restrictions.  If you find a resource particularly helpful, also look for a “Donate” button.  This helps get more of these great resources on-line.