I have collected every historical map that I can get my hands on for the areas my ancestors hail from. I go to copy machines and make photocopies of sections and use the copies to do some plotting. When I’m having a hard time with a family, it’s good to really explore the area in which they lived. I plot ancestors’ homes, churches, ward boundaries, geographical hazards, and transportation that was available at the time. If I have the address of the ancestor’s place of business (from city directories), I plot that as well. By examining our ancestor’s surroundings, we can better understand how the events found in local histories and newspapers affected them.
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