|California Wiki Topics|
|Local Research Resources|
To learn more about maps in general, go to the Maps Record Page.
Online Maps[edit | edit source]
- David Rumsey Historical Maps Collection
- Old Maps Online Collection
- Library of Congress Maps Collection
- Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library
- Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection
- Harvard University Scanned Maps
- UWM American Geographical Society Library Digital Map Collection
- University of California Berkeley Library
Tips for Using Maps[edit | edit source]
Maps must be used carefully for several reasons: Several types of maps are useful for genealogists. Some give historical background of the area or show migration routes such as roads, rivers, and railroads. Topographical maps show physical features, such as creeks and hills, and man-made features, such as roads, cemeteries, and churches. Plat and land ownership maps and other types of maps are described in United States Maps.
- There are often several places with the same name. You may want to use a Gazetteer to help you.
- The spelling and even names of some towns may have changed since your ancestor lived there.
- Boundaries changed over time. Use historical maps to understand boundary changes.
For more tips and information on using maps, go to the general Maps Record Page.
Types of Maps[edit | edit source]
Different types of maps help you in different ways, for example:
- Historical atlases describe the growth and development of countries, showing boundaries, migration routes, settlement patterns, military campaigns, and other historical information.
- Road atlases are useful because of the detail they provide.
- Other types of maps include: parish maps, state maps, tourist maps, topographical maps, and air navigation maps. City maps are extremely helpful when researching in large cities.
To learn more about different types of maps, go to the general Maps Record Page.
Historical Maps Collections[edit | edit source]
Historical map collections are helpful because they can show you the geography of your ancestor's residence at or around the time they lived there. The following collection are helpful:
- Maps of California from MapGeeks.org. Includes boundary changes map.
- Historical Maps of California
- Diseños Collection at the California State Archives is a collection of hand drawn maps of Spanish and Maps Lands
A helpful statewide atlas for California is Warren A. Beck, Historical Atlas of California (Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1974. (Family History Library book 979.4 E3b; fiche 6054102).
The Family History Library has a selection of maps of the gold regions and mining districts, ghost towns, railways, and topographic features. Large map collections from pioneer times to the present are also at each of the University of California campuses (including Berkeley, Davis, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz) and the fourteen campuses of California State College.
United States Census Bureau State and County Map. This map will allow you to zoom in on any state or county in the United States and read the names of all of the neighboring counties.
Resources[edit | edit source]
- "Rotating Formation California County Boundary Maps" (1850-1925) may be viewed for free at the MapGeeks.org website.
- Map Library California State University Northridge
- Map Collection University of California Berkeley, Earth Sciences and Map Library
- Maps Research Guide San Diego State University, Library and Information Access
- National Atlas of the United States, printable maps
- David Rumsey Map collection is a large online collection of rare, old, antique historical atlases, globes, maps, charts plus other cartographic treasures. There is also a map of Southern California.