Mapping Ancestors

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In genealogical research, maps can provide clues to where our ancestors may have lived and where to look for written records about them.

Geography played a major role in the lives of our ancestors. It often determined where they lived, worked, and migrated. It can also play a major role in how you research your ancestor. Concentrating on where your ancestor lived can often point you to area-specific record sets or provide clues about where to research next.

Maps usually suggest some patterns of settlement and movement and rule out others. For example, topographic/satellite and other relief maps may show hills or mountains that impeded migration or access to certain areas. Rivers bridged now may not have been bridged when kin lived nearby. Yet, a river can aid migratory travel because sometimes it is easier to travel on water than through dense forests and undergrowth, and it is even possible that your ancestors traveled by waterway to market, to attend church or school, or to pursue a host of other interests. Switching between the Map, Satellite, and Hybrid view within Geni should aid you in deciphering the critical boundaries and land masses your ancestors lived near.

Maps can help you track down facts about a branch of your family. How? In the United States, birth, death, property, and some other kinds of records are normally kept by the county governments. If you can name the place where an ancestor lived, a map of that place may also show the county seat where useful data about your kin can be obtained. That is why adding locational content to every Geni profile is so important.

At some point during your research, you’re bound to run across something that says an ancestor lived in a specific place, but contains no details of where that place was. No worries, tracking where your ancestors were born, died, and/or buried can be achieved through the map feature within Geni.

Geni allows you to essentially add 3 different locations that can be plotted within the map. They are current location, place of birth, and place of burial. Don't forget to add all pertaining locations to the profiles that you have created and create in the future. This content is valued greatly by genealogists or anyone doing research on a particular ancestor.

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