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Genealogy Resources

Maps and Geographical Finding Aids

See also: Local History, Land Records

Print Resources

  • Atlases of Historical County Boundaries. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1997
  • Cobb, David A., comp. Guide to U.S. Map Resources. Chicago: American Library Association, 1986.
  • Cohen, Saul B., editor. The Columbia Gazetteer of North America. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000. Is available at Great Books Online <>
  • Commercial Atlas & Marketing Guide, 136th edition, 2 volumes. Chicago: Rand McNally, 2005. The second volume indexes 123,000 place names.
  • Dollarhide, William. Map Guide to American Migration Routes, 1735-1815. North Salt Lake, Utah: Heritage Quest, 1997, 2003. Identifies the important overland routes.
  • Family Maps Land Patent Books Series. Norman, Oklahoma: Arphax Publishing Company. Collections of historical and modern maps that show the location of General Land Office patents with patentee's names, cemetery locations, drainage features, railroads, and modern roads broken down by township for selected counties.
  • Kashuba, Melinda. "Charting a Research Course Using Maps and Geography." NGS NewsMagazine. Volume 31 (October-December, 2005).
  • Kashuba, Melinda. "Turn Up the Heat with Fire Insurance Maps." NGS NewsMagazine,  (April/May/June 2006): 26-29.
  • Kirkham, E. Kay. A Handy Guide to Record-Searching in the Larger Cities of the United States. Logan, Utah: Everton Publishers, 1974. This book has indexes and maps for a number of U.S. cities including New York and Chicago.
  • Library of Congress. Geography and Map Division. Reference and Bibliography Section. Fire Insurance Maps in the Library of Congress: Plans of North American Cities and Towns Produced by the Sanborn Map Company: A Checklist. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1981.
  • Long, John H., ed. Historical Atlas and Chronology of County Boundaries, 1788–1980. Scale: 1:633,600. Vols. 1–5. Boston, Mass.: G.K. Hall, 1984. Maps show when and where each county changed boundaries.
  • Moffat, Riley Moore. Occasional paper: Western Association of Map Libraries, no. 10. Santa Cruz, Calif.: Western Association of Map Libraries, 1986. Use a state map to find the quadrangle number. Then find the number in the state's map list to learn the name of the quadrangle.
  • Newberry Library. Checklist of Printed Maps of the Middle West to 1900. Boston : G.K. Hall, 1980. - The eleven volumes list all known pre-1900 plat maps and plat books for the state of Illinois.
  • Munro, David, editor. The Cambridge World Gazetteer: A Geographical Dictionary. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
  • Oswald, Diane L. Fire Insurance Maps Their History and Applications. College Station, Texas: Lacewing Press, 1997.
  • Parry, R.B. and C.R. Perkins. World Mapping Today. 2nd edition. Munich, Germany: K.G. Saur, 2002. Summarizes the state of mapping worldwide by nation.
  • Sayre, Rick G. "Urban Maps: Putting It All Together." Genealogical Computing, 21 (January/February/March 2002): 21-24.
  • Shelley, Michael H. Ward Maps of United States Cities: A Selective Checklist of Pre-1900 Maps in the Library of Congress. Washington, D.C.: s.n., 1975.
  • Thiry, Christopher J.J. The Guide to U.S. Map Resources. 3rd edition. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2005. Describes more than 500 collections and includes extensive indexing, which will help in identifying map collections that may contain historical maps.
  • United States. Geological Survey. Topographic Maps of the United States. Scale varies. Suitland, Md.: National Archives and Records Service, 1976-. These maps were originally published from 1884 to 1983. The maps are arranged by the name of the quadrangle within each state. States are not in alphabetical order.
  • Ward Maps of United States Cities. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1975?