Maps & Family Research
This page outlines the resources used in locating former family homes.
%Date & Title% - description
The most common starting point is an address, either from an address book, a census record or a certificate eg birth certificate.
In some case the property may still exist or it may have been demolished. In all cases precisely locating an address is not as easy as you may think. The organisations that collect address data are commercial and doe not release it for general use (although it was paid for by the UK taxpayer).
In family research the location of a family home, event or public place can often be vague at the start. The country maybe known, or the town/place. Over time improved resolution maybe acquired eg to a house number, holiday accommodation or even a grave plot.
To support this the following referencing approach is used to identify locations [of family homes and other event]:
*for England Wales and Scotland the former counties are used to help provide a better spatial granularity and this also aligns with many of the indexing systems in use on various websites.
The location pages follow the above referencing sequence. The county maps can be viewed online:
- Map of England & Wales counties [British Library]
- Map of Scottish counties[ Nat. Lib of Scotland]
- County Maps of Ireland [TBA]
The wider us of maps is described in the next section.
The census is undertaken by household. In terms of location this can be associated with an address. Though it is only from the late 19thC that house numbers appear - this probably reflects local usage where numbering was unnecessary until the local population grew beyond a certain size. This is generally a reliable and the best starting point for any research from the mid 19thC onwards.
Current maps can help locate the property and determine if it still exists
Old maps can also be helpful in understanding the landscape at the time the people lived there. The map will show buildings that have now been demolished. Close inspection can also reveal that the current building may not be the same as those that were used by previous generations eg many country cottages were rebuilt in the 19thC
This site uses Open Street Map as the reference for all the map inserts as it is now the most consistent global map service available.
Maps - Current
Here is a list of map services which show the current or recent landscape.
The rating is in terms of family research benefits & general availability.
|20140524||data.gov.uk||UK data portal||**...|
|20140524||geoportal ireland||Ireland data portal||**...|
|20140524||Google Maps||Base Google service||**...|
|20140524||Google StreetView||Street imagery||****.|
|20140524||OS Mapping||OS OpenSpace||**...|
|20140524||Open Street Map||Open map service||***..|
|20140524||Calderdale - detailed OS Maps||Current large OS maps incl address location||****.|
Maps - old
Here is a list of map services which record the landscape as it was. The rating is in terms of family research benefits & general availability.
The national library sites are useful resources:
- The British Library publish national cover of England and Wales maps through the Vision of Britain portal.
- The National Library of Scotland hold and publish a full coverage of maps of Scotland as well as some aerial photography. The old maps include Ordnance Survey County series maps ie large scale
|20140524||British Library - England & Wales||Earliest OS one Inch maps & later series||***..|
|20140524||National Library of Scotland||Maps & aerial photography, incl 19thC 1:2500 mapping||****.|
|20140524||Cassini Maps||Browse & download OS maps [commercial]||***..|
|20140524||Old Maps UK||Browse & download OS maps [commercial]||***..|
|20140524||Calderdale Maps [1851-1948]||Browse old OS maps||****.|
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End: dd mmm yyyy
References & Links:
|20140524||British Library maps online|
|20140524||Ordnance Survey 1" Map View 1868 [British Library]|
|20140524||Ordnance Survey 1" Map View 1945 [British Library]|
|20140524||County Boundary Map View E&W 1899 [British Library]|
|20140524||County Boundary Map View Scotland 18xx [Nat. Library of Scotland]|
|20140524||Scotland Online Maps [National Library of Scotland]|
|20140524||Scotland Town Plans [National Library of Scotland]|
Updated KJM 24 May 2014