Has your family research come to a standstill? What about that proverbial brick wall that has you stumped? What will you do next? Many researchers both newbies and the more experienced, get stumped all the time. Myself included! It is very frustrating to finally get the lead you have been searching for only to find out that it really hasn’t led you anywhere. Sometimes I feel like a dog who is running around in circles chasing its’ own tail!
Here are a couple of ideas that might get you back on track. I hope the ideas help you and I also hope they help me in searching my ancestral roots.
U.S. Geological Survey Maps– Have you thought about topography maps to aid in your research? The U.S. Geological Survey web site can help you locate historical maps of interest that may help you in your genealogy searches. In addition, this site also features a National Atlas, which will help you by offering a number of maps that can include country boundary lines, cities, lakes and rivers, and other topographical points of interest.
** Another idea that just came to mind: Blow up the map to a large wall size and use different colored “ball” tacks for different family surnames to give you the visuals that you may need in your research. It could help you track their movements especially if they have migrated from other countries.
Direct Line Software– A software program that is called Deed Mapper. Deed Mapper works with old land records. Whether you have one deed or a hundred, this software program will help you:
- Find the location of a particular plot by anchoring a group of neighboring plots against a stream.
- Discover genealogical relationships by showing that person X sold a part of person Y’s land.
- Untangle people having the same name by analyzing their landholdings and transfers.
- Create a map of original landholders in a region.
- Trace changes in parcel ownership over the years.
There is also an online community that you can interact with other members. Deed Mapper is designed for historical research so it handles surveys that have straight lines. So it may be worth checking out at least!
Direct Line Software Screenshots
Dead Fred– This web page is dedicated to genealogists and family researchers, who can search and post photos, search surnames and the like. It is a free, fun photo genealogy research site devoted to helping you visualize your heritage! Wouldn’t it be great to find a lost ancestor on this site? Your bonus would be a photo you may have been searching out for years!
Dog Chasing Its’ Tail