Many of you may have used the wonderful maps produced by Arphax Publishing. These are those Family Maps of such and such a county. They take the land grant information from the BLM GLO site and put it on a map so that you can place it on a modern map. Last year I had found and subscribed to HistoryGeo.com so that I could access those maps from home on my computer without worrying about which repository had which county’s book. Those ancestors of my husbands seemed to move around a lot! It was great, but sometimes I even forgot about having the subscription if I wasn’t actively researching. I was so surprised the other day when I got an email from them touting their brand new map viewer and interface! Called the First Landowners Project they now have 7.2 million of the original land owners who received patents all together on one single map……and it is fully indexed! You no longer have to just keep your search to one county at a time and you can see who the neighbors are who may live less than a mile away, but in a different county. Once you’ve found the grant that your ancestor received/purchased you can add a marker to it,look at it on Google maps or go straight to the document on the BLM site. Here’s a screen shot of an ancestor’s land in Natchitoches County, LA.
My graphics manipulation ability is a little lacking so you can’t really see this too well, but I would encourage you to go to the tutorial on using the First Landowners Project and you will see some of the amazing capabilities of this new site. I know I will be spending lots and lots of time here. They are adding more states in the near future and will also be adding the capability to plot metes and bounds on the map so that you can do a map showing your family’s migration from the older Eastern States across the West. Access to History Geo is $79.99 per year so is a little spendy, but just think of all the map books that you don’t need to buy and have taking up space in your house! You can print or save your maps so if you are just working on your own family subscribe for a year and get them all done and it is really worth the price!