April 15 - M is for Maps

Have you used maps, in your family tree research? Aren’t they fantastic?

Maps have been used for centuries, from the first explores, crude maps to the modern day, satnav. I remember back in the 1960’s or early 1970’s, when either a Gemini or an Apollo astronaut, took a photo of Australia, from space. It was on the front page of the newspaper, with the banner heading. ‘The Mapmakers Got It Right!’ How they would have marvelled at how far we have explored.

I first used old land title maps to locate the family land in Kootingal, NSW and being shown the original ones to use. They were cloth like and very heavy, to turn the pages. Now days I search them online.

 Looking at the maps for my own home, I can trace back from my small piece, through the original sub-division to the bigger land grant and it is fascinating to see then development of the suburb.

There is a feature on the NSW Lands Department website, that allows you to look at your area, now and then you can see what it was like in 1942. Not all areas are covered as much of the outer areas of Sydney were bush, back then. Looking at my street, there is one house, still standing today, and a fisherman’s hut , also still standing.

Maps help us put our ancestors in their homes and communities and let us see into the past.

Bye for now,



  1. Maps is a great word for the letter M.
    For quite a few of my ancestors I have found cadaster maps (with their names on their lots). Lisa Louis Cooke at Genealogy Gems has a great webinar free on her website called Google Earth for Genealogy - Fantastic and worth checking out if you don't know it.


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