Saturday, March 5, 2016

The 21 Day Genealogy Challenge - Day 9: GoogleMaps and Genealogy

Oh, The Places You’ll Go! – Dr. Seuss

Welcome to day nine of the 21 Day Genealogy Challenge!  In day eight we looked at three sources that revealed where our ancestors lived.  Today I would like you to take the address of one of your ancestors and enter it in Google Maps.  If you have done this before, you will know how fun it is to see how our ancestral homes and towns look today.

How this works.

Type in your browser  Once you are in googlemaps, enter your ancestor’s address in the prompt.  For my ancestor there was no street number, just the street name.  Do not forget to enter the name of the town and state or you will end up with too many options to select from.

Your computer screen should now show you a street map image.  If you look to the bottom right of your screen, you may see some options that allow for a “street view” or images of the town itself.  By clicking on the Google Earth icon on the left side of your screen you will get a satellite image of the area you are searching.  You may zoom in on this image.  Now that you have the satellite view, look again to the right side of your screen.  You will see a “tilt image” option.  By tilting the image, you can see various angles of the town, including a horizon view.  

If your map imaging shows a filmstrip at the bottom of your screen, click on one of the images.  You will now see the houses and buildings as though you were standing on the street. Located just above the film strip, and on the right of the screen is an arrow button.  By clicking this button you can view your surroundings as though you were actually standing in the street and looking around.  

Take your time looking around your ancestor’s town.  Are you able to locate where your ancestor worked?  How about the local church?  If you happen to have old photographs of your ancestor’s home or workplace, compare your picture with the google image and see how the buildings have changed over time.
My great grandparents, Ollie and Judson Wilson at the depot station in Reynolds, Georgia.

Today the depot is the local public library.

If you are lucky enough to live or travel to where your family resided, take a camera and snap a picture of the house.  If you have an older photo of the home, upload both pictures in your family tree under the photos section for each family member who resided there.  It may not seem a big deal to you now, but you may have relatives that have never seen the home or live too far away to visit.  Seeing the photos may trigger memories and stories for them that they can share with you.

Congratulations! You have completed day eight of the 21 Day Genealogy Challenge!  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post them in the Blog Comment section below.  Invite your friends to join this challenge by sharing this blog with them on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.  The share icons are just below this blog entry.

Thank you for joining this challenge and remember…..
History not shared is History forgotten!