Free Ancestry Reports – Using Maps in Free Ancestry Reports

The process of compiling free ancestry reports is pretty much foreign territory for most beginning genealogists. Usually when planning a journey into unknown territory we'll consult a map. A genealogical journey is no different, and maps can be extremely helpful in locating records to use in free ancestry reports. If you're a beginning family historian, you won't want to overlook these valuable genealogical documents. This article will reveal some ways that you may not have considered in which maps can help you to construct free ancestry reports.

Use Maps to Pinpoint Resources for Free Ancestry Reports

As maps are important parts of our everyday lives, they are just as important to our genealogical studies. In relation to free ancestry reports, one way that maps are important is that they can reveal boundary changes that have taken place over the years. Different towns may now come under different jurisdictions than they have in the past, information that could be critical in finding ancestors for free ancestry reports. Because of this, contemporary or modern maps cannot be used exclusively when searching ancestors.

A number of types of historical maps must be used in order to pinpoint the resources we require to build our free ancestry reports. In order to locate the precise area in which we should conduct our search, knowledge of the geography of the area in which we plan to look is crucial to our success. Often family historians will reach a dead end and end up wasting substantial time and resources simply because they misunderstood the importance of using maps correctly. Others simply do not have the required knowledge to utilize them effectively in developing free ancestry reports, and so miss out on locating valuable resources for their free ancestry reports.

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Maps help us to find towns, cities, parishes, historical landmarks, territories, town lands and many other important genealogical locations. While contemporary maps can help us to become familiar with the geographical aspects of an area, historical or ancient maps can educate us genealogically about it. Besides enlightening us to boundary and jurisdictional changes, historical maps can benefit our free ancestry reports by illustrating possible migration routes and trends.

Avoid Wasting Resources When Compiling Free Ancestry Reports

So important in compiling free ancestry reports is not to waste valuable resources, otherwise your report will end up being somewhat the opposite of free. Maps can help you to avoid squandering time and money, as long as you consult them before dashing off to a location without checking for historical jurisdiction or boundary changes. Imagine planning a trip to search courthouse records for documentation for your free ancestry reports, only to find out that those records are actually held in another town or county's offices. Consulting maps beforehand can help you to avoid errors such as:

  • Going to the wrong location
  • Checking the wrong census reports
  • Wasting time searching the wrong indexes
  • Ordering the wrong documents or microfilm for your free ancestry reports

The worse mistake of all to make is to be searching the wrong ancestors! If your family has a popular or common surname, it is quite possible to consult the wrong records for your free ancestry reports.

The records of a certain individual may seem the perfect match for your ancestor, only to find out when uncovering other evidence that it couldn't be them. It happens to the most experienced researchers when compiling free ancestry reports.

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Maps can be of immense value to those who are compiling free ancestry reports, but a methodical approach to consulting them is required. Read our article How to Use Maps in Free Ancestry Reports to learn the innermost strategies of using both contemporary and historical maps in compiling free ancestry reports.

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