Friday, February 21, 2014

Genealogy Researchers can find tiny cemeteries with google maps

It's one thing for locals to give directions to a cemetery (whether online or in person) and often quite another thing for far-away visitors to find the gravestones. If you plan to visit a tiny cemetery  out in the rural countryside in an area you are unfamiliar with, you will probably want to be armed with more than a street map.  As I learned, street names are not always the same on a sign as they are designated on a map. Some roads seem to have no names. Some arrows point in nebulous directions.

You will want to avoid the long and often circular drives with all passengers peering out the windows for sights of a little cemetery. To be sure that you can find the place, plan ahead with the new google maps. You can locate the general area of the cemetery via the maps, by using the information you have at hand and and then can use the google earth feature to  get a bird's eye view and plan just how you will get there and where you can park your car. Yes, you can actual see the headstones--not close enough to read, but close enough to see where they are.

See this example of Bishop Cemetery in rural Henderson, New York: Bishop Cemetery.
I was able to find this cemetery before there were google maps, but only with great difficulty.

You can also use the google maps views to see where the cemetery was for purposes of comparing it to where old farms, roads, and structures once stood.

A new plus on the new google maps is an easy-to-use coordinates feature. You click on the part of the map view that interests you, and the coordinates appear just under the left side search box.

No comments: