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Historical Maps: Genealogy

Getting Started

When you're just getting started with genealogical research, resources like atlases, country maps, and gazetteers are helpful for:

  • Locating a place within the context of its surroundings
  • Locating places/cities/towns within countries whose borders may have changed over time

The Map Library collection contains these resources to help you get started!

Using Gazetteers

A gazetteer is a place name dictionary or index used to search the history of a place. This is particularly helpful for learning about places whose names or boundaries have changed over time or for names with variant spellings. If a place name has changed over time, you can incorporate its other names in your search. You can search OneSearch with the name of the country or region you are interested in and the word "gazetteer" or "place names." 

Some gazetteers provide worldwide coverage. These are a few examples:

Other gazetteers focus on certain regions. For example:

Other Online Resources

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A portion of a map of Central Eruope about 1477

A portion of a map of Central Europe from about 1477 (from The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911).