Any Historical New York Map can indicate who owned specific property in the state and which towns held the county seat at the time. This information is a valuable starting point for your research pointing you to the right location of records.
Solving Research Problems with a New York Maps – If you have started your family research, you might have experienced trouble with trying to identify New York city borders and names that have changed over the course of time. This can make it difficult to understand where your ancestors’ information is kept.
Because New York historic maps were usually commissioned by the county seat, they often display information about the county, including town names. Reading a New York map from the time period you are researching can help tremendously in solving these problems by leading you to the correct town records. It can also give you other leads, such as the location of city directories or old post offices in New York.
New York Map of Counties
Choosing the Best New York Map – If you have a large source of maps to choose from, try starting with the area where your ancestors resided and looking for the maps with the most detail. You can determine a lot by seeing if the area was still rural or more developed, and how far it was to the nearest city. This can shed light on your family’s lifestyle and occupation. Were they farmers who lived in the country, or merchants who traveled often to a nearby city? A map can give you an idea of what occupations were possible.
The first place to obtain a map is in each county, usually in the county treasurer’s office for a dollar or two. Most maps are large enough to show all county roads, and a further benefit is that most show the towns in different colors, making them easily distinguishable. Many more maps can be found at the courthouse in the county clerk’s or tax offices. They can be useful for locating a specific piece of property; but the further back in time, the fewer maps will be available. A map is sometimes included with a recorded deed.