Tuesday, February 23, 2010

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy - Challenge #8

This week's challenge: Discover online map collections. Historical maps are wonderful tools for historical research. Fortunately for genealogists, many map collections are located online. Some of the more prominent collections are: the American Memory Collection at the Library of Congress, the David Rumsey Map Collection, and the Perry-CastaƱeda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas at Austin. Take some time to browse each of these collections. You may also want to check the library web site of your local university (or one near your ancestral home) to see what maps they may have online. If you have a genealogy blog, write about any special maps you find during this activity.

I looked through several map collections. Here's what I found.

David Rumsey Map Collection

Earliest map of the Netherlands 1702, latest is of 1930.

Perry-CastaƱeda Library Map Collection

Only one map, 1559-1609 period

Leidse Atlas van Blaeu – Regional Archive Leiden

Maps of around 1650, pretty detailed for the Netherlands, includes lots of places my ancestors lived.


Best find. Site of the Netherlands, maps with additional info, like headcounts, etc. Very detailed. Very good for searching. All kinds of time periods.

I really liked this challenge, because I found the watwaswaar site, which I never would've done without it. It's going to be great fun to look through it when I want to do some additional searches for my ancestors.


  1. If you like WatWasWaar, you may also be interested in the image bank (beeldbank) of the Nationaal Archief at http://beeldbank.nationaalarchief.nl. It has over 6,000 scanned maps, including 3,000 of the province of Zuid-Holland.

  2. I'm so glad you found a new resource. Thank you for playing along with the challenge.