June 5’s Genealogy Networking Group brought us together again (virtually) to share sources, ideas, and experiences.
MyHeritage popped up in a couple of different conversations. We were reminded that they are offering a different record group–free–every day during the month of June. Take a look at the schedule and don’t miss the opportunity to search these records.
MyHeritage also offers the nonsubscriber the opportunity to use their colorizing feature to add color to black and white photographs. One of our group gave a good presentation of his experiences with this. Subscribers can use this feature without limits; nonsubscribers are limited to just a few photos. Even if you don’t subscribe, though, you need to create a free account to use this feature. We also had a good discussion about the value of colorized photographs and the need to preserve the originals.
Another group member shared some of his favorite sites for researching land records, along with a few case studies of what he has found. You can search the FamilySearch catalog by place and then look for the subheading “Land and Property.” Depending on the county, you could find digitized plat maps, property maps, or deeds. The Library of Congress also has property maps for some areas of the country.
Changes in county boundaries can affect where you will find land records so it’s always a good idea to use The Atlas of Historical County Boundaries before you make assumptions about where you will find your land records. This brought up a question about whether a township could be in more than one county. Remember that there are two types of townships: political (also called civil or named) and geographical (or survey, or numbered). Since the civil townships are part of the county government they can’t be in more than one county, but it is possible for a survey township to span more than one county. (Thanks to George and Peter for their work on answering this question after the meeting was over.)
We also touched on Canadian land record sources and copyright issues, which can be explored at the United States Copyright Office as well as this RootsTech presentation by noted genealogy legal expert Judy G. Russell.
We’ll meet again on the first Thursday evening of July. Watch the library’s Calendar of Events for registration information.