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Armchair research

Armchair research



While researching a hunting site for a email hunting buddy I found something so neat I thought I would share it with everyone. Yes, even at the expense of waiting longer to get my requests processed. It does take a while but the product is definitely worth the wait. Many of you may be aware of this resource but not aware of how it can be used.

Because of human nature many at some point in time have been called on to give a name for a location and could not think of anything original so they just named a place like the Indians named their kids, from something they saw or from something that had happened there. Using this tidbit of knowledge you can enter the HUGE United States Geographical database and using their search engine you can see in a minute how good of a resource it really is. I won’t attempt to enter all of their online help but I will tell you that you can enter a state name and a county name and it will produce a tremendous list of places in that county. These places may be given proper names from an early settler’s homesite near there or from very early activities which occurred there like “Jarrells Ferry”, “Silver creek”, or “battleground ridge”. Look for names that may be old Spanish names for locations and look up mine locations. Some locations that you find listed are only historic spots now and no longer exist and many people who could tell you something about them have passed on, but the database still contains their locations. These are only a tiny sample of the wealth of interesting types of places we can treasure hunt. This article could have been called “Whats in a name” and because of a lack of creativity in our ancestors we have dead men telling us where to hunt today! The small picture below is a cutout from a larger map of the U.S. that you will access first to pinpoint your general location

Press (Show Feature Location) when you have selected the location that you are interested in and it will display first a large map of the United States with a red dot at your location. Look farther down the page when the large map is displayed to view a detailed map created by the United States Census Tiger Mapping Service. This map can be zoomed in or out to create the exact roadmap that you will need. Notice at the top of the page where the picture at the right has been zoomed out from the picture at the left. This is really a nifty feature and best of all, its online and free! When you find your new site to treasure hunt then press the right mouse button and select “save image to disk” to store your maps.

After you have gathered a large inventory of digital maps for your next hunting trip then you can access even greater detail of the history of the area online by accessing the USGS Map Dealers listed by state where you can locate a map dealer near you and purchase an inexpensive historic map of the area. I purchased a 1836 map for my area which has a good deal of history that I was unaware of.

U.S. Geological Survey – National Mapping Information


U.S. Geological Survey – Map dealers near you

Research history / buy historic newspapers/ view old photos / launch pad for history links

If you have other online resources that might be helpful to the folks then email me the links and I will add it also.




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