Early American SIG #USA Using Google or Yahoo maps to display genealogical facts #usa
Dear Early American SIGers,
Using U.S. census data, old St. Louis city directories, Google maps and a
beta site called Map Builder, I have created a special new page on my
personal family history Web site showing where my ancestors and related
families lived in St. Louis at different times in the past >from 1867 to
1930. This page >from my site (listed below) has links to a series of maps
that offer a different way of looking at the genealogy of several related
families, all of whom settled in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, as early as the
I am sharing this with our fellow JewishGen SIGers merely to offer an
example of something new that you might want to consider adding to your own
personal genealogy Web sites. I have no personal or financial interest in
Google, Yahoo or Map Builder, all of which are free to use to create such
The Map Builder site is "beta," so it is still under development and has
some bugs. But I used it because I do not know html or java and it is fairly
user-friendly for a non-programmer.
(My maps appear fine when I open them on my home computer, but I have to
scroll down a bit to see them properly on my work computer. It may be a
difference in browser versions.)
In the process of compiling the information for this project, I have made
some interesting discoveries, such as the geographic clustering of some of
these related families in small areas of the city and relocation of these
clusters over time.
Because most of my St. Louis ancestors lived in what were predominantly
Jewish neighborhoods, looking through this series of maps chronologically
shows roughly how the major area of Jewish settlement in St. Louis shifted
geographically over time, moving westard through north St. Louis and
eventually beginning to populate the nearby suburbs of University City and
Clayton by 1930.
Clicking on one of the "my maps" links on this page will open a separate
window showing a map with locations listed to the right of the map. Clicking
on either the locator symbols on the map, or on the items in the location
list, will display information balloons containing facts about my ancestors,
such as where they lived and with whom, and how they were employed.
Like other Google maps, these can be magnified or shifted using the toolbar
in the upper left of each map.
Here is the link:
Such maps certainly won't replace family trees, pedigree charts and family
group sheets, but I think they can be useful supplements to the traditional
forms of displaying genealogical information.
Martin Fischer Oak Park, Illinois, USA
The Fischer and Levin family history Web site is at: