Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Bear with me seven more weeks

The massive project I am working on will be completed by next weekend. The weekend after that I start the six week long Advanced Evidence Practicum through SLIG. Once I get through that I will back to my normal happily-blogging-self. I actually have quite a bit to tell y’all.

I do have a couple of things I want to tell you today.  If you are interested in genetic genealogy (using DNA) then you need these two books:


I also have a website to recommend if you are doing research in a Public Land Survey state (for more information on what that is, see Public Land Survey System).

History Geo

This is not a freebie website, there is a subscription fee; however, if you work with the Public Land Survey system this website will save you oodles of time.  In a nutshell, they have mapped out all of the original landowners from the General Land Office Records at the Bureau of Land Management. Remember one VERY important thing.  These are the ORIGINAL land owners that obtained their land directly from the federal government either by patent or warrant.  If the original owner sold the land, that would be handled at the local county level in the form of a deed.

Here is a screenshot of T4N R11W sections 21 and 22 in Perry County, Mississippi.  You can see James Freeman and his son Cornelius had adjoining properties.  This is one of the families I am working on now. 


Screenshot from History Geo

This is so much easier than trying copying down the land description and then drawing it on a grid.  Trying to squeeze in the names in those itsy bitsy boxes is a pain. Now I just screenshot what I need.

If you hover over the parcel you get this:


Screenshot from History Geo


Another major time saver.  Look at these links, especially the Google Maps one. Being able to equate the location with a modern map is very helpful.


Copyright © 2016 Michèle Simmons Lewis


  1. I love HistoryGeo, though I let my subscription run out. One of the reasons? They're very strict about anyone posting any of their images/screenshots. So, I wanted to let you know! If you didn't ask ahead of time, you might ask. My problem is, if I find a great map, it's great for my research but I want to USE it & share it!

    1. Dana,
      I read their terms of use and I was pretty sure I hadn't violated it and I was covered under "Fair Use" but better safe than sorry. I emailed them. Here is the response I got...

      "Dear Michelle,
      First off, THANK YOU so much for mentioning HistoryGeo in your blog post. We really do appreciate it.

      As to your reader's comment and your question: while we ask that people seek our permission to reproduce our work, there are certain instances where that would not be required by law. Fair Use would be one of those cases, and your post would fall under that category in our opinion.

      We understand your reader's issues with our service regarding a limitation on re-use. We too, are genealogists and want and need to share our work with others. The good news is that there are some things in our future plans that will be a help in this regard (I'm not able to discuss the details). In the meanwhile, the vast majority of re-use requests we have received have been granted. In fact, I can only remember one such request that was not.

      Copyright and intellectual property protections are a difficult area of the law. We feel our reuse permission-granting policies are as liberal as any other original publisher of original materials that we've seen. We hope people understand our policies and the reasoning behind them, but can also understand why some may not. Meanwhile, we've got new tools scheduled for release later this year that will help solve a whole different set of questions for genealogists. So stay tuned!

      Thanks again for your post and for contacting us with your reader's comments.

      We wish you all the best, and happy researching!
      Vicki Boyd
      HistoryGeo.com Support"

  2. What is the six week practicum? Is this an at home study program? Are you attending SLIG? I am trying to decide.

    1. The Virtual Advanced Evidence Practicum that SLIG is doing starts a week from Saturday and this is the first time they have done it virtually. You can read more about it here


  3. When I read your post, I thought of the "Family Maps" series. And I see that the web site is part of that. It is nice to know that it is available on line. However, I do wish they had named the published books "Original Landowners" or something like that. I see folks in the MS Department of Archives and History searching for their ancestor's property and saying " I know they owned land, but I can't find them." They don't realize that the maps show the original land owners.