We began our 11 May 2012 meeting of the Genealogy Interest Group – Ancestor Trackers with a discussion of the different reasons why those of us in this group became interested in studying genealogy. 

Reasons vary.  Some want to know their family’s medical background, some are curious about stories they have heard and some are interested in history.

Our chair, Trevetta Wunderlin, introduced our speaker Debbe Hagner whose topic was “The Importance of Using Maps in Your Genealogy Research.”  Debbe talked about why we need to consult maps, their history and explained the different types of maps.  She showed us examples of the different forms of map scale and told us about the importance of historical maps and recommended buying them from http://www.Goldbug.com.  Debbe also told us about sources for maps and showed examples of what the various types of maps look like.  She is especially impressed by the maps produced over the years 1790 to 1961 by the Sanford Fire Insurance Map Company that show in great detail every building, structure and business in over 13,000 U.S. cities.  Many of these maps are available online.  Debbe explained the early complex surveys that used metes and bounds and how that differed from the later rectangular system of townships and sections.  There are many web sites on maps and Debbe gave us the addresses of several of the best ones.  She told us about American Indian and foreign maps and different helpful software.

We ended the meeting with problem solving recommendations from Debbe who asked us about our individual interests.  Her advice for obtaining information about a Civil War soldier is to contact his home State’s Adjutant General for his service record.  Answering a question, Debbe told us she is an Accredited Genealogist and she told us about required training and explained the differences between being an Accredited Genealogist and a Certified Genealogist.

                        Respectfully submitted

                            Rosalyn Davenport Gibbs      

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