Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Of brick & mortar

Sometimes, even a website that is not strictly genealogy related can actually be very informative.

I had gotten started a few weeks back with a google application called " street view".
The link for the US : http://maps.google.com/

It is first a practical way to visulaize an address on a map. Try it...Type in a US address with the state. For example, your home address.

You will generate a classic map and in the right hand corner is a "bubble". Depending on the areas ( some areas are in the process of being photographed), you may find a photo of the street that you are looking for. If you have a photo of your desired address in the "bubble", you can click on it and then naviagte up & down the street.

I was first interested in street view to get a rough idea of what the streets where my family once called home look like today. I have been to Philadelphia twice already, but have only ventured once up to the Northern suburbs of Philly. It was not considered " safe" to go there, and I was not really sure if after all the effort, something was left for us to look at.Because our family neighborhoods change.

For the beginners in Genealogy, you can find addresses for your kin by working the US Census. There are several online ( paid) websites such as Ancestry and Genealogy dot com that let you work the US Census at home. This is where I obtained my ancestor's addresses. Other sources, death certificates,wills or testaments and newspaper obits.

It was google street that gave me my first peek of my family addresses.I highly recommend a try, especially if you live a long ways from your research area like myself ( researching Pennsylvania, while living in France !)

Another interesting tidbit was also made by just... typing in my great-grandparent's addresses on google. You never know when an address is indexed for whatever reason. And they came up on a real estate website.

I will let you see the entry for our great-grandparent's ( John Joseph & Jennie Carroll's) address.There is even the same google map. :
The link is HERE

I gleaned a couple of interesting details about the property.I learned that the home is
Sqft 754 sqft
Lot Size 0.01 acres

And I learned through this website that the property was built in 1920. That makes me think that the original house structure was perhaps rebuilt.Because John Joseph Carroll died at this same address on March 24,1914.

The next area that I'm going to explore on google mapsis the addresses for my great-great-grandparents in Schuylkill county PA.

I'm just looking for research ideas, so I will not stay behind one of these :

The genealogist's brick wall !

Good luck to all ;)

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