Friday, December 5, 2014

Using old and current maps in your family history

I'm working on a family history where one of the ancestors in paternal line froze to death "by the holy cross above Snět" in 1855. I decided to use this case as an example how to work with old and new maps together. I used old maps from the Stabile Cadaster mapping and current tourist map available on
There was only one such cross located "above" (ie. in higher altitude than the village) Snět village during the Stabile Cadaster mapping so it was quite easy to find it. The mapping was done in 1833 and we can suppose there were no more crosses built during those 22 years between 1833 and 1855.

How to find out what the altitude is? The best way is to use tourist maps on You see surroundings of the village there and you are able to see how the countryside looks like. The higher altitude is in the northern direction as there is a river south from the village.

The altitude information is also included in the closer zoom to the map - those thicker lines in the picture above show the altitude by 50 meters (ie. 400, 450 and 500 metres above the sea level), picture below use thicker lines for 25 meters difference.

Next step was to find the cross on current map compare old and new map - the countryside is different today as there aren't small pieces of land anymore, but one large field. Many old paths don't exist anymore and it's needed to find out where exactly the place was. It was easy this time as the cross still exists on its original place and at least one path is still there. 

And this is how the result looks like when I've put those two maps together. Nice, isn't it? :)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you! Is there a way to download or print the old maps?