22 June 2010

Land Ownership Maps at Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com released a set of land ownership maps online. First off, let me say the indexing is extremely helpful. However, users should be aware that:

  • the collection is incomplete

  • some items are miscatalogued.

The image shown here is indicated as coming from Walker Township, Jo Daviess County, Illinois in 1913. That's the county and township that shows up on the results page and what shows up as the heading on the page with the actual image.

Problem is that the image is for Walker Township, Hancock County, Illinois. I haven't looked into it enough to be certain of the year. 1913 is not too far off. The map looks to be of that era and the image shown here includes the parcel of John Michael Trautvetter who died in 1916.

Lastly, Ancestry.com refers to them as "towns." I understand the need to have field terms for a database, but the majority of these jurisdictions are townships, not towns. In most of rural America, there is a difference.