Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Using Maps in Your Genealogy Research Workshop

Maps are essential tools for the family historian. We use them to locate our ancestor’s farm or home, identify neighbors and other relatives, track migration routes, and provide the locations of local schools, cemeteries and churches. Charles Smith and Marc Kaplan are presenting a workshop on October 6 to help us learn how to effectively use maps in our genealogy research.

Charles Smith, owner and general manager of Tucson’s Map and Flag Center, will lead a brief discussion on how to identify locations on Topographic and other maps, focusing on known features on the Maps. Among the topics will be how to locate points using Latitude and Longitude as well as using Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) grid system and a "roamer" to tie in Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates to a map, and vice versa. The discussion will be tied to demonstrations and questions that may come from the audience. We will identify some of the different sources for maps that may be beneficial to finding your ancestors (if you really want to find them!) and discuss Geographic connections to Genealogy.

Charles Smith
Charles has been interested in geography since about the age of seven. When the family took road trips for vacation, he and his brother discovered that gas stations had free maps. So they built decent collections of road maps. Upon joining the boy scouts, Charles picked up an interest in topo maps. He jumped at the chance to work in a field that encompassed his love of maps by accepting a position at Tucson’s Map and Flag Center. After four years, the owner asked if he would be interested in purchasing the store. That was 19 years ago.

Charles combines his love of geography with an interest in genealogy. His mother did extensive research into her family in the 1960s and he has been researching his paternal grandmother’s family. He has found roots in Scotland, Spain, France, Ireland, England, Romania, and Scandinavia.

Marc Kaplan will teach you how to use Google Earth to see your ancestral home as it looks today without leaving the comfort of your home. Google Earth uses a virtual globe using satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, etc. You can virtually levitate to your desired location.  Search for location names and much more; even navigate through directions.

Marc Kaplan and Smokey Bear
Marc is employed by the U.S. Forest Service, Coronado National Forest, specializing in analyzing data, making/designing maps with the mapping software ArcGIS (©ESRI), and responding to record requests made under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA); sometimes these are old records of historic interest on how the Federal  government works—and sometimes include famous people’s names and some not so famous—perhaps yours. He has also served as a volunteer consultant at the Tucson Family History Center for over 20 years and is a member of the Mormon Church which encourages and supports everyone in this great work of searching out our living and dead ancestors who gave us life. He has been a member of the Pima County Genealogy Society since its recent inception. Once a year he has the honor of making living history (video) interviews with World War II veterans associated with the 379th Heavy Bomb Group – the Grand Slam unit. His recent presentations, made jointly or independently, include:  “How to Effectively Use the Internet for Family History Research”, “How to use Maps in Your Family History Research”, “Internet Map Sources Useful in Your Family History Research”, “How to Preserve Your Family Records, “How to transfer Your Older Electronic Records to the Latest in Electronic Formats.”

Join us at 9:30 a.m. on October 6 at the University Medical Center College of Medicine, room 2117 for this exciting event. Preregistration is required—you can find the registration form here or pick one up at the general meeting this Saturday, September 15.

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