Lessons from a German Map

I’ve been looking at a few sample images from the new book,
Family Tree Historical Atlas of Germany by James Beidler and I was reminded of a few things about maps–other than their general importance in genealogical research which goes without saying:

  • Space is limited on many printed maps and abbreviations not be standard–Helmershausen got abbreviated as Helmersh’n in this map.
  • Not every town is listed–a few very small hamlets near Helmershausen aren’t listed
  • Can you easily find locations “you already are aware of” on a map? It’s good to have a general idea of locations in your head to help avoid making mistakes.
  • Don’t guess where someplace is located–look it up if you can’t remember.
  • People always live near borders–at least mine do. Consider that some records may be in different jurisdictions or localities
  • The spelling you have for a location may be incorrect–sometimes extremely so.