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Map and Chart Tools

Map-1700There are types of specialty maps and charts today to help better understand how our ancestors lived. The University of Oregon’s Mapping Project has a wealth of historical time periods and events in digital maps to see the progress and changes over the decades.

It starts off with North America and where were the early English, French and Spanish settlements in 1700. Follow the selection links to the left and click on additional time frames: Colonial to 1763, Population and Diversity in Colonial America, the Native Tribes, The American Revolution and so on.


There will be about the expansion as new territories such as Texas were added and then Oregon. Our ancestors could well have been a part of the ever changing landscape of America.

Other maps you can click on show the advancement or spread of other historical items, such as the spread of slavery. The map of Slavery 1790 to 1860 has a bar which you click to start and you watch the expansion of slavery and the numbers shown of how many slaves in specific counties. You can stop the bar by clicking on the play button once,m so you can better study the map. With it a great series with two maps together showing the spread of slavery and the growth of cotton production. There are two good section devoted just to battles and political sides during the American Civil War.

Immigration is a major factor in the development of America and where did they lived. Using the map on locations of the foreign born population as of 1860 you can get a good overview that by the 1880s the greatest concentration of immigrates were in the upper mid-west and along the Pacific coast.

As you go down the list on the left at the bottom as three of the major disease that may have affected your family tree: Cholera, Polio and Diphtheria. For example the polio case have been primarily during the 20th century with its peaks in 1916 and 1952, very important to know if you have not figured out why a relative died in that time period at a young age.

That last item is the average age at death and life expectancy from 1850 to 2000. This chart can show just males or females and each at different ages – birth or age 60. Note the average age at death in 1850 for men or women was about age 38. By 1900 it was age 47. There was a major improvement by 1960 with the average age at death being nearly 70.

So a good deal of information to examine which might answer some questions concerning events near where relatives lived.


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