FamilySearch Introduced FamilySearch Places

FamilySearch has introduced a new tool called FamilySearch Places. It is designed to make learning about places easier. The development of the FamilySearch Places tool is ongoing. Some useful features are already available.

FamilySearch Places is not an app. Instead, it is part of the FamilySearch website. Visit FamilySearch Places and you will see a large map that is centered on Europe. Use your mouse to grab the map and move it to other locations. It is also possible to use the search engine on FamilySearch Places to type in a specific location (and have the map show you where it is located.)

FamilySearch Places is more than just a handy map that has been approved by FamilySearch. If historical constraints exist for a place, it will be included in the search results. For example, a search for “Wisconsin” will bring up the state, but will also list the Wisconsin Territory which lasted from 1836 to 1848. This type of information can help you put context to an ancestor’s life.

You can also use FamilySearch Places to zoom in on a specific place-name. Doing so will make it easy for you to view results about that place. The information is organized in sections, starting with Basic Information and History.

As you may already realize, some place-names are going to have more information than others. Your ancestor might have lived in a place that has a complicated history. For example, your ancestor could have lived in a place that originally was considered to be part of one country – and over time, became part of entirely different countries.

If you prefer, you can do an Advanced Search on FamilySearch Places. It allows you to search a place name. In addition, it also allows you to narrow the results by searching jurisdictions including: Cemetery, Country-Like, County-Like, Ecclesiastic (Church), Hospital, Populated Places, State/Province-Like or US Census MCD.

You can use the Advanced Search to select an exact year, or to enter a range of years. There is the possibility of adding a location (using latitude and longitude coordinates). You can also put in a place name into the search engine and ask it to give you information about not only the place but also a specific number of miles or kilometers around the location.

It is one thing to know that your ancestors came from a certain country. That gives you a place to start with your genealogy research. Looking at the place your ancestor lived on a map, and being able to see how close to, or far away from, that ancestor was from other ancestors, can put their stories into context.

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