Recent Posts

18 December 2014

Looking for Landowners? The HistoryGeo database at CGS

By Philip Hoehn

HistoryGeo is a useful tool for finding ancestral names on old maps, along with related information such as land records.  It has two parts:

First Landowners Project.  You can search the surname of more than 8.8 million original landowners in most of the 30 public land states plus Texas.  The number of states covered is growing and currently includes Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin. The results lead to detailed Bureau of Land Management-General Land Office township plat maps showing properties and highlighting the landowner name.  It can also be informative to see names of surrounding landowners who could well be relatives.  While viewing the map you can click to view parcel details plus links to the boundary history of the county, the area on Google Maps, the BLM-GLO source, and an image of the actual land patent document.  You can also search by county name.  Recently added to the expanding coverage are California, Florida and Oregon.

Antique Maps Collection.  This is an expanding collection of some 4,000 maps from various sources, areas and time periods.  Most of the maps are searchable by surname.  Results take you to a zoomable map of the relevant area.  Searching can also be done by map name, for example a city or county name, and by latitude and longitude.

Sample from Antique Map collection available on HistoryGeo 
To take full advantage of various searching and navigation features, you are encouraged to view the two informative, if somewhat folksy, tutorials available at 

HistoryGeo is available on-site on all of our Library’s public computers.

The Library’s subscription to this database is provided through generosity of member Sally Houston.

Copyright © 2014 by Ellen Fernandez-Sacco, California Genealogical Society and Library.