Sunday, April 4, 2021

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Google Maps of Ancestral Homes

I had an interesting tme with this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge from Randy Seaver, because I found what appeared to be conflicting information that I had to resolve.

Here is your assignment, should you decide to accept it (you ARE reading this, so I assume that you really want to play along; cue the Mission:  Impossible! music!):

Identify an ancestral home address (preferably one with a street address . . .) for one of your ancestral families. (You do know where they lived, don't you?  If not, consult the 1900 to 1940 U.S. Census records, or city directories.)

(2) Go to Google Maps ( and enter the street address (and city/town if necessary; usually you can pick from a list) for your selected ancestral home.

(3) Look at the street map, the satellite map, and the street view.  Zoom in or out, or manipulate the image as you wish.

(4) Tell us or show us your map images in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status post.  
Please leave a link in a comment to this post.

(5) Do you have maps and street view pictures for all of your known ancestral homes?

1.  I chose a house that was in my family for more than 40 years, if not always with an ancestor.  In 1900 my great-grandmother and her mother were enumerated living as boarders in the house with my 2nd-great-grandmother's uncle and aunt.  In 1910 and 1920 the uncle and aunt were living there by themselves.  In 1930 my great-grandmother is listed as the head of household and her granduncle, now widowed, was a boarder.  And I've been told my great-grandmother was still living there in 1940, even if that address was not enumerated in the census.

2.  When I went to look on Google Maps,  I started by double-checkng the address on the 1930 census (the most recent census in which I have found family members in that house), which looked like 242 Broad Street in Mount Holly, New Jersey.  Except when I looked for that on Google Maps, I became frustrated quickly, because there was no 242 Broad Street.  The numbers were very strange:  There were odd and even on the same side of the street, and the 200 block ended at 215.  The next block started with 301.

So I went back and looked for other information and discovered that the 1910 census showed the address as 343 Broad Street.  And that I was able to find on Google Maps.  I went back and looked again at the 1930 census, and I could see that it probably did say 343, not 242.  That's a great example of having to deal with poor handwriting and trying to find more than one source for a fact!

3 and 4.  Here are my maps.

This is the regular street view.  Unlike San Francisco, Mount Holly doesn't show any designated neighborhoods.  A few local businesses and cultural locations are marked, such as the Burlington County Prison Museum and Mt. Holly Cemetery.

And here's the satellite view.  Mount Holly has a lot of trees, which is nice to see.  While San Francisco had some recognizable topography, Mount Holly looks pretty flat.

And here's the street view.  The house looks kind of small on the lot, which is mostly green lawn.

5.  Of course I don't have this for every one of my ancestral residences!  I mostly don't even have addresses.  I only have this information for this home because I did it for this blog post!  Sigh, add another project to my ever-growing list . . . .

On the other hand, I do have a photo of ths house, which shows I found the correct address, because you can recognize the house in its current view from the photo.  And I think it is so cool that the house is still there!


  1. It's cool the house is still there. I like the older version better. It's always sad to see vinyl siding on most of the houses in the east.

    1. I agree about the siding. I also think the house lost a lot of its character when they removed the porch. But I wish I had known about the house when I was actually in Mount Holly in 2005. It would have been great to see it in person.

  2. I love the older view of the house. Modern siding may make upkeep easier, but the details give a house its charm.

    1. Agreed! One of the best details in the old photo is my great-grandmother sitting in front!

  3. Lovely the house still stands and that it has so much green space around it :) So often, ancestral homes have become lost in a concrete jungle. Great post!

    1. Thank you! You're right, it could easily have been torn down to become a parking lot or multiunit apartment building (shudder!). So happy it is still there!


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