Identifying the towns and villages where our ancestors used to live can be a critical step in finding relevant sources of genealogical information.
However, locating some of those places often becomes quite a challenging task, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe, where use of multiple languages, spelling or transliteration errors, appearance of similar names in different locations and countries, frequent name changes and shifting national borders tend to introduce additional complications.
Readily available web-based resources—including digital repositories of historical maps and geographic information databases—can help to overcome many of those challenges.
This presentation demonstrates the methods and techniques of using such resources in order to enable correlating information from multiple data sources and facilitate locating our ancestral towns in Central and Eastern Europe.
Ed Mitukiewicz is a mathematician and computer scientist by education, researcher and technology consultant by profession, and amateur cartographer and genealogist by coincidence. Ed has a particular weakness for historical maps - rumor has it that Ed never met one he did not like. Ed worked as editor, translator and map consultant during the production of the 2015 Raise the Roof documentary film about reconstructing the roof and painted ceiling of an 18th century wooden synagogue of Gwoździec. Ed presented illustrative scenarios of using historical maps in genealogical research at a number of genealogy conferences in Poland, Israel and the United States.