This week\’s 52 Ancestors prompt is \”Legend\”. This was a tough one for me with the parameters I set myself of focusing on research sources instead of my personal family history. So I started thinking and realized that the explanation of symbols on a map is called the legend. I remembered a site I had come across for historic maps, and decided to highlight them this week.
IslandImagined is a collaboration between the Prince Edward Island Public Archives and Record Office, the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation, and the Robertson Library of the University of Prince Edward Island. The site has digitized maps from all three institutions going back to as early as 1574. Though they mainly feature PEI maps, I\’ve also found maps for other provinces as well.
You have the option of browsing their collection of over 1,000 maps by browse all, atlases, by county or by type. You can also search for something specific by using the search bar at the top right
There are three atlases that have been digitized on the site:
- Roe Brothers Atlas – 1878
- Meachams Atlas – 1880
- Cummins Atlas – 1928
I did notice mixed in there some Nova Scotia and New Brunswick maps.
- boundary maps
- cadastral maps
- chorographic maps
- fire insurance maps
- geographical maps
- geological maps
- historical atlases
- topographical maps
You can then narrow by county, region, city, and/or subject. There are some great finds in this collection. Among the chorographic maps I found a 1757 map of Acadia in French. If you have Acadian ancestry, as I do, then you know one of the challenges can be reconciling the Acadian French place names with their English counterparts today. This map will help me pinpoint ancestor locations.
Next to the Browse tab is the Interactive tab. You have three options here: Map Overlays, Map Timeline, and Island Timeline.
What a cool feature! There are four digital maps that you can click on, and they will overlay it on a Google Maps image. The four maps are:
- Plan of Lot 34 (No.90). Montgomery estate. Working Plan (undated)
- Plans of Lots 33, 34, 35 (1835)
- Charlottetown, Fire Insurance Plan (1917)
- Meachams Atlas. Lots 33 and 34 (1880)
- A Brief Guide to Map Elements
- Mapping the Discovery and Development of Prince Edward Island
- Cartographic records and genealogical research
- Maps as resources for Landscape and Land Use History
- Burke, A. E. (1899, October). Jacques Cartier\’s first voyage and the landing at Cascumpec. Prince Edward Island Magzine. 1(8), 294-298.
- Prince Edward Island in 1765. (1901, June). Prince Edward Island Magazine. 3(4), 121-126.
- Prince Edward Island in 1765 – Continued. (1901, July). Prince Edward Island Magazine. 3(5), 169-172
- Boylan, J. (2005, Fall/Winter). The Best Laid Plans: Fire Insurance Mapping on Prince Edward Island. Island Magazine. 58, 23-27.
- Coles, A. (1989, Spring/Summer). A Beginner\’s Guide to Island Land Records. Island Magazine. 25, 35-41.
- Holman, H. T. (1988, Fall/Winter). Panorama for Sale: The Bird\’s Eye Views of Prince Edward Island. Island Magazine. 24, 14-18.
- Douglas, R., & Geographic Board of Canada. (1925). Place-names of Prince Edward Island with meanings. Ottawa: F. A. Acland, Printer to the King.
- Rayburn, A., & Canadian Permanent Committee on Geographical Names. (1973). Geographical names of Prince Edward Island. Ottawa: Information Canada.
- Chipman, W. (1924). The Life and Times of Major Samuel Holland, Surveyor-General, 1764-1801. Reprint from the Ontario Historical Society Papers and Records XXI.
- Official motor guide of Prince Edward Island. (1928)
- Automobile routes with road map and mileage chart. (1935).
2 thoughts on “52 Ancestors: Week 26 – Historic Maps at Island Imagined”
Am going to screen through this this evening, looks like it will be quite informative, thank you for this work.
No problem! It can be a bit of a challenge doing PEI genealogy from a distance. Anytime I stumble across something that can help, I make sure I bring attention to it.