Using Google Maps

October 10, 2012

We are talking the world here people!

The subject de jour is Google maps – favorite of real estate agents, delivery guys and low level stalkers. No, I’m not suggesting that some of you out there have found out a former flame’s new address and used Street View to take a peek at his/her new digs…(or crib, depending on your generation) no, I wouldn’t suggest that.

However…lurking looking in on places and properties from your past can be a great visual tie-in.

Let’s say you have a picture of the gravestone of an ancestor in a cemetery on the other side of the country. It would be an interesting transition to be able to grab a screen shot of the entrance to the cemetery off Google maps.


These are the gates of the cemetery in Trenton, NJ where my Grandfather was buried. Later this year I’m going to be trying to find his headstone here and I’ll get a better shot, but this could be useable if I wasn’t able to travel to New Jersey.



Here’s another idea – how about a then and now comparison?


That’s right folks those delightful tots are my brother and I with our own Christmas tree right in our bedroom! The cool part of this picture is I remember my Dad planting that tree (it was a live Christmas tree) in the front yard.

Now flash forward 58 years…



Yes folks, that towering pine behind the white picket fence is our beloved 1954 bedroom Christmas tree! The fact that it is still there and that I can get this shot of it is pretty cool, all compliments of the fun folk at Google!



In case you were wondering about our attire in the previous picture. No those are not Cossack costumes. Those are bathrobes made by my Mom. Knowing Mom (and observing the length and rolled up sleeves) I’m sure she made them “…so the boys can grow into them”.

I think I wore that robe until I was 13.

We’ll look into more useful things from Google maps in future episodes.

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4 Comments. Leave new

Seeing your Christmas tree still going strong after all those years is a great use of Google Maps that brings a new dimension to however you might present the first picture of it. I like using Google Maps to snag a current picture to compare to an older one or to say, “The house used to stand where this parking lot is.”

Reluctant Genealogist
October 13, 2012 10:28 am

Wendy – Love the term geneaholic! I wish I had a pic of the front yard when we were older with the tree planted. Oh well there’s always photoshop (did I just say that???)

I’m thoroughly enjoying your amusing spin on serious genie topics!

Reluctant Genealogist
October 14, 2012 6:52 pm

Pauleen –
Thanks for the encouragement (I think I’m going to need it!). Besides bashing away at the keyboard I’m also knitting together over 1000 years of family history! Stop back by again!

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