Victorian Ordnance Survey Maps

Maps Direct

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When you have done some detailed research into your ancestry you may want to find out as much as you can about how and where they lived. While there are many local history books that can help you dig into a village or town's history, for example, it is also a good idea to look at old maps.

The Victorian Ordnance Survey maps from Maps Direct are reprints of the first editions on the one-inch Ordnance Survey of England and Wales (the one we looked at closely, Sheet 76 - Bath & Wells, was first published in August 1817). There are 97 maps in the series and each one comes folded in a neat pocket envelope that measures eight inches by five-and-a-half inches.

The maps themselves are printed black on a thick cream paper (it kind of gives it a more historical feel) and reveal old hamlets, farms and houses as well as some old paths and roads. In this case, they can provide a useful reference point for identifying locations of ancestral homes (whether or not they existed at the time) as well as paths of development. Transport links for example, are clearly marked. Also the maps are useful for tracing specific place names or to see how names may have changed or old villages have been sucked in by modern conurbations (like King's Norton).

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