Fire insurance maps were developed in the late 19th century to assist insurance companies in managing their risk of coverage in areas where they did not have a physical presence. Over 54,000 maps were made of communities large and small and many communities had multiple maps created between 1895 and 1920. These maps today offer an incredible window into the past, illustrate the evolution of these communities and describe the physical environment of the lives of our ancestors. We will explore the history of the maps including the the Sanborn Map Company which had a virtual monopoly by the 1920s. We will also identify where to access these maps and, using four case studies, illustrate how these maps can solve our genealogical problems and add context to the lives of our ancestors. All is eventually tied to the genealogical proof standard.
This was presented to a live webinar audience on April 20, 2016. 1 hour 42 minutes, plus 4 pages of handouts.
The recording is also included as part of the monthly or annual membership.
- +Wow do I have ideas from this webinar. My H gfather lived in Sacramento in an area that is now all business. I have been curious exactly where their residence was. I will head for those fire maps and see. Also, house I was born in, see what was there. What a great idea for research. Thanks agin!!!
- An excellent presentation. As an engineer who has used Sanborn maps, I especially enjoyed the background. This opened my eyes to new ways I might use this unique resource.
- Another fascinating webinar and always love the after webinar parties!
- Class was good on why we should or could use fire maps.
- Connecting this with my use of Google Maps is going to be awesome!
- Even tho I have used them before, I learned so very much. It was a well prepared and well presented webinar. Great Job, Jill!!
- Excellent presentation and depth of knowledge. Helpful syllabus.
- Excellent webinar! Really enjoyed it. I've used Sanborn maps before, but still learned a lot, especially about the history.
- Excellent, very thorough webinar! Syllabus very good, too. Please have Jill Morelli back soon to do her "House History" presentation. Thanks for all the webinars! We are never too old to learn something new!!!!!!!!!!
- Excellent. I'd never even heard of these maps. Thank you.
- Excellent.... knew nothing about the Sanborn Maps.
- Fantastic webinar. Learned things I was able to put to use right away - I found my g-grandparent's home in Milwaukee, WI on the Sanborn map!!
- Fascinating plus an excellent speaker. Please have Jill back. Would love to hear her talk about house histories.
- Fascinating! Outstanding presenter! Will look forward to Jills' next presentation!!!
- Finally understand what the fire insurance maps are, why they were created, and how we can use them. Now to find that drug store that my great grandfather owned in the 1890s in Los Angeles!
- Great information on additional research possibilities. Nice to hear about the "lesser" known resources out there.
- I didn't think this would apply much to me, but it was a very fascinating presentation- well organized, well-presented, and beautifully illustrated with slides that demonstrated how these maps were made and how they can be used. Sparked ideas for me. My family was rural right up to my parents' generation (the generation that was having families during WW2). But I can see applications for the three or four generations before that, because in that era, farmers had relationships with nearby towns.
- I had used Sanborn maps during my career as an insurance agent; never thought of using them for genealogy. Thank you, Legacy Family Tree, for this presentation.
- I really enjoyed hearing the background stories about the development of fire insurance maps. The syllabus is great.
- Jill is one of the BEST presenters Legacy has. I hope you have her back.
- Jill Morelli is one of the best presenters I've ever heard speak on any topic. Her command of the subject, the way she presented it visually and verbally, and her clear, paced way of speaking were absolutely fabulous.
- Jill Morelli was excellent and so knowledgeable on the topic. Thank you Legacy for offering this great webinar.
- Jill Morelli was well prepared and a wonderful speaker. I will be looking further into the fire insurance maps for other locations my ancestors lived. Found my mother-in-law's grandfather had actually signed one of the maps for acceptance.
- Jill was great! She was very informative and really knew what she was talking about. Legacy should invite her back again! Often!
- Nice to have an unusual topic as a webinar. Thank you.
- Now I'm hooked on maps!
- Oh my. How nice to learn about the Sanborn Maps. What a treasure they will be to research. Thank you very much.
- She was wonderful. I especially appreciated the fluctuation in her voice and how she kept you interested in what she was saying. Do have her back again.
- Terrific presentation on a topic that is not often given this kind of time. Thanks
- Very informative. Especially liked that she gave information on Canadian sources (I'm Canadian).
About the author:
Jill Morelli is a "Roots" genealogist, becoming interested in family history in the 1970's with the Alex Haley show. At that time, she just collected “stuff." After a hiatus during which she had a family and volunteered in her community, Jill came back to genealogy with a vengeance in February 2002 and a total commitment to "doing it right." She attended conferences, institutes and read articles that would improve her skills as a genealogist. Jill started lecturing on genealogy topics in 2013; however, her background includes extensive lecturing associated with her vocation of architecture to large (300+) and small groups for 40+ years. Jill is a lecturer, writer and professional genealogist and has a blog at http://genealogycertification.wordpress.com
about her experiences of being "on the clock," house histories and other topics of interest.