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.
Jill Morelli, CG 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.