by Nathan W. Murphy, MA, AG®
Many genealogical records are kept on the county level in the United States. For this reason, in US research, it is necessary to pinpoint counties where ancestors resided in order to locate historic records about them; however, these boundaries have changed over time. A simple-to-use computer program called AniMap has made it easy to track these changes. You control animated maps like a VCR, moving backwards and forwards in time on your computer screen, until you reach the desired year.
[UPDATE] A new website has all the states’ boundary changes free online: Atlas of Historical County Boundaries