On the Street Where You Live

Plat map showing properties in Medina Village, 1897. Via the Ohio County Atlases Collection on Ohio Memory.
Plat map showing properties in Medina Village, 1897. Via the State Library of Ohio County Atlases Collection on Ohio Memory.

Here in Ohio we’re lucky: we can drive down streets that have been exactly as they are for a hundred years, even more. We can go to neighborhoods with houses that aren’t much newer than the state we live in. We can imagine what our towns and cities were like when they were first established… and if we can’t imagine it, we can often look at atlases to see it.

Included on Ohio Memory is a collection of select atlases featuring plat maps for counties throughout the state. Plat maps are simply maps which illustrate property divisions, and as such, are of interest to genealogists and researchers of all types. Genealogists can find names of land holders, for example, and can determine the location of ancestral lands, or can see that great-grandpa and great-grandma met as neighbors before they were married. Other researchers might learn about the division of property, or learn who settled a particular piece of land. Any number of questions can be answered by these maps, and we are so happy to provide our users with online access to some of them.

Illustrations of residences in Athens County, via the Ohio County Atlases Collection on Ohio Memory.
Illustrations of residences in Athens County, via the Ohio County Atlases Collection on Ohio Memory.

In addition to plat maps, many of the items included in the Ohio County Atlases Collection feature county histories and are often illustrated with engravings of homes of prominent individuals or of local businesses, as seen at left from an 1875 Athens County atlas.

Due to copyright restrictions, not all atlases were included in this online collection; although all were originally published over 100 years ago and are no longer copyright-protected, several of the copies in our collection are reprints and included value-added information, such as indexes. These items are readily available in book form at the State Library of Ohio, the Ohio History Connection, and possibly even your local public library or historical society. So if you don’t see the county you’re looking for online, don’t fret! It’s available in print form, possibly even near you.

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Thank you to Shannon Kupfer, Digital/Tangible Media Cataloger at the State Library of Ohio, for this week’s post!

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