By Caitlin Fischetti
I have been fascinated with family history research for years, especially with my Italian roots. Most of my family is from Sant’Angelo dei Lombardi, a small town in the Avellino region of Italy. When my family migrated to the United States, they settled in Brooklyn. However, another branch of my family also migrated from Italy, but I wasn’t sure from where.
In Brooklyn, the various neighborhoods were divided by country of origin during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Streets were even a clue to where a family could be from. If you’re like me, visualizing data is sometimes the only way genealogy really “clicks”. So I’ve used Google MyMaps to map out where each family group lived (and moved) in Brooklyn. This led me to discover the origin of one branch – Antonio Candelmo is from Montemarano, Italy. I got a clue by looking at census records on the same street, and was able to confirm this by finding his birth certificate in the Montemarano Civil Records (stored in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Family History Library).
The great thing about Google MyMaps is how easy it is to use:
- Go here
- Click “Create a New Map”
- Edit Layer Name by adding the names
- Search for an address, then click add to map
- Edit title, details, and add an image if you click on the map pin
- Add multiple layers for different families
- Change pin colors by hovering over the address on the left bar
If you have your data saved in a spreadsheet or on Google Sheets, you can easily import it into a map too!