Explore and Learn

Ancestry Maps is here to help you understand how maps enrich our understanding of the past and how the changing landscape played it's part in the way our world became what it is today. Understanding how the landscapes of the past have influenced the lives of our ancestors and how historical maps can unlock these secrets has never been easier. We're here to let you explore and learn about the maps, the past and how our ever changing landscapes can reveal how and why our ancestors lived where they did.

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Genealogy and maps

Many people today are interested in genealogy to understand not just where and when people lived, but also their lifestyles, surroundings and motivations. One important way to understand how one's ancestors fit into the landscape of the past is to place them in space and time by using historical mapping.
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About the maps

The history of the Ordnance Survey's mapping begins in 1791 when the government, fearful of the threat of an invasion by French revolutionary forces, instructed the then Board of Ordnance to make a detailed survey of the vulnerable southern regions of England...
Read more about the 1:2,500 maps
Read more about the 1:10,000 maps
Read more about the 1:50,000 Old Series maps
Read more about the 1:50,000 Revised New Series maps
Read more about the 1:50,000 Popular Edition maps
Read more about the 1:50,000 New Popular Edition maps

Keys and Legends

Keys and Legends (the two terms are interchangeable) shown on the various Ordnance Survey mapping series have changed as the features in the landscape have evolved. The most important features on a map reflected the spirit of the day. From the age of the horse drawn cart...
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