Updates to the AncestorSearch & Historical U.S. County Maps Research Tools

Randy Majors has created a research tool for genealogists called AncestorSearch, which creates a Google search optimized for genealogy searches. You can now filter on Marriages, Births and Deaths (or all three!) by checking the corresponding boxes at www.randymajors.com/p/ancestorsearch.html.

You can now filter on Marriages, Births and Deaths (or all three!) by checking the corresponding boxes.


You can get a preview sample of your search results as you type by checking the “Show sample of search results as I type” checkbox. This is useful if you want to quickly test alternate name spellings, locations, etc to see how they may impact your search results. When you do that, the sample of results appear on the right side of the page.

Randy also made some performance improvements which should make the tool a bit quicker and more responsive to use.

You can read about the enhancements in Randy’s blog at: www.randymajors.com/2016/12/user-suggested-enhancements-to.html.

For genealogists researching in the US, Randy also made updates to his Historical U.S. County Boundaries mapping tool. Randy recently added more features to this tool. With one click, you can see a timeline of every county, state and country for any U.S. location. Just type in an address or city in the box at www.randymajors.com/p/maps.html, type a year as late as 2000, then click Go! County boundaries as of your chosen year will appear. Check the box just below the map to then see a timeline chronology of every county boundary change for your chosen location.

You can read about these enhancements in Randy’s blog at: www.randymajors.com/2016/12/history-buffs-with-one-click-see.html.


I tried the map but couldn’t get it to work. I even followed the suggestion to refresh the page.


    Hi jhc,
    Randy Majors here. Sorry to hear you couldn’t see the map. If you send me an email with what exactly was not working, any error messages and what browser and version you’re using, I’m happy to see if I can determine why it didn’t work for you. My email is randymajors at gmail dot com


I also followed the directions and did not get the map to work. No matter what date I used, the map continually showed present day graphics. I refreshed, closed and restarted, etc. with same results. Carolyn at carolynjburns@woh.rr.com


    Carolyn and I exchanged emails and determined the map was functioning properly. She was hoping to see changes in the alignment of a road over the years. While that would be very cool functionality, its not quite what this mapping tool does. Instead, this mapping tool shows HISTORICAL county boundaries overlaid on a PRESENT-DAY Google Map.


Trend Micro Maximum Security blocks the website, flags the site as dangerous and says it can transmit malicious software.


Kudos to Randy for an outstanding concept, but it’s not quite ready for prime time. After following the instructions multiple times, over the period of an hour, the best I was able to achieve for Georgetown, KY was a crippled response that only covered it to 1819. The maps may well be working, but the chronology (more often understood as the study of historical records to establish the dates of past events) is not what I was brought to expect.


    Hi George,
    Sorry something wasn’t working for you. I checked it myself and got the expected results.
    I typed in Georgetown, KY and the year 2000. Then I checked the checkbox below the map to see the boundary change chronology.
    The first year I see is 1819, because that was evidently the last time that Scott County’s boundaries changed. Then it goes back in time further with each time Scott County’s boundaries changed. For instance, in 1789, Georgetown was part of Woodford County, created by Virginia from Fayette County, etc. The full detail is below:
    (Let me know if you’re not seeing this detail?)
    Randy Majors

    1819: SCOTT – Effective 4/1/1819, SCOTT lost some area to creation of OWEN. (Ky. Acts 1818-1819, 27th assy., ch. 387, sec. 1/pp. 702-705)

    1795: SCOTT – Effective 5/10/1795, SCOTT lost some area to creation of CAMPBELL. (Ky. Acts 1794, 3d assy., ch. 19, sec. 1/pp, 27-28)

    1794: SCOTT – Effective 2/1/1794, SCOTT lost some area to creation of HARRISON. (Ky. Acts 1793, 2d assy., ch. 24, sec. 1/pp. 29-31)

    1792: SCOTT – Effective 9/1/1792, SCOTT created from WOODFORD. (Ky. Acts 1792, 1st assy., 1st sess., ch. 3, sec. 1/pp. 4-5)

    1789: WOODFORD – Effective 5/1/1789, WOODFORD created by Virginia from FAYETTE. (Hening, 12:663-665)

    1786: FAYETTE – Effective 5/1/1786, FAYETTE lost some area to creation of BOURBON. (Hening, 12:89-91)
    1780: FAYETTE – Effective 11/1/1780, FAYETTE created by Virginia from KENTUCKY County (Va., extinct); KENTUCKY County eliminated. (Hening, 10:315-317)

    1776: KENTUCKY (VA., EXT) – Effective 12/31/1776, KENTUCKY County (Va., extinct) created by Virginia from FINCASTLE (Va., extinct), KENTUCKY County included all of the present state of Kentucky. (Hening, 9:257-261)

    1772: FINCASTLE (VA., EXT) – Effective 12/1/1772, FINCASTLE (Va., extinct) created by Virginia from BOTETOURT (Va.); FINCASTLE included all of Kentucky and parts of present Virginia and West Virginia. BOTETOURT eliminated from present Kentucky. (Hening, 8:600-601)

    1770: BOTETOURT (VA.) – Effective 1/31/1770, BOTETOURT (Va.) created from AUGUSTA (Va.). BOTETOURT included all of present Kentucky and parts of present Virginia and West Virginia. (Hening, 8:395-398)

    1754: AUGUSTA (VA.) – Effective 5/1/1754, AUGUSTA (Va.) lost some area to FREDERICK (Va.) and lost to creation of HAMPSHIRE (W. Va.); area within present Kentucky was unchanged. (Hening, 6:376-379)
    1738: AUGUSTA (VA.) – Effective 12/15/1738, AUGUSTA (Va.) created from ORANGE (Va.); AUGUSTA included all of present Kentucky and West Virginia and part of present Virginia. (Hening, 5:78-80; Robinson, 43, 50)

    1734: ORANGE (VA.) – Effective 1/1/1735, [1 January 1734/1735] ORANGE (Va.) created from SPOTSYLVANIA Va.); ORANGE extended westward to “the utmost limits of Virginia”, including all of present Kentucky and West Virginia, and part of present Virginia. (Hening, 4:450-451)


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