Guide to finding people using the Interactive Maps:
Within the Interactive Maps site, instead of scanning entire maps for the person you are looking for, it is possible for you to search by name. Scroll to the bottom of any page with the heading "Interactive Map." There you will find a Search Window where you can type in the name of a person and search all of the available maps. However, when searching a person's name, there are several points to keep in mind. When working with such old sources, simply entering a name as you know it may not turn up any results, as spellings in this time period often varied between writers, and many of the names may be misspelled. Therefore, try these hints to help improve your search results:
1) Enter names into the search engine last name first, then first name. For example, for Isaac Scaggs, you would enter Scaggs, Isaac.
2) Try typing in a nickname instead of the full name, such as "Bill" for "William," or vice versa.
3) Try alternate spellings of both the first and last name, such as "Katharine" for "Catherine," "Jonson" for "Johnson" or "Shumacher" for "Shoemaker."
4) Try different combinations of the first and last name, and if known, the middle name and prefix. For example, try Miss, Ms., and Mrs. for a woman or Col., Gen., or Sgt. for a military man.
Essentially, the more information you have regarding your subject's name and the more variations you try, the more likely you will find a match. However, remember it is possible that there may be no matches to be found.
Once you enter a name and click "search," a list of matches will appear, divided by county and district. The list will also show matches that include the word you typed in. For instance, if you search "Mack" you will see "Mackey" in your list of hits. Once you have found the name you are looking for on the list, click on it to see its exact location on the map. In a few instances, clicking on the name will also provide you with a detailed biography of that person. In the future, more names will have biographies attached.
You may notice that the maps come from all different years, ranging from 1850 to 1865. This is because the maps used were chosen based on their availability, physical condition, and, most importantly, whether or not they had names printed on them. In addition, the detailed district maps may not be taken from the full county map; it is probably a different map altogether. Thus, these maps may also be from different years. Therefore, it is important to keep these points in mind while searching.