Friday, November 23, 2007

Old Maps

I am fascinated by maps and what they can tell us. I ran across the maps below of my hometown area and surrounding lands from the past - 1879, 1906, and 1952 - and they tell a story just like words and photographs do.

On the St. Vincent Township map (at bottom), I see the land belonging in 1952 to my mother's brother, my uncle John Fitzpatrick. This was two years before he died, and 7 years before I was born. There was a terrible story1 behind his owning that land; here, it is just some squares on a map with his name on them. At least now I know where the land was...





NOTE: First map is from 1906, second map from 1879, and the last two from 1952.

1 - To make a longer story shorter, my grandparents put their farm in their son's name during the second world war. He was married and had a family, but to ensure he wouldn't be drafted, they did this. It worked, and he stayed home safe and sound. But the deal was to put the farm back in their name, although he could work it and make a living out of it. It was to be their insurance for old age. However, he refused, causing a lot of bad blood amongst the family...but that, is another story...