Maps and atlases are used to locate the places where your ancestors lived. They identify political boundaries, names of places, geographical features, cemeteries, churches, and migration routes.
Historical maps are especially useful for finding communities that no longer exist and old county boundaries. The Family History Library has maps for some Utah counties and a few of the larger cities. Some of the city maps list the property owners.
Online Maps for Utah
- Newberry Atlas of Historical County Boundaries for Utah. Type year of interest. Click County Index for history of boundary changes.
- Oldmapsonline.org for Utah. 1850's–1950's, a variety of maps (railroads, road maps, geological, and more).
- USGS Quadrangle and other maps for Utah. ($)
Published atlases and maps
The following atlases and maps can help you with your research:
- Greer, Deon C. Atlas of Utah. Ogden, Utah: Weber State College and Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1981. FHL Book Q 979.2 E7a.) This important work contains reference, topographical, historical, resource, boundary, population, and settlement maps
- Miller, David E. Utah History Atlas. Second Edition, N.p.: Miller, 1968. FHL Book 979.2 E2m.) This atlas illustrates the routes of early explorers, Mormon settlements, boundary changes, and other historical events.
- Tackitt, Jim W. 1866 County Map of Utah and Nevada. 1966. Reprint, Concord, Calif.: Tackitt Photographic, 1990? FHL Map 979 E7u. This small map shows 1866 county boundaries and town locations. It also identifies the Indian lands and tribes.
- General Highway Maps. Three Volumes. n.p.: The Commission, 1937-51. FHL Book Folio 979.2 E7g. Arranged by county, this three-volume set contains 89 maps illustrating cemeteries; roads; schools; churches; cities and towns; rivers; and range, township, and section numbers
An inventory of Utah maps before 1900 is:
- Moffat, Riley Moore Printed Maps of Utah to 1900: An Annotated Cartobibliography. Santa Cruz, Calif.: Western Association of Map Libraries, 1981. FHL Book 979.2 E33m. The book is arranged by the years the maps were published. The book covers 11 libraries throughout Utah and the Bancroft Library at the University of California-Berkley. It gives the size and a description of the maps.
Counties in Utah:
- United States Census Bureau State and County Map. This map will allow you to zoom in on any state or county in the United States and read the names of all of the neighboring counties.
More current state, county, or city maps may identify current jurisdictions. The Utah Department of Transportation has road maps for each county and for some Utah cities and towns. Most of the publication dates are 1973 and 1974. A fee is charged for these maps. The state map is more current and is available at no cost. These maps may be obtained by writing or visiting:
UDOT Community Relations
Mountain View Corridor
c/o Parsons Brinckerhoff
488 E. Winchester St., Suite 400
Murray, UT 84107
E-Mail: Comments may be e-mailed to email@example.com
The Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University and the Marriott Library at the University of Utah have excellent collections of Utah maps and atlases. The Utah Gazetteers and Utah Land and Property also help with identifying places. To find maps and atlases at the Family History Library, use the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under the following:
UTAH - MAPS
UTAH - HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY
UTAH, [COUNTY] - MAPS
UTAH, [COUNTY], [TOWN] - MAPS
Printable maps are also available from the National Atlas of the United States