Histopolis is one of my favorite sites. I discovered it recently when I was trying to puzzle out two cemeteries in Cook County in Illinois called Oak Hill.
Histopolis.com Collaborative Genealogy & History not only helped me figure out the correct cemetery and provided a Google map, but it also delivered a township name (very important in the Midwest), GSP coordinates, nearby cities, and nearby cemeteries. Double-click on the image at left to see a screenshot of my search result.
This site provides free genealogy and history information on over 130,000 cemeteries and 220,000 other places in the United States and Puerto Rico.
Let’s face it: FindaGrave‘s search interface is old and clunky. Histopolis makes it easy to search by location, identifying not only all the cemeteries in a particular location, but also alternate names for cemeteries. Each of the names are hot-linked to a page with detailed information about the cemetery.
Featured on Histopolis:
- Cemeteries (130,000+): Name, alternate names, location, photos, map, boundary, directions, condition, notes, subdivisions, graves, links, add/edit
- Cemetery Subdivisions: Location, surrounding subdivisions, boundary map, photos, directions, condition, graves, links (see specific cemetery)
- Graves (3,100,000+): Name, date of birth and death, photos, cemetery, location, add/edit
- Surnames (350,000+): Name, frequency, similar sounding names, graves, 290,000+ links
- States: Name, capital, population, surrounding counties, map, civil townships, cities, cemeteries, surveys, links (see specific country)
- Counties: Name, County seat, population, counties, surrounding states, map, cities, cemeteries, surveys, links (see specific state)
- Civil Townships: Name, population, containing county, surrounding townships, map, cities, cemeteries, surveys, links (see specific county)
Histopolis.com uses data from these sources:
• USGS Board on Geographic Names (BGN)
• US Census Bureau, TIGER (Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing)
The example I used above was for a cemetery, but Histopolis also provides information on virtually any geographic location in the United States and Puerto Rico. This information on Truro Township in Knox County, Illinois, would have been so helpful when I was planning my trip there last spring.
The site is supported by advertising and donations, so it’s free to users. You can search without registering, but if you want to contribute information, you need to set up a free account.
Another thing I like about Histopolis is that the 350,000 names in its database are arranged using a place hierarchy, working from states to counties to townships, districts, and towns. While it’s not necessary to understand how Histopolis organizes its data, a visit to that page can help you construct effective search strategies.
Obviously I’m quite taken with Histopolis. Give it a try!