Sunday, February 26, 2012

Making Maps and Drawing Diagrams

My Canadian Grandmother’s Stomping Grounds

            M y dad and uncle both wrote history about their families and included pictures where they could. But one of the things that charms me most is their maps and diagrams. Dad drew a picture of his hometown neighborhood as it looked in his childhood. It’s fun to see how things have changed in that town. He also drew pictures of farm equipment they built by hand. Wonderful history! My uncle made sketches of home floor plans, and yards equally interesting.
            I can guarantee you that history buffs and ancestors will appreciate any maps, floor plans, or diagrams you can provide. I’m sure my daughters would rave over anyone’s home floor plan—especially if it includes the placement of furniture.
            Below is an example of a map I drew of the small town of Cockersmouth, Cumbria, England where my grandfather grew up. The town is very old, and was built around Cockersmouth Castle. By looking at the map, you can also learn many other things about the town. You can see a river runs through it, and there was a mill and a brewery there.
            The name Cockersmouth is also a clue as to how the town got its name. It used to be the gathering place for cock fights, even after cock fighting was outlawed—say the history books.
            Don’t be shy about including drawings of rooms, homes, yards, towns, or anything else you don’t have in a picture. It will only add in the interest to and understanding of your history. Make it fun, I always say!

Cockermouth, Cumbria, England

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