I will be totally honest here until the past week or so I really did not use many maps in my research. I have recently fell in love with Locality Guides and part of creating a Locality Guide is to show different sources.
Since a lot of my research is in Essex County, NY aka the Black Hole of genealogy in my family, this was the first Locality Guide I created and I came across this gem of a map on the Library of Congress website.
Maps really put things into perspective and make the research a living and breathing organism in my mind. It brings the names to life when I see where they were.
The next locality guide I am going to work on is for Clinton County New York. I have been lazy in these as I feel that since I had been there and did so much research there, I knew everything and you know, what I have discovered some amazing sources.
Here is the Clinton County Map I grabbed from the Library of Congress site but sometimes you can find maps in the county archives or state archives. Somewhere I have a hand drawn map of the land my Weatherwax family owned in Peru and it is fabulous to look at.
I am on a research roll lately and am grateful that I discovered the importance of having maps in my research.