Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Value of Maps

Just recently I was evaluating the value of maps in family history research.  As part of a program, I reflected on a story Dad used to tell:

His grandparents, John H. Brubaker and Ellen Tiernan owned land in western Nebraska.  The farmers and ranchers in the area had decided that they would collectively pay for a school teacher.  A school house was built nearby and all of the children were sent.  The Brubakers had three sons, all very handsome and charismatic.  According to Dad, for three years in a row, the school had to hire a new teacher because each woman that came out to teach would inevitably marry a Brubaker boy.

Until recently, I had never given much credibility to this story.  But, I was able to visit Alliance, Nebraska.  The museum there is really quite nice.  Inside the museum/archives in Alliance I encountered a plat map of the area.  There on the map was my grandfather’s land.  And just south and west of his land was a school house!  Maybe Dad’s story is not such a stretch after all.

Here is a copy of the map.  You can make up your own mind.  Regardless of the veracity of the story, the discovery on this map was exciting.

1 comment:

Mike Brubaker said...

I must be getting old. I just realized I posted this same essay in 2009. Ooops.