Historical Maps of Staten Island

Here are a few historical maps that I’ve found useful:

But the crown jewel is Mapping Staten Island, an interactive experience that lets you choose from over 25 maps and overlay them on landmarks. This lets you see how the development of the island proceeded over time, and because you can focus one spot regardless of which map you choose, you can identify whether town or village boundaries changed over time, resulting in a change of Post Office or address.

On Pinterest, the New York Public Library has posted Farm Maps of Staten Island (1874)  compiled and drawn by F. W. Beers.

Do you know of other useful maps that aren’t included here? Let us know!

Where In the World Is Your Surname?

Although this is not specifically a Staten Island tool, I am impressed with the PublicProfiler World Names project. Enter a surname, and a Javascript map of the world displays the relative frequency of a name compared to the overall population in an area. This data is compiled from records from 2000 on, so it won’t help with ancestors, but might help with long lost cousins. You can also enter a specific geographic area to search and the tool displays the ten most common names living in that area today.

This tool, developed as an academic research project, analyzes common patterns of names from 28 countries. The OnoMAP classification covers over 500,000 forenames and 1 million surnames, and most exhibit distinctive geographic patterning.

Historical Place and Street Names

Place Names and Nicknames Previous to 1898

First published in Ira K. Morris’ book, Memorial History of Staten Island,  this list of colloquial designations for locations on Staten Island prior to 1898 is useful for helping identify the present day location or equivalent.  It’s pretty comprehensive, but the list is specific to the era prior to the publication date, so it’s not going to include changes in the vernacular since then.

Street Name Changes

If you’ve identified the street your ancestors lived on, but can’t find it on a contemporary map, the street name may have been changed. Steve Morse’s website has a table of Staten Island Street Name Changes from 1900 to 1930.