Scouring Old Maps

My 3x-great-grandfather William Justice Warner and wife Mary Van Loan, his parents William Jackson Warner and wife Amelia Mix, and grandparents Josiah Warner and wife Olive Jackson lived in Athens, Greene County, New York. They were farmers by all accounts, with William Justice Warner’s son (William John) as the first to pursue a different livelihood.

I’ve been searching for the burial locations for most of these people. William Justice is buried in Virginia, but his military pension records indicate his wife Mary died in 1871 in Athens, NY. I believe the older Warner’s also died in Athens. It dawned on me that as farmers, they were likely buried on their own land, but where was the farm?

Histories of Greene County and Athens, NY indicate the boundaries of Athens are as follows:

“…beginning at the south end of a bridge that has lately been erected arose the Murderer’s Kill that empties into the Hudson River near the house of Josiah Warner…”

“The house of Josiah Warner, alluded to, stood very near the ice house south of the creek.”

I grew up in a map publishing family and realized recently that I haven’t utilized old maps in my research. I haven’t found a landowners map indicating the precise location of the Warner farm, but I have determined its general location based on the descriptions. If you follow the squiggly line from the “S” (Murderers Kill) to where it intersects with a road coming from the Northeast, that’s the area. Interestingly enough, there is a notation for a “Mrs Warner” just below the “N”.

Screen shot 2015-01-18 at 9.10.19 PM


As I begin to plan a research trip, this information will be invaluable in whittling down the location. As a tip to others, many old maps and atlases are readily available online.


One thought on “Scouring Old Maps

  1. Pingback: So You Sold the Farm… | Out Here Studying Stones

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