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The Absolutely Literate blog is for people interested in writing, editing, design, history and family history.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Changing Vancouver - Map Your Ancestors

I was doing some research for my upcoming Seafaring Ancestors: When a Merchant is Ship-Owner,Maker or Supplier presentation and happened across Changing Vancouver then and now images, a blog that features before and after photographs, mostly from the Vancouver Archives, BC Archives and Vancouver Public Library collections. 

City of Vancouver Archives, CVA 99-4836, photographer Stuart Thompson
I realized when looking at the post for Robson and Burrard – sw corner (1) that while I have the 1892 Williams Illustrated Official BC Directory entry for my ancestor, John Rounsefell, I had never located 800 Burrard on a map. I have walked past the location of his former residence countless times without realizing my own connection.

Changing Vancouver is an interesting way of looking at Vancouver with the historical images next to the current images. I love sites like this and HistoryPin as they provide a current context for your research. It is hard to imagine parts of the city as residential or to place them in your mind.

By 1894, John Rounsefell moved down the street to 1126 Robson, with his real estate office in the Hollandblock, 413 Cordova – a rather iconic part of Gastown.

A good reminder for family historians to map their ancestors. Next time I am in downtown Vancouver I will be looking at it from a different perspective.

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