In 1856, the D. M… McCarthy Co. of Philadelphia published a wall map of Jamestown, New York. On the map were the names of some eleven hundred residents showing where they lived, many within the city and many in the suburban areas circling the city . It forms an excellent adjunct to the federal and New York State censuses. The map is quite a rarity, the best known copy is displayed in the vestibule of the Fenton Historical Museum in Jamestown. The Museum also owns two other copies, one of which they generously loaned to me for the express purpose of scanning and creating a Compact Disc representation. Sadly, the copy was found to be in very poor condition, in places the surface is cracked, it is quite dark with the grime of many years, and it is extremely fragile.
Once scanned and in the computer, many hours were spent removing grime, patching where bits and pieces were missing, and in places, much needed reconstruction. The finished product is now in good and useable condition, thanks to computer technology. The layout of the map is quite typical of wall maps – pictures of homes and places of business are arranged around the top, sides and bottom, with the city map in the center. There are two parts to the city section – the core of the city was laid out in numbered blocks, while the periphery is shown with open spaces and trees. The names within the core of the city were in many cases quite impossible to read, so that a massive reconstruction was necessary. A few blocks contain no names.
A glance to the left of the screen shows several tabs. Clicking on Bookmarks shows the table of contents for the CD. By clicking on the little square opposite each entry it is possible to go immediately to that entry. An everyname index was included. The use of bold face numbers after a name indicates the person, business, school, cemetery, etc., will be found within the core area of the map in one of the blocks. An arbitrary division of five sections was made to the peripheral area. Numbers in light face were used to indicate these areas. Thus, if the user finds a name followed by a bold face number, that person will be somewhere within the city proper. Clicking on Section 6 will bring up the inner city. With the aid of the computer mouse, it is quite easy to move about to find the desired block. In the same fashion, if the name is followed by a light face number indicating one of the outer sections, a click on the proper section under Bookmarks will allow the user to move about with the mouse to find the desired name.
Richard F. Sheil,
for the Chautauqua County Genealogical Society Fredonia, New York