I’ve hit a brick wall on my line. A very common error people make when doing genealogy is putting in the current county but that county didn’t exists on that date or that location was in a different county. Another thing you may want to think about, “My records shows my ancestors have moved 3 times”. It could actually be, they didn’t move, but the county boundaries changed 3 times. I will put the original county in the location field, but put the current county in the notes so if someone wants to travel there they will need to where to look, ie “Williamsville, Niagara, New York is now Williamsville, Erie Co., New York.”
AniMap http://www.goldbug.com/ is a wonderful program for plotting locations in a certain time period, but it can be a little pricy. So you need to figure out which is more valuable, time or money. My genealogy program is a little finicky about entering a county that didn’t exist on a certain date so it was worth the money to me.
Alternatives I use. http://www.mapquest.com/ will give you the current county on the map, and then you can go to http://www.usgenweb.org/ & go into the county section. USGenWeb will usually give you a date when the county was formed & what was the parent county. It can be a little confusing when it was formed from more than 1 county, message boards might be able to help or just study the map & see which is the closest parent county.
Gold Bug has just offered their location search from their program for free online www.goldbug.com/map/sitefinder.html . It doesn’t give you the county on a certain date, but if you have the town & state, but no county, it can help there. Plus you can chose between “List results in table” or “Plot on Google Maps” (hope you have broadband if you use Google Maps it can be VERY slow on dialup). There is one problem on “List results in table”, no spaces between words, maybe they can fix it soon. It will make finding places easy, plus it gives you longitude & latitude.