A Virtual Tour – Using Google Earth for Genealogy

Have you had a play with Google Earth and been on a virtual tour of places that our ancestors have lived? I recently discovered how to overlay an old map from the 1800s into Google Earth and found that our Herbert family had land not too far from where we plan to be living. It’s a little hard to see on this image, however if you can see Wellard Road on this map, then that road runs right through the property owned by the Herbert’s. My grandmother Constance Annie Caddy, married James Harold Herbert, the grandson of James Herbert, the owner of this land. This was such an exciting find, that I searched around further to see what else I could discover.


To use Google Earth some more, we can look up addresses of where the family lived.  From Post Office Directories, obituaries, marriage certificates, census records, anything that is likely to tell you where your ancestor lived with an address or location, can be searched in Google Earth.

Below is the house at 35 Gairdner Street, Northam, Western Australia where James Ryan and Constance Annie Caddy were living in 1931 according to the Post Office Directories. We also know that James died in December 1931, then Constance went to live with her daughter at 14 Arnold Street, until she too passed away in 1941. When I first zoomed into the street view in Google Earth, I couldn’t determine which side of the road the house was on, so a quick search in Google Search, soon found me looking at the house that came up as being for sale.

Another quick trip around the corner and we find ourselves at the Northam Cemetery where James and Constance Caddy are buried. I have also uploaded an image of their gravestone, although you can’t see that in this view. What I would like to do the next time I’m visiting Northam, is to take a photo with my GPS camera or on my iPhone and get the longitude and latitude coordinates. Then put those into Google Earth and it will give me the exact location of their grave as I have done here in Geraldton with Nanna Herbert (nee Caddy’s) gravestone.

By entering in the coordinates into Google Earth, you are able to zoom direct into the location of where this grave is. This photo below was taken recently with my GPS Panasonic point and shoot camera and uploaded to my computer. The meta data of the image gave me the GPS coordinates, which I was then able to enter into Google Earth. Here are the coordinates if you want to give it a try.


Gravestone of Annie Herbert nee Caddy and Harold Herbert.

Utakarra Cemetery map

There is so much more that you can do with Google Earth. Why not go through this website and find some of the addresses given in various posts and have a tour around the world virtually and learn a bit more about where the Caddy’s lived.

All credit on using this technique must go to Lisa Louise Cooke at http://lisalouisecooke.com/ for her wonderful lessons on using Google Earth for Genealogy. I have only touched on the tip of the iceberg here as there is so much more that can be done with this software.



About Jenny MacKay

Just a person who is looking forward to retirement and enjoying the golden years!
This entry was posted in Blog, Caddy and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A Virtual Tour – Using Google Earth for Genealogy

  1. raymond says:

    truly amazing work Jenny.Thank you.

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