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Project will bring maps to life

VITAL answers for Cheshire historians, researchers and family history detectives could now be just seconds away thanks to a groundbreaking new website.

A four-year project to digitise’ hundreds of 19th century county tithe maps and transform them into a worldwide computer accessible format could eliminate weeks or months of arduous research.

Launched formally at Chester Racecourse, the accessible map archive was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund with a £159,000 grant and has been an instant success with 65,000 visits to the web site recorded in the first weeks.

Exeter University’s professor Roger Kain, the county’s leading expert on tithe maps said: “There is nothing like this groundbreaking facility anywhere in the UK. It is a fantastic and unmatched resource.”

E-mapping Victorian Cheshire has made 480 19th century Cheshire tithe maps available online to help researchers answer questions varying from: where did our ancestors live, who lived in that house, who owned that land and what was it used for?’ Younger pupils will also soon find some web pages for Primary school on the web site.

Cheshire County Council’s Paul Newman, senior archivist Cheshire Record Office explained: “Not only are the maps now more widely accessible to everyone but the original maps can be kept in a better state of preservation.”

To take a look at Victorian Cheshire, at https://maps.cheshire.gov.uk/tithemaps