On one of our visits to Mecklenburg, my husband and I were having trouble finding some places near the Mecklenburg-Brunswick county border. We stopped and asked 20 strangers near various country stores and gas stations where we could purchase a map. People looked at me with a puzzled look then asked, “What do you need a map for? I can show you how to get there.” And they did! Every person we stopped to ask, helped us find things, and told us they hadn’t heard of a map except the Gilmer map, which I had already purchased a copy of. We even tried Walmart, where you could purchase maps, but no local maps. When I got home, I looked online. I looked at the company that made the Fredericksburg and Stafford County, Virginia road maps. But they did not make a Mecklenburg or Brunswick county road map. I was surprised and disappointed. I went to the Library of Virginia to try to possibly find a map. They had the Gilmer map, and a VDOT map, and that was all. The Gilmer map is from the 1860s and is the map that most people use. The roads haven’t changed much from the Gilmer map, except the addition of interstate roads. All of my searching for road maps was fifteen years ago, before I had a smart phone with Google maps.

I was very excited when I saw a video demonstration of “Google My Maps.” I knew this would finally help me create a map for my own research and allow me to share it with others. I made ‘my map’ a big part of this website. Last week, I noticed some interesting updates to ‘my map’. You can now assign colors to shapes and lines. You can also adjust transparency levels and line thickness. It used to be limited to three layers, but now I was able to add another layer.

I reworked the map, and colorized everything by time period. I previously had wished I could see the county boundary lines on ‘my map’. I added those to the map today! Mecklenburg’s northern boundary is the South Meherrin River. The southern boundary is the Virginia -North Carolina State line.

The northeast corner boundary is where a creek meets the Meherrin.

The southeast corner boundary between Mecklenburg and Brunswick Counties is the state line and the east side of the Roanoke River.

The western border of Mecklenburg runs from a point on the Meherrin River at the northwestern corner, to a point at Fairview, on the north side of the Roanoke River on the southwestern corner.

This is Google maps with the county boundaries marked. I clicked on the corner points, copied the GPS coordinates then added it to my map. Notice that the county boundaries go around but do not include the Roanoke River.

The Mecklenburg county boundary on the west crosses the Roanoke, then follows the Dan river to the west until it reaches Aaron’s Creek.

The southwest corner of Mecklenburg is where Aaron’s Creek meets the State line.

Unfortunately, I can’t add a key to the map. I wrote what each color represents in the ‘layer list’ as seen on the left.

Some additional explanations:

  • The color black means no longer exists
  • Thick red lines are roads that no longer exist. I also marked these roads with a construction sign symbol of a person with a shovel.
  • A medical suitcase marks where a doctor lived.
  • A cross indicates a church. If it is a purple/maroon color, then there is also a cemetery at that church.
  • Cemeteries are marked with an upright tombstone symbol. (Looks like an upside down “T”)
  • The house symbol indicates the location of a house, when a house is known to have been there at some point. When a deed indicates there was a house, but the exact location of that house isn’t known, I placed the house symbol in the middle of the lot.
  • The farm symbol marks the location of a farm, and includes the name of the farm owner (viewable by clicking on the farm icon).

The two red lines above show roads that were on old plats that no longer exist. I don’t know the exact length of the roads, so I only drew then as far s the plats show them.

This shows the two doctors that I know of. The top one was Dr. Riggan, a dentist. The lower icon marks the land of Dr. Pennington, a medical doctor.

Most of the plats I added to this map were accumulated over several years. Some of them are from deed books. Most of the plats are from chancery cases, which divided the land after someone died intestate. I don’t have plats yet from other areas of the county. I hope to start adding more plats to my map, from all over the county. If you have a plat you would like to see added to this map, let me know. It helps me if I have a specific piece of geographical information to anchor the plat, like a road or waterway mentioned.

The Gilmer map mentioned earlier in this post is viewable on the Library of Congress website.

If you would like to explore my map, click here. I hope you find the new updates helpful.

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