Gazetteer of the United States of America

Dang those old towns!

Dang those old towns! I find that nothing is more irritating then having FamilyTreeMaker tell me a location doesn’t exist. But then I remind myself, FTM’s quirky database is built on the geographical location today, not the location at the time the event occurred. A lot of those older smaller post offices used as locations in the olden days have simply vanished.

Sometimes those small towns just disappeared from history. Maybe they were flooded out… maybe people just got up and left… often they simply changed their name. Today, if the remnants of the towns buildings still stand we call it a ghost town. But sometimes, the town just drops from the face of the earth, the railroad station that made it so, up and left, taking the towns people with it, the old wood buildings crumbled away over time, and now nothing remains to remind us of its location, except the records which bring it up, and old maps and gazetteers. AHGP has recently posted a gazetteer for 1843 on it’s website as a group project from several of its volunteers. There are a lot of ghost towns in it. Specific information that may help you identify where that dang old town actually was, with one caveat, it had to have existed in 1843.

So bookmark the book on their website, so that when you come across a town in the US that FTM tells you doesn’t exist, you can verify that it actually did – at least in 1843, and place the county with it. I have!

A Complete Descriptive and Statistical Gazetteer of the United States of America
Containing a particular description of the states, territories, counties, districts, parishes, cities, towns, and villages mountains, rivers, lakes, canals, and railroads; with an abstract of the census and statistics for 1840, exhibiting a complete view of the agricultural, commercial, manufacturing, and literary condition and resources of the country.  Before going to the Table of Contents for this book, please read this page, if you don’t you will not understand part of the explanation of the States, Counties and Towns. BTW not sure if the people who prepared this book knew their alphabet, so when looking for counties, they are not always in alphetical order! They also used Ia for Indiana and Io or Iowa for Iowa.