American Place Names of Long Ago
George Cram’s “Unrivaled Atlas of the World” contains an index of over 100,000 place names of “every county, city, town, village, and post-office in the United States [showing] the population of the same according to the Census of 1890.” This index is of critical importance to the genealogist, for most genealogical research takes place on the county level, and in Cram’s index all 100,000 places–large and small–are tied to a specific county. Furthermore, when you consider how many nineteenth-century place names have changed or disappeared in the intervening years, and that 45 percent of the places listed in this index were too small or obscure to have their population counts listed by the census taker, the importance of such a work is self-evident. Indeed, there may be no official record of many of these places, and Cram’s index may be the only tool to guide you from an obscure location to the correct county courthouse. The original index as published in the 1898 edition of Cram’s “Unrivaled Atlas” occupied 106 pages, each with six columns. For purposes of this reprint edition, the six columns have been rearranged into three; otherwise there has been no change to the original text.
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