Gazetteer for Genealogy and History Projects
This Gazetteer began as an attempt to systematize and document the way I refer to places in my genealogy projects. While it retains that focus, it has grown to include countries and places not yet included in any of my genealogy ventures. But, who knows, as the families I research continue to grow, perhaps some of my "extra" places will eventually be linked to my extended family tree.
The physical map of the world used for the cover image was downloaded on 31 Jan 2013 from the Central Intelligence Agency website at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/maps/refmap_physical_world.html It is the author's understanding that this map may be used royalty-free. For information see https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/docs/faqs.html (accessed 13 Jan 2013 and 17 Jul 2013).
Comments Regarding How I Organize Place Names
1. For cities straddling county lines, I try to record the predominant county (if I know) or whichever county is recorded in the Roots Magic Place Finder database or other references (dictionary, gazetteer, web, etc.)
2. For cities/towns that I cannot determine a county, I use "_____ County" because I think that using double commas (as in City, , State, Country) is not as clear. My method also causes those indeterminate places to cluster together in the Place Index, indicating clearly where more research might be productive.
3. I always use Township, County, Parish, etc., fully spelled out.
4. I use 2 and 3 letter abbreviations of states and provinces in the USA, Canada, and Australia.
5. I include regions of countries in Canada, the UK, France, and some others.
6. I abbreviate United States of America as USA, and United Kingdom as UK. All other countries are fully spelled out.
7. I include continents for everywhere except North America.
8. As you can imagine, some of my complete place names get pretty long, but using the system above, the Place Index groups everything into a geographic organization that I find useful and understandable.