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A gazetteer is a list and description of places such as villages, towns, and cities and may also mention neighborhoods, cemeteries, populations, rivers and mountains, and other geographical features. It can be used to locate the places where your ancestor lived.


  • Atlas of Kentucky. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 1998. (Not at Family History Library.)
  • Kentucky Places and People: 1895–96. Reprint of R. L. Polk and Company’s "Kentucky State Gazetteer and Business Directory." 1895. Reprint, Utica, KY: McDowell Publications,1984. FHL book 976.9 E4k The city and town locations are described, and business names are listed in alphabetical order.
  • Rennick, Robert M. Kentucky Place Names. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 1984. FHL book 976.9 E2r The location and history of the town or county are given.
  • Riddle, Billie Jean. "Creeks, Branches, Forks, Licks, Runs, Sloughs and Hollows in Kentucky." The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society. 49: 280–330. FHL film 896519 This alphabetical list of water courses contains the names of the counties where they are located.

How did your ancestor find the correct destination out West? Quite possibly they had a copy of Brown's book:

  • Brown, Samuel R. The Western Gazetteer or Emigrant's Directory, Containing a Geographical Description of the Western States and Territories, viz. The States of Kentucky, Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Mississippi: and the Territories of Illinois, Missouri, Alabama, Michigan, and North-Western. Auburn, N.Y.: H.C. Southwick, 1817. Digital versions at NIU Library Digitization Projects and World Vital Records ($).

For river landings, see:

  • Adams, Louis A. Adam's Directory of Points and Landings on Rivers and Bayous in the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin. (includes Tennessee) New Orleans: W.L. Murray, 1877. Digital version at Internet Archive.

For more information about place-finding aids for Kentucky, see the "Maps" section.

Family History Library Collection

Other gazetteers and place name resources can be located in a Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:





Online Gazeteer

Kentucky Atlas and Gazeteer


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  • This page was last modified on 18 July 2014, at 22:45.
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