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A gazetteer is a list and description of places, such as villages, towns, cities, and may also mention neighborhoods, cemeteries, sizes of population, rivers and mountains, and other geographical features. It can be used to locate the places where your family lived. It usually includes only the names of places that existed at the time the gazetteer was published. The place names are generally listed in alphabetical order, similar to a dictionary. Guides to place names in Tennessee include:

Fullerton, Ralph O. Place Names of Tennessee. Nashville, Tennessee: Tennessee Department of Conservation, Division of Geology, 1974. (FHL book 976.8 E2f; film 928174 item 2.) The record is arranged alphabetically by county, then alphabetically by place. Included is the quadrangle of each place.

Easton Morris’ Tennessee Gazetteer 1834 and Matthew Rhea’s Map of the State of Tennessee 1832. 1834. Reprint, Nashville, Tennessee: Gazetteer Press, 1971. (FHL book 976.8 E5m.) The record contains a general description of the state, an alphabetical list of places, a map, and a list of government officials.

Tennessee Geographic Names: Alphabetical Listing. Reston, Virginia: U.S. Geological Survey, 1985. (FHL book 976.8 E2u.) The record includes the name of each place, type of feature, county, coordinates, elevation in feet, source, and map.

For more place-finding aids for Tennessee, see the “Maps” section of this outline. The United States research article contains additional sources and information on gazetteers. Tennessee gazetteers are listed in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:




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