Gazetteers

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A gazetteer is a dictionary of place names. Gazetteers describe towns, villages, churches and states, rivers and mountains, populations, and other geographical features. They usually include only the names of places that existed at the time the gazetteer was published and often their former names. The place names are generally listed in alphabetical order, similar to a dictionary. Gazetteers can help you find the places where your family lived and determine the civil and church jurisdictions over those places. Gazetteers can also help you determine county jurisdictions used in the FamilySearch Catalog.

Gazetteers may also provide additional information about towns, such as:

  • The population size.
  • Boundaries of civil jurisdiction.
  • Ecclesiastical jurisdiction(s)
  • Longitude and latitude.
  • Distances and direction from other from cities.
  • Schools, colleges, and universities.
  • Denominations and number of churches.
  • Major manufacturing works, canals, docks, and railroad stations.

Universal Gazetteers

The following gazetteers are universal or near-universal: