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Michigan Place Names: The History of the Founding and the Naming of More Than Five Thousand Past and Present Michigan Communities (Great Lakes Books Series) Paperback – October 1, 1986

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

From Aabec in Antrim County to Zutphen in Ottawa County, from Hell to Hooker, Michigan Place Names is a compendium of information on the origins of the state's geographical names.

From the Publisher

From Aabec in Antrim County to Zutphen in Ottawa County, from Hell to Hooker, "Michigan Place Names" is a compendium of information on the origins of the state's geographical names. With alphabetically arranged thumb-nail sketches, Walter Romig introduces readers to a host of colorful personalities and episodes which have achieved notoriety, though sometimes shortlived, by devising or lending their names to the state's settlements.

Romig spent more than ten years researching and documenting the entries to which he added an extensive bibliography of sources and an index of the personal names used in the text. For the curious, the librarian, the genealogist, or the historian, his book is an indispensable resource. "Michigan Place Names" is another "Michigan classic" reissued as a Great Lakes Book.

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Product Details

  • Series: Great Lakes Books Series
  • Paperback: 676 pages
  • Publisher: Wayne State University Press; Great Lakes books ed edition (October 1, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081431838X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814318386
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,197,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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Based on the old Michigan "postmaster history", this book is very handy for trivia buffs as well. The index is very reliable, I've only noticed a few minor omissions. I give this five stars because it's a nice and nicely sized reference work. It's about the size of one of those car sized phone books that TDI et al make for the cellular phone user and easy to handle. Fascinating and detailed, it is indispensible in its niche. A good companion would be one of the county by county state atlases which shows the locations of the vanished towns, although some of these are so vanished they won't appear on the map.
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Format: Paperback
The book is excellent but not totally accurate. For example, LESLIE was named by the politician Jerry G. Cornell. The source quoted by Romig mis-typed his name as "J. A. Cornell" and Romig quoted that source with an additional typo-garble changing the name to "A. J. Cornell". This has created a 30-year misrepresentation of our town's history that is so hard to correct. That misspelled name is now on many web sites. If you read this book for fun, it's an interesting semi-true historical story book. It will make Michigan map reading much more interesting, too.
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Format: Paperback
I agree with Patricia Rinadli's review there are errors in this book. If the book is examined carefully, you will discover that the author requested information for his book from many different places. In Eaton Co. the library helped him. While I am sure that the people who supplied the information for this book thought that they were accurate, I have been using it to help me develop a list of all of the communities that existed in Eaton Co. and have found many inaccuracies for Eaton Co. One was about the real name for the small community of Needmore which was very suitably named... I eventually found a map published by the Eaton County Bicentennial Commission in 1976 which can still be purchased at the old county building in Charlotte, MI which solved the mystery.

Never the less this is a valuable resource for Michigan history buffs, genealogist and stamp collectors who specialize in covers. The book discusses the history of various post offices that were in existence in Michigan. Nothing can take the place of original research, but then not everyone has the time, neither do they have access to all the resources they need and must rely on other sources or people. Relying on the internet for correct information does not always give accurate information. Using your local library and asking for help from the reference librarian can usually give you the most accurate information.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading the past reviews, I agree that there are some inaccuracies, but the information pulled into one volume makes this a great place to start. You have to realize that spelling wasn't terribly important a hundred plus years ago (much like it is once again becoming), and many sources (such as newspapers) weren't (and aren't today) concerned about being absolutely accurate. All in all, this is a valuable resource to, at least, begin your search and is organized and cross referenced concisely. While it would be nice if you could count on anything you read between the covers of a book as gospel, we all should know that is not the case. This work is probably far more accurate than much of the information that has been taken from resources like this and posted in the miscellaneous places on internet. Don't blame Mr. Romig for his sources. He did an outstanding job of researching, organizing and condensing the information, without the use of the world wide web. This is one source, not "the" source, for your own research. Use it to launch your quest, not to end it. Even if you are not into really digging deeper, this book is very entertaining to sit and thumb through. Pick a random page and see where it leads you.
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As a genealogist and family researcher for many years, I am familiar with the use of place names publications. I could not have purchasesd a better research tool for my 19th century research in Michigan. I had never heard of it, but an excerpt popped up on my screen while I was trying to figure out where my family was in Gratiot County. The book was an invaluable help in locating information on the small rural areas my logging family occupied in the hayday of the lumber industry. It also has an excellent bibliography. The only place I could not locate was "The Corners at the Crossroads," which my grandpa mentioned. That was just a little too vague.
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Here's a great book to take along on trips across the state. We find the information fascinating. We learn how places were named and how many times the name has changed, when the post office was established and (sometimes) closed. This is history in sound bites that supplement what you might already know, or give a tiny insight into an area you knew nothing about. Great to share with kids and adults alike.
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Michigan Place Names: The History of the Founding and the Naming of More Than Five Thousand Past and Present Michigan Communities (Great Lakes Books Series)
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