Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     The thirteenth annual national STIDHAM family reunion will take place on 23-25 June 2017 in Wilmington, Delaware. Hosted by the Timen Stiddem Society, the reunion welcomes descendants of the Swedish immigrant, Timen Stiddem, who settled in New Sweden (now Wilmington), Delaware, in the seventeenth century. Alternate spellings of the STIDHAM surname include STEADHAM, STEDHAM, STIDAM, STIDDEM, and STEDDOM. For detailed information about reunion registration and activities, go to the society’s website at

     To understand fully the actions taken by their forebears, genealogists need to know about the various historical eras and geographical regions that influenced their ancestors’ lives. Anyone tracing families in eastern Virginia will likely encounter place names initiated by the area’s indigenous Algonquian peoples. Most researchers find it difficult to relate these names to the modern landscape. To help researchers overcome this obstacle, Martha W. McCartney and Helen C. Rountree have compiled POWHATAN INDIAN PLACE NAMES IN TIDEWATER VIRGINIA.

     Within this small book, McCartney and Rountree have gathered numerous variations of historic Powhatan place names in eastern Virginia. The authors gleaned data from an assortment of sources, including land patents, local and regional government records, public and private archives, and several historical map collections.

     For the thoroughly annotated volume, McCartney and Rountree assembled the Powhatan place names under a main heading consisting of their modern equivalent or most common spelling. Beneath that heading are clustered any deviations in the place name’s spelling, listed in chronological order. For example, Chicamuxen was a place on the southwest bank of Little Hunting Creek in Fairfax County. In 1657, the name was spelled Chingomuxon. By 1751, it appeared on a map as Chiccomoxen. By seeing how the Indian place names changed over time, researchers can correlate them to modern scenery.

     Land records are a very important resource for locating families and tracing heirs, especially when acreage was inherited over several generations. Being able to identify specific features may also help researchers determine if their ancestors moved or if the boundaries (county and parish, for instance) around them were altered. McCartney and Rountree are to be commended for their time and effort in undertaking their worthy endeavor that resulted in POWHATAN INDIAN PLACE NAMES IN TIDEWATER VIRGINIA.

     The 130-page softbound publication has an attractive front cover, an introduction, and separate indexes for Indian place names and for Indian people mentioned in the text. To the book’s price of $20.00, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $5.50 for one book and $2.50 for each additional copy; for UPS, the cost is $7.50 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume (item order #3504) may be purchased by check, MasterCard, or Visa from Genealogical Publishing Co., 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211 (for phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website ).

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