Kinsearching March 23, 2008




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

     In order to trace their family pedigrees, genealogists need to know where their ancestors lived. To understand the reasons why their forebears may have lived in a certain location, researchers also need to familiarize themselves with the area's history, since knowledge of the historical background may provide clues to a family's former place of residence, reasons for migration, and relatives who settled in the same location. Genealogists who are seeking data about their forefathers in the Buckeye State may find useful information in OHIO PLACE-NAMES by Larry L. Miller.

     Arranging entries alphabetically, Miller's volume provides detailed material on than 2,500 cities, towns, villages, hamlets, and communities in Ohio. Because current names are the primary focus, the compiler does not furnish data about ghost towns. He does, however, include earlier names of present-day places when information is available. Although the length of material varies from entry to entry, the compiler tries as much as possible to supply a reason or explanation for the name; previous names; the year a place was founded, surveyed, settled, platted, or incorporated; and name of the first owner of the townsite.

     Of particular interest to genealogists is the fact that the use of surnames was one of the customary sources for a town name in Ohio. Often, the surname belonged to the first individual involved in founding a place. Also of special interest to family researchers is the common utilization of "recycled" names--those which designated the origin of settlers in the area.

     To prevent the material from becoming too dry and dull, Miller points out in his preface that he included much anecdotal material, some of which may be "suspect." He reminds readers to remember that fact as they decide how much some of the stories should be believed.

     In a separate section he lists the names of Ohio's eighty-eight counties. For each, he gives the origin of the name. Sometimes he provides additional information such as Darke County being the only county of that name in the U. S.

     Miller's work is the most complete place-name volume for the Buckeye State to date. Containing helpful information and fascinating stories, OHIO PLACE-NAMES is an essential reference work for genealogists, historians, teachers, students, and other individuals interested in the Buckeye State.

     The 286-page hardback has an interesting and informative preface, which helps readers understand the criteria Miller used to write the book. To the price of $25.95, purchasers should add $5.00 shipping and handling charges for one copy and $1.00 for each additional copy. The volume may be purchased from Indiana University Press, 601 North Morton Street, Bloomington, IN 47404-3797 (toll free orders 1-800-842-6796; e-mail; website

     If you are tracing a KNIGHT, MCKNIGHT, or KNECHT line, you may be interested in receiving THE KNIGHT LETTER edited by Don Knight. Each issue has ten pages. Now in its thirty-ninth year of publication, the quarterly newsletter prints free queries for subscribers. In addition to queries concerning KNIGHT and related families from all over the country, issues published in 2006 carried two lengthy articles pertaining to DNA testing and its use in genealogical research. The February 2007 issue focused on various KNIGHT families in South Carolina. Annual subscription rates of $8.00 for a paper copy or $5.00 for an electronic copy may be mailed to the editor at 811 Longmeadow Drive, Schaumburg, IL 60193-3949.

     "Treasures Available at the Library of Virginia" is the theme for the spring conference sponsored by the Virginia Genealogical Society in Richmond, VA, on April 26, 2008. For more information, write to the organization at 1900 Byrd Ave., Suite 104, Richmond, VA 23230-3033, go to the website at or e-mail

     If you are researching German-speaking ancestors, you may want to attend the Palatines to America (Pal-Am) national conference in Columbus, OH, on June 19-21, 2008. Hosted by the organization's Ohio Chapter, the conference offers a wide variety of workshops and mini-workshops as well as tours of the Pal-Am Library. For more details, write to the Ohio Chapter Pal-Am, 611 E. Weber Rd., Columbus, OH 43211-1097, go to the website at, call 1-614-267-4700, or e-mail and use RE: 2008 Pal Am Conf in the subject line.

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