Cover image for Indian placenames in America
Indian placenames in America
Nestor, Sandy.
Personal Author:
Physical Description:
2 volumes ; 27 cm
v. 1. Cities, towns, and villages -- v. 2. Mountains, canyons, rivers, lakes, creeks, forests and other natural features.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E98.N2 N47 2003 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
E98.N2 N47 2003 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The legacy of American Indians is evident in the many places in the US that have Indian names - although many have been corrupted over time. This reference to such placenames, arranged alphabetically by state, also includes information such as population figures and county names.

Author Notes

Writer and researcher Sandy Nestor lives in Medford, Oregon

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Nestor does an admirable job of reviewing the Indian-language sources for the names of American cities, towns, and villages. The text, divided by state, presents each name along with county or parish and population based on the 2000 U.S. census. The body of each entry contains a history of the naming averaging 15 lines. Entries cover alternate meanings and spellings, for example, variants of the town of Tehama, California, and of the Potawatomie nation. The bibliography contains extensive listings of books, media articles, and archival materials but little guidance regarding Internet sites. The index lists only place-names. Nestor's writing style intrigues the reader to examine minutiae of American history, such as the effects on aboriginal cultures of railroads, European diseases, missionaries, outposts, mining, crafts, and trade in hides and whiskey. Commentary names tribes and their leaders, settlers, and dates and places of significant events, such as immigration over the Oregon Trail and the emergence of the weaving trade in Chimayo, New Mexico. Faults of the book are few but worth mentioning. The author fails to explain criteria for inclusion and to account for the absence of such familiar places as Miami, Florida, and Pontiac, Michigan. The indexing of important people, tribes, and events, such as Lewis and Clark, the Narragansett, anding Philip's War, would increase the value of the work for a wider range of users. Despite these omissions, the book is a useful, easy-to-use aid for the historian, genealogist, student, teacher, and librarian seeking precise data. -- RBB Copyright 2004 Booklist

Choice Review

This selective listing of American Indian place-names in the US is arranged by state, then alphabetically by city, town, or place. Entries for states range in number from one (Delaware) to 93 for Alaska and Washington, and include brief historical information, mostly without sources (there are 37 endnotes). The bibliography, organized by state, is extensive. Nestor does not state criteria for the inclusion, or exclusion, of place-names, but exclusions abound: Coos Bay, Scapoose, Wasco, and Yoncalla in Oregon; Oglala, Wanblee, and Wakpala in South Dakota; Osage, Pahaska, and Wapiti in Wyoming. Although this book is called "Volume 1," the content of forthcoming volumes is not anywhere mentioned. Nestor (a writer living in Medford, OR) previously published Our Native American Legacy: Northwest Towns with Indian Names (2001). The present book seems to fill a niche; state and regional guides to Indian place-names abound, but the most recent national guide is Nils Magnus Holmer's Indian Place Names in North America (1948). Libraries should wait for William Bright's forthcoming Native American Placenames of the United States (Oklahoma, 2004). ^BSumming Up: Optional. General readers. M. Cedar Face Southern Oregon University

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vi
Prefacep. 1
Alabamap. 5
Alaskap. 7
Arizonap. 22
Arkansasp. 28
Californiap. 29
Coloradop. 37
Connecticutp. 39
Delawarep. 43
Floridap. 43
Georgiap. 48
Idahop. 51
Illinoisp. 54
Indianap. 59
Iowap. 62
Kansasp. 65
Kentuckyp. 70
Louisianap. 71
Mainep. 75
Marylandp. 79
Massachusettsp. 80
Michiganp. 85
Minnesotap. 91
Mississippip. 96
Missourip. 100
Montanap. 102
Nebraskap. 103
Nevadap. 106
New Hampshirep. 108
New Jerseyp. 110
New Mexicop. 115
New Yorkp. 118
North Carolinap. 126
North Dakotap. 128
Ohiop. 130
Oklahomap. 132
Oregonp. 140
Pennsylvaniap. 144
Rhode Islandp. 150
South Carolinap. 152
South Dakotap. 153
Tennesseep. 156
Texasp. 157
Utahp. 161
Vermontp. 164
Virginiap. 165
Washingtonp. 167
West Virginiap. 183
Wisconsinp. 184
Wyomingp. 190
Notesp. 193
Bibliographyp. 195
Indexp. 235