Where Your Surname or Given Name Might Be Located?

Open BooksYou have a long list of family surnames and given names you have collected over the years. One thing that can add an interesting note to that research is where in the world your family name is used in the naming of a town, river, county, province, a hill, a valley, an island, canal, city, mine, creek, mountain, etc. This can be answered with the online site called the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names.

Just place a surname such as “Murphy” in the search box and some 370 locations are listed. In each location the full name of the place is provided along with its exact placement on a map. There is ‘Little Murphy Creek’ in the United States in Michigan in Schoolcraft County. There is the town of Murphy in Jasper County in Iowa in the United States or ‘Murphy Dome’ a peak in Fairbanks, Alaska. With each location the exact latitude and longitude is furnished.

All types of geographical places can be located using a selected name. Some of the other types of locations include lakes, reservoirs, transport points, capes, sand bars and swamps. A search can be done of a specific type, like a hamlet or village, where all the names across the globe that are a hamlet or village will appear. Even given names such as ‘Leona’ produced some 30 locations named Leona; from towns, to a mine, a creek, a spring, a canal and a valley.

With over 900,000 topographic points there are some fascinating places to be found.

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