ERIC Number: ED380320
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Naming the Land. A Study of West Virginia Place Names.
This study is an investigation into the place names of West Virginia to see if they reveal a record of the history of the state. It was found that the study of place names is indeed a study of the history of the land, because the people who inhabit the land give names to it that commemorate themselves, their deeds, and their passions. The study of West Virginia place names proved to be an historical record much like an archaeological dig. Like a dig, it gives insight into the lives of earlier inhabitants. Most West Virginia place names appear to have been formed during the earliest days of the white man's discovery and settlement of the land rather than in the decades that followed. It is also important to note that current place names only reveal insight into the activities of people whose language was known. Consequently, place names given by civilizations before the Indians have been lost to present day people. Nevertheless, the study of West Virginia place names does give a significant historical record of the individuals who inhabited the state. Those names reflect the interests, occupations, activities, desires, and whims of past people. Toponyms, place names, whether descriptive or personal, reveal the historical and social process that has shaped the land. The plan of this research was to record a part of this process. An enriching, human interest history of the state's inhabitants, by examining some significant and vital place names, produces information that can be used in teaching either geography or history. (Author/DK)
Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education, Geographic Concepts, Geographic Location, Geography, Geography Instruction, History Instruction, State History
Benedum Library, Salem-Teikyo University, Salem, WV 26526 ($.10/page plus $3 shipping/handling).
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Dissertations/Theses - Masters Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: West Virginia