[APG Public List] place names

Connie Sheets clsheets1 at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 25 17:33:55 MDT 2010

I must admit to only a general knowledge about, and frequent lack of attention to, GPS coordinates.  I have been operating under the assumption they describe a specific point on the earth, not a large area like a rural US township of 36 square miles.

I can comprehend how I might want to visit the crossroads approximately one mile southeast of a very small village in Northwest Missouri where my great-great grandfather's house once stood, obtain the GPS coordinates, and record them for posterity with a photograph I have of the house.  I also understand how GPS coordinates are useful for locating cemeteries, graves within cemeteries, and other landmarks.

However, if all I know about an ancestor's location is a rural township or county, I would be concerned that I was promoting inaccuracy if I arbitrarily chose (and yes, it would be arbitrary) the center of the township or county.

I will continue to use standard historical place names, with a reference to the modern place name when necessary, for the foreseeable future.

Connie Sheets


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