Thursday, April 15, 2010

Newmans Ridge: What's in a Name?

The ridge on and near which most Melungeons lived was usually called either Newmans Ridge or Newman's Ridge in the 19th century and in much of the literature on Melungeons. Heretofore it has been the custom of this blog to use Newmans Ridge since apostrophes are usually omitted from geographic names. However, according to the US Geological Survey and the US Board on Geographic Names, and now, it has just come to my attention, the Tennessee Department of Transportation, the official name is Newman Ridge. Therefore, this blog will henceforth use that name. Unless I forget! The name will, of course, remain unchanged in quoted material.

The information from Tennessee DOT came to me by way of a very detailed, large-scale map of Hancock County which is now available online. This is not a pretty -- it is a black and white line drawing map -- but it is very detailed, showing all the public roads in the county and many points of interest, including cemeteries and historical sites. This map is in the form of a two megabyte PDF file, so a PDF reader is required.

To view it: Click Here.

For similar maps of other Tennessee counties: Click Here.

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