I've not moved ahead on actually creating a category for US County namesakes yet. I have been preparing for it in the meantime by gathering information. I've assembled a spreadsheet of all the people US counties are named after, about 1400 all told; and am in the midst of checking which ones already have WikiTree profiles and whether they are connected to the larger tree. I have some questions in that regard:
1. David Smith, Revolutionary War General. He's got a county in Mississippi named after him, but I don't have his dates. It's a common name, but not so common among Generals and probably limited to the South. I thought I'd check the 1776 project, but it is, for me. a bewildering array of categories. I don't know where to look. This is what prompted this post.
2.. Numerous counties are named after Native Americans, most all of whom don't have first and last names, and really not last names at all. I've searched various ways but with very limited success. I found Powhatan, but have not succeeded in finding others. I've searched in a variety of ways, but am not yet confident about this. I'm particularly cautious because there tend to be alternate spellings - not surprising for names originating in non-written languages. I suspect it might be impossible to do much with many of these. Here's a list I have not found profiles for (yet?):
- Atoka (Choctaw leader, no dates, Oklahoma)
- Ben'wah (Coeur d'Aline, no dates, Idaho)
- Black Hawk (Sac & Fox, 1767-1838, Iowa) - he has a war named after him
- Chief Logan (Mingo, 1723-1780, West Virginia)
- Mahaska (Ioway, 1784-1834, Iowa)
- Montezuma/Moctezuma III (Aztec, 1466-1520, Colorado)
- Newaygo (Chippewa/Ojibway, no dates, Michigan)
- Ouray (Ute, 1833-1880, Colorado)
- Pocahontas (1595-1618, Iowa, West Virginia)
- Sanilac (Wyandotte, no dates, Michigan)
- Sequoyah aka George Guess (Cherokee, 1770-1843, Oklahoma) - he invented the Cherokee alphabet, though I'm not convinced we should try and use that alphabet on WikiTree.
- Solano (Suisune, c1798-c1851, California)
- Stanislaw (aka Estanislao, indigenous alcalde in CA, c1798-1838, California)
- Tishomingo (Chickasaw, 1734-1838, Mississippi) There's a town named after him in Oklahoma, too
- Wabaunsee (Potawatomi leader, c1760-1848, Kansas)
- Wahkiakum (native leader, no dates, Washington state)
- Winneshiek (Winnebago, no dates, Iowa)
- Winona (Wee-no-Nah, no dates, Minnesota)
3. I've found many royals and aristocrats, but there's some I haven't got yet. These people are a challenge - mostly they're recorded in history by names like Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, which are mostly not adequate search terms. Pennsylvania has a county, Dauphin, named in honor of their son, crown prince Louis-Joseph (1781-1789.) Perhaps I could find the profile, but wouldn't mind a little help. And then there's the Viscount Duplin, Thomas Hay, who has a county named after him in North Carolina. And Lady Grace Talbot, sister of Lord Calvert - no dates! (Maryland) In time, I'll offer up a fuller list.
4. Not sure what to do about the saints. Lots of things are named after them, but I have my doubts if it's worth making a profile for someone like San Augustine or St. Francis &c. (Or St. Joseph!) At present, I'm inclined to skip them, even if I have dates and a birthplace. Perhaps I'll offer up a list for help sometime later, too.
5. There's a few counties named after fictional characters. Those, I'm inclined to mark the author who created the character. (e.g. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow for Evangeline County in Louisiana.) Then there's the unusual case of Henry Schoolcraft. Not only is a county named after him in Michigan, there's also a bunch of counties with pseudo-Indian names made up by Schoolcraft - e.g. Alcona, Allegan, Alpena and numerous others in Michigan. Weird! Not sure whether to add this tidbit to his bio or not. Goliad County, Texas, is an anagram for Miguel y Costilla Hidalgo (1753-1811) who has two counties named after him: Goliad in Texas, Hidalgo in New Mexico.
Most people with counties named after them are known for other reasons: There's a lot of Senators and Generals, for example. Robert Fulton, inventor of the steam engine, transformed things as surely as the railroad did some decades later. He's got 7 counties named after him, mostly in the Mississippi River basin. Quite a few of the profiles are Project Protected, including Fulton. I see people hesitant to do ANYTHING to PPP profiles. My working hypothesis is that adding a Category tag and a sentence to a profile about things named after them is not a "major change" requiring consultation.
There's other things, but this query was mainly motivated by wanting help with American Revolutionary War General David Smith, who might have ties to Mississippi. I went ahead and added some other things I'd not quite resolved, too. I'll probably offer up a query to help look for profiles of saints & aristocrats later, too.
I'm having fun with this. It's interesting.