February 9, 2009

List of Michigan county name etymologies

This Wikipedia article could perhaps use some work, but the detail and concept is great: List of Michigan county name etymologies.

A number of county names are Native American-influenced neologisms invented by ethnologist Henry Schoolcraft, while ten “cabinet” counties are named after members of Jackson's executive branch. Several are named for famous Native Americans, local tribes, and geographically descriptive Ojibwe words. A few are named for Christian saints and military commanders, while others are named for their terrain, like this one:
Hillsdale County is a hilly area.

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Blogger JHitts said...

I wonder if there's actually any correlation between Ionia County and the Ionia in Greece. I kinda doubt it, but that's why they named it (I guess?)...

February 9, 2009 at 11:43 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a literal connection, dude.

There's also a city of Ithaca in Michigan, seat of Gratiot County. And there's an Attica near Flint.

February 10, 2009 at 11:48 AM 
Blogger JHitts said...

Yeah, I know that there IS, but what is it? Is Ionia County mountainous? Does it also have its own school of distinguished philosophers? It's obviously not a maritime naval power, so I wonder why they chose to name it for the Greek place.

February 10, 2009 at 3:15 PM 
Anonymous Econ said...

According to the Ionia County Historical Society:

"Ionia had been the name of the County since the Michigan Territory was first plotted out in 1831. The classical revival was in vogue at the time, and names taken from classical Greece were common. Hence the name Ionia, from the Greek province and sea, was chosen by a legislator from Detroit before any white settlers ever settled there."


August 20, 2011 at 4:07 PM 

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