In Pennsylvania the counties and the municipalities — cities and boroughs — are of far more importance than the civil subdivisions known as townships, which are useful mainly in maintaining roads, in providing means of education for rural communities, and in administering justice in minor misdemeanors and disputes. A few of these INTRODUCTION 13 specimens of folk etymology, which have been offered to the writer in all seriousness, are perhaps worth re- peating. It was this way: the first pioneer who came into this region with his wife camped near where the town now stands.
So far as he knows, the only other work in any way resembling this is Dr. Long's Virginia County Names, which presents a somewhat similar but briefer historical commentary on the names of the one hundred counties of Virginia.
The large number of letters received from others who seem to be interested in the same subject has led him to believe that the general reader as well as the scholar may possibly find some instruction, entertainment, and profit in learning easily what the writer has found out only after long and patient research.
5 6 PREFACE Pennsylvania place names are now pretty i Brmly fixed. The Formation and the Naming of Counties 346 Appendix C.
The colonization of America has been effected during the modern historic period, the process of name-giving is illustrated by numerous authentic documents, and the names are de- rived from living languages.
An extensive correspondence as Registrar of The Pennsylvania State College gave him some acquaintance with nearly all the places of consequence in Penn- sylvania, and aroused his interest in their names, and greatly stimulated his curiosity to learn something about their origin.
To be convinced of some of the difficulties to be met in such an investigation, the reader need only set himself some such task as that of discovering the origin and the meaning of the current English names of the nations of Europe, or of the forty-eight states of our Union and their capitals. To\Tis Named for Industries and Geographical Features XIX. Though it was next to the last of the thirteen original colonies to be established, it was, even before the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, the third prov- ince in point of population and wealth.