Definitive study of Columbia County, Pennsylvania, place names, with emphasis on location, historical description, and etymology. A social history of the county is included. The three major research journals—American Speech, Names, and Onomastica Canadiana—all praised the book.
Through newsletters has come praise from Dr. Fred Tarpley, president of the American Name Society; and Dr. W.F. Nicolaissen, director of the International Congress on Onomastic Science. A 1,000-word UPI feature/profile was published by sixty-five Pennsylvania daily newspapers, including all major dailies.
American Speech : "[A] substantial study which should be welcomed everywhere and which will provide an important tool in comparative place-name study . . . Studies such as this will go far toward enabling researchers in other places to ascertain what their research had in common, and what place- names have in common everywhere. Such information will permit new generalizations regarding place-naming, and theorizing on a scale not possible in the past . . . The love, toil, and perspiration which goes which goes into such studies is everywhere evident in this book; its major contributions [include] the social history [of the county] . . . the methodological introduction with topographical definitions, and the charting of this publication. The high percentage of documented name origins is especially commendable . . . What are urgently needed are more studies of the breadth and quality of this one."
Names : "County place name surveys . . .seem to be appearing on a fairly regular basis these days. The latest to come along, and perhaps the best, is Columbia County Place Names . . . The book's strengths are a useful social history of the county, a fairly good typology of designator and generic terms . . . a chart on the county's changing population, and over 100 photographs of county landmarks. Other pluses are the acknowledgment that features don't always 'remain in one place'; when streams changed their courses and settled places their boundaries, these were noted. Similarly, field research, including personal visits to places and interviews with residents, researched and produced, and . . . should make a considerable contribution to the growing literature of place-name studies . . . It will prove to be, if not a model, at least an inspiration for similar studies."
Onomastica Canadiana: "An . . . inclusive book [which shows an] awareness of place name theoretical and methodological concerns . . . [It is an] attractive book in terms of visuals, in terms of conception and in terms of the immense amount of background material used in preparing the text . . . An attractive addition to the list of county surveys."
Allentown Morning Call : "This book will undoubtedly save future researchers hours of work . . . Excellent and well chosen illustrations and thoroughness in presenting the material are features that will be welcomed by anyone who uses the book."