Sunday, December 16, 2012

Old Place Names: Westville, New York

In a previous post, Final Journey from Queens to Westville, I wrote about locating a place of death for Coe D Jackson.  He died in 1888 in Westville, New York, according to the New York State Death Index.  The current Westville is in Franklin County, New York, and I saw no reason why Coe would leave Queens County to die there as an old man.

Thanks to T. P. for sending me Coe's obituary, stating that Coe died in Lawrence.  A little more searching provides a small article copied over and over on the internet that Westville was a name for Inwood, Queens County, in the 1860s through the 1890s.  Lawrence was a neighboring area whose name remains as a village in the hamlet of Inwood.  The area became Nassau County after Queens was divided in 1898.

A search of older publications at Google Books provided more details.  Locating exact places when names and borders have changed over the centuries is tricky but crucial for more accurate research.