This blog is my attempt at creating a Gazetteer of Edmonton place names. In doing so, I am also trying to create a method of classifying Edmonton's place names that is defensible and reproducible. The goal is a complete data set of Edmonton's place names that can be parsed based on a number of variables, listed below.
This project is evolving, and I would appreciate any comments or suggestions that you might have. The pages are organized into four sections: The Blog page contains blogs posts on the naming, place names, and their impact on how we view places; the Gazetteer page is a list of Edmonton place names with information relative to those names (see below); the About page is a brief explanation of this project, and; Notes are these notes.
Below you will find my notes for each heading in the gazetteer, with references and my rationale / thinking. Please let me know if something doesn't make sense or if you otherwise have questions.
Each entry of the Gazetteer has the following information:
Place Name: These names are primarily from the the book Naming Edmonton: From Ada to Zoie. But the book is only current to it's year of publication in 2004. Edmonton place names from 2004 - 2017 will come from the City of Edmonton's Naming Committee website and Edmonton archives.
Feature Type (Year Approved): To avoid repetition, I have tried to list all the feature types with that name. For instance, Laurier is a name for a neighbourhood, park and road. Rather than tree separate entries for each name, I have aggregated them into one 'Laurier' entry. Furthermore, feature type for a name was approved in a different year. In the case of Laurier: Drive (1968), Neighbourhood (1956), Park (1987).
Name Origins: I am interested in cataloging the broad motivation for each name, and defined the categories of motivation as:
Commemorative: A place name that was chosen to commemorate a prominent Edmontonian or other prominent person. For instance, Ada Boulevard or Sir Winston Churchill.
Royal: A place name that was chosen to commemorate royalty. For instance, Kingsway
Land Feature or Descriptive: A place name that was chosen based on a land feature, either local or in recalling a land feature from another place.
Botanical: A place name that was chosen based on local flora. For example, Wolf Willow.
FNM: Those place names that were chosen to commemorate or are based on First Nations and Metis people, places, or language. For example Blue Quill. In addition, I am interested in the question of representation and will be exploring the following in blog posts; are these really commemorative names? Are they significant in a cultural or geographic sense to First Nations and Metis people?
Often, the name origins are provided within the text of the Naming Edmonton book.
Definition: How can a name be defined? For this question, I have relied on two main text: A Dictionary of British Place Names and The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland. I have also referenced Wikipedia and various genealogy websites that have been noted in the specific entry in the gazetteer.
Cultural Affiliation: Based on the name origins and name definition, I define the cultural affiliation of that name. For instance, Sir Winston Churchill is British, Sir Wilfred Laurier is French, and Saskatchewan is an anglicized version of a Cree word. If the named person was born in Canada, but bears a British name, the cultural affiliation is not Canadian, but rather British.
Some names, such as Arrowhead Trail, are commemorative of 'Aboriginal' people or heritage. If there is evidence that the 'Aboriginal' name is not unique to Alberta First Nations, or is geographically or culturally relevant to Alberta First Nations (such as a person's name or named for an actual First Nations place name), I will classify the Cultural Affiliation as British.
Gender: There are four options for this: male (i.e. Winston Churchill), female (Ada Boulevard), both (a name that references both a man or a woman), or N/A - not applicable - for a land feature or botanical name such as Wolf Willow.
Naming Edmonton: From Ada to Zoie
This entry is taken directly from the Naming Edmonton book, in its entirety.
Other Worldwide Locations:
An incomplete list of locations bearing that place name or some variation (i.e. Abbott rather than Abbottsfield). This list also contains links to those places in Open Street Map.
The following are my main references. If I've referenced another source is a specific post, I've mentioned and linked to it.
Coates, Richard; Hanks, Patrick; McClure, Peter (2016). The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland. Oxford University Press.
Mills, A.D. (2011). A Dictionary of British Place Names. Oxford University Press.