Place names in the United States are often taken from the European nation that first colonized the land. Many names that have been transferred from Britain, as is the case with Barnstable, Massachusetts and Danbury, Connecticut. Many others are of French origin, such as Detroit, Michigan, which was established along the banks of the river they called le détroit du lac Érié, meaning the strait of Lake Erie. Many in the former New Netherland colony are of Dutch origin, such as Harlem, Brooklyn and Rhode Island. Many place names are taken from the languages of native peoples. Specific (personal or animal) names and general words or phrases are used, sometimes translated and sometimes not. However complicated the tracing back of the place names was, this encyclopedia lists thousands and thousands of place names in the United States of America and provides valuable information as to the origin and the history of the name. A fantastic reference work for everyone interested in American history.