Cassell’s Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland is an essential topographical resource, filling six volumes and more than 3,000 pages. The preface to volume 1 describes the scope of the work:
’This Gazetteer contains an alphabetical list of the Counties (with their geographical features and river-systems), Parliamentary Divisions, Baronies, Parishes (with their acreage and soil), Townships, Cities, Boroughs … Towns, Seaports, Hamlets, Villages and small places in the United Kingdom’. The volumes also list physical features—mountains, rivers, lakes, islands, etc.—as well as historical ruins and houses.
Other details include population numbers from the 1891 census and distances from London or Dublin, places of worship, schools and public buildings, historic events, and prominent inhabitants.
This is an image-only collection. These records can be browsed by volume.
A useful tool for locating towns is a gazetteer, which is a geographical dictionary that lists place names (for example, those of states, territories, counties, cities, towns, and townships) alphabetically for a geographical region. … This information will help to locate a place name on a map and to determine … [where] major records (for example, vital, land, probate) are located.
From Carol Mehr Schiffman, “Geographic Tools: Maps, Atlases, and Gazetteers,” in Printed Sources: A Guide to Published Genealogical Records, edited by Kory L. Meyerink (Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry Incorporated, 1998).