Gary Brand, Researcher & Compiler
Attention to Detail and Devotion to Accuracy
Call Gary at
CITIES DATABANK - A DATABASE OF THE EARLIEST SELF-GOVERNING
Summary Table of the Number of Municipalities in
Cities Databank, listed by state|
Records of Some Example Cities in the Database:
New Orleans, Louisiana
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
|To Order Cities Databank|
CONTENTS OF THIS PAGE:|
Testimonial of an Academic Who Purchased the Entire Database
Accurate Dates from Original Sources
What Defines the Beginning of a City or Town?
When does a Municipality Become Self-Governing?
Why Use the Earliest Incorporation Date?
When Are Incorporation Laws Effective?
Self-Governing Dates Other than Incorporation
U.S. Census Bureau Definitions and Data
Independent, Consolidated and Merged Cities
Town Companies and Proprietorships
Dates Prior to the Calendar Change
Municipal Incorporation History in Each State
Database Components (Fields)
Copyright Notice & Licensing Agreement
Summary Table of Cities and Towns in Cities Databank, by state
Cities Databank contains the earliest self-governing and/or incorporation date for many of the suburbs and bedroom communities of the country's largest cities, as well as the core cities themselves. As most of the older, large U.S. cities with populations numbering over 100,000 that are located east of the Mississippi River have declined since 1990, the trend in population growth is often in the suburbs of these cities and smaller, outlying towns and villages. Exceptions to this pattern include most cities with a population over 100,000 in the southeastern States of Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, and in Illinois (and a few large cities in other states east of the Mississippi River) whose populations are increasing. The vast majority of cities with over 100,000 people that are located west of the Mississippi River are growing. There are currently 214 cities and townships with a population of 100,000 or more in the database.
For all muncipalities in the database, Gary has personally researched or has verified that the date of self-government is the earliest by searching each year of legislative session laws, or by consulting a reliable source of such dates for cities in a particular state, or by verifying a date with a second source. The earliest self-governing or incorporation dates have been obtained from official or reliable sources such as the following:
TESTIMONIAL FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF DUISBURG-ESSEN, GERMANY
The following quote is from an e-mail sent to Gary on April 2, 2013 by the professor at this University who purchased the entire database:
I am amazed by this dataset! My co-author and I used it to analyze age heterogeneity among U.S. cities and the correlation between city age and city size. We have worked intensively with the CitiesDatabank for over six months now and I can confirm that the data is very accurate and very precise. Moreover, it is very diversified and contains entries along all important dimensions (old/young cities, huge/small cities, all regions, etc.). I had several contacts with Mr. Brand and I very much appreciated his responsiveness and cooperativeness. I can, therefore, strongly recommend this dataset.
Source document research is important because the date that a municipality was established by the legislature (when commissioners were appointed to lay out the town or village) or other such founding date is sometimes mistaken for the earliest self-governing or incorporation date (see the following section “Why not Use a Founding or Establishment Date for a Community?”). An example is a date obtained from a library in a city with a population over 50,000 in North Carolina (not a small-town library). A book consulted by a reference librarian in this library claimed that the earliest incorporation date of that city was in 1741. However, when the colonial legislation was researched, the records revealed that an act for laying out the town was approved that year but the town did not exist at that time and no self-government was granted by this law. Therefore, an event relating to the founding of that city did occur in 1741 but it was not incorporated then, as claimed by the reference consulted. Another example is the date that Charlottesville, Virginia was established by law in 1762. This law appointed commissioners to survey the town and sell lots, nothing more, and the town did not exist at that time. Yet, John Moore described this law as an “act of incorporation” and anyone consulting this source could be mislead by it (J.H.M., p. 29 (1976)). Although the year on the city seal is 1762, Charlottesville was not incorporated or truly self-governing until January 19, 1801 (citation).The complexity and scope of this collection lend themselves to the possibility of errors. However, every effort has been made to achieve as much accuracy as possible and to consult primary sources. Several types of errors that may possibly reside in the database include, but are not limited to: (1) the date thought to be the earliest date of self-government was preceded by an earlier date unknown by the compiler, (2) a municipal incorporation law passed by the legislature that was contingent upon approval by voters in a special election was not approved, (3) in some states there were two avenues for incorporation - by individual or special law passed by the legislature or under a general incorporation law - so it is possible that some towns or cities were first incorporated under a general law, unbeknownst to the compiler, and then were later incorporated again by a special law (the date of which is in the database), and (4) the date obtained from a repository or published source is a typographical error. The compiler invites the user to contribute to the accuracy of this collection by contacting him with the source citation for any self-governing or incorporation date found that precedes the date provided for a municipality in the database. Any errors that are accompanied by complete source citations will be corrected.
Unfortunately, there is no agreement on the actual application of the term “founding date” by historians, librarians, or even city or town governments recounting their history. Some authors claim it is the date that the first settlers arrived at the site but in some cases the day of the month or even the year is uncertain. Other historians claim that it is the date that the deed for the land was granted or when the land for the town site was sold. Other significant dates often included in historical accounts are the date the town site was surveyed and the date of the first sale of lots. The date the town plat was filed at the county seat could likewise be considered an official founding date. The beginning of construction or the completion of the first house or building, often the courthouse, if the city or town is or was a county seat, is another historically significant pair of dates. However, such dates are often lost to antiquity.
Early in their histories, the legislature of a number of states and territories east of the Mississippi River (e.g. Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, the Mississippi Territory, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin) established towns by individual laws (like Charlottesville, Virginia in the above example). In some of these states (e.g. Illinois and Wisconsin), such legislation merely named the town as the county seat. In other states (e.g. Georgia, Maryland and Virginia), these laws appointed and empowered trustees to survey and lay out lots and streets and to sell the lots. Chester Bain in A Body Incorporate points out that such laws did not bestow “. . . any of the governmental powers usually vested in a governing body of a municipality” (p. 10). Bain further notes that, “while these areas were referred to as 'towns' and were created by the General Assembly, they were not, as such, governmental units” (Id.). They were “towns” in name only because they were not in any way legally or functionally similar to a municipality, and they contained very few, if any, dwellings at the time they were established.What all of the above events have in common is that they occurred prior to the presence of a community. Though they represent historical milestones in the earliest development of a community, they do not qualify as the beginning of a functioning, thriving, self-governing community or municipality.
It is only when the community is granted the privilege of self-government from the state, and is created as a separate entity with power to act as such, and to hold property as its own, to levy taxes and expend them, and to select its own officers, and is not merely a geographical name, a territorial subdivision of the state, and the sphere of the authority of a particular public officer, that it is entitled to be called a 'municipal corporation.' The power of local government is said to be the distinctive purpose and the distinguishing feature of municipal corporations proper (citation).In the U.S., self-governing communities are titled or “styled” villages, boroughs, towns, townships, and cities. Webster's New World Dictionary defines a village as “a group of houses in the country, larger than a hamlet and smaller than a city or town; such a community incorporated as a municipality” (p. 1584). The definition of a town is “a more or less concentrated group of houses and private and public buildings, larger than a village but smaller than a city; in parts of the U.S., same as TOWNSHIP - in New England and some other States, a unit of local government having its sovereignty vested in a town meeting; in England, a village that holds a market periodically” (Id. at p. 1504). The definition of borough is “in certain States of the U.S., a self-governing, incorporated town; in England, a town with a municipal corporation and rights to self-government granted by royal charter” (Id. at p. 164). Use of the style of “borough” is limited to some of the oldest eastern states (e.g. Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia) and was the style used for the earliest incorporations of a few of the oldest municipalities in states of the Northwest Territory (e.g. Ohio and Wisconsin), which was established in 1787.
Webster's New World Dictionary defines a city as “a center of population larger or more important than a town or village; in the U.S., an incorporated municipality [italics added] whose boundaries and powers of self-government are defined by a charter from the State in which it is located” (Id. at p. 260). American Jurisprudence states that “the term - city - ordinarily indicates a municipal corporation of the largest and highest class. . . having broad powers of local self-government under a charter. . . . A city is unquestionably a municipal corporation, and is the most highly developed type of corporation created for municipal purposes, because it is a miniature government, having legislative, executive, and judicial powers” (citation). In distinguishing between county and city governments, the courts have ruled that “a city is a voluntary organization, whereas a county is merely an arm of state government” (citation). This same principle could be equally applied to other municipal corporations. Cities are grouped by most state statutes in three basic categories: special law cities, general law cities, and charter cities. Special law cities received their incorporation charter by an individual or “special law” passed by the legislature and most of the incorporation dates in this database fall in this category. The powers of general law cities are enumerated and specified by general incorporation laws or state statutes. Charter cities, called “home rule” cities in some states, are formed by citizens adopting a charter which establishes the basic law of the city. Of the three classifications, charter cities have the greatest autonomy.
What all of the above definitions have in common is that they are based upon incorporation or self-government, which distinguishes them from communities that are unincorporated or that have no local form of government. Although many municipalities take pride in their early roots and equate their beginnings with a founding date, it was usually their incorporation that literally put them on the map. Few unincorporated communities are widely recognized and few are included on standard maps (some New England townships that are referred to as towns are an exception). In addition, incorporation sets legal boundaries that the U.S. Census Bureau uses to determine the local census. For unincorporated population centers or areas, the Census Bureau must designate the boundaries they will use for the census, which they call CDPs or Census Designated Places (see “U.S. Census Bureau Definitions and Data” below).In most states, individual laws incorporating municipalities were lengthy since they contained detailed governing specifications. Incorporation legislation is fairly uniform from state to state in its basic content and it meets specific legal definitions. One reason for this general uniformity is that, as the country grew westward, the newer territories and states borrowed incorporation legislation from the older adjacent territories or states. Municipal incorporation laws almost universally specify:
The earliest incorporation as a village, borough, town, township or city is usually the most significant because it established the beginning of self-government and political autonomy. When an incorporation law is not the earliest, it is still of some historical significance because it often further defined or enlarged the powers of the municipality to govern itself. Incorporation of a town or city under colonial law was usually limited by the terms of the royal charter of the colony or, in the case of the earliest charters of New York City, they did not grant elections, though they did allow some measure of self-rule. Some cities were initially chartered by the British or Dutch crowns, by the royal governor of the colony, or by the colonial legislature. For a city that was self-governing prior to the American Revolution, the earliest incorporation date or charter may not be the only appropriate initial date of self-determination for such a city. Some cities were self-governing long before they were incorporated. An example is Boston, Massachusetts which has been self-governing since 1630 but was not incorporated until 1822, almost two centuries later! However, this is a rare exception to the rule.
The earliest incorporation date for many municipalities in states west of the Mississippi River were enacted by a territorial legislature. In some instances, the earliest incorporation was granted by a territory that preceded the territory with the same name as the state. For example, the initial incorporation, as a city, of Cheyenne, Wyoming was by the Territory of Dakota, which included present-day Wyoming and preceded the Territory of Wyoming. Other such instances are included in the commentaries for each state and are noted in the “Style Earliest” field for pertinent municipal incorporation dates.There are several examples of incorporations by blanket legal fiat. In some instances (e.g. Florida and Oklahoma), laws were passed that declared all municipalities previously incorporated under general laws to be legally incorporated; these laws were passed because some incorporations were in question or were “irregular” in nature. Similarly, in Massachusetts a law passed late in the 18th century incorporated all towns in existence at the time. However, the effective date of such laws is not used for any municipalities in the database because earlier dates of self-governance for each city, town or township have been found.
In Iowa and Indiana, the individual laws incorporating some towns were legally effective when published in one or two local newspapers. An example is the law incorporating Des Moines, Iowa as a city. It was approved by the legislature on January 28, 1857 but the last section of this law states, “this act shall take effect from and after its publication in the Iowa Citizen and Iowa City Republican . . . .” After the approval date is the statement, “I certify that the foregoing act was published in the Iowa City Republican February 12, 1857, and Iowa Citizen February 16, 1857,” followed by the Secretary of State's name (1856 Iowa Acts, Chapter 185, pp. 281-296). Another example is the law incorporating Fort Wayne, Indiana as a city that was approved on February 22, 1840 and was effective upon publication in the Fort Wayne Sentinel (1839 Indiana Laws, Chapter 5, pp. 16-31). However, the Fort Wayne library is unable to ascertain the date of publication so the approval date of the incorporation law is used as a proxy for the effective date.
There are other states that passed self-governing laws for individual municipalities as well. Early in the history of North Carolina, self-governing laws were passed for some towns that appointed resident commissioners to regulate them. In the late 1700s, the Maryland Legislature enacted self-governing laws that authorized elections and empowering trustees to make bylaws and regulations for some towns (e.g. Cambridge, Easton and Havre de Grace). Also late in the 18th century, the Tennessee Legislature passed similar laws for some towns (e.g. Clarksville, Greeneville and Knoxville). Because such laws granted self-government, they were tantamount to incorporation laws and, therefore, the date they became effective is the earliest date of self-government. Nonetheless, the date that these towns were incorporated in a later year is often included in the “Incorporated as a Town” field, abbreviated in the database as “Inc as Town.” For a few towns (e.g. Belleville and Edwardsville, Illinois), the incorporation of a college is the de facto earliest incorporation of the town because the college trustees were also designated trustees for the town.
The Census Bureau defines “incorporated places” as cities, boroughs, towns and villages incorporated under the laws of their state except the towns in the New England states, New York and Wisconsin, which the Census Bureau classifies as Minor Civil Divisions (see “Townships”). The Census Bureau defines Minor Civil Division (MCD) as a “type of governmental unit that is the primary legal subdivision of a county in 28 states and created to govern or administer an area rather than a specific population. The several types of MCDs are identified by a variety of terms, such as town, township, and district, and include both functioning and non-functioning governmental units” (citation). The Census Bureau defines a “Central City” as “one or more of the largest population and employment centers of a metropolitan area” (Id.). Almost all central cities are incorporated; exceptions are Honolulu, Hawaii; Arlington, Virginia; Yarmouth in Barnstable County, Massachusetts; and Dover, New Jersey (Id.). These exceptions are termed Census Designated Places (CDPs) and are defined by the Census Bureau as “densely settled concentrations of population that are identifiable by name, but are not legally incorporated places” (Id.). They “have no legal status, nor do these places have officials elected to serve traditional municipal functions” (Id.). Hawaii is the only state with no incorporated places so all places or population concentrations in this state are designated CDPs by the Census Bureau.Census Bureau population enumerations for the April 1, 2000 Census are given in the “2000 Census” field for each city in the database. Exceptions include municipalities that were erroneously omitted from 2000 Census and the city of New Orleans, which lost significant population after Hurricane Katrina. In such cases, a Census population estimate is supplied and the year of the estimate appears in the “% Change” field.
Other, more recent examples of city and county consolidations include Jacksonville, Florida; Athens, Georgia; and Nashville, Tennessee. In some cases (e.g. Hampton and Virginia Beach, Virginia), new cities were formed by the merger of one or more towns or cities with the surrounding county. There are also examples of adjacent towns being consolidated: Denver, Minneapolis, the five boroughs of New York City, Scranton, and Winston-Salem. Mergers (e.g. Denver, Minneapolis, Scranton, and Winston-Salem) are not termed “consolidated cities” by the U.S. Census Bureau. This designation is only applied to cities that are consolidated with the surrounding county (except that Baltimore, Philadelphia, and San Francisco are labeled “independent cities” by the Census Bureau as noted above). The Census Bureau defines a “consolidated city” as:
. . . a unit of local government for which the functions of an incorporated place and its county or minor civil division (MCD) have merged. The legal aspects of this action may result in both the primary incorporated place and the county or MCD continuing to exist as legal entities, even though the county or MCD performs few or no governmental functions and has few or no elected officials. Where this occurs, and where one or more other incorporated places in the county or MCD continue to function as separate governments, even though they have been included in the consolidated government, the primary incorporated place is referred to as a 'consolidated city.' (citation)Dates of mergers and consolidations are important milestones in the self-governing history of such cities because they represent significant, fundamental changes in local government and administration and they change the character of the political unit enough to warrant including them as separate entries in the collection. Therefore, Athens (Georgia), Jacksonville (Florida), New York City, some Virginia cities and a few other cities have two separate records in the database. One record is based upon the date that these municipalities were first incorporated as a town or borough and such records are labeled “(1st incorporated)” following the municipal name. The other record is based upon the date that these cities were consolidated with the surrounding county and such records are labeled “(merger)” or “(consolidated)” after the name. Annexations are not included unless they significantly changed the area or nature of the resultant city.
Many towns and villages in the U.S. were initially owned by one or several proprietors. The proprietor(s) typically had a piece of their land surveyed and recorded the plat in the office of the county recorder. They then had the town laid off into lots and streets, according to the plat, and sold the lots. Often the land for a town or village was deeded or donated by the proprietor. In the case of some mining towns, the mining company retained ownership of all the real estate in the town.
The U.S. Census Bureau classifies townships (including towns in the New England states, New York, and Wisconsin) as “minor civil divisions” (MCDs) and not as “incorporated places,” even when they are incorporated. The Census Bureau defines a township as “a type of governmental unit that is the primary legal subdivision of a county in 28 states [including the New England states] and created to govern or administer an area [italics added] rather than a specific population” (U.S. Census Bureau). The implied difference in this definition between government of an area versus a specific population is that an area may contain a dispersed population whereas the term “specific population” implies a concentration of dwellings. In these states, townships are civil subdivisions of counties that are formed to aid in the administration of local government. As noted earlier, the courts have ruled that “a city is a voluntary organization, whereas a county is merely an arm of state government” (citation). As subdivisions of counties, townships were usually formed involuntarily by state legislatures, although they were sometimes created in response to a petition from local residents. American Jurisprudence states that,
While towns and townships are sometimes referred to or treated for certain purposes as municipal corporations, they may be so regarded only in a very broad or general sense, in the absence of statutes constituting them true municipal corporations. As ordinarily constituted, they are to be distinguished from municipal corporations in the strict or technical meaning of the term. Also, while the character, status, or powers of a municipality may be conferred upon a town or township by appropriate legislation, not every delegation of corporate power to a town or township will constitute it a municipal corporation. Counties, townships, towns, and some other political subdivisions of the state are not strictly municipal corporations but are public quasi-corporations, sometimes defined as involuntary political or civil subdivisions of the state, created by general laws to aid in the administration of government (citation).In some states (e.g. Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Ohio) townships are incorporated. In the New England states, New York and Wisconsin, townships are called towns, though they often contained small communities and rural land at the time they were created. In these and a few other states, such townships or towns are governed directly by electors attending annual town meetings at which a board of town supervisors is elected. Therefore, they are the only examples of government in the U.S. that approach a true democracy. Towns and townships in the U.S. Northeast (see "Region" under Database Components (Fields) for the list of states in this region) and a few other states (e.g. Michigan and Minnesota) generally have broad, self-governing powers so they are included in the database. In some states, townships contain all or part of a municipality with the same name or they are coextensive with the municipality (i.e. they have the same area).
State. The unabbreviated name of the state in which the municipality is located.
Region. These are based on U.S. Census Bureau divisions: West, abbreviated W (includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming); South Central, abbreviated SC (includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas); Central Midwest, abbreviated CM (includes Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota); Eastern Midwest, abbreviated EM (includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin); Southeast, abbreviated SE (includes Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia); and Northeast, abbreviated NE (includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont).
County. The name of the county containing the municipality. If the city and county are consolidated, or if the city is an “independent city,” the designation “N/A” appears instead of the county name (see “Independent, Consolidated and Merged Cities”). If a city spans more than one county, the counties containing it are separated by slashes. Louisiana county equivalents are called parishes.
Style. The present style of the municipality, such as village, borough, town, township, charter township, city, independent city (abbreviated “ind. city”), or consolidated city (abbreviated “con. city”).
County seat/state capital. If the city, town, village or borough is a county seat and/or a state capital, such designations are included in this field.
2000 Census. Population within the corporate or legal limits at the time of the 2000 Census. Exceptions include municipalities that were erroneously omitted from 2000 Census and the city of New Orleans, which lost significant population after Hurricane Katrina. In such cases, a Census population estimate is supplied and the year of the estimate appears in the following field. When there is more than one record for a particular city, the 2000 Census population only appears in the record with the latest date. The population for other records of the same city is zero. This allows the user to total the populations of all cities in a particular state or region without over-counting.
Percent Change in Population. The percent change in population from the 1990 Census to the 2000 Census for some municipalities. These were obtained when that data was readily attainable on the Bureau of the Census Web site, which is no longer the case. Exceptions to the use of the 2000 Census enumeration (e.g. population estimates, as explained in the preceding field) are noted in this field.
Date Type. Generally, this is the earliest incorporation, (designated “1st inc.”), charter or self-governing date (designated “self-gov.”). When “inc.” appears in this field, the date is believed to be the earliest incorporation but it has not been confirmed as such, although it is from an authoritative source.
Earliest Self-Governing Date. Usually this is the earliest incorporation, charter or self-governing date in standard American date format (MM/DD/YYYY). See “When a Municipality Becomes Self-Governing” for definitions. All dates prior to the calendar change in the American Colonies (in 1752) have been converted to New Style (N.S.) or Gregorian calendar dates (see “Dates Prior to the Calendar Change”). This is usually the effective date of the incorporation, charter or self-governing act. Using this field, the user can arrange self-governing dates from earliest to latest or vice versa (if you order the data in Microsoft Access format). The type of event that occurred on this date is given in the previous field. In many states, legislative sessions began in November or December and continued into the first few months of the following year. Therefore, laws approved early in the following year of such sessions have citations beginning with the previous year. An example is Los Angeles, California which was incorporated on April 4, 1850, but the legislative session began in December 1849, so the citation for this city's incorporation is: 1849 California Laws, Chapter 60.
Effective. Usually the effective date is when the earliest incorporation or self-governing act was approved by the governor or passed by the legislature but it can also be the date the municipality was erected or granted or first chartered. If the effective date is different than the approval or passage date, the difference is explained in this field. In some cases, the effective date is the date of the first meeting of residents. If this field is blank, the actual event that occurred on the date in the preceding field is unknown but it is presumed to be the effective date.
Earliest Style. The style of the municipality (town, town company, village, hamlet, borough, township or city) on the effective date of earliest self-government, if known and as specified in the source document. If the municipality first became self-governing under a different name or if it was in a different county at the time, or if it was enacted by a territory with a name different than the present state, such information is specified in this field. If the original style is unknown, this field is blank.
Source of Date. This field contains the legal or standard library citation for the source of the earliest self-governing date. If the earliest date of self-government is the earliest incorporation, the legal citation is provided. If the source is a book, publication, Web site, city clerk, or official repository, the standard library citation is given. If this field begins with an abbreviation, such as LMCF in the case of many Florida cities, this is for the convenience of the compiler and a full citation follows. For some of the oldest cities (i.e. New York, New Oleans, Philadelphia and Boston), historical background or explanations for the selection of the date chosen is provided in this field.
Former Name. If a name change or previous name was found during the course of research, such information is provided in this field. Prior spelling variations are also often included here. This field is blank in most records.
Same Name. If there is another style of municipality with the same name in the same state, usually in the same county, it is listed here. In some states (e.g. Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania), there are examples of numerous municipalities with the same name and style but in different counties (e.g. six Washington townships in New Jersey). This field is blank in most records.
Established. The date the municipality was established by the legislature, which usually preceded the date it first became self-governing, but sometimes they are one in the same. Often laws that established communities simply provided only for the laying off of the town and/or the selling of lots. Also included in this field is the date a town became the county seat or the date a city was established as the state capital. This field is blank in most records.
Earliest Incorporation as a Town. The date the municipality was first incorporated as a town, if applicable. If the municipality was never incorporated as a town, “N/A” appears in this field. If the municipality was first incorporated as a village or borough, those designations are typically specified in this field, followed by the date. If this date is unknown, the field is blank. If the form of government is a township or New England town and has never been incorporated or was incorporated with all other townships in the state at the same time by one law, this field has “N/A” for not applicable.Incorporation as a City. The date the municipality was incorporated as a city, if applicable. If this date has not been obtained, the field is blank. If the municipality has never been incorporated as a city, “N/A” for not applicable is entered in this field. If the earliest incorporation was as a city and it was never incorporated as a town, village or borough, the date in this field is the same as the "Earliest Self-Governing" date.
Copyright Notice and Licensing Agreement. The information in each record in this collection is copyrighted by Gary Brand. All rights are reserved. No part of the information contained in this database may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the author. This copyright notice and a brief licensing agreement are included in the "Source of Date" field of the first record when the records are ordered by municipal name, state, region, style, or earliest self-governing date.
Gary is very appreciative of the help he has received from the staff of librarians at the University of Virginia Law Library. The wealth of historical information contained in this library and in the Alderman Library at the University of Virginia is one of the reasons that he moved to Charlottesville in 1998 and was able to acquire dates for such a diversity of municipalities in the database. Last, but by no means least, Gary wishes to express his heartfelt thanks to his wife for her unwavering support, patience and editorial suggestions.
SUMMARY TABLE OF THE NUMBER OF U.S. CITIES, TOWNS, VILLAGES, BOROUGHS,
& TOWNSHIPS IN THE CITIES DATABANK OF EARLIEST SELF-GOVERNING DATES