Gazetteers list geographical names such as towns, settlements, rivers, mountains, villages, and districts. They identify these locations and sometimes give details concerning them. Several gazetteers of Ohio have been published.
How did your ancestor find the correct destination out West? Quite possibly they had a copy of Brown's book:
- Brown, Samuel R. The Western Gazetteer or Emigrant's Directory, Containing a Geographical Description of the Western States and Territories, viz. The States of Kentucky, Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Mississippi: and the Territories of Illinois, Missouri, Alabama, Michigan, and North-Western. Auburn, N.Y.: H.C. Southwick, 1817. Digital versions at NIU Library Digitization Projects and World Vital Records ($).
One of the most valuable sources for finding the names of early towns and geographical features is:
- The Ohio Gazetteer 
Another major reference source for identifying Ohio localities is:
- Ohio Place Names 
For river landings, see:
- Adams, Louis A. Adam's Directory of Points and Landings on Rivers and Bayous in the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin. (includes Tennessee) New Orleans : W.L. Murray, 1877. Digital version at Internet Archive.
Family History Library
Geographical sources can be found in the Locality Search of the The Family History Library under:
OHIO - GAZETTEERS
OHIO - NAMES, GEOGRAPHICAL
- The 1891 Grain Dealers and Shippers Gazetteer
- Linkpendium Maps and Gazetteers
- Ohio state gazetteer and business directory for 1860-61
Getting Help with your Genealogy
- Kilbourn, John. The Ohio Gazetteer. Eighth Edition. Columbus, Ohio: J. Kilbourn, 1826. (Family History Library book 977.1 E5k; films 823667 item 1, and 476928 item 2.)
- Miller, Larry L. Ohio Place Names. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, c. 1996. (Family History Library book 977.1 E2m.)