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Origins of Patch.'s Name Discussed by History Author

Footnotes to Long Island History

Origins of Patch.'s Name Discussed by History Author

 

by

Thomas R. Bayles

 


            For many years it was accpted by several historians that “Patchogue” was the name of an Indian tribe that inhabited the area on the south side of Brookhaven town, but this was proed false several years ago by the late town historian Osborn Shaw.  Unkechaug was the name of the Indian tribe and their headquarters was at Mastic, so the following letter to the editor of the Advance in 1896 from William Wallace Tooker, a noted authority on the Long Island Indians is interesting. 

 

Sag Harbor, June 10 1896

“Dear Mr. Canfield;

            Your favor of the the 6th asking the question, “Did Patchogue get its name from the Patchogue Indians, came duly to hand.  It can be easily proved that there never was a Patchogue tribe in the early days of our settlements.  I am aware that the contrary is the statement of many of our Long Island Historians.  What is now the south part of Brookhaven township was under the jurisdiction of the Sachem of Unkechaug on Mastic Neck, while the land to the west of Blue Point was under the Secatogues.”

            “Pochaug Neck” between Patchogue river and Swan creek, containing 300 acres, was number 3 in the seven necks of land disposed of in the Avery lottery in 1758.  That an Indian who had a similar name and lived in Brookhaven town is proved by a deed of 1703, where “Pauchag” makes his mark as one of the grantors.  Many of the necks of land in Brookhaven town have indian names derived from the Indian who formerly erected his wigwam there.  Paushag may take his name from the neck where he lived, as is sometimes the case.  Why the name was so bestowed on the Long Island neck we shall perhaps never learn.  I conclude that it was the turning place of the canoes when they went from one place to another around the neck of land.  The name in many instances denotes a boundary mark, that is a “turning aside” place.

            Finally the same name, “Pauchogue”, occurs as the name of a creek (the first one west of Nichols Point), in the town of Islip, on an early map which is in my possession.  It is possible that this stream takes its name from the point of land, as the point is between two creeks and is naturally a “turning place”.

            Trusting this will answer your questions and will serve your purpose, I am very truly yours, Wm. Wallace Tooker

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