Pompton people

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The Pompton, Pumpton, or Pamapon Indians were a condensed Tribe located in Northern Jersey. A band of Wappingers by invitation from the Minsi at the end of the Esopus War of 1664 joined them. Wappinger was originally the name of a small sachemship on the east side of the Hudson near Poughkeepsie and comprises various bands.

The territory of the Wappangers ran from the east bank of the Hudson River from Manhattan Island to Poughkeepsie and the territory eastward to the lower Connecticut Valley.[1] Other names for the Wappinger were: Highland Indians, Long Reach Indians, Oping (Opine), and Pompton. Some of the names of the villages were Alipkonck, Sinsing, Kestoubniuk, Keskisckonck, Pesquaskeck and Noch Peem. One possible group of Wappinger remain in the region today, the Ramapough Mountain Indians (Ramapo Mountain People) in northern New Jersey.[2][3]

Memerescum, a Pompton Sachem, was the 'sole sachem of all the nations (towns or families) of Indians on Remopuck River(Ramapo), and on the east and west branches thereof, on Saddle River, Pasqueck River, Narranshunk River and Tappan,' gave title to all the lands in upper or northwestern Bergen and Passaic counties.", indicating a combination of clans. His name appears on the Indian Deed of 1710.(otherwise known as the Ramapo Tract or the Schuyler Patent)[4] Chief Catoonah who was the Sachem of the condensed tribe called Ramapoo in Connecticut originated from the tribe of Ramapo/Pamapon(Pompton) Tribe and was forced to move to Connecticut by the encroachment of the Dutch.[5] Tapgow, who was Catonah's uncle signed on the Indian Deed of 1710, the Wawayanda Patent and others.

Pequannock (in the name of the Township and of the Pequannock River) is thought to have been derived from the Lenni Lenape word "Paquettahhnuake", meaning, "cleared land ready or being readied for cultivation".[6] Pompton has been cited by some sources to mean "a place where they catch soft fish."[7]


  1. ^ http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/newyork/newyork4.htm, retrieved 9/21/2010
  2. ^ http://www.angelfire.com/realm/shades/nativeamericans/wappinger.htm, retrieved 4/24/2010
  3. ^ http://www.twincommonwealth.com/nj/njind.htm, retrieved 4/25/2010
  4. ^ Ruttenber, Edward., Footprints of the Red Men. Indian geographical names in the valley of Hudson's river, the valley of the Mohawk, and on the Delaware: The location and the probably meaning of some of them. p. 113-114
  5. ^ http://catalog.nypl.org/iii/encore/search/C%7CSFranklyn+BeArce%7COrightresult%7CU1?lang=eng&suite=pearl, retrieved 1/14/2011, The Bearce family history on file in the NY Public Library
  6. ^ Morris County profile of Pequannock Township, accessed November 9, 2006.
  7. ^ Town Information - Pequannock, accessed November 9, 2006.