Pompton people

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Total population
extinct as a tribe
Regions with significant populations
 United States ( New Jersey)
English, historically Unami
Christianity, Native American Church, traditional tribal religion
Related ethnic groups
other Lenape

The Pomptons or Pamapons were a sub-tribe of Algonquian-speaking Native Americans, who once lived northern New Jersey. The Pompton historically lived along Pompton and Pequonnock Rivers, near what is now Paterson, New Jersey, but they left New Jersey after their lands had been taken without compensation by European colonists.[1]


A band of Wappingers, they joined by invitation the Munsee at the end of the Esopus War of 1664. "Wappinger" was originally the name of a small sachemdom on the east side of the Hudson near Poughkeepsie and comprises various bands.

Memerescum, a Pompton sachem, was the "sole sachem of all the nations (towns or families) of Indians on Remopuck River, 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).[2]Chief Katonah, who was the sachem of the condensed tribe called Ramapo in Connecticut, which originated from a tribe of Pompton and was forced to move to Connecticut by the encroachment of the Dutch.[3] Tapgow, who was Katonah's uncle signed on the Indian Deed of 1710, the Wawayanda Patent and others.


Pompton is thought to mean "a place where they catch soft fish."[4] Pequannock (in the name of the Township and of the Pequannock River) is thought to have been derived from the Lenape word "Paquettahhnuake", meaning, "cleared land ready or being readied for cultivation".[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Weslager, C. A. (1990). The Delaware Indians: A History. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. p. 268. ISBN 978-0-8135-1494-9. 
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ http://catalog.nypl.org/iii/encore/search/C%7CSFranklyn+BeArce%7COrightresult%7CU1?lang=eng&suite=pearl,[dead link] retrieved 1/14/2011, The Bearce family history on file in the NY Public Library
  4. ^ Town Information - Pequannock, accessed November 9, 2006. Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Morris County profile of Pequannock Township, accessed November 9, 2006. Archived December 12, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.