FAMILIAR INDIAN PLACE NAMES IN RHODE ISLAND
By County and Town, City & Place
Francis J. O’Brien, Jr. Aquidneck Indian Council Newport, RI USA
June 4, 2009 © 2009
Copyright © 2009 by Francis Joseph O’Brien, Jr., Aquidneck Indian Council. All rights reserved.
FAMILIAR INDIAN PLACE NAMES IN RHODE ISLAND
By County and Town, City & Place Source: T. W. Bicknell, LL.D. ~ History of the State of Rhode Island, 1920
Annawomscut—Bay side of West Barrington. Chachacust—New Meadow Neck; Hampden Meadows. Chachapacassett—Rumstick. Mosskituash—A creek flowing southerly into Bullock's Cove. Mouscochuck—A creek, north of Nayatt, flowing west into Bay. Nayatt—At S. W. point of town, projecting into Bay. Nockum—A little hill west of Hundred Acre Cove. Popanamscutt—Peninsula between Sowams or Barrington river on the east and the Bay on the west; also called Peebe's Neck. Scamscammuck—A spring at Rumstick. Sowams—Name of town; home of Massasoit, 1620; also name of north end of bay. Wannainoisett—Name of N. W. part of Barrington, 1717-1747, on Providence river.
Consumpsit Neck—Indian name of Bristol. Chessawannock—Hog Island in Bristol harbor. Montaup—Mount Hope. Poppasquash—The land between Bristol harbor and Narragansett Bay.
Kickemuit—River and spring in East Warren. Touissett—A neck of land, part in Warren, part in Swansea.
Mishnock—A tributary of the Pawtuxet; also a swamp. Moosup—A tributary of the Thames in Conn. Pawtuxet—A river flowing east into Providence river. Quidnick—A factory village, a river and a pond. Tiogue—A reservoir.
Maskacaug—A small river. Potowomut—A peninsula at mouth of Potowomut river, and south of Greenwich Bay.
Escoheag—A hill, 541 feet, west part of town; the source of three rivers. Mishnock—A pond and swamp.
Apponaug—A village in Warwick. Chepiwanoxet—An island in Greenwich Bay. Choppaquansett—A point in Bay. Conimicut—A point in Bay, opposite Nayatt. Cowesett—Name of a small family of Indians; also of lands south of Apponaug on Greenwich Bay. Kickamuit, Aponakee, Weeweonk, and Masquachug—Are brooks in Warwick, tributary to Pawtuxet river.
Namquid—Indian name of Gaspee Point Nausocket—A beach at Buttonwoods. Occupassuatuxet—A cove opening into Bay. Passeconquis—A cove north of Gaspee Point. Pawtuxet—A village and river. Pontiac and Natick—Villages on the Pawtuxet. Potowomut—A peninsula or neck extending east into Bay; also a rock and river. Shawomet—Indian name of the town. Tuskatucket—A small stream flowing into Greenwich Bay.
JAMESTOWN: Conanicut—Jamestown. LITTLE COMPTON: Sakonet—A point projecting S. W. into the Ocean; also the river separating Little Compton from the island of Rhode Island. Tunipus—A small pond. MIDDLETOWN: Sachuest—A neck point and beach on the Atlantic S. E. part of town. NEWPORT: Aquidneck—Indian name of the island of Rhode Island. Wonametonomy or Miantonomi—A hill in north part of city. Woonchasset—Coasters' Harbor Island. NEW SHOREHAM: Chagum or Sachem—A pond on the Island Manisses—Indian name of Block Island
PORTSMOUTH: Chibachueset—Indian name of Prudence Island. Pocasset— Indian name of the town. TIVERTON: Nanaquackct—A neck of land in Tiverton; also a cove. Seapowit, Packet and Puncatest—Names of minor localities in the town. Pocasset—Indian name of a tribe of the Wampanoags; also their tribal home, under Queen Weetamoo.
BURRILLVILLE: Chepachet—A river. Mehunganup—A swamp. Mohegan—A manufacturing village. Nipmuck—A stream tributary to the Blackstone; also a tribe tributary to the Narragansetts, located in N.W. Rhode Island. Pascoag—A manufacturing village; also a tribe tributary to the Narragansetts. Wallum—A pond named for a Quinebaug captain. CRANSTON: Antashantuck—Randall's Pond. Mashantatuck—A tract of about 4,000 acres ; also called Paquabuck; also a river on the western
boundary of the land. Present spelling Meshanticut. Mashapaug—An Indian village; also a pond and brook. Mishantatuck—A river. Papaquinapaug—Fenner's Pond and land around it. Pesaumkamesquesit—Blackmore Pond. Pocassett—A river and a village. Sockanosset—A village, now Howard; also a hill ; also a reservoir. Tabamapaug—Dyer's Pond. EAST PROVIDENCE: Pomham—A rock in Providence river; site of Pomham light. Seekonk—Indian name of town. Sowams—Southern part of East Providence, from Silver Spring east to Palmer's river. Squantum—A point, a rocky ledge and headquarters of Squantum Club. Wannamoisett—S. W. part of town, beginning near Pomham. Watchemokct—A thickly settled section near Providence. FOSTER: Moosup—Name of river and village; also name of brother of Miantonomi, often called Pessicus. Westconnaug or Westquodnoid—A reservoir. GLOCESTER: Chepachet—A river and village. Matony—A hill. Ponagansett—A pond, stream and ledge, head of the Pawtuxet; also spelled Punhangansett. Poquanituck—A small stream. Woonasquatucket—A pond and stream. JOHNSTONS: Moswansicut—Reservoir. Neutakonkanut—A high hill. Ossapimsuck—A brook. Pocasset—A river. Sekesakut—A hill and land around it. Suckatunkanuck—A hill east of Almy's Reservoir. Sutamachute—A hill N. W. of Simmonsville. LINCOLN: Louisquissct—Village turnpike and brook. Moshassuck—River and village in valley. Quinsnicket—Hill, pond and cliffs. This is an English made name. The true Indian word is Caucaunjawatchuck, meaning a place of crows, as the first two syllables suggest. Scockanoxet—The land at Hackleton's Lime Rocks. NORTH PROVIDENCE: Wanskuck—Reservoir. Woonasquatucket—River. NORTH SMITHFIELD: Mattity and Nipsachet or Nipsachuck—Swamps.
Woonsocket—Hill, 588 ft. high. PAWTUCKET: Pawtuckct—Indian name of river and falls. PROVIDENCE: Mashapaug—A pond. Moshassuck—Indian name of Providence; also present name of river. Pomecansett—Neck of land between Field's Point and Sassafrax Point. Tockwotton—A hill at Indian Point. Wapwaysit— Location of first bridge over the Moshassuck, at what is now Stevens St., leading into Charles St. Wauskuck—A pond and village. Weybossct—Peninsula on west side of Providence river. Woonasquatucket—Name of river, uniting with the Moshassuck at Providence to form the Providence river. The Providence receives the Pawtucket at Fox Point and continues a tidal river to Bullocks and Gaspee Points, where it receives the name of Narragansett Bay. The Indian name of the Bay above Prudence Island and east of Warwick was Sowams Bay. SCITUATE: Chapamistcook, Westconnaug, Musquitohawk—Names of brooks. Chompnist or Chapompamiskock—A hill range, 730 feet high. Moswansicutt, Posnagansett—Ponds. Ponaganset—A village. SMITHFIELD: Pamechipsk—A ridge of hills extending north and south. Weehapasacheck—Region south of Wyonkeag Hill. Woonasquatucket—A river. Wyonkeag—A hill 587 feet high. WOONSOCKET: Nipmuck—A river in the section occupied by the tribe. Woonsocket—Indian name of the hill and falls.
CHARLESTOWN: Chemunganoc—A fort and pond. Mashonaug—A point. Ninigret—A fort and also a burial place. Pasquesett, Gawgunsk, Poquinunk, Wecapaug, Wequatuxet—Brooks. Pawaget, Watchaug, or Quonochontaug, Cocumpaug, Pasquesett—Ponds. Pequot—Old Indian trail. Quonochontaug—A neck of land. Shannock—A village. Shumuncanuc or Chemunganoc—A hill. Tockwotton—A cove. Watchaug—A spring.
EXETER: Aspanansuck—A village; also home of Miantonomi and Wawaloam Pettaquamscutt—Purchase line. Tippecansett, Yawker and Yawgoo—Ponds. Yawgoo—A village. Yawker—A hill. HOPKINTON: Ashaway, Canonchet, Niantic—Villages. Ashaway and Tomaquog—Valleys. Canonchet, Ashaway—Rivers and brooks. Pawcatuck, Ashawog, Tomaquog, Neshungansett, Yawgoo, Wincheck—Ponds. NORTH KINGSTOWN: Annaquatuckett, Narragansett—Villages; also reservoirs. Annaquatuckett, Mattatuxet or Hunts, Pettaquamscutt, Potowomut—Rivers and ponds. Cawcumscussuc—Harbor at Wickford; also a brook. Hamogansett or Kesikomick, Quidnesset—Historic places. Namcook—Boston Neck. Pojack or Muskechug, Quenset or Seconigansett—Points. Quidnesset—A park. SOUTH KINGSTOWN: Pawcatuck, Pettaquamscutt, Saugatuck, Usquepaug, Schickasheen or Miskianza—Rivers, brooks, and coves. Pesquamscot or Warden's Pond—Largest fresh water pond in the State. Quahaug, Poonnock—Rocks. Usquepaug, Matunuc, Narragansett Pier—Villages. Yawgoo, Westquag, Matunuc, Pettaquamscutt, Usquepaug—Other ponds. RICHMOND: Ashuniunk, Conob—Brooks. Wyoming, Shannock, Usquepaug—Villages. WESTERLY: Misquamicut—Indian name of town. Niantic—A village. Pawcatuck—River on the west, separating Rhode Island from Connecticut. Winnapaug—"A fine pond." Other Indian names of brooks, ponds or hills—Mastuxet, Aquantaug, Mushchaug, Musquataug, Ashagomiconsett, Minnacommuck, Pascommattas, Quimnmoge, Teapanock, Tiscatuck, Minnabaug, Muyquataug, Neshudgansett, Paspatonage, Pawtuxent, Tishcottie, Tomaquag and Weekapaug.