Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

LOCAL NAMES, ORIGIN AND HISTORY

From Pioneer and Patriot Families of Bradford County, Pennsylvania - Heverly 1770-1825

Towns & Townships

This page is part of the Tri-County Genealogy & History Site by Joyce M. Tice

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LOCAL NAMES, ORIGIN AND HISTORY

THE TOWNSHIPS

From Pioneer and Patriot Families of Bradford County, Pennsylvania - Heverly 1770-1825
Albany derives its name from the old Connecticut town of that name, which included in its limits, the present township. The old town was named by a party of gentlemen, formerly residents of the city of Albany, N.Y., who had purchased a large tract of land in southern Bradford. Albany is derived from the Celtic and means a country of heights. In 1664 the English applied this name to the present capital of New York, in honor of the Duke of Albany, who received this title from the Scottish Council in 1398.
Armenia signifying “heavenly mountain”; the mountain from which the township derives its name was first so called by Norah Wilson who settled in what is now Alba borough in 1803.
Asylum is a Latin word meaning a sanctuary, or place of refuge. During the French Revolution among those who fled to other lands for safety and protection were a number of Frenchmen who in 1793, founded a settlement in Bradford county to which they gave the name “Azilum.” When the township was formed it was named Asylum in memory of those French refugees and their settlement.
Barclay so named in honor of Robert Barclay of London, England, who purchased in 1794, 21,000 acres of land lying on what is known as Barclay Mountains.
Burlington so named in memory of the early home of a number of the pioneers who came from Burlington, Vermont. Originally the Susquehanna company’s township of Juddsburg by which name the whole Sugar Creek valley was frequently called by the first settlers.
Canton derives its name from a Connecticut township of that name, which included a part of what is now called Canton.
Columbia takes its name from the Susquehanna company’s town of Columbia, a portion of which is included in the present township.
Franklin so named in honor of Col. John Franklin, a distinguished patriot of the Revolution and champion of Connecticut title, who is buried at Athens.
Granville so named in memory of the former home in Massachusetts of some of her first settlers.
Herrick so named in honor of Edward Herrick, who was president judge of Bradford county, when the township was formed.
LeRoy is a French name, meaning “the king.” This name for the new township was suggested by Ira Crofut and was adopted by a vote of the citizens when the township was formed.
Litchfield derives its name from the old Connecticut township of Litchfield, which included in its limits the present township, also in remembrance of the former home of some of the pioneers, being from Litchfield, Conn.
Monroe so named in honor of President James Monroe, during whose administration the township was organized.
North Towanda the name follows naturally in the division of Towanda township, the new township being the northern section.
Orwell named in memory of Orwell, Vermont, the town from which many of the first settlers came. It was originally called Mt. Zion because of its elevation.
Overton so named in honor of Edward Overton, Sr., of Towanda, a prominent member of the Bradford county Bar, who gave valuable assistance to the people in their effort to secure the erection of a new township, and held large tracts of land within its bounds. For fifty years this section was known as the Heverly Settlement.
Pike so named in memory of Gen. Zebulon M. Pike, a noted explorer who was killed by the explosion of a magazine in the War of 1812.
Ridgebery was so named by Samuel Bennett who settled on the hill which still bears his name. His farm was covered with berry bushes and he gave his place the name of Ridge-berry. He was one of the most active promoters in forming the new township and was given the privilege of furnishing a name, which was that of his farm, Ridge-berry, and it was adopted.
Rome so called and the name adopted by her citizens, from the fact that the township is in the same latitude as Rome, Italy; supplanting the old name “Watertown,” the township, as laid out by the Susquehanna Company.
Sheshequin is an Indian term and is believed to be derived from Tschetschequannink, signifying “the place of a rattle.” The Tschetscheguannink of the Indian embraced the plains and Indian towns along the river in both of what is now Sheshequin and Ulster.
Smithfield so named for David Smith who claimed the township under Connecticut title, but never lived in the town.
South Creek derives its name from the principal stream flowing through the township, being a south branch of the Chemung river.
Springfield so named in remembrance of Springfield, Massachusetts, the former home of a large number of her pioneers. Originally called Murraysville in honor of Rev. Noah Murray, the pioneer Universalist preacher.
Standing Stone so called from the standing stone, a name first given to the locality by the Indians, on account of a very remarkable stone which stands in the river near the right bank.
Terry so named in memory of Jonathan Terry, the first permanent settler in 1787.
Towanda both township and creek, is of Indian origin, either from the Nanticoke word Awanda, signifying “a burial place, or Towandoemunk in the Delaware tongue, meaning “where there is a burying,” or “where we bury the dead.” The most important Indian burying ground in the county, covering several acres, was along the right bank of the Susquehanna river, extending nearly to Towanda creek. The locality was called Towandoemunk, corrupted into Towanda.
Troy derives its name from the ancient city of Troy in Asia Minor.
Tuscarora both township and creek, so called for the Tuscarora Indians, a tribe once inhabiting that locality.
Ulster derives its name from the Susquehanna Company’s township of Ulster, being a part of the original township.
Warren named in memory of Gen. Joseph Warren, who was slain at the battle of Bunker Hill
Wells named in honor of Gen. Henry Welles, a resident of Athens at the time of the formation of the township.
West Burlington the new township being the western section of Burlington divided, hence the name.
Wilmot so named in honor of David Wilmot, then in the height of his fame as congressman.
Windham so called from Windham county, Connecticut, the former home of a number of the early settlers.
Wyalusing both township and creek, is of Indian origin corrupted from M’chwihilusing, “the place of the hoary veteran,” another version is from Wigalusui, “the good hunting ground.” Wyalusing was “Springfield” of the Susquehanna company’s towns.
Wysox both township and creek, is derived from the Indian word Wisachgimi, signifying “the place of grapes.” Zeisberger spells the word Wisachk; Sauk, or Saucon, “a canoe harbor” --Wysauk, where there is a canoe harbor.”

TOWNS AND LOCALITIES

Alba signifying white, an emblem of purity, so named by Noah Wilson, the first settler there, because of the pure clear stream of water flowing through the locality. Incorporated as a borough, February 4, 1864; population 150 in 1910.
Athens origin same as township; occupies the site of the Indian town Diahoga where important Treaties and Councils were held with the Indians; the southern gateway of the Six Nations; the armies of Sullivan and Clinton met and Fort Sullivan built here, 1779; incorporated March 25, 1831; population 3796 in 1910.
Austinville so named in honor of the late A. B. Austin of Elmira, who located here about 1857, building up an extensive business and doing much for the place. The locality was originally known as “Cabot Hollow” and later as “Morgan Hollow.”
Ballibay a name given to the southwest section of Herrick in remembrance of the former home of the first settlers there, who were from Ballibay, Ireland.
Bentley Creek both village and creek, derive their name from the fact that Green Bentley was the first settler along this stream in Ridgebery.
Bumpville a section of North Rome, so called in memory of Reuben Bumpus, a noted hunter and Revolutionary soldier, who settled there in 1806.
Burlington origin same as township; incorporated February 14, 1854; population 142 in 1910. Long known as “Burlington Corners.”
Camptown so called in remembrance of Job Camp, the first settler, who located at that place in 1792.
Canton origin same as township; incorporated May 10, 1864; population 1637 in 1910. For many years was known as “Canton Corners;” Jonathan Prosser, the first settler in 1795.
Durell originally the township of Durell (1842-58, now Asylum), so named in remembrance of Stephen Durell, an early settler. The name is now restricted to the hamlet of Durell.
Franklindale from Franklin, the name of the township and dale, a vale or valley, its position on Towanda creek. Name first used upon the establishment of a post-office there in 1826.
Frenchtown After the exodus of the French refugees, that part of Asylum which had been occupied by them, was called Frenchtown in their remembrance.
Ghent Articles of peace and amity between Earl Mastin and wife, a belligerent couple, having been agreed upon, about the time articles were signed between the United States and Great Britain at Ghent, Dr. Zadoc Gillett gave the locality the name “Ghent,” a designation by which East Sheshequin is still known.
Gillett both the post-office and locality are so named in honor of Deacon Asa Gillett, a man of enterprise and splendid influence, who came from Delaware county, N. Y., to South Creek in 1833.
Grover so named in memory of Isaiah Grover, a Revolutionary soldier, who made the first improvement in that locality, 1798. He moved to Ohio in 1821 where he died, 1829, aged 73 years.
Herrickville is a derivative, the suffix ville meaning village or town; hence the village of Herrick, or Herrickville.
Hornbrook both creek and locality, takes its name from the large horn, or tusk of a mastadon, 9 feet long, which was found near the mouth of that stream in the bed of the river by Isaac Horton in 1844. Also from a pair of deer’s horns found locked in a tree on the creek at an earlier date.
Laddsburg name first given to the post-office, established at South Albany, 1850, in honor of the Ladds, pioneers of Albany township.
Laquin is an ingenious construction from two words--La from Barclay and quin from Quinn. In 1902 Barclay brothers (G.B. & C.F.) of Cameron county and T.H. Quinn & Co. of Elk county formed a co-partnership under the firm name of the Laquin Lumber Company for extensive lumbering operations in Barclay township. Thus the old firms were united under one word, Laquin, from the names of both. The town growing up around their mills became Laquin and now has a population (both sides of the Schrader) of about 1000.
Leona is derived from the word Leonard. What is known as Leona was settled by Ezekiel and Austin Leonard in 1804, the locality for years being known as “Leonard Hollow.”
LeRaysville so named in honor of Vincent LeRay de Chaumont, a French gentleman of Jefferson county, N.Y., who owned many sections of land, embracing a large part of Eastern Bradford; incorporated May 16, 1863; population, 326 in 1910.
Luthers Mills derives its name from the establishment of mills at that place by Elisha Luther who settled there in 1816.
Macedonia That section of Asylum known as Macedonia derives its name by reason of a sermon preached by Amos Acla in which the words “Macedonia,” “Macedonian cry,” “come over and help us” were used very frequently. The boys took up the phrase and called the settlement Macedonia, a cognomen which has ever since clung to the locality.
Merryall “In the early settlement of Connecticut a few hardy pioneers began a settlement in the township of New Milford in what was afterwards the parish of New Preston, and having got a little rum while regaling themselves by a fine cold spring, christened it by the name of Merryall.” From this place Thomas Lewis and others of the Wyalusing pioneers came. In remembrance of their former home they called their settlement Merryall.
Milan a name said to have been suggested by Mrs. Guy Tracy. The place was originally known as “Marshall’s Corners” from the fact that Josiah B. Marshall commenced business and opened a hotel here in the early 30’s. The locality has also been known as “Upper Ulster.”
Minnequa derives its name from a legend in which “Minnequa,” an Indian maiden, met a tragic death and was buried near the celebrated mineral springs bearing her name. Peter Herdic made the place famous by establishing a health resort there in 1869.
Monroeton is a contraction for Monroe-town, meaning the town or village of Monroe or within Monroe, in contradistinction from the name of the township. Both the village and the township had the name Monroe until 1829, when the post-office there was changed to Monroeton and since retained as the name of the village. Incorporated May 19, 1855; population 403 in 1910.
Myersburg so named in remembrance of its founders and first settlers, Jacob and William Myer. In early times Myersburg was a center and place of more importance than Towanda. Here were a grist and saw-mill, carding and fulling factory, shop, store, hotel and distillery.
Neath a name given to the Welsh settlement in East Pike when the postoffice was established there in 1870.
New Albany so called to perpetuate the original name (“New Albany”) of the township and to designate between the village and the earlier organization; incorporated Dec. 6, 1879; population 413 in 1910.
Overshot takes its name from the fact of the building of an overshot saw-mill on a little stream in the northwest corner of Towanda township by C. L. Ward and J. F. Means.
Pail Factory a name retained to a section of North Towanda, from the fact that a pail factory was established there in 1828 by Nathaniel Manville and Jacob Myer.
Potterville so named in honor of Jason Potter, a native of Plymouth, Conn., who owned a large tract of land in East Orwell and settled thereon in 1824.
Powell originally known as Greenwood; post-office established there as Linwood in 1855, changed April 1, 1872, to Powell in honor of Joseph Powell of Towanda, one of the chief promoters in establishing the tannery at that place.
Quick’s Bend the northern section of Wilmot township, around which the river flows in a semi-circle, and so named from James Quick, one of the first settlers there.
Rome origin same as township; incorporated February 3, 1858; population 222 in 1910. Frederick Eiklor was the first settler in 1798.
Rummerfield both village and creek, so called in remembrance of Anthony Rummerfield, a blacksmith, who located near the mouth of the creek in 1774.
Sayre so named in honor of Robert H. Sayre, president of the Pa. & N. Y. R. R., when the first depot was located there; the name has been extended to the town and borough; incorporated Jany. 27, 1891; population 6426 in 1910.
Silvara so called in honor of Emanuel Silvara, a native of Portugal, who settled in Tuscarora, where the village, which bears his name, now stands.
South Waverly that part of Waverly built in Bradford county south of the New York state line; incorporated Jany. 28, 1878; population 1084 in 1910.
Stevensville derives its name from the settlement commenced in Pike, 1794 by Aden and Nathan Stevens, brothers, from Connecticut.
Sugar Run both village and creek, derive their name from the fact that originally there were fine maple groves, where considerable quantities of maple sugar were made, at the mouth of the stream, which was called Sugar Run.
Sylvania name given the post-office established March 18, 1818, and extended to village; incorporated May 5, 1853; population 217 in 1910. Originally known as “Columbia Flats.”
Terrytown was originally the settlement of the Terry families and the village is so called from that fact.
Towanda origin same as township; incorporated March 5, 1828; population 4281 in 1910. Also long known as “Meansville” from the settlement and improvements of Wm. Means, the first settler.
Troy origin same as township; incorporated April 11, 1845; population 1288 in 1910. Reuben Case the first settler in 1798.
Ulster origin same as township; originally known as “Old Sheshequin,” Here the first trading post in Bradford county was established in 1765, and a mission by the Moravians in 1766.
Wetona so named in a legend written by A. S. Hooker of “Wetonah,” a gigantic Oneida warrior, who survived the battle of Newtown and thenceforth inhabited the locality which bears his name. Wetona proper was originally known as “Pleasant Valley.”
Wilawana from the Indian Wilawan or Wilawaning, meaning the “Big Horn” --”the place where the big horn was found.”
Windfall the western section of Granville, derives its name from the condition of the wilderness found by the first settlers. In March, 1794, a terrific tornado passed from the Armenia mountain to Granville township, thence to LeRoy and then onward in a southeasterly direction into Sullivan county. In its path, a mile wide, the timber was prostrated.
Wyalusing origin same as township; incorporated February 16, 1887; population 580 in 1910. Near here an important Moravian Mission, Friedenshutten, was established in 1765.
SUBMITTED BY PAT RAYMOND


Published On Tri-Counties Site On 2/12/99
By Joyce M. Tice
Email: JoyceTice@aol.com