The man for whom the
peninsula is named actually used the spelling
Throckmorton. According to Robert Throckmorton, a
direct descendent of our first settler, the Old
English origin of that name however, derives from
"throgg" (note the two G's) which meant
drain. The next element of the name was
"mere" which was another name for a
pond and "ton" became known as town.
John Throckmorton and his
wife, Rebecca, sailed from England with Roger
Williams and seventeen other passengers abroad
the "Lyon" and arrived in John
Winthrop's colony in Massachuetts on February 5,
1631. Religious differences caused him to leave
that colony in 1637 at which time he moved to
Rhode Island with Roger Williams.
The reason for him leaving
Rhode Island is unclear but could be due the
general feeling that the colony in Massachusetts
was planning to invade that area on moral
grounds. Rhode Island was far too liberal for the
strict Puritan stock of Massachusetts.
John Throckmorton left
Rhode Island with his wife and three children
(Freegift, Daughter and Patience) and established
his colony at the area we now know as Schurz
Avenue near Calhoun Avenue in Throggs Neck in
1642. He had received permission from the Dutch
Governor, Wilhelm Kieft; to settle this land
called "Vriedlant" which had been
occupied by the Siwanoy Indians. I believe that
his fourth child, Deliverance, was born here
becomining the first child of European stock to
be born in the Bronx. He started his colony with
35 families but, due to an Indian uprising, it
lasted only about a year.
He returned to Rhode Island
and resided there until at least 1672, during
which time his three sons were born. He purchased
some shares in the Mammouth Patent in New Jersey
in 1665 which was later settled by some of his
children but it is unclear if he actually settled
there himself. He passed away in 1684 at the age
of 83, a ripe old age for the seventeeth century.
He had sold the land now
known as Throggs Neck to Augustine Hermans in
1652 and since that time it has been continually
divided and sub-divided. It still amazes me that
it should bear his name, albeit in a corrupted
form, even to this day.
The spelling has been
altered in numerous ways over the years.
Throgmorton Avenue is one example. Throgs Neck
Boulevard was originally spelled "Throgg's
Neck Boulevard" but, when the city changed
the signs, the new spelling was accepted with