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Do You Remember?

"Throggs With 2 G's Preferred By
Pre-1960 Throggs Neckers"

(Reprinted from "Throggs Neck Memories"
in the Bronx Times Reporter June 22, 1995.)

Old timers use 2
Old timers use 2 "G's"
when spelling Throggs Neck.

Throgs Neck, Throg's Neck, Throggs Neck or Throgg's Neck are variations of the spelling of this once rural peninsula. The accompanying photogragh is used to illustrate this article because, although it shows a newly emplaced memorial, it was designed by two old-timers, Tony Scumaci and John V. Riche. You will readily note that they chose the spelling with two G's. This seems to be the general norm in the area. Those here before the bridge tend to use two G's while newcomers, those who arrived after the construction of the Throgs Neck Bridge in 1960, tend to use one G. Both spellings are acceptable.
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 much complaint.

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