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Thread: The meaning of NJ Place Names

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    New Jersey Ambassador Admin & Founder JerseyDevil's Avatar
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    Default The meaning of NJ Place Names

    Okay - I've thought about this for a long time - what is the meaning behind NJ county, town, and street names. Either what they mean or who was the person they were named after. Tonight I was thinking about it again when I was comtemplating why Maidenhead was changed to Lawrenceville and who was Lawrence. I then was wondering who Tom was who gave his name to Toms River.

    Here are just a few I know for right now...

    Mercer - named after General Hugh Mercer who was mortally wounded at the Battle of Princeton and died of his wounds at the William Clarke House (still on the grounds of the state park, where you can see the room where he died). He was a close friend of George Washington and Scottsman.

    White Horse - named after George Washington's horse which was white.

    Trenton - named after William Trent, one of the original founders of Trenton. The William Trent house was recently renovated and is again open to the public. Druring the summer they have numerous events going on.

    Cape May - was named after the Dutch explorer Captain Mey. After the British took over, the name was anglicized.

    Here are just a selection I know - let's hear which ones others can come up with.
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    New Jerseyan davegering's Avatar
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    I heard Cherry Hill was named after a Mall
    DAVE GERING
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    Hi Jersey Devil and Davegering, I am not sure if Cherry Hill was named after the mall but I sure know the mall well enough. lol. I am facinated by the meanings of the names for Jersey cities. I will try to remember them. There is a question I have for you. It is a street, not a city name but maybe you know this. It is ''Cooper's Folly Road.'' Do you happen to know what Cooper did that was folly? LOL. There had to be a reason for it being named that. I have been thinking about it ever since I saw the offramp sign coming back from Cape May. Take care. Marianita

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    New Jerseyan davegering's Avatar
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    Contrary to popular belief the city of ELIZABETH was not named after Queen Elizabeth but after the wife of Sir George Carteret who was the copropietor of East Jersey(gues what city is named after him)?
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    That I find interesting. I had wondered about that. Now here is something that proves I have done my homework well. The city of Marlton was named for the blue clay used back in the 1800's called ,''marl'' and someone named the area ,''Marlton.'' Marianita

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marianita
    Now here is something that proves I have done my homework well.
    That's good because there will be tests afterward.
    The city of Marlton was named for the blue clay used back in the 1800's called ,''marl'' and someone named the area ,''Marlton.''
    I didn't know about this one. That's similar to Piscataway - except that it's an indian word for the color of the sand there. It's sort of a deer hide color.

    I did know about Elizabeth being named after Carteret's wife and not Queen Elizabeth I. Elizabeth was originally Elizabethtown, but at some point they dropped the town part.

    Princeton, Kingston and Trenton used to all have "town" at the end - but then was shortened to just "ton" and then connected to name. Prince-Town, Kings-Town and Trent-Town. There was a Queens Town between Kings-Town and Prince-Town but was then made part of Princeton.
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

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    Default NJ names

    Jersey Devil, perhaps you can find out about ''Coopers Folly Road.'' That should be interesting. Sort of like ''Seawards folly.'' lol. Now here is a question for you. For example my son lives in Evesham Township. He lives in Marlton as you know. Why are there townships and how did they come about? Like Cinnaminson Township and many other townships. They have towns under them. I think it is neat but not sure why. Also many places end in the word,''boro.'' I am interested in knowing these kinds of things. I learn alot from the magazines I subscribe to and I read the Jersey news daily. I am detail oriented. Take care. Marianita

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    The town of Caldwell was named after Reverend James Caldwell . He was a local Reverend who preached in the Springfield N.J. area before and during the revolutionary war . He was very much in favor of independence from the British . He joined the Third New Jersey Infantry Regiment as a chaplain when the war broke out in N.J. . It was in June 1780 at the battle of Connecticut Farms in which is now Union N.J. that his wife was killed by a British soldier while she was holding her 8 month old child . She was taking shelter in her house with her baby and two other women . Two weeks later at the battle of Springfield N.J. American troops started running out of wadding for their muskets and Reverend Caldwell went into the Presbyterian church ,gathered the hymn books ,and handed them out so the pages could be used for wadding . At this point he shouted " give em Watts boys ". If I remember correctly Watts was a British priest and now his words in these books were being shot at the British troops . The battle of Springfield has become known as the forgotten victory. It is possible this heroic stand by heavily outnumbered N.J. militia and the few continental troops present saved not only George Washingtons army who was not all present at the battle but also the revolutionary cause . GOD BLESS THESE MEN ! NEW JERSEY HISTORY SECOND TO NONE !
    Last edited by NJPRIDE; 02-12-2006 at 03:01 PM.

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    That is an awesome man. He continued the work even though he must have been grieving for his wife. God must have blessed him with inner strength. Marianita

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    Default town name

    The town of Kearny was named after civil war hero and general Philip Kearny . He led the !st N.J. Brigade at the start of the war and later was given command of a division although he did not want to leave his Jersey brigade . In 1862 at the Battle of Williamsburg Va. he was leading his division into combat when he shouted " Im a one armed Jersey son of a gun , follow me " He had lost his left arm during the Mexican war . There are statues of Kearny in Newark , Kearny , Washington D.C. and at Arlington national cemetary were he is buried . The one at Arlington is one of only two equestrian monuments there .
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    That is most interesting indeed. We have a Kerney mancion here. It is a historical site on acres of land that is now a park. The road that Mr. Kearney rode his horse and buggy on is lined with palm trees. He liked palm trees. I wonder if there is any connection there or is this a different Kearney. I will have to research it. Marianita

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    Califon was originally named California. A local miller named it such just about the time the California Gold Rush was commencing. He thought the name would bring prosperity. The town shortened the name to Califon in the early 1900's. I have an ice cream social ticket from 1906 that still calls it California.

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    Default meaning of NJ places

    Hi irsihblue eyes, I find that very interesting. I nevver knew that Calif had a different name. I thought it had a Spanish name or something. I wonder if that keepsake you have that says ''California''s valuable by now. You never know. Marianita

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    The town of Madison in Morris County was named to honor the 4th president of the U.S. James Madison.
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    Default meaning of New Jersey names

    Hi Jersey Pride, That is very interesting indeed. Now I know something else about the state I love so much. I know how Marlton got it's name. It started in the 1800's when the settlers used a green clay called ''marl'' and someone named the area Marlton. I believe I had originally said the clay was blue but actually it was green. I had thought maybe it was named for someone. I have learned alot about ''my state.'' lol. MaryAnne

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    Hi. New here.
    Malboro was also names for the Marl

    I came across THIS SITE that explains many of the names

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    Hi Jeff, That is so interesting. I put the website in my favorites so I can check it out later. I know Vorhees was named after someone. I read it somewhere. I can hardly wait to check out the meaning the of the names. Take care. Marianita

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    Default The meaning of New Jersey names

    Hi Jeff. Have I ever got some news for you. This is exciting. I did some research and found out exactly Marlton got it's name. There is no doubt about it. I will try to condense this.
    Marl is calcium carbonate. It is a squishy sticky off white clay like substance found in marshy areas.It was formed when an aquatic plant , chara, extracted carbonate from the lake waters of melting glaciersand stored the chemicals in it's branches. Dead chara sank to the ground to form a chalky soil. Peat also formed from partially decaying vegetation.Dig below and you will hit a layer of marl. Lime in marl cementas sand grains together so the soil retains heat and water. Marl had the opposite effect. Soil particles were less cohesive allowing more air, heat and water and plant roots topenetrate. Farmers sought out marl deposits being familiar with these attributes when they migrated to the area.
    And so Jeff there you have it. The area was named Marlton as a result.
    Marianita

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    Nice bit of research Marianita.

    I have a reproduction of an 1873 Monmouth Co. map. It shows an area in Marlboro called "The Marl Pits"

    Jeff

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    Default The meaning of NJ place names

    Hi Jeff. That is just too funny, Marl Pitts. Someone with a sense of humor gave that area it's name. I was really proud of myself for my research and could hardly wait to tell you. lol. I think I will go to that list of places that you gave me a link to and research more places names and get back to you. Take care. Marianita

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