"Most Wretchedly Spelled" ~ Variants of Maghagh-kamieck

One cannot approach the history of the Minisink region without happening upon the works of Edward Manning Ruttenber (1825-1907), a passionate amateur linguist, ethnographer, and historian. He worked throughout his life as a newspaper editor and would publish The Newburgh Gazette and Daily News.

This excerpt from Ruttenber's last book, Indian Geographical Names, serves well as an introduction to the compilation of Maghagh-kamieck variants drawn from 18th century sources which follow.

Footprints of the Red Man, Indian Geographical Names, p 223 & 224

18th Century Variants of Maghagh-kamieck

  • Deed of Conveyance Maugaukemeck, c 1700, Ulster County Clerk Archives, keyword search: Tetsoord.
  • Neighbourhood of Wagachkemeck, 1716, Tax Assessment List for the County of Ulster [present day Orange County NY].
  • Mehoccomick, 1769, Rittenhouse & Montresor, surveyors, letter to the Commissioners for settling the boundary line between the colonies of New York and New Jersey.

"The Fork or Branch at the Mouth of Mahacamack...1769"

Robert Grumet, in Manhatten to Minisink: American Indian Place Names in Greater New York and Vicinity, 2013, notes under the heading MachackemeckMechagachkamic (1649), Magagamieck (1694), and Magagkamack (recent). Royden Woodward Vosburgh's Machackemeck in Minisink Valley Reformed Dutch Church Records also appears in his work Machackemeck Gravestone Inscriptions, both published in 1913.

Maghaghkamik Church sign, 1938

Machackemech Burying Ground, Port Jervis NY