Place: Maspeth - Mespaetches: Along Newtown Creek, Queens, NY

Founding Name

Accurate location needs to be found.

From page 127 of The Indian Place-Names On Long Island and Islands, William Wallace Tooker, 1911:

189. MESPAETCHES: a name originally given to a swamp and creek in the western part of Queen's Co. The stream is now known as Newtown Creek. This name is first mentioned in the Indian deed of Aug. 1, 1638, when the Council of New Netherland secured for the West India Co.: "a certain tract of land lying on Long Island, reaching in length from the plantation of George Rapaljee (called Rinnegakonck) a good league and a half to the Mespaechtes and in width from the East River about one league to the copses of the same Mespaechtes” (Col. Hist. N. Y., vol. xiv., p. 54). Munsell (Hist. of King's Co.) has, “about one league to the swamp of Mespaechtes." Thompson (L. I., vol. ii., p. 137) says: “The name (Maspeth) originally belonged to the western part of the town (Newtown) the latter being probably the appellation applied to a tribe of Indians residing about the head of the creek. Variations are Mespatchis Kil, 1642; Mespachtes Kil, 1646; Mespacht, 1654; Mespaat, 1656; Mespath, 1661. English forms Maspeth and Mashpath occur in 1703. The name may have been applied to the resident at the swamp and his family, but the word bears great resemblance to Mecht-pe-es-it, “at the bad water place," which would apply to the locality, a low swampy region, now being gradually covered by the march of improvements. It may be the parallel of the Micmac (Rand) mespaak, "overflowed" (by the tide). The locality even now is occasionally overflowed by the water backing up on very high tides. See Algonquian Series, vol. ii., pp. 39-41.



Also useful:

History of Maspeth:
Courtesy of the Maspeth Chamber of Commerce


Maspeth, Queens, NY:,_Queens

Chosen Name
Full Name
Maspeth Stad
Founding Date (text)
End Date (text)
Date of Establishment (text)
The first general name applied to the territory was Mespat,...settlers twisted it to Maspeth,...
Jurisdiction Type
Nieuw Nederlandt
Boundary Events
Name at the time Change Start Date End Date Boundary Event
Maspeth Town chartered 1642-03-28 1652-11-11 Maspeth_Maspeth_1642-03-28_1652-11-11
Maspeth Lost to Middelburgh 1652-11-11 1662-04-23 Maspeth_Maspeth_1652-11-11_1662-04-23
Source Images

History of Long Island, Vol. 1, Ross, Chap. XLV p. 539