The Indian Place-Names


by William Wallace Tooker, 1911

Coram, a farming hamlet in Brookhaven on the old country road near the geographical centre of the town. Another small settlement about two miles southeast is known as 'Coram Hills." Many of the Long Island historians derive the name from one of the native chiefs. Munsell, e.g., from Coraway. This name appears on a deed of 1673 as Coraway. In an order to Richard Woodhull, dated Aug. 13, 1677, we find: "that the new way designed and ordered in Governor Nicoll's time through the middle of the Island (the old country road) … bee nott only remarked but clear of brush, and that hee settle a farm about Mon Corum." Again in 1730: " wee have layed oute to John Smith the land ranted to William Satterly about WinCoram." Modernly Coram or Corum . Coram or Corum Hill is found in Huntington Conn. Wine Corem occurs in a deed of 1736. "At or about Moncoram" shows that the range of hills which rises up so plainly from the plains north of Patchogue now known as the Coram Hills was the locality intended for a farm. The same name occurring in Connecticut applied to a hill shows that we must look to some characteristic of the hills for its meaning. Therefore instead of eing derived from some Indian chief, I regard it as the equivalent of the Massachusetts Monouhkoiyeum "a valley," "low country," shortened into Moncorum and afterwards into Coram. It probably referred to a passage between the hills or some valley near them.

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