Friday, January 6, 2012

Piscozackasing or Woodberry

"The Indian [Native American] name for Woodbury, county seat of Gloucester County, was Piscozackasing, which meant the place of black burrs. There are several versions as to how Woodbury got its present name, many having to do with wood and berries. The Indians most likely derived their version from the burrs of the many chestnut trees in the vicinity. In some old legal papers [and maps, see below] the name is spelled Woodberry.

The most plausible explanation of the name is that Henry Wood and his family moved there from Bury, Lancashire, England, in 1683. As was custom of many early settlers who were first arrivals at a spot, Wood combined his name with that of his former home, calling the place Woodbury." (McMahon, 1973)

1778 map of "The Province of New Jersey. Divided into East and West. Commonly called The Jerseys" by Wm. Faden of Charing Cross showing alternate Woodberry spelling.

1808 map "Plan of the City of Philadelphia and Environs" surveyed and published by John Hills also showing Woodberry spelling.

McMahon, W. (1973). South Jersey towns. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University.

quotations mine.