How the 13 Colonies Were Named
The first thirteen colonies were either named after people, Indian names or, places in England. The original states/colonies are, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Georgia, North Carolina, Maryland, South Carolina, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Hampshire and New Jersey.
The three states that are named specifically after Indian names are Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The Puritans named Massachusetts, after a local Indian tribe whose name means "a large hill place." Rhode Island was named after the Indian name for "Red Island." It was officially called "The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations" in 1790. The third state named after and Indian name is Connecticut, which gets its name from and Algonquin word meaning "land on the long tidal river"
The eight colonies that are named after people in England are Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia and New York. Georgia was named in honor of England's King George II. North and South Carolina were both named in honor of King Charles I. (Carolous is Latin for Charles). It is believed that Lord Baltimore who received a charter for what is now the land of Maryland, named the state after Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of King Charles I. Delaware was named by the Delaware Indians (also known as lenni-lenape) after the person Lord de la Warr. The "Keystone State," more commonly known as Pennsylvania was named by William Penn in honor of his father. William combined the name Penn and Latin term Sylvania, which means "woodlands" to come up with "Penn's Woodlands." Virginia was named for Elizabeth I the virgin Queen of England. New York was named in after the Duke of York.
The two states named after places in England are New Hampshire and New Jersey. New Hampshire was named for County of Hampshire in England. New Jersey was named after the island of Jersey in the English Channel.
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