Paxtang & Derry, Pennsylvania



From U.S. GenWeb Archives United States Digital Map Library Pennsylvania Dauphin County


This section of a modern map of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania shows Paxtang & Derry to the east of Harrisburg & the Susquehanna River.


Christopher M. Yocum comments that ‟The name "Paxton" has a long history in Pennsylvania and there are two theories about its origin.  The first theory is that it may have been brought to here from Scotland by the Scottish Presbyterian settlers who settled in the upper area of what was then Lancaster County.  Possibly the name comes from the Latin "pax" meaning "peace."  With the addition of "ton," Scottish for "town," the liberal translation can be "Peace Town. The second theory is that "Paxton" is a derivation of the Indian name "Peshtank" which was originally given to the area by its Indian settlers, the Susquehannocks.  "Peshtank" became "Paxtang" and finally "Paxton."  This Indian derivation would roughly translate "Place-where-the-water-stands-still". Paxton Township was created in 1729 within Lancaster County.  Organized long before the City of Harrisburg, it was at that time about the size of Dauphin County.


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Created February 11, 2006
Revised Jan 12, 2012