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Killis

  • Killis
  • Last Posted/Modified: November 28, 2018
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Introduction
History

Introduction

Killis is a pond in Bridgehampton town that received it’s name from an Indian who formerly lived near the water.

Kellis [Killis] is also a traditional Shinnecock surname.

History

1845

Nathaniel S. Prime writes about Killis Pond in 18451;

…within the parish of Bridgehampton is another remarkable land-locked pond, called Killis Pond, from an Indian of that name. It is about a mile from Mecock’s Bay, elevated a few feet above it, and having the depth of 40 feet. It is more than half a mile in circuit, and without any outlet. A little north of this, is another pond, similarly situated, but smaller in it’s dimensions.

1911

In 1911, Tooker2 describes Killis as;

a pond in Bridgehampton, Southampton Town. According to Prime’s History of Long Island, this name is derived from an Indian who formerly lived near the pond. Another tradition is that it is the name of an Indian who was drowned in its water. Killis still survives among the Shinnecocks as a family name, but Wm. S. Pelletreau, Esp., informed the writer that this was a corruption of “Achilles.” On searching the old records, Prime’s statement is found to be in error and that the name was originally derived from “John Kelly,” or “Kellie,” who was allotted land in this neighborhood; the early form being “Kellie’s Pond.”

 

Charity Bunn Kellis, sister of James Bunn, lived on the shore of Kellis pond in Bridgehampton3

  1. Nathaniel Prime, A History of Long Island from It’s First Settlement by Europeans to the Year 1845, pp. 32
  2. William Wallace Tooker, Indian Place Names on Long Island, 1911, pp. 82
  3. Shinnecock Cultural Center and Museum
Woodworking Stone Celt NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN, SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION (Cat. # 231668.000). PHOTO BY NMAI PHOTO SERVICES.