List of place names of Native American origin in Ohio

Native place names


  • Akron, Ohio – a city in Northeast Ohio, takes its name from the Greek word signifying a summit or high point.<,_Ohio>
  • Cuyahoga River / County/ etc.—Seneca/ other Iroquois- Locally believed to mean Jawbone River in Iroquoian, named for its odd shape, however those words are Jaw- sgihyo'tsa' and bone - sgye'd. In Seneca, there is, gayó’ha’geh, which means "On the chin." Also likely, as Grand River in Iroquois is, "gihe'gowaneh," (gihe' being abbreviated from river- Gihek), then Cuyahoga may originate from a phrase like "Gihe'hoga." This translates as "Elm River."[1]
  • Geauga County - Seneca. From Joa:ga', meaning Raccoon.[2] Pronounced Dzoh-ah-guh.
  • Grand River (Ohio) - Gihe'gowaneh (Gee-heh—Go-wah-neh)- Grand River/ Bighead River/ Proud River- There are similarly named rivers in the former territories of other Iroquoian nations. They share their name with an old Iroquoian Religious order, the Bighead Society, and probably had something to do with native religion.[1][3][4][5][6][7]
  • Guyan, Ohio/ Guyan Creek- Shortened from French name for an Iroquoian Native tribe from West Virginia who were later absorbed into the Ohio Seneca—the Guyandotte (Also Little Mingo, Tiontatecaga. Not to be confused with Wyandot.)
  • Huron County/ etc.—Name of tribe.
  • Lake Erie- named for the French nickname to the Iroquoian tribe believed to have resided in Northeast Ohio, the Riquechronon.
  • Mingo Junction, Ohio - Mingo is common nickname for the Ohio Seneca people. Variant of Mingwe, what the Lenape once called the related Susquehannock Indians of Pennsylvania.
  • Mohawk Reservoir - Named after tribe of the Iroquois Confederacy.
  • Ohio – Ohi:yo (Oh-heee-yoh) – Seneca. Although is locally taught that the word means "Beautiful River", this phrase in Iroquois would be "gihe'oya:nre'" . The more recently accepted Cayuga translation names it "Good Flowing Stream" from "O" (Oh)- pronoun prefix referring to 'it', "Hih" (Hee-huh)-v. to spill, and "Gihedenyo' (Gee-hey-den-yuh)- a creek, stream, or smaller amount of flowing liquid. The reason the word for creek is used is the proxy that, since the Ohio River flows into a larger river, it's still technically a creek to them. The word is contracted from its fuller form.[1]
  • Ontario, Ohio - Huron/ Wyandot. Named for Lake Ontario. Comes from Huron word which means Lake.
  • Seneca County/ Senecaville/ etc- Name of tribe
  • Shenango River – Seneca. Possibly from gesho:ne:gwa:h (keh-s-hoh-ney-g-wah) which means something along the lines of "It's right behind me."[8]
  • Tontogany, Ohio - Named after a local Chief. Most likely of Wyandot origin.
  • Tuscarawas, Ohio / County, River - Name of an Iroquoian people from Virginia who later became a sub-tribe of the Iroquois Confederacy.[9]
  • Tymochtee, Ohio/ Tymochtee Creek/ etc.- Wyandot. Allegedly means 'stream around the plains.'[10]
  • Wyandot County - Name of tribe


  • Ashtabula, Ohio/ County/ etc. - Lenape (?). Unknown, but "Achtu" (Osh-too) in Lenape, means deer.[11]
  • Chillicothe, Ohio - Shawnee. Chalakatha, one of the Shawnee bands.[12]
  • Chippewa Lake, Ohio/ Chippewa, Ohio- Common nickname for the Algonquian Anishinaabeg of the Lake Superior region. Also, the Odawa and Potowatomi, who split from them and migrated to region in the late 1600s.
  • Coshocton County—Lenape. Unknown.
  • Delaware County - Common nickname of Lenape people.
  • Hocking County - Lenape. From Haking (Hah-keen), referring to something/ one being on top of, or from, whatever is below the speaker.[11]
  • Kokosing River - Lenape. From Gokhos + -ing, generally translating to "Owl, here."
  • Mahoning Valley/ River - Lenape. Allegedly means "Upon here is a deer lick," but this may be incorrect. May come from Ma + aney + -ing, or, roughly, "There is the path."[11]
  • Maumee River - Miami. A nickname or spelling variant for the Miami people.[13][14]
  • Metamora, Ohio - Wampanoag?. Name comes from a play about a Native American from the Wampanoag people of New England.[15]
  • Miami County - Name of tribe.
  • Mississinawa, Ohio - Miami. Name of a river tributary to the Wabash. From nimacihsinwi, "it lies on a slope."
  • Mohican River / Mohican, Ohio- Name of an Algonquian tribe from New York who were closely related to the Lenape.
  • Muskingum River / County- Lenape or Shawnee. Appears to be from "Machkigen," which refers to thorns, or some sort of specific species of thorn bush.[11] Said to be from the Shawnee word Mshkikwam, or swampy ground. Also given name of Wyandot town in area.[16] Note: The exact etymology of the Lenape word is unknown. It could very well have similar meaning to, or origins in, the Shawnee one.
  • Nimishillen, Ohio/ Creek/ etc.- Lenape. from Ni + Missilla, or Waters of the Black Alder.
  • Olentangy River - Lenape. Allegedly, river of red paint.
  • Ottawa County/ Ottawa Hills/ etc.- Name of tribe.
  • Pataskala, Ohio - Lenape. Unknown (May be of Siouan origin?)
  • Pickawillany - Shawnee word for the Miamis – pkiiwileni (foreigner). The Miami name for the village (Pinkwaawileniaki) is a direct translation of the Shawnee pekowiiøa – "ash people"[17]
  • Piqua, Ohio / Pickaway County - Shawnee. Variant of the name of one of their subtribes, Pekowi.[18]
  • Powhatan Point, Ohio - name of an Algonquian tribe from Virginia. The first Shawnee split away from them in the mid-1600s.
  • Pusheta, Ohio / Pusheta Creek - Shawnee. Named after a local Chief.[19]
  • Pymatuning Lake – Lenape. Either corruption or variation on the word, "Pemuteneyig." Likely translation could be, "Upon this place, Towns are near."[11]
  • Shawnee, Ohio / Shawnee Hills / Fort Shawnee/ etc.- Named for the Shawnee people
  • Wabash, Ohio - Common name of a tribe from Indiana
  • Walhonding River - Lenape. Unknown
  • Wapakoneta, Ohio - Shawnee. Name of a Chief whose people managed to hold onto land in Ohio beyond the Shawnee Wars.[20]
  • Wauseon, Ohio - Odawa. Named for Chief among the Potowatomi.[21]
  • White Eyes, Ohio - Lenape. Anglicized name of Lenape Chief, Koquethagechton.[22]


  • Catawba Island, Ohio/ Catawba, Ohio- Name of a Siouan speaking tribe from North Carolina who participated in many wars and conflicts, some of which being in Ohio.[23]
  • Chickasaw, Ohio - name of a tribe from Kentucky and Tennessee.
  • Choctaw Lake, Ohio - name of a tribe from Mississippi.
  • Texas, Ohio - Named for the state, which derives its name from taysha, in Caddoan Native American language. Allegedly means friend.
  • Montezuma, Ohio - named for the last Tlatoani (Emperor) of the Aztec Empire, Moctezuma II.

This is a list of Native American place names in the U.S. state of Ohio.

  • Ashtabula River
  • Ashtabula, Ohio
  • Chillicothe, Ohio
  • Conneaut, Ohio
  • Coshocton, Ohio
  • Cuyahoga County, Ohio
  • Cuyahoga River
  • Geauga County, Ohio
  • Great Miami River
  • Mingo Junction, Ohio
  • Mingo, Ohio
  • Muskingum River
  • Ohio River
  • Olentangy River
  • Sandusky Bay
  • Sandusky County, Ohio
  • Sandusky River
  • Sandusky, Ohio
  • Scioto River
  • Tuscarawas River
  • Wapakoneta, Ohio


  1. ^ a b c Froman, Francis & Keye, Alfred J. "English-Cayuga/ Cayuga-English Dictionary", 2014.
  2. ^ Historical Society of Geauga County, O. (1880). Pioneer and General History of Geauga County: With Sketches of Some of the Pioneers and Prominent Men. Historical Society of Geauga County. p. 24.
  3. ^ Chafe, Wallace L. "Handbook of the Seneca Language". 2007
  4. ^ Beuchel, Eugene & Manhart S. J., Paul "Lakota Dictionary: Lakota-English/ English-Lakota". 2002
  5. ^ Johnson, Basil "The Manitous: The Spiritual World of the Ojibwe". 2001
  6. ^ Bruchac, Joseph "The Wind Eagle & Other Abenaki Stories". 1985
  7. ^ "First Nations Longhouse Church – Vancouver, British Columbia – Public & Government Service – Facebook". Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  8. ^ Chafe, Wallace "English-Seneca Dictionary".
  9. ^ "Tuscarora Nation – History". Archived from the original on September 8, 2014. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  10. ^ Bright, William (2004). Native American Placenames of the United States. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 527.ISBN 978-0-8061-3598-4.
  11. ^ a b c d e "Lenape Dictionary" (PDF). October 2000. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  12. ^ "Chalakatha Cornstalk – Historical records and family trees – MyHeritage". Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  13. ^ "EARLY INDIAN MIGRATION IN OHIO". Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  14. ^ Hale, Horatio "The Iroquois Book of Rites." (1883) pgs 10-15.
  15. ^ "Explore & Learn - Old Sturbridge Village".
  16. ^ "Shawnees Webpage". Shawnee's Reservation. 1997. Retrieved 2013-04-26.
  17. ^ David J. Costa, "On the Origins of ‘Pickawillany,'" Names, Vol. 62 No. 4, December 2014, 214-17
  18. ^ John E. Kleber (18 May 1992). The Kentucky Encyclopedia. University Press of Kentucky. p. 815.ISBN 978-0-8131-2883-2. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  19. ^ Sutton, Robert (1880). History of Auglaize County, Ohio: with the Indian history of Wapakoneta, and the first settlement of the county, p. 169.
  20. ^ Ohio Historical Society, 2005, "Treaty of Wapakoneta (1831)", Ohio History Central: An Online Encyclopedia of Ohio History.
  21. ^ "Ohio History Central, Wauseon, Ohio". Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  22. ^ Wellenreuther, Hermann. "The Succession of Head Chiefs and the Delaware Culture of Consent: The Delaware Nation, David Zeisberger, and Modern Ethnography", In A. G. Roeber, ed., Ethnographies and Exchanges: Native Americans, Moravians, and Catholics in Early America. University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2008. 31–48.
  23. ^