A Compendium of Patoka Information

Pronunciation: P�-to'-k
(At least that's how I say it)

In conjunction with my genealogical research, I've also been interested in the origins of my family name.  Here is everything that I've been able to find about the name Patoka.  While my connection to the name is traced back to Poland, the name was also used by native Americans.  It appears to be coincidence that it is spelled the same* but there is no apparent connection between the American Indian origin and the European origin. 

Much of this information was collected from the internet and personal research.  Sources and links are provided for further investigation.   If there isn't a long description for some of these it's because I don't know that much about it.

I'm always on the lookout for anything associated with the name Patoka or any of our family names.  If you would like to contribute to this project, please email me.  I'd be glad to add it to this site. 

* (Variations of spelling and translation have appeared as Potoka & Potoko)



Go directly to the following sections:�




AO-9, USS Patoka Click to view full-size picture

USS PATOKA - Named for a river in Indiana.  The USS Patoka was commissioned in 1919 as a fleet oiler.  From 1924 - 1933 she served as a tender for rigid airships (shown above).  When the Navy discontinued this program, the Patoka was decommissioned.  Recommissioned in 1939 as a seaplane tender, she served in a variety of roles, saw action in WWII and docked in ports around the world.  She was finally decommissioned in 1946 and scrapped in 1948.

For more detailed information check out these sites: Hyperwar  US Naval & Shipbuilding Museum

USCGC PATOKA (WLR-75408) - An active U.S. Coast Guard Cutter homeported at Shore Side Detachment Greenville, MS. It's current duties are servicing the Lower Mississippi River and maintaining the numerous navigation aids in it's area of responsibility. It can also serve as a search and rescue platform if needed.

For more information: US Coast Guard Group Lower Mississippi River  USCG 8th District

PATOKA - "From a name, in different spellings, borne by more than one Indian chief.� In IL the name probably springs from a Cahokia of the 18th century and in IN from a Kickapoo of the 19th century."
Source: AMERICAN PLACE NAMES by George R. Stewart, 1970

PATOKA - A masculine given name meaning "father."� Documented to the 16th century to a Vasilii Patoka.� While the name was used in medieval Russia, it may originate from another language such as Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Czech, Slovak, or Hungarian, among others. Source: Paul Goldschmidt's Dictionary of Russian Names

PATOKIN - A patronymic variant documented to 1635 to Iakim Patokin. (Patronymic is a name derived from that of the father or paternal ancestor usually by the addition of an affix.- Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary)

PATOKA DONALD - The Bulgarian name for Donald Duck � Visit Source Site


PATOKA, INDIANA - A small town in Gibson County, IN, located on the Patoka River. Census 2000 Population: 749.  Originally founded in 1789 as Smithfield and changed to Columbia in 1813.  It was renamed once again to Patoka, after the river, in 1833.  It was a bustling town in the late 19th and early 20th century.� Many goods were shipped by riverboat including produce, cattle, grain, and lumber.� It was also an important stagecoach and railroad stop between larger cities.
Source: A HISTORY OF PATOKA, INDIANA by Margaret Johnson, 1976

When we traveled through there in August 1996, local residents told me the name Patoka means "Log on Bottom".� The town holds an annual event each summer to celebrate it's history.� There are currently no residents named Patoka living there.

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PATOKA, ILLINOIS - A small town in southern Illinois. Census 2000 Population: 633.  I drove through there in May 2001. To find out more check out this link: Key to the City
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View various photos of Patoka here. Some were taken by me and others submitted by former residents.


Some more info on Patoka from Lake Carlyle Living.

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PATOKA LAKE - An 8,800 acre lake located in Indiana.� It was formed with the help of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, provides a multitude of recreational activities and is a popular attraction.

View MapIndiana DNR site

PATOKA RIVER - A river in Indiana, forming Patoka Lake and emptying in the Wabash River.� Patoka, Indiana is located along its banks. � It was also used as the name for a U.S. Navy boat.� I've been told the name means "Log on Bottom" and was given by local Indians.

View map

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PATOKA, NEW ZEALAND - A small rural farming community that are predominantly dairy, sheep and beef farmers.� They reportedly raise some of the best sheep in New Zealand.�
Source: Email received from local resident, 2002
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PALACE AT PATOKA - Source Link� This real estate advertisement implies that there is a place named Patoka, Poland.� I have only been able to find a POTOKA, Poland.� Not sure if this is the same place
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PERSONAL PATOKA PAGES - Links to other Patoka's that have a personal website that I have been able to find.

Potoka Family - A Potoka family website

Patoka Ebony - A page dedicated to an Alaskan Malamute named Patoka

Patoka Delilah - Kadent Lippitt Morgans, horse breeders in Florida

Patoka Industries, Ltd - From Poland, a company specializing in brickwork products


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� 1999-2017 Mark A. Patoka
This page last updated on 19 October 2017