Cornelius Hotchkiss (10 Mar 1858 - 31 Mar 1930, right)
and Christina Hotchkiss nee Ferguson (23 Feb 1855 - 23 Aug 1931, left)
were married 31 Dec 1878, Bothkennar Parish, Carronshore, Scotland, and
immigrated to the United States in 1880, eventually settling in Burlingame,
Kansas, along with most of his parent's, Edward and Margaret's, descendants.
Cornelius (my gg-grandfater) owned one of the large coal mines in Burlingame at that time.
Washington Coal Mine 1913, Burlingame, Kansas. The family of
Margaret Hotchkiss nee Ferguson
came from Carronshore, Scotland to Burlingame,
Kansas in order to start mines to supply Kansas City with coal. There they joined
others, including the Washingtons, who are also documented on this site. My
is among those in this picture. These men,
their faces still covered in coal dust, appear to be on lunch break.
Carronshore home of
Margaret Hotchkiss nee Penman.
The writing is that of
Mary Washington nee Hotchkiss.
and very likely most of
the other nine children of this family, including my gg-grandfather
born in this house.
The Hotchkiss name appears to have originated in Shropshire, England during the
Norman times. My line of the Hotchkiss family appears to have arrived in the area near
Carronshore in the mid-1700's, as the earliest Scottish Hotchkiss in our line,
(23 Apr 1739 - 28 Apr 1789), was born in Madeley, Shropshire, England, and died in
Airth Parish, Stirlingshire, Scotland, where he had been a coal miner. One theory is
that he and his family came to Scotland to help improve the mining methods there, after
the British conquest in 1746. On arriving in Airth, the local priest apparently had not
previously heard the name, and wrote it as he thought he heard it, as "Hodgecase". Remember that
most people didn't write at this time, and the priests kept most of the records. This
spelling seems to have only lasted about as long as that priest, before it reverted to the
more normal spelling of "Hotchkiss". This phenomenon has resulted in many different spellings
for the name which are pronounced about the same.
So far in my research I have found very little need to look at some of the very closely related
English names, such as Hodgkins, Hopkins, Hopkis, and Hodges. These may have had a common origin,
but appear to have remained separate, for the most part, since early times. I've found a few
examples, which appear to have been mis-recorded, such as where only one normally appears in a
parish, but then the other appears once, with the same names which are otherwise reported as
Hotchkiss. Sometimes, on finding the actual image, the writing was such that it was hard do tell
the difference, and the original transcriber appears to have got it wrong. However, there is one
name, written as either Hoskins or Hoskis, which appears to actually be the same name as Hotchkiss,
but pronounced differently under some of the old accents in London and elsewhere. This may have
lead to some confusion. I have found a few places where I have had to include these records, and
I will be investigating these more.
This is interesting when you realize that the name Hotchkiss
itself appears to have originated sometime after 1066 with Anglo-Saxons mispronouncing the
French/Norman version of the Name Rodgers. To English ears the French "R" sounds almost more like
an "H" than an "R", and is sometimes written as Hr. In French, the "er" at the end of a word is
pronounced something like an accented long "a" sound in English. Also, in French, final consonants,
such as the "s" would not be pronounced. However, the "s" on the end of a Norman name couldn't be
lost as it had a meaning of either "son of", or "belonging to". Perhaps that might have been the
reason for the double "s", or which in early versions was often written as the ancient long S character.
The name Rodgers itself originated from those who fought with a rod. In early times, when
men were called to war, their society came with them. Their officers were the same lords and
knights who ruled them in peace time, and when the lords were called to bring their men, they brought
all their men who could carry a weapon, from young teens to old men. If a battle were lost, the
village could be without men. When the men were called, they brought their own weapons. It they had
armor or a shield, or a horse, they brought them. If they had no weapon, they were told to go into
the forest and cut a rod to make a weapon, such as a spear, pike, staff, or bow and arrow. These
were the rodgers. In addition, at that time in England, men were also required to practice daily with
A word about the older genealogy records on this site. I've now included all of the available
records that I have going back to the 1500's and 1400's and fit them into the family tree. It should
be noted that these records are somewhat different than those which came after. Prior to Queen
Elizabeth and King James, the church was not required to keep records and often didn't. It did so more
often for the gentry. When it did, they were not as helpful. For example, there are many baptismal
records with only the child's name. If the parents were recorded, they might include only the
father. Even a marriage record might include only the husband's name. Thus putting them together is much
more like putting together a jigsaw puzzel and much less a sure thing. None the less I have gone under
the assumption that most people managed to get recorded at least once in their life, and used all of the
clues available, such as proximity to put them together into a family tree. I find that putting all the
records together makes them much more accurate and useful, than looking at them separately, as you
quickly find that if you put them together wrong, the next record will often force you to move the
incorrect one to a better place. Thus I have managed to put all the records prior to 1630 together and
for the first time united them all into a single tree. They all fit and go back to around 1450. Please
take this with a grain of salt. There may be records missing which could change things around. I'm sure
as I make more passes through the records, I will find those which have been misplaced. Two John's may
have their death dates or even their wives mixed up. Certainly, those children baptized without their
parents listed may be with the wrong parent, even though I've tried to pick those parents shown to be
living in the correct location and having children at the correct time. It is a bit of a fantasy, complete
with knights, and clergy, and other gentry. There is even a great mystery involving Richard III. Enjoy.
Hokeswode or Hawkeswood
- near Sudbury, in Shropshire, England (This picture from Stuart Hotchkiss, VP of the
Hotchkiss Family Association).
This was once the manner house of another
Hotchkiss line, besides my own, which came to Scotland in the mid-1700's.
James Hotchkiss of Hawkeswood, and of Sudbury
apparently sold the estate and moved to Edinburgh, where in 1751,
the daughter of a wealthy brewer. There the "Roll of Edinburgh
Burgesses and Guild Brethren, 1761-1841" from the Scottish Record Society, shows that on
27 June 1769, he was a merchant and brewer, a burgess of Edinburgh and Gild Brother in or by
right of his wife
Elizabeth, daughter of
Thomas Cleghorn, merchant, burgess of Edinburgh and
also carried on this profession. I have
found that many in
line eventually found their name transformed to "Huskie", as it seems
that in Scotland Hotchkiss is often pronounced more like "Hotchkie", dropping the final consonant
sound, similar to the way the French do. There was a family diamond ring in this line said to be
given by King Richard the 1st to one of the Family who was "Lord Mair" of London. This was last
recorded as given in the will of
Margaret Hotchkiss nee Hart, the wife of
James Hotchkiss, Esq. to their son
Dr. Richard James Hotchkiss
in 1876 "to go down in straight male line".
James Arthur Hotchkiss(6 Dec 1914 - 14 Jan 1991)
and great-granddaughter in 1986. My grandfather,
had genealogy as a hobby. I used to help him with this when I was young, and
promised to continue his work when he was gone.