Follow the links! This site has more than 31,000 pages with 31,171 individuals and 10,126 families and over 650 images.
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.
Origin of the Hotchkiss Name
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.
I have recently discovered that Hopkis appears to be a variant of Hotchkiss, where at least
initially people would misread the old text "tch", where the first two letters were scrunched
together, and the "h" comes down in a tail as a "p." It may have been that some local accents
also preferred to replace the sound with a "p". Some earlier records, within about 5 miles of
Hawkeswood or Hotchkiswood actually refer to Hopkis of Hopkiswood. All of these records are
now included in the tree, where they fit nicely.
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, 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 often 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
Image of Holdgate Castle from CastleFacts.info, one of the earlier sites where we find one of our ancestors.
A word about the older genealogy records on this site.
I've now included all of the available
records that I have going back from 1640's all the way to the 1200's and fit them into the family tree. It should
be noted that the records before 1600 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. When you get into the 1400's and earlier, you
leave parish records behind altogether, and have only various legal documents, such as deeds to look at, which allows you
only to look at what is presented and guess at the person's name. When we get to this time, we sometimes have a
parent-child relationship and other times, the best we can do is to just have a person representing that generation.
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 1280. 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.
Mystery of the Hotchkiss Arms
The Arms of Hotchkis are given as—"Party per pale gules and azure, a chevron engrailed or between three lions rampant argent."
The Crest is "a cock's head erases or between two wings displ. pellettee."
These were not allowed in 1663, being said to be, in fact, the Arms of Hoskins.
I've now traced Hochkyswood Manner back to
John Hochkys in a document dated 1328. Note that at the time, especially prior to 1600, "y" was often
used in place of "i" especially for the last "i" in a name, even though there were no real spelling rules and certainly no standard spellings for names.
We go through several generations, some of whom were residents of castles and participating in keeping the peace in the Marches. Some were recorded giving away tracts
of land. Please note that the Barons, who were the Marcher Lords had the power and duty to dub knights, and I doubt the records for all of these exist.
Eventually we get to
John Hotchkiss of Pulverbatch (abt. 1440 to after 1506). This John lived during the reign of Richard III.
John's wife Margaret was
daughter and heir of
Thomas Heynes of Wyldyrley, and is recorded giving land in Castle Pulverbatch to one of her sons in 1506.
John received a pardon from the King. Could this have been for fighting on the losing side under Richard III? Please note
that the supposedly complete listing of Knights of England makes a reference to Richard III knighting many more gentlemen without naming them.
John Hotchkiss of Pulverbatch had a son
Roger (b. abt 1480).
Roger had a son
John Hotchkiss of Goze Bradeley abt 1512-1557.
John Hotchkiss of Goze Bradeley had a son
Roger Hotchkiss (abt 1533 - Feb 1573).
Roger had a son
William Hotchkiss of Hawkeswood abt 1556 to after 1608, apparently born in London as Hodgkins.
William Hotchkiss of Hawkeswood (or Hocheswood) married
Jane Bromely, widow of
Sir George Bromely, knight and chief justice of Chester, and daughter and heir of
John Wannerton, esq, of Wannerton. Thus
Jane Bromely became lady of the manner of Hockeswood. It appears she was in fact
Jane Northwood of Northwood, as Norman/English gentry
seemed to like to use the names of their estates for surnames.
William Hotchkiss's son
Richard (abt 1595-1645) was also born in London as Hodskyns.
It seems that people in London were recording the name as Hoskyns or some varient, as Hotchkiss to this point was mostly used in the Marches of Shropshire.
I've documented several cases of Shropshire Hotchkiss sons in London, doing things like going to Oxford, and recorded as some spelling of Hoskyns.
Richard had a son
George (b.abt 1625).
George was present for the 1663 visitation of Shropshire and most likely presented the Hotchkiss pedigree chart found there.
The Hotchkiss arms were also presented in the 1663 visitation and rejected as belonging to Hoskins.
The presentation stated that they were from a Hotchkiss knight dubbed by
King Richard III, and came down by the standard rules along with the manor. So far I've only found one Hotchkiss,
John Hotchkiss of Pulverbatch, recorded as being alive during Richard III (reign Jul 1483 to Aug 1485), although I've also
now found two brothers who could have been as well. Now it should be noted that arms are passed down father to son, and there is only one son who is entitled
to the arms under hereditary rules. However, if other relatives are also knighted, their arms are usually created from those of their ancestor knight but with
some minor change.
The earliest Hoskyns with similar arms was knighted in 1605 at Windsor Castle and was Sir Thomas Hoskins of Oxted, Surrey,
which is just south of London.
The only reasonable christening I could find for him was 11 September 1562 in London, which does not show parents.
Sir Thomas had 8 children with
from 1602 to 1618. The only difference between his arms and the Hotchkiss arms is a slight change to the crest, where the cock's head and wings are treated
differently. Sir Thomas's pedigree was recorded in the 1623 visitation of Surrey.
Sir Thomas apparently died in 1615 and the pedigree was given by two nieces.
They gave his parents and grandparents, but the grandparents were very vague. At least so far I haven't been able to find any other records regarding their origins.
Also an "Inhabitants Of London & Family Units" Census/Survey filled out by his father in 1550 seems to have somehow gotten all this information included up until 1601.
This brings us to Thomas Hotchkiss of Abbots Betton, christened 11 September 1562 in London as Thomas Hoskynes.
At least that is the only baptism recorded which could match our Thomas who had eight children, seven of them by an unknown wife prior to 1606.
Also, the last birth was after a sizable gap and bears the same name as one of Sir Thomas's
children who was said to have died young. Thomas is also descended from
John Hotchkiss of Pulverbatch. Please note that many Hoskyns
I've found recorded in London at this time appear to actually be Hotchkiss, so it isn't far fetched to think this christening was his.
Example Museum of London image of a different but possibly similar diamond ring
dated 1501 AD - 1625 AD
from the "Cheapside London Hoard"".
Mystery of the Lord Mayor's Ring
There is also a story from the will of
Margaret Hart Hotchkiss
dated 3 Apr 1875, later in this same line, of a ring given by Richard I to a relative of the family
(not necessarily a Hotchkiss and it could have been from the Harts) who was Lord Mayor of London, and was also being passed down the male line of the family.
As there was only one Lord Mayor during Richard I, this would have been Henry FitzAilwin, who was not Norman, despite the name. However, if she actually meant
Richard III, there would have been a bit more choice including Sir Thomas Hill, who was said to have dined with the King, and who’s father appears to be from
Hodnet, Shropshire and his mother from Malpas, Cheshire, both of which are near locations which relate to the Hotchkiss family. It should be noted that Lord
Mayors are also commonly knighted.
Hochkyswood or Hokeswode or Hawkeswood
- near Sidbury (sometimes called Sudbury), in Shropshire, England (This picture from Stuart Hotchkiss, VP of the
Hotchkiss Family Association).
The oldest Hotchkiss record found so far concerns this manner which belonged to what may be our oldest known common ancestor,
This story reminds me of
Miss Havisham in Charles Dickens's
Hochkyswood was once the manor 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.