John Hodgkin (or Hotchkin) of
Guilford, CT, and his descendants.
by Geoffrey Brown
NOTE: We have recently re-published an
important book by a Hotchkin: James H. Hotchkin's 1848
The History of Western New York.
to read about this important project.
Important Information for Hotchkin Family Members
While the first edition of our
own John Hodgkin (Hotchkin) of
Guilford, CT, and his Descendents is no longer available in hard cover, and,
in addition, Edgar Hotchkin's The
descendants of John Hotchkin of Guilford, CT is believed to be still available in limited
quantities directly from the author of that work, people continue to request
copies of our original Hotchkin genealogy.
In response to those requests,
we've made it available as a download. Please see our New Haven County, CT
page for ordering information -- click
HERE to go to that page now.
Conversely, if you would like
to purcase Ed Hotchkin's book directly from him, you can click
to visit Edgar Hotchkin's web site and get information on additional work he has
done with related lines.
Also available for download is
"Noted Women of the Genesee Country" -- a
speech by Mary Hotchkin Hoag (undated). See our
Genesee County page for this one.
A little history of Hotchkin
Until 1988, the descendants of John Hodgkin (or
Hotchkin), arrived in or before 1642 in Guilford, New Haven Colony, Connecticut,
had not been collected in book form. Some had appeared in articles in
genealogical periodicals, and Hotchkin descendants had figured in books about other families.
However, until the "first edition" (produced with the great assistance of the late Audrey Carver and
Elsie Moon) appeared, anyone studying their Hotchkin descent was condemned to flail about
trying to sort out Hotchkins (and Hodgkins, and Hochkins, etc.) from the New Haven
family of Samuel Hotchkiss. That family, fortunately, is well documented by
the Hotchkiss Family Society. Two small private printings of the 1988 volume
(pictured below), under Library of Congress Catalog Card number 88-70416,
then, was the first Hotchkin book.
The number of people who contributed to that volume
is large. Indeed, your author felt confident that if there was anyone in the
United States who was researching Hotchkin (or any variant), their material was
included. Elsie and Audrey participated
enthusiastically in ensuring that we had everyone covered. Even the Hotchkiss
Family Society pitched in, actively referring everyone who inquired of them who
seemed to be a Hotchkin to us. They checked their correspondence files for decades
back for anyone who might have information but no longer be active.
It will surprise no one who
has done this kind of research that very soon after publication another Hotchkin researcher came to light.
Edgar Hotchkin, who was previously unknown to all of us, obtained a copy of the original
book. As soon as he saw it, he recognized some significant omissions from his research of his own
Hotchkin line. Then, having recently retired, he and his wife
undertook a three year cross-country odyssey, collecting additional Hotchkin
material. The result was his impressive The descendants of John Hotchkin of Guilford, CT.
So, in a mere six years, the Hotchkin family went from no books about the family
genealogy to two. Presumably we ought to have let well enough alone at this point.
However, Edgar Hotchkin concentrated heavily on the
male lines -- lines that bear the Hotchkin name today. That has the
effect of reducing by half the number of descendants to catalog, and greatly
simplifies research -- particularly yDNA research.
However, in these times it is worse than
simply being politically incorrect -- it invites future error. As a
descendant of a so-called "spousal line" (i.e. the descendant of
someone named Hotchkin who happened to be female), and as the father of
a daughter, somehow it didn't seem right to your author to leave all
those people out who were really Hotchkin descendants, but no longer bore the
Hotchkin name. One need only glance at the
weddings in the Sunday New York Times to realize that many young brides today
elect to keep their own names when marrying instead of assuming their husband's
name. Many children today are assigned double surnames and sometimes even less predictable
ones -- such as a surname of an admired childless friend.
Given this, a mere twelve years
after the first edition of this author's John Hodgkin (Hotchkin) of Guilford,
CT and his descendants, Ed Hotchkin began research in his distaff lines,
as did we begin a new Hotchkin study that incorporates the whole
shebang, so to speak.
Sooner or later, we may have a compilation of ALL descendants of John Hodgkin of Guilford, CT.
It will include not only those with the
Hotchkin surname but also all spousal lines. We would like to include collateral lines as well. As such it may be potentially important as a
source for "hidden geneaologies".
project to consolidate it all is currently inactive, Ed Hotchkin has done some excellent additional
work. There is a link to his website at the top of this page, and we
encourage you to take that line and check it out.
If your name is "Hotchkin" why
not investigate DNA testing to learn more about your family?
Much genealogical DNA research is
grouped by surname, and while the Hotchkin/Hodgkin name is fairly uncommon,
there is a surname project that has claimed the Hotchkin/Hodgkin name
variants. Groups such as this are useful because the provide a central
point where the yDNA of similarly surnamed families can be compared and
unexpected connections located. You may wish to contact the Hodgens
surname group for more information. Their website is located at
Some news, located in the National Archives, may
shed light on the origin of a number of Americans who bear the Hotchkin name but
have not previously been claimed by the family. These are the so-called "Black
Hotchkins". These folks mainly originated in the American South and Southwest, and
often with family traditions that are strongly Native American. We THINK we
have the answer. Yes, the Black Hotchkins are our family
We did prepare an index of where we were when we stopped work on our
newest Hotchkin project a few years ago. It's here, and you should feel free to
check it out.
to see the Index as it is right now!!
But before you download it, be aware that the index alone is over
100 pages long. If you have a slow line, don't expect it to pop onto your
screen the second after you request it. However, downloading the index is
still a good idea if you are serious about Hotchkin ancestry. That way, you'll be able to see if the people, places, or
organizations that you hope to find in
the second edition are here.
1. There is a
FTDNA Hodgen family project
that specifically includes the Hotchkin variant. (Simply type
"Hotchkin" in the box to connect to that group.)
2. You can join the
YahooGroup for the Hotchkin family (it's
an e-mail group).
3. If you're among the
millions who are now members of
Facebook, you can
join the Facebook Group called "Hotchkin Genealogy".
Keep checking back
here every so often to see
what's going on from our end of
the Hotchkin family world. For example, we would like to
re-publish MORE works authored by Hotchkins!
And, don't forget, you can
download a copy of our FIRST Hotchkin family book from our
New Haven County, CT page, which is
There's a HOTCHKIN mailing list on Yahoo!Groups. If you're
interested in this family, why not join it?
Click the link below to do it:
Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org