This is an exciting story of founding members of our country.
It is the story of men and women who under great hardships began our American society and traditions. They were Peg-legged tavern keepers, pious ministers, authors and those early settlers who moved to New York and Michigan when these states were just wild forests. There is the great Trail of Tears trip as Ebenezer Hotchkin, his wife Philena Thatcher and infant daughter Hannah Mariah rode on horseback with the Choctaw Indians from Mississippi to Oklahoma.
There is even a little bit of scandal reported as one of the most pious ministers quickly sells his Religious Book Store and moves out of Leroy, NY; a pregnant 14 year old Leroy girls marries a 65 year old man by the name of Hitchcock and now 8 generations of the Hitchcock family have the Hotchkin male DNA. Some criminal activity is also reported. One of our Hotchkin ancestors, a well-known oil well speculator in the Texas and Louisiana area was murdered, the murderers were caught and put in jail. The following morning a mob removed them and lynched them on a near-by tree. There is also a story of a retired Civil War Officer who, with a partner, was involved in a large amount of money missing from an investment firm that they operated. The trials lasted for years and the Officer died before it was settled. It is likely that he was only guilty of not paying attention to what his partner was doing. Three members of the family were reported as being involved in check forgery and one New Yorker served 2 years in NY State Prison for burning down his neighbors' barn.
I have included very little information on the black/Indian Hotchkins family that began in Oklahoma Territory likely the sons and daughters of Ebenezer Hotchkin. They are listed on the 1885 Choctaw Freedmen- Doubtful Claims List as follows: Reuben Hotchkin/ E. Hotchkin Missionary, unnamed Cherokee woman's children by Hotchkin
I have also included the Hotchkin family of Spalding, England who may or may not be connected to my Hotchkin family. The Spalding England family came into the USA in 1850 and within a few years was centered primarily in Iowa. Only DNA testing of the Spalding family will allow us to determine the relationship. Also included is a lot of information on the Smith, Witherell, Hendrick, Sanford, Wythe and Edwards families who are related by marriages.
My 1995 book, Descendants of John Hotchkin of Guilford, CT contained much of the material on the Hotchkin family but the computer generated formatting of it did not allow inclusion of the non- Hotchkin marriages.
Before computers and the Internet the material was gathered as my wife and I moved from place to place in our Motor Home and searched all of the dusty libraries and museums.
Be sure and read my two very interest diaries in my Notable People section. One is my grand-father's wagon trip from Loup City Nebraska to his original home in Grand Ledge Michigan. This is a very detailed story of two wagons, grand-father Franklin Evi, his wife Minnie and 7 children and all of their possessions traveling for almost 3 months to Michigan. My dad at age 5, always said that he walked the entire distance as there was no room on the wagons for him. The second diary is an exciting story of my Hendrick great uncle and his Civil War reports on the Battle of Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga, Tennessee. His diary also holds a lot of Love Letters to his sweetheart.
The website also includes thousands of pictures and documents that my parents had collected over their lifetime on the families.
Some readers might be interested in my personal story and the pictures about it. I was born just before the start of the Great Depression and at the height of it my father lost his job as a skilled machinist in the automotive business, and any chance of finding a new one. We moved to a farm in northern Michigan just above Harbor Springs. The farm was cheap as it had no house but a large barn and a chicken-coup that dad was able to make into a livable home for the family. The house had no plumbing or electric. Water was carried from a spring on the property. It sounds dismal but my brother and I loved every moment of it. The 10 years that we spent there may be the best memories of my life. I went to a one-room school about 1 ½ miles away, across the corner from my maternal grand-parents farm. In the winter time we had to go to my grand-parents home and wait for my mother to walk over and get us as northern Michigan in the winter was not safe for children to be out by themselves. As very young children my brother and I learned great skills in living and working in the outdoors and among animals. My prime Spring job was collecting sap from the maple trees in the near-by woods and bringing it home and cooking it into Maple Syrup in a large outdoors kittle. We returned to Lansing, MI in 1941 when the automotive factories started converting to War Production. I remember December 7th 1941 very clearly. I was age 14 and helping my father repair a kitchen floor in a farm that he had just purchased. In Michigan it was about 3pm when the radio setting on the floor near us announced the bombing of Pearl Harbor. My father said, “Edgar I am afraid that you are going to be in this before it is over.”
This information is prepared using TMG -- The Master Genealogist and Second Site 5. It would have been nearly impossible to prepare it without these two software programs.
If you are a Hotchkin, please consider DNA testing to help in tracing our history. It would be great if we could finally find out if we have any relationship to the Hotchkiss family, the other Hotchkin families in the USA and Canada, or the black branch of the Hotchkins. See familytreedna.com for testing details. It is primarily male members of the family that are needed in the testing program. The Hotchkiss family already has a large bank of testing information
Please contact me if you have any additions or corrections to this data. I would very much like to get additional photographs or documents for the website.
I have spent a lot of years and a great effort in gathering all of this material and many of the exhibits were my mother's greatest possessions so please don't copy without asking permission. To make it official,
This material is Copyrighted by the Compiler and may not be reproduced or copied in any manner without written permission of the Compiler.