Annals of Winchester, previously one of our best-selling CD-ROMs, had been unavailable since we discontinued our CD-ROM business to concentrate on low-cost, immediately available downloads.
However, we’ve had several requests for this classic, which, to anticipate a question we were asked many times about the CD, Annals of Winchester DOES include the history of Winsted.
If you are seeking historical information about the Town of Winchester, or Winsted, or the people who lived there and the businesses that made this an important manufacturing center, Annals of Winchester is pretty much the go-to source. It is indexed — and we have added an additional index of place names that we compiled — and, since it is in PDF format, easy to use on any computer.
There’s lots more information available on our Annals of Winchester page, so please have a look. If you considered buying the CD originally but were put off by the price tag, you will find that the download version is a small fraction of that amount — and has the advantage of being an immediate download, not something you have to wait a week or more for the Post Office to deliver.
So, CLICK HERE to go to our Annals of Winchester page.
And join us in celebrating that Annals of Winchester is back!
We’ve undertaken the process of republishing the contents of our discontinued CD-ROM “Rhode Island Collection #1” with the re-issuance of Early Records of Warwick, Rhode Island as a download.
This is quite a remarkable document (all 362 pages of it). Probably originally recorded in his own shorthand by the Honorable Rev. Samuel Gorton, the first governor of that specific colony, it is a comprehensive compendium of the minutiae that the local council dealt with, ranging from disputes over land to the ear-marks that distinguished each citizen’s cattle.
It’s not an easy read due to the meticulous accuracy the compiler devoted to it — she is faithful to original spellings and what today we would consider grammatical errors — but if you have ancestors from that area in the period just following 1640, this is pretty much a “most have”. There are no fewer than four indices included in the book.
One note: there are free versions of Early Records of Warwick, Rhode Island available online, and we encourage you to examine them to see if they meet your needs. Our scans are ultra high resolution, and the PDF format is superior to many e-book formats, however, so we’re not embarrassed to ask $3.50 for our download.
To learn more about this important document, and to follow our progress converting our earlier CD-ROM to downloads, please click HERE to go to the appropriate page of our main website. If you are interested in our Rhode Island material in general, please check our main Rhode Island page HERE.
Is this a question you’ve ever asked when you see a string of letters that pretty clearly refers to an organization of some kind? When you can’t tell from the context what KIND of organization? A lodge? A religious group? A self-insurance plan? A political party? A company? A governmental department? Even a railroad?
If you’ve asked that question, you’ve got company. Acronyms, initialisms, and abbreviations for organizations have been around ever since the Roman legions walked around with “SPQR” on poles (that was an initialism for Senatus Populesque Romanus, by the way). We’ve asked that question over and over for a long time, and we decided to do something about it.
This is what we did:
We wrote a book — 318 pages, mostly an alphabetical listing of abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms for organizations of all kinds. Now we’ve published it, and you can see it on Amazon.com. (Of course, if you’re so inclined — and we hope that you are — you can also buy it there!).
So, CLICK HERE to see it on Amazon. You might just decide that it really fills a need.
Hodgkin. Hotchkin. Hotchkiss. Three names for a single family?
In a word, yes. A fellow names John Hodgkin (sometimes also spelled Hodke) immigrated circa 1648 from England, settling in Guilford, Connecticut. He married and raised a family. And his descendents commonly used the three variants in this post’s title for their surnames, but, just to keep things interesting, also pluralized the first two of these on occasion, so one occasionally finds Hodgkins and Hotchkins as individual surnames. Compounding the problems, from a genealogical perspective, is the fact that a man named Samuel Hotchkiss arrived in New Haven proper around the same time. Samuel also produced a large family, but they at least stuck to Hotchkiss as a surname pretty generally.
If your reaction so far is a big “so what?” it’s not entirely a surprise. Back in the day spelling of surnames (and pretty much everything else) was an opportunity to exercise one’s creativity, so deviant spellings of surnames are a dime a dozen, really.
However, there were a few aspects of this family that are a bit more interesting than that.
First of all, how’s your British (and American colonial) history? John Hodgkin came here as part of a migration of Puritans from England — the fact that he settled in Connecticut rather than Massachusetts Bay Colony suggests that he was probably a very strict Puritan as well. He appears in the records as “Governor Leete’s man” so we find no reason that he would not have fit this pattern. Fast forward a few years, until the Puritan takeover (think Oliver Cromwell) in England, when the victors decided to execute the King they had deposed. The judges on that court became known, after the monarchy was restored, as the Regicides (and king-killing is not favorably viewed by monarchists in general).
So, unsurprisingly, the hunt for the Regicides began. Two, named Whalley and Goffe, had fled to New England (they were fortunate to get out of England alive) (for a list of all the Regicides and what happened to them, try Wikipedia). Since New England was still a British colony, they had not outrun the law, however, and the King’s agents searched for them here. They were spirited from house to house, from community to community, even from colony to colony — and one of their stopovers was with John Hodgkin and his family.
The Hodgkin/Hotchkin/etc. family tended, in subsequent generations, to produce clergymen, a few of whom developed well-deserved reputations as writers, and others of whom developed reputations for other things.
The writers included the Rev. James Hervey Hotchkin, who wrote an early history about the settlement of Western New York State (which we have re-published on CD-ROM — find more information HERE); and the Rev. S. F. Hotchkin (he defied family tradition and became an Episcopal priest) who wrote a series of local history books about Philadelphia and the surrounding area — we plan to republish one of these soon.
Less savory were Hotchkin clergymen who sided against a Connecticut girl marrying a Hawaiian native to the extent that he led a schism in the local Congregational church, and another who had a missionary interest in Native American and black women in the South around the time of the Civil War. He is notable not because he saved many souls, but because his ministrations to these unfortunate women produced a branch of the family referred to today as the Black Hotchkins.
All of this is prelude to the fact that the principal partner of Between the Lakes Group, along with a number of hard working and intelligent family members, back in the 1980s, produced a book entitled “John Hodgkin (Hotchkin) of Guilford, CT and his descendents”. The book sold out two printings in hard cover almost immediately — there are indeed many descendents of John Hotchkin, or at least many people who want to know about his and the family he produced — and now we have re-published it in digital form as a download. If you go HERE to our New Haven, CT page, you can learn more about this download — and perhaps enjoy a copy of your own.
(We should add that unlike some in the genealogy biz, we believe that all lines, male and female, legitimatized by matrimony or not, deserve to be followed. In preparing this book we followed this practice, and we hope that you appreciate this and understand that as a result there are some surnames appearing in the index nearly as frequently as Hotchkin does — Beers is an example.)