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About the Hotten family tree and its origins

The Hotten family tree published on this website was originally taken from a document passed to Winifred Grace Coleman (née Hotten) in 1981 by Elizabeth Audrey Hotten then of Middlesex who had been researching the origins of the Hotten family for 25 years. Winifred assisted Elizabeth in completing the portion of the tree back to her own great grandfather’s generation and their original correspondence is still in existence. This has allowed some birth and marriage dates to be added to to Elizabeth’s chart and included on this site. Many more have been added following internet research.

The Hotten family tree has been carefully transcribed from a photocopy of a copy of Elizabeth’s original 1981 document but it has become apparent that several 19th century names were missing. Further research has allowed some gaps to be filled.

Spellings used on this site reflect Elizabeth’s original document. Some common family names have different spellings from one generation to the next as is to be expected in an era when literacy was not universal.

I recall my mother telling me that a Cornish tin miner had travelled to Shoreditch, presumably to seek fresh employment but there is no evidence in the correspondence between my Aunt Winifred and Elizabeth Audrey Hotten to support that attractive story, nor have I discovered anything to support it during my own researches. The first Cornish born man in my own line who came to London was John Hotten, born in Camborne and married in London in 1831. He was an engineer but whether or not he started out as a mining engineer will probably never be known.

The census records from the middle 1800s show very large numbers of Hottens living in North and East London as do the birth records of the first part of the 20th century. I am aware of very few remaining. Searching various General Records Office databases has allowed a large number of dates to be added to Elizabeth’s tree as distributed in 1981, and many extra names. A diagram of the family tree has been included in this website which includes those extra names. N.B. This has become a very large file, currently in excess of 750KB. (2·24MB by October 2010)

All comments, suggestions, additions or corrections to these pages would be most welcome, photographs and anecdotes about particular people especially so.

Malcolm Knight - 11 August 2006, revised 30 July 2007

On 22 August 2007, Elizabeth Hotten provided a revised and updated version of her family tree. Progress towards the merging of the old with the new is recorded on the ‘Hotten Updates’ page. As work has progressed some discrepancies with other reports have become apparent which are being resolved as follows…

Elizabeth Hotten’s work takes precedence (as is appropriate to the original plan to preserve her 1981 tree) except when…

a) General Records Office data clearly and unambiguously points to an incorrect deduction.
b) Authenticated documentary evidence is received from families.

Where other published family trees conflict with Elizabeth Hotten’s work the latter may be annotated to provide an alert of a possible discrepancy.

Malcolm Knight - 23 August 2006, revised 13 September 2007