First mention of the village
The earliest recorded mention of the
village is in the Domesday Survey of 1086 where it is described
as an Anglo-Saxon settlement. At this time it appears to have been
a prosperous and thriving community.
This is perhaps borne out by the fact
that it retained it's name throughout the Viking invasion when many
Angle Saxon villages were given Viking names or prefixes. South
Derbyshire was very heavily affected by the Danes since it has been
estimated that as many as 5000 were quartered in and around Repton
The name of Hartshorne
nestles below a sandstone ridge which reaches about 600 feet above sea level at it's highest point. It is from the shape of the ridge that the village
is believed to get it's name. Viewed from certain angles, the hill
is supposed to resemble the shape of a stag or harts head. This is not as seen from above as early settler did not have that ability but as seen from the lower parts of the village as one approached the area from Repton.
many Angle Saxon place names are derived from topographical features.
Today it is difficult to see this feature in the landscape since trees have grown in the lower part of the village obscuring the view.
Another possible explanation of the
name can be found in the dictionary definition of the word:
Westminster Dictionary, Hartshorn: The horn of the hart or
deer. Salt of hartshorn an impure solid carbonate of ammonia.
New Standard Encyclopaedia, Hartshorn:
Old name for liquid ammonia and carbonate of ammonia. These
were prepared originally by the distillation of the horns of
deer and other animals. The impure
ammonia solution being known as spirit of Hartshorn and the
carbonate as salt of hartshorn.
Was this process known in Angle Saxon
times and if so what were the ammonia and carbonate used for? If
the process was known at this time could it account for the importance
and prosperity of the settlement and the fact it retained it's Angles
Saxon name whilst other, less important places lost theirs?
This is a relatively recent conjecture
of the name of origin of the name Hartshorn being credited to the
medicinal use of the hart's horn. However, this occurred well after
the name Hartshorn had been established and was in common use.
Research done by Newton Timothy Hartshorn,
who spent many weeks in the house in the early 1880's, credits the
origin of the Hartshorn family as being from German Saxony, coming
to England circa 300 A.D. at the behest of the Angles in their defence
against the Picts and Scots. This band or company of men had for
their tribal emblem, or rallying standard, a deer (or hart's) horn
fixed on a pole and the man who carried it came to be known as 'Hartshorn'.
The place or land granted to that tribe
or family was called Hartshorn. The Saxon Hartshorn clan, with their
assimilation to the Angles, became Anglo-Saxons. They never completely
accepted the rule of the Norman conquerors. With little documentation
of the era of that time it is difficult to place the Hartshorn's
with the band of men today known as the 'Men of Green' and other
descriptive terms given to the fanciful characters today known as
the men of Robin Hood.
It is interesting to note that the characters
of the Sherwood Forest are given credence by the British writer,
Rev. Charles Henry Hartshorne in his book, Ancient Metrical Tales,
written in 1829, in which he credits the story to an earlier book,
British Biographer. The fact remains that those of Anglo-Saxon origin
were never on close terms with the continental invaders and were
discriminated against for centuries. Newton Hartshorn was firmly
convinced, after living in the Ivanhoe House for several years,
that the Hartshorn's were kith and kin with Locksley and the other
popular characters of Sherwood Forest.
The most probably derivation of the name
is from the clan rallying standard, previously mentioned. It is
thought that the original Germanic surname, Hirschorn, currently
in usage today, had the same origin and may be the name they brought
with them in 300 A.D.
The surname HARTSON is a derivation of HARTSHORN.
St Peters church
At the time of the Doomsday Survey,
Hartshorne had two Manors both held by Aluric under Henry de Ferrets
There is no mention of a church or priest at this time. The
first record of a church at Hartshorne appears in the Episcopal
Register of 1303.
During the reign of Henry III, Henry
de Hartshorne and Richard de Hartshorne each held half a Knights
fee in the parish under Robert de Ferrers. By the last quarter of
the fifteenth century both manors were in the hands of the Earl
A village in two parts
The division of the hundred of Hartshorne
into two manors accounts for the fact that today the village looks
as though it has been two separate settlements with the village
green being a long way ( at the corner of Brook Street and Repton
Road ) from the church and manor house. Even today the locals refer
to the area around the church and manor house as 'uptown' and the
village green area as 'lower town'.
Hartshorn families in the United States
(This text is taken from the work of Derick
Hartshorn in the US. See his brilliant web site on the Hartshorn
The first immigrant ancestor to the US,
from whom the largest line of Hartshorns (sans 'e') are descended
was Thomas, a devout Separatist (or "Nonconformist" as
many were labeled).
It was claimed in early texts that he was
from Reading, in the county of Berkshire. The fact that he settled
in Reading, Massachusetts is possibly the basis for this claim.
While he was an early settler there, he can not be claimed as the
founder. There is nothing to substiate this origin. His history
and that of his descendants is not overly dramatic, but sometimes
The generations from Thomas have provided
officers and men in every war America has fought. Statistically,
a high percentage of Hartshorns were well educated and held many
offices in industry, education, and public trust. While many were
farmers and business leaders, others were gifted with mechanical
ability. Gravestones were carved and bridges were built by colonial
Hartshorns. They devised the auger, buzz saw, window roller shade,
chain and sprocket drive, fire hose coupling and many other inventions
A dozen or more Hartshorns appear to have
emigrated to America between the 17th and 19th centuries. Many names
appear in lists of emigrants and some do not reappear.
Don't forget to visit Derick
Hartshorn's web site. Derick runs a site dedivcated to research
on the name 'Hartshorn'.
Source: Hartshorne Then and Now: A pictorial history
of the village, Complied by Brian Robinson, Published by Hartshorne
Parish Council, 2000, p 5-6
Source: Hartshorn Genealogy, http://homepages.rootsweb.com/%7Ehartshrn/index.htm
by Derick S. Hartshorn, United States.