Charles J. Colcock was the son of Lucy Frances Horton and Col. Charles Jones Colcock. He was the grandson of Eliza Mary Hay and Thomas Hutson Colcock on his father’s side, and the Honorable Rhodah Horton and Lucey Otey on his mother’s side. The author was born in Beaufort District, South Carolina, on January 17, 1852. He attended the College of Charleston for two years, and graduated from Union University in Schenectady, New York, where he taught mathematics for three years. Afterwards, he served as the headmaster of the Porter Military Academy in Charleston, South Carolina. He married his cousin Patti Lee Hay, and they had a son, Samuel Hay, who died in infancy, and a daughter, Errol Hay.
Charles J. Colcock collected invaluable facts about his genealogy and printed them for the descendants of his family. Family of Hay, first published in 1908, documents one historic family and its branches. From Scotland, to Jamaica, to South Carolina, this volume journeys over thousands of miles and hundreds of years to bring us the genealogy of the Hay family, which is shown to be related to such well-known historical figures as Charlemagne and Robert the Bruce. Enhancing the genealogy are both paintings and actual photographs of family members, family castles, and the Hay coat of arms.