Lurgan, Ireland

Lurgan is the oldest Quaker meeting in Ireland. Hodgsons subscribed to the construction of this meetinghouse.

Lurgan is the oldest Quaker meeting in Ireland. Hodgsons subscribed to the construction of this meetinghouse in 1696 to accommodate their growing community.

1658 Lynastown Friends burial ground in Ireland likely contains some of my ancestors, buried in unmarked graves as was the Quaker custom.

1658 Lynastown Friends burial ground in Ireland likely contains some of my ancestors, buried in unmarked graves as was the Quaker custom.

 

 

Generation four: the Irish Connection

For now, any consideration of Orphan George Hodgson’s roots coming from Cumbria and then Ireland remain conjectural, based largely on Jeremiah Mills’ undated and all-too-brief notes from the early 1800s recounting the Hodgson family’s disastrous passage to the New World from Ireland or northwest England. Even so, this is what I have.

Central to the argument are the surviving records of Lurgan Friends Meeting. Arising from the traveling ministry of William Edmondson in 1654, Lurgan Monthly Meeting in Armagh is the oldest Quaker institution in Ireland.

The Lurgan picture becomes complicated, first, by the badly faded ink on many of the minutes recording Quaker families, second, by gaps in the records themselves, and, third, by the existence of a cluster of Hodgsons as part of the Lurgan Friends community. In addition, the first surviving page of the Lurgan minutes begins in 1675, two decades after the Meeting’s founding.

Nor can all of the gaps in the Lurgan minutes be blamed on faded ink or missing pages. In 1691 the men’s meeting noted “the Booke of record of Certificates of Marriages, Birthes & Burialls belonging to this meeting having for some years past been entrusted to ye care of John Dobb, & he now being absent & not in this nation … ye said Booke hath not been duely kept as formerly.”

But, as Chris Dickinson confirmed in a e-mail, “You are absolutely right that the Hodgsons of Lurgan came from Murton in Lamplugh in Cumberland.”

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Old Swede’s

The known trail for George Hodgson starts in the parish records here, when he wed Mary Thatcher. They were eloping, and violating Quaker discipline.

The known trail for George Hodgson starts in the parish records here, when he wed Mary Thatcher. They were eloping, and violating Quaker discipline.

The church, now Episcopal, is older than the surrounding city of Wilmington, Delaware.

The church, now Episcopal, is older than the surrounding city of Wilmington, Delaware.

From the side.

From the side.

Generation five: George and Mary Thatcher Hodgson

Little is known of the early years of the first documented ancestor of the Hodgson, Hodgin, or Hodson family that surfaces in Colonial Guilford County, North Carolina. According to several widely circulated stories, he was the only surviving member of a Quaker family that set sail from Ireland or England and was taken captive and/or fell victim to disease en route to America.

Spousal lines include Thatcher, Dicks/Dix, Maddock, Nichols, Stevens.

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George HODGSON was born, according to currently undocumented reports, January 6, 1701/02; he died, 1774, in Guilford County, North Carolina, and is presumed buried in an unmarked plot at Centre Friends burial ground, along with his wife. He married, February 21, 1729, in Old Swedes Church in what is now Wilmington, Delaware, Mary THATCHER (1712-1764), daughter of Jonathan Thatcher and Hannah DICKS. Six known children:

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  1. John, born August 4, 1731, Chester County, Pennsylvania; died 1804, Guilford County, North Carolina; married May 7, 1754, Mary Mills (ca 1736-1804), daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Harrold) Mills, at New Garden Friends Meeting. Ten children.
  2. Sarah, born 1733, Chester County, Pennsylvania; died March 31, 1817, Guilford County, North Carolina; married April 22, 1752, John “Ford” Hiatt (1729-1767), son of John and Mary (Thomas) Hiatt, under the care of Cane Creek Friends Meeting. Seven children.
  3. Susannah, born 1735, Chester or Adams County, Pennsylvania; died September 8, 1782, Guilford County, North Carolina. Married 1754 William Hiatt (1734-1834), another son of John and Mary (Thomas) Hiatt, at New Garden Friends Meeting. Twelve children.
  4. George, born 1737, Adams County, Pennsylvania; died 1813, Guilford County, North Carolina (will was probated in February); married, 1764, Rachel OLDHAM or CHRISTY, in a manner contrary to Friends discipline, as recorded in the minutes of New Garden Friends Meeting, Eleventh Month 27. Ten children.
  5. Robert, born March 11, 1738, in Adams County, Pennsylvania; died April 12, 1813, in Guilford County, North Carolina; married first ca 1760 Rachel Mills (ca 1740-April 24, 1791), daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Harrold) Mills, under the care of New Garden Friends Meeting; married second February 6, 1794, Rachel Mills (December 25, 1756-July 24, 1811), daughter of Hur and Rachel (Harrold) Mills; married third in 1812 Sarah Pierson ( – ), daughter of (?). Sixteen children: thirteen by his first wife and three by his second.
  6. Joseph, born 1740 in Adams County, Pennsylvania; died 1829, Randolph County, North Carolina; married first September 30, 1760, Margaret Williams (ca 1741-1797), daughter of (?); married second January 6, 1802, Hannah Johnson (December 16, 1765- ), daughter of Tarlton and Hannah (Mills) Johnson. Fifteen children.

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Generation six: George and Rachel Hodson

A member of the first American-born generation in my name-line, George (sometimes referred to as George Junior) provides glimpses into an emerging culture of Quakers who were not officially members of the Society of Friends, yet continued to attend Meeting for Worship and practice many of its distinctive ways. The fact that George and his wife are later readmitted into membership is, in itself, instructive. A pivotal event in his adult years was the American Revolution, which included the campaigns of General Nathanael Greene and Lord Charles Cornwallis as they fought through Guilford County.

Even with the second-cousin relationship between George and his wife, her identity presents questions: her surname is variously listed as Oldham or Christy.

Spousal lines: Oldham, Christy, Clark, Few, Dicks/Dix, Maddock, Simcock, Nichols.

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George Hodson was born in 1737 in Adams County, Pennsylvania. He died in 1813, Guilford County, North Carolina, where his will was probated in February. He is buried in the graveyard at the New Garden Friends meetinghouse, Guilford County. He married, 1764, Rachel Oldham ( – ), in a manner contrary to Friends discipline, as recorded in the minutes of New Garden Friends Meeting, Eleventh Month 27.

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According to George’s will, there were these children:

  1. William, born 1768, Guilford County; died intestate February 6, 1849, Guilford County; married, ca 1790, Diannah Saferight (1768-before May 17, 1852), the daughter of Henry Saferight/Sigfret. Occupation: miller. Eight known children.
  2. George Washington, born ca 1770, Guilford County; died 1837, Madison County, Indiana; married, 1798, Sarah Elizabeth Powell ( -1834 or 1835), daughter of (?). Twelve children. This family migrates first to Highland County, Ohio, where some of the children marry and remain; the later children marry in Madison County, Indiana.
  3. Phebe, born 1772, Guilford County; died (?); married, April 29, 1790, at Centre Friends Meeting, Samuel Ozbun (May 18, 1765- ), son of Samuel and Elizabeth of Randolph County. Six children.
  4. Ruth, born 1778, Guilford County; died (?); married first, August 13, 1801, Matthew Bennett (1765- ), son of (?). In 1826, the family is granted a certificate of transfer from Centre to Cherry Grove Meeting in Indiana. Ruth marries second, June 14, 1829, Francis Hester. (?) children. (Note the Guilford County will of Mary Hackett probated in August 1826, in which the executor is William Hodson and the witness is George Hodson.) Perhaps this is the Francis Hester who requests membership at New Garden, 1793, and there marries, 1794, Mary Hodgson, the daughter of John and Mary Mills Hodgson/Hodson; they move in 1805 to Miami Monthly Meeting in Ohio.
  5. Mary, born 1784, Guilford County; married, May 26, 1802, Obed Ward (-). They move in 1820 to Clear Creek Monthly Meeting, Ohio, and in 1822 move on West Grove Meeting, Indiana.
  6. Isaac, born September 24, 1786, Guilford County; married, March 4, 1804, at Centre Friends Meeting Ann Frazier (-), daughter of Isaac and Rebecca (Saferight) Frazier. [Ann’s cousins Matthew and Abel (sons of Aaron and Sarah) had already married two Hodson sisters who were second-cousins to Isaac.] Jeremiah Mills’ recollections add a second marriage, to Susannah Mills (September 25, 1789-January 30, 1879, Pretty Prairie, Kansas); she is the daughter of Micajah and Mary (Hiatt) Mills – making a first-cousin-once-removed his second wife; perhaps that is why he vanishes from the Quaker minutes; from the second marriage, two children: a son who died and a daughter, presumably Rachel, who marries Jacob Cox in Randolph County, Indiana. Correspondence with Merrill Jones of Torrance, California, indicates that Isaac moved north from Guilford County, but I am uncertain at this point of his death date or location, although Kansas is suggested here.
  7. Deborah, born March 15, 1789, Guilford County; died 1872; married, 1808, Jeremiah Mills (June 28, 1784-1829), son of Amos and Elizabeth (Horn) Mills. Eight children. Jeremiah was read out of Deep River Monthly Meeting, Twelfth Month 7, 1807, for “taking too much strong drink and fighting” and, despite the family’s petition of Sixth Month 4, 1829, to rejoin, he was never readmitted to the Society of Friends. In Eleventh Month of that year, after his death, Deborah, Rachel, and Ruth are received. Twelfth Month 5, 1833, Deborah and daughter Ruth are granted a certificate of transfer to Milford Monthly Meeting, Wayne County, Indiana. Another version, reported in The Guilford Genealogist, Spring 2008 (page 23), has Jeremiah and his entire family moving to Madison County, Indiana, in 1833..
  8. Zachariah (Zachary), born 1790, Guilford County; died 1843, Mount Pleasant, Henry County, Iowa; married, February 21, 1811, Elizabeth (Betsy) Dougherty ( ). One known child. I assume that Zachary is named after his kinsman, Zachariah Dicks, the widely travelled Friends minister who precipitated the Quaker migration from the slaveholding Carolinas into slave-free Ohio and Indiana. The reconstructed Centre Friends minutes have (1833?) “Zechariah, after having been disowned by Center, MM, N.C., granted permission by them to be received by request by Springfield MM, Ind.” Since Hughes’ map indicates Daugherty Presbyterian Meeting (1800) in the vicinity of Daugherty households, it appears that Zachariah married out of unity, and moved north sometime after 1826, where he and his family then rejoin the Society of Friends.
  9. Rachel, born 1791, Guilford County; died before February 3, 1827; married, 1807, Solomon Hiatt Mills (September 27, 1779-before February 17, 1830), son of Micajah and Sarah (Hiatt) Mills. [Sarah (Hiatt) Mills was the daughter of John and Sarah (Hodgson) Hiatt.] The 1827[?] certificate of transfer from Centre to White River Meeting in Indiana names Solomon and six others, but no Rachel. Six children.
  10. Susannah, born (?), Guilford County; died (?), Guilford County; married, January 30, 1811, Aaron Maris (?), son of John and Jane Maris. The young couple then moves to the environs of New Garden Friends Meeting, March 16, 1811. (?) children.

Considering the span of more than three years between their marriage and the birth of their first known child, William – and the fact that his naming reflects Midland England practice, rather than the English Borderland usage in previous Hodgson generations, I would surmise there was an earlier daughter, Sarah, who died in childhood. Continue reading

Generation seven: William and Dianna Hodson/Hodgin

William Hodson, representing the first North Carolina-born generation of my name-line, appears to move about in what I have come to call the Shadow Meeting - individuals who attend Quaker Meeting, and in this period might even wear Plain clothing and converse in Plain speech, yet who are not official members of the Society of Friends. Without membership, though, they are not minuted in the Quaker records. Complicating the documentation of William Hodson’s life and family is the fact that he died intestate, making proof of his genealogy even more tenuous.

Likewise, detailing his wife’s place within the Saferight genealogy is at this point sketchy.

Spousal lines: Saferight/Sigfried/Sigfret/Siegfried/Seyfert.

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William Hodson was born 1768, Guilford County, the son of George and Rachel (Oldham) Hodson. He married, ca 1790, Diannah Saferight (1768-before May 17, 1852), the daughter of Henry (or Heinrich) Sigfred/Sigfried/Saferight. John K. Hodgin also lists a Nancy as the given name for Henry’s wife. William died intestate February 6, 1849, Guilford County. Four or eight reported children, possibly ten.

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Charles H. Saunders, drawing upon Glen C. Walker, names the first four children. I round out his information with data from other sources. John K. Hodgin, working from his computerized files, adds another four, though at this time I am hoping to find data on the other the other local William Hodson’s family to make sure we are not mixing two separate lines into one. (He also names a second wife, Keziah Harvey, as the mother of Ruth, but that 1825 date falls within the span of children born to Diannah Saferight, leading me to rule that out.

  1. George, born January 2, 1797, Guilford County; died November 4, 1878, Guilford County; married, January 1818, Delilah Britton [often reported as Rayle or Hunt] (October 10, 1784 or 1794 -November 21, 1883). They are buried at Centre Friends. Eleven known and/or reported children, although at least one of them may be by a husband or companion before George.
  2. Henry, born 1802, Guilford County; died 1876, Guilford County; married October 21, 1820, Polly Petty (1806- ), daughter of Elias and Rachel. [Rachel was the daughter of Daniel and Eunice (Hussey) Worth, who removed from Nantucket in 1771.] At least three children. In the 1860 Guilford Census his occupation is listed as miller, and daughters Lydia, 18, and Eunice, 17, are living at home (one is still attending school).
  3. Rachel, born 1805, Guilford County; died 1883, Guilford County; married August 9, 1831, John Stephenson (1809-1885), son of John and Elizabeth (Dobson) Stephenson. In the 1860 Guilford Census he is successful farmer, and they have nine children and two others living in their household; five are  in school.
  4. Diannah, born 1810, Guilford County; died ( ), Guilford County; married, 1833, William Petty (1810- ). In the 1860 Census their household is the only Petty listed in Guilford County, and they have six children, three of them still in school. His birthplace is given as Kentucky.
  5. Catharine (Ketty), born ca 1792, Guilford County; died ca 1852; married, January 13, 1813, John Shelly ( -1820), son/daughter of ( ). Three children. She then married Charles Bland and with him had six daughters. In the 1860 Guilford Census she is recorded as age seventy, living in the household of forty-year-old Elvina Armfield and eight-year-old Rosella Armfield. She is the only Bland indexed.
  6. Anne, born ca 1794, Guilford County; married, August 17, 1819 Joseph Wheeler. (He marked with his x.) They are not in the 1860 Guilford Census.
  7. Rebecca married Henry Albright. Their Guilford marriage bond is dated October 9, 1829. It may have been a second marriage for him; he marks with an x.
  8. Ruth.

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