Some other early American Hodgsons

Colonial-era Quaker records include Hodgsons besides my known line.

For example, a Dr. Daniel Hodgson marries Hannah Holme April 4, 1689, in Philadelphia. And a William Hodgson is at Perth Amboy, New Jersey, 1701.

But two other lines of American Quaker Hodgsons deserve special attention.

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The first involves the Robert Hodgin or Hodgen who marries Theodate (Hussey) Seal, widow of Joseph Seal, on Fifth Month 29, 1740, at what was probably first called Manchester Meeting and, later, Newbury, in Pennsylvania. At the marriage, held in the home of John Day, Robert signs the wedding certificate, but Theodate marks with an X. Albert Cook Myers reports that this is the first Quaker wedding in today’s York County, Pennsylvania. (Day also figures in Orphan George’s history, particularly through Moses Harlan.)

Robert first appears at Goshen Monthly Meeting near West Chester, Pennsylvania, where he is received by request 11th Month 17, 1736, or January 17, 1736/7 (I have two versions, one possibly attempting to adjust Julian and Gregorian calendars). He is reported to be a carpenter from Manchester, Lancashire, England. In 7th Month 10, 1739, he is granted to certificate of transfer to Sadbury Monthly Meeting, the original meeting in Lancaster County. Kennett Monthly Meeting had accused Theodate, of Nantucket Quaker stock, of marrying out of unity, 8th Month 8, 1736. A Menallen history, Quakers’ Temple, mentions the erection of a Friends’ meetinghouse (1755?) in York County, in Newbury Township “adjoining Robert Hodgen on the Great Conewago.”

I have wondered if this is the Robert born at Lurgan, Ireland, around 1711, providing another linkage to the Hodgsons of Murton in Lamplugh.

The common assumption that George Hodgson and his wife, Mary Thatcher, had continued to live in Chester County until relocating to North Carolina had led me to discount any close kinship with the Robert who married Theodate, even though the two families later move along parallel lines southward. But more recent conclusions, where George settles on the frontier in what is now Adams and York counties, has me reconsidering their relationship.

Constance J. Wilson of Berkeley, California, reports that Robert and Theodate’s family was granted a certificate to Warrington Monthly Meeting in York County in 1759, then to New Garden Monthly Meeting in North Carolina, and on to Cane Creek, South Carolina, in 1760, backing up to Mill Creek on Deep River in 1763. The Cane Creek, North Carolina, minutes record Robert being received on certificate (12th Month 6, 1760); John (6th Month 29, 1761) of Orange County marrying Mary Vernon and (11th Month 4, 1769) being granted a certificate; Joseph being disowned (12th Month 2, 1769) “for having carnal knowledge of a young woman and went away and left her after making proposals of marriage to her”; Theodate (with husband and children) being granted a certificate of transfer to Bush River Monthly Meeting in South Carolina (10th Month 5, 1771); Ann reported marrying out of unity (6th Month 4, 1774); Robert being disowned (12th Month 4, 1779); and others.

Robert and Theodate appear again in Randolph County, North Carolina, 1779.

Many of these names are similar to those of George and Mary (Thatcher) Hodgson’s children, who are already accounted for in the minutes and elsewhere. Even so, attention must be given in this period not to confuse the two lines.

Some of Robert and Theodate’s family eventually become part of the short-lived Quaker settlement at Wrightsboro, Georgia, (near Augusta) before moving in 1803 to a Friends’ settlement near Barnesville, Ohio.

Wilson’s letter, filed at the Greensboro Public Library, reports: “There is said to be a very old undated marker for Theodate at Centre Monthly Meeting,” where many of George and Mary’s family are also buried.

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Another line to note is that of John Hodson on Maryland’s Delmarva Peninsula. Kenneth Carroll, in Quakerism on the Eastern Shore (Maryland Historical Society, 1970), observes that when Quaker leader George Fox visited Maryland in 1673, he held a meeting at Dorchester in William Stevens’ home, at which three justices were probably present. One of them may have been Quaker John Hudson [Hodson], known to have been one of the four Quaker justices in the region at the time. The line eventually settled on the Hodson spelling. John was granted land in Dorchester in 1659, with the family seat eventually emerging at Vienna. The family belonged to Transquaking Preparative Meeting, under the care of Third Haven Monthly Meeting in Easton, until its disappearance in mid 18th century; in time, these Hodsons became Anglican and enlisted in the Confederate side of the Civil War.

Their influence presents us with place names, including Hodson’s Branch of the Black River and Hodson’s Adventure on the north side of the Chickinanocomoco River in Dorchester County.

One question would have us asking whether John was one of the people “convinced” to join Friends by the traveling ministry of Robert Hodgson of the Woodhouse – or whether he was already a Quaker when he relocated to Maryland.

Dorchester County wills present us with Nicholas (169?), John (1730), John Jr. (1748), John Jr. (1749), Charles (1649), Rosannah (1656), Mary (1658), Hester Ann (1763), James (1768), Henry (1776). In addition, there are the 1698 will of William Hodgson in St. Mary’s County and 1744 Somerset County will of Rowland Hodgson.

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One other line should be noted. John Hodgson (circa 1705-1747), was an Edenton, North Carolina, lawyer, attorney general, Speaker of the House (1739-1740). His sons were John, Robert, Samuel, and Thomas Craven Hodgson.

He is sometimes blurred into the same person mentioned in examinations of Hollingsworth-Hodgson connections, 1672-1688, at Lurgan Meeting, Ireland. Drawing on this and other material, Junia Borum Roberts (Saga of an Old American Family Borum 1619-1958, found in the Albert A. Wells Memorial Library in Lafayette, Indiana) reports that when Henry Hollingsworth returned to New Castle County, Delaware, after marrying Lida Atkinson of Sego, County of Armagh, Ireland, among those traveling with him were John and James Hodgson, sons of George and Ann. James went to Chester County, Pennsylvania, and John went to Edenton, Chowan County, North Carolina. What relation, if any, these have to the George Hodgson who settled in Guilford County remains uncertain.


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