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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Continue reading Generation seven: William and Dianna Hodson/Hodgin


Among the Hodgson millers

My William Hodson wasn’t the only miller in the family. Even during his life, he had a cousin William who was also a miller in Guilford County, which was quite confusing in my genealogy research, at least until that line moved north and west.

And out of that northern and western migration of Hodgson cousins, we find the brothers Alva and George settling in the Ozarks of Missouri and continuing the tradition:

The Hodgson Mill logo is found on grocery shelves around the country.
The Hodgson Mill logo is found on grocery shelves around the country.

A breakthrough moment

For years my effort to connect what I had on my Hodson line in Ohio to George and Mary Thatcher Hodgson in North Carolina was stymied. From family Bible entries and other notations, combined with the detailed Census of 1850 and later, I was able to take the line back to George and Delilah Hodson in Guilford County. But I remained stuck taking the leap to what I had collected working from the other direction.

And then I received this chart in a set mailed by Charles H. Saunders in Indiana, confirming my hunch that William and Diannah Saferight Hodson were my missing link. Hallelujah! I remember staring at the opened package in a state of awe and deep gratitude.

SCN_0041Still, while Saunders cites respected genealogist Glen C. Walker as his source, I wondered how much credence to give this new information. Later, others told me Saunders was reliable and his extensive records, which he had kept in his car, had disappeared after his death. So I was very lucky to correspond with him when I did.

Revisiting the charts he sent, I am reminded of the deep care and generosity of many earlier serious genealogists working in an era before photocopying and then Internet options. The chart displayed here was typed on card-stock paper – a time-consuming task, at best, and more difficult than today’s “keyboarding.” Often, copies like this were deposited in local genealogical libraries, where they may still be encountered.

I also observe limitations in the findings. Delilah’s maiden name is relayed as Hunt, rather than the actual Britton, or the alternate Rayle. And we now know of more than four children.

Still, so much of our research depends on sharing what bits we have, in the hopes that a fuller puzzle can be pieced together.