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 Mary (Hiatt) Mills. [Mary (Hiatt) Mills was the daughter of John and Sarah (Hodgson/Hodson) 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 six: George and Rachel Hodson