Putting a Dent in my findings

A year ago, Michael Howard Hodgson chanced across this blog, and a lively correspondence has followed. He’s a much younger relation – and, yes, his line did spell the name Hodson, like mine, before reinserting the G in the middle.

He descends from Orphan George’s son John and a line that headed to Ohio early in the migrations. Michael’s branch eventually moved across Indiana, Iowa, and the prairie states before winding up in the Spokane region of Washington state. It’s a colorful history that will be the focus here for the rest of the year. Shall we say there are some “characters” in his past?


Cousin Michael also shared a tidbit he turned up online, one that named Orphan George’s mother as Elizabeth Gibson, born 1671 Lamplugh, Cumberland, and died 1710 at sea.

Somewhere, we also have a mention of his father marrying at Dent Meeting in Yorkshire. I’ve largely discounted that possibility – along with the claims of Doncaster in South Yorkshire, and Sara E. Welch, born April 24, 1659, in Brigham, Yorkshire – because of their distance from Lamplugh, Cumbria.

By the way, I’m always suspicious of middle names or initials used before the early 1800s, at least in my families from England. The usage seldom had them, and they’re usually inserted by later researchers. In at least one case, it was the mark an illiterate individual used over his written name.

What records I have for Dent indicate no connection with the line I’ve tenuously connected from Lamplugh, though the plot can often thicken. We’ll see.

A recent chance online encounter with Dent, though, identified the town in Cumbria, and a bit more sleuthing put the Quaker Meeting under Sedbergh Friends (where the records are likely to be found) and, more critically, under Westmorland Quarterly Meeting. In other words, Dent is in a rural pocket much closer to Lamplugh than I’d assumed. Both Dent and Lamplugh border the Lakes District. Driving from one to the other takes about 70 miles, but a hiker could take a shorter route – not that the distance would be a breeze.

A Quaker was expected to marry another Quaker, after all, and a young man sometimes relocated to a new location to court her.

Well, it is a fresh haystack to search. I’m still curious about the John Hodgson who was arrested at Sedbergh in 1660 and jailed in York, about 50 miles from his dwelling.

Dent Friends meetinghouse in England



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