Select Hodge Miscellany



Here are some Hodge stories and accounts over the years:

How "R" Became "H" and "D"


Richard, Robert and Roger were personal names introduced by the Normans after the Conquest.  It is said that some of the native English could not get their mouth around the velar Norman "R" and "R" became ""H" or "D" instead.  The table below suggests how this transition took place in the case of the surnames which came from these personal names.
 
Richard
pet form Hick
pet form Dick
gives Richards
Hick, Hicks, Higgs
Dicks
and Richardson
Hickson
Dixon, Dickinson     



Robert
pet form Hob
pet form Dob
gives Roberts
Hobbs
Dobbs
and Robertson
Hobson, Hopson
Dobson

Hopkins, Hopkinson
Dobbin



Roger
pet form Hodge
pet form Dodge
gives Rogers
Hodge, Hodges
Dodge

Hodgson
Dodgson

Hodgkins, Hodgkinson


"D" was probably the preferred substitution in the case of Richard.  Dick as an abbreviation is with us today; while Dixon is a very common surname.  However, with Robert and Roger, the preference would appear to be "H," in particular with Roger.


Hodge, Hodges and Hodgson

Hodge, Hodges and Hodgson are all surnames, Hodges and Hodgson being "son of Hodge."  Hodge and Hodges are both West country names, Hodge being found in Cornwall and Devon and Hodges elsewhere in the region.

The table below shows the Hodge/Hodges breakdown of property owners by county in the 1873 Owners of Land.

County
Hodge
Hodges
Cornwall
   17

Devon
   14  
    2
Somerset
    2
   20
Gloucestershire

   12
Worcestershire

    7

The next table below shows the approximate numbers of Hodge/Hodges/Hodgson today and where they are to be found in England.

Numbers (000's)
UK
Elsewhere
Total
in England
Hodge
  12
   25
  37       
Cornwall and Devon
Hodges
  15       
   31
  46
Southwest
Hodgson
  35
   21
  56
Lancashire and NW

Hodge is outnumbered by both Hodges and Hodgson.  The Hodgson name is more numerous in the UK (some have suggested that it has a separate Norse origin), but has travelled less, particularly to America.


Hodge of Ferryhill and the Brancepeth Brawn

The village of Brancepeth in Durham is said to acquire its name from being the Brawn's Peth, the area frequented by a notorious brawn (or wild boar).  The brawn roamed the marshy forests that once existed south of Durham in Saxon and Norman times and was said to have terrorized the local people.

In 1208 a young man by the name of Roger de Ferie or Hodge of Ferryhill was employed in the pursuit of the Brancepeth Brawn.  He took careful note of the paths that it frequently used and then constructed a deep pit on the brawn's highway and covered it with boughs and earth.  He was successful in his pursuit.  The brawn came tumbling along and went head first into the depths of the pit.  Its nauseating screeches echoed throughout the countryside.  No doubt the beast later ended up as someone's dinner.

Hodge’s grave is reputedly an ancient stone coffin at Merrington church with a carving of a stone and a spade.  During the 19th century a farmer discovered on his land this stone, apparently the remnant of a cross erected to commemorate Hodge's victory.  Nearby a deep hole in the ground was found and the local people in Ferryhill believed that this was the exact pit to which the brawn was lured.



Hodges in Antigua and Anguilla


The following Hodges were recorded in the 1727 list of settlers.

St. Johns, Antigua
Christopher Hodge      

John Hodge
Valley division, Anguilla
Thomas Hodge

Arthur Hodge Sr

Arthur Hodge Jr

Henry Hodge

Thomas Hodge


Alexander Hodge and the Texas Revolution

Alexander Hodge was active with his sons and his sons-in-law in the Texas Revolution.  It was Hodge who shepherded the women, children, and family slaves in their flight to safety.  In her memoirs his granddaughter, Clarinda Pevehouse Kegans, described him as a tall, white-haired man who raised fine horses and was usually too preoccupied for take much notice of his grandchildren.

However, that all changed during their escape.  They traveled by night.  As they walked Hodge held some child's hand in his and all through the dark night they could hear his voice - sometimes laughing, sometimes cajoling, even above the rain and thunder. They huddled in a thicket on April 21, 1836 and listened to the guns of San Jacinto.

Hodge brought his family back to Oyster Creek, but he was ill and exhausted.  He died on August 17, 1836 and is buried at Hodge's Bend Cemetery.  In 1912 a stone in his honor was placed in Sam Houston Park, Houston.
 

Blount Hodge in Kentucky

According to Barbara Knox, author of Robert Hodge et al of Livingston County Kentucky, Blount Hodge was considered the black sheep of the family:

"His wife died in 1864 and he died in 1877.  In his will he left most of his considerable estate to his mulatto housekeeper (who evidently was quite young) and her two children acknowledged by him as his.  His two sons tried to break it, but the County Court upheld it as written. 

A number of years ago some of the Hodges from Texas found the will in the courthouse.  According to my good friend, the then County clerk, they slammed the book and walked out without saying a word. I was visiting in Navarro county and, behind closed doors, was told of the will and its contents.

Some years ago one of his few descendants came back to Ky and had the house torn down where he had lived.  He had owned a number of houses in Smithland - one in which he entertained the Yankee officers almost every night (according to a letter which was written by my grandmother's older brother).  I am fortunate in having a number of letters written during the 1850's from Livingston county and they certainly give all the gossip." 




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