Select Hodge Miscellany
- How "R" Became "H" and "D"
- Hodge, Hodges and Hodgson
- Hodge of Ferryhill and the Brancepeth Brawn
- Hodges in Antigua and Anguilla
- Alexander Hodge and the Texas Revolution
- Blount Hodge in Kentucky
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.
||pet form Hick
||pet form Dick
||Hick, Hicks, Higgs
||pet form Hob
||pet form Dob
||pet form Hodge
||pet form Dodge
"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.
The next table below shows the approximate numbers of Hodge/Hodges/Hodgson today and where they are to be found in England.
||Cornwall and Devon
||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
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
Hodges in Antigua and Anguilla
The following Hodges were recorded in the 1727 list of settlers.
|St. Johns, Antigua
|Valley division, Anguilla
|Arthur Hodge Sr
|Arthur Hodge Jr
Alexander Hodge and the
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
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."