Hodgson Surname Genealogy

Hodge, Hodgson and its dimunitive Hodgkinson are generally considered
as being all pet forms of Roger, a
name introduced to England by the Normans after the
Conquest. It
was said that some of the native English could not get their mouth
around the Norman “R” and “R” became “H” or “D”
However, an alternative theory of Hodgson origins and perhaps a
more persuasive one ties Hodgson
the Norse name Oddgeir or Hodgeir. Historically the
Hodgson name was most common in the north of England in Cumbria, an
area settled by Norse Vikings in the 10th century. The Hodgson
DNA project does seem to confirm an Irish-Norse origin.Both Hodgson and Hodson exist as surnames. Hodson as a name was
mainly to be found south of Hodgson, in Lancashire, the West Midlands,
and Lincolnshire.

Hodgson Resources on

Hodgson Ancestry

first record of a Hodgson in England was that of John Hodgson, bailiff
1276, who later served as its mayor. However, beyond his son
Richard there
was no further
trace of these Hodgsons. It is thought that the Hodgsons of
Hebburn in county
Durham, a mine-owning Catholic family who date
from the 16th century, were descended from
this line. This family shared a Hodgson coat of arms with other
Hodgson families in northern England.

NW England.
Hodgson as a surname was mainly to be found in NW
England. It ranked fifth in the most common surnames in
Cumberland in 1847 and tenth in the most common in Westmoreland in
1851. The area around St. Bees in Cumbria – along the coast from
Workington to Ravenglass – accounts for more Hodgsons than anywhere
else in England.

Many early Hodgsons in the area may have been Border reivers,
perhaps organized on clan lines like their Scottish counterparts:

  • there were the Hodgsons of Bascodyke and the Hodgsons of Burgh by
    and Moorhouse (whose numbers included the Quaker David
  • Christopher
    Hodgson the Catholic priest
    may have come from Kendal.
  • Joseph Hodgson, the 19th century physician, came from a Penrith
  • the Rev. John Hodgson lived at Shap in Westmoreland in
    the early 1800’s before crossing the Pennines to Northumberland.
  • while Thomas Hodgson, born on the Isle of Man in 1805, had
    origins. Many of his descendants emigrated to America in the

Thomas Hodgson was a prominent Liverpool merchant and slave trader in
the late 18th century who had built cotton mills at Caton to profit on
his trade. His son Adam Hodgson, however, played a
leading role in the
campaign to abolish slavery.

Geoffrey Hodgson’s 2005 book The
Hodgson Saga
gives a full account of the Hodgson name and its

America. Robert Hodgson
was a Quaker from Yorkshire who arrived in New York in 1657 while it
was still Dutch and antagonized the local authorities. After
having been beaten there and imprisoned, he moved first to Rhode Island
and then found a haven in William Penn’s Pennsylvania. George Hodson and Robert Hodgson of
the family in Chester
county, Pennsylvania later migrated to the Quaker settlement in North
Carolina. Hodgsons from here were later
found in Ohio.

Ralph and Elizabeth Hodgson were Quakers who had grown up
in the Albany, New York area. Their son John crossed the border
into Canada after the Revolutionary War.

Caribbean. Edward Hodgson
came out to Jamaica from Liverpool in 1837 and started a coffeee
plantation at Southfield in the years following the abolition of
slavery. That plantation stayed with the family until 2004.

Canada. Edward Hodgson, a
seaman, was an early settler in Nova Scotia, arriving there in the
1790’s. He lived for many years as a lifeguard on Sable Island
(the title on his tombstone read “Governor of the Isle of
Sable”). Christopher Hodgson came to Nova Scotia sometime in the
1840’s. His descendants later moved across the border to
Maine. John and Rachel Hodgson from Cumberland headed for Quebec
(then Lower Canada) in 1819.

and New Zealand
. Early
Hodgsons in Australia were convicts
were 41 of them in total, starting with
John Hodgson, tried in Lincoln and transported to New South Wales for
life on
the Royal Admiral in 1792.

John Hodgson arrived with his
family in 1837 from the small village of Wadworth in Yorkshire.
He did well as a merchant and land speculator in Melbourne and was
mayor of that city in 1853. Robert Hodgson from Durham came out
to the Victoria goldfields in the 1850’s and later settled in New
Zealand. The interestingly named Twentyman Hodgson from
Lincolnshire was an
early arrival in Christchurch, SI in 1851. George and Mary
Hodgson arrived there from Penrith in Cumberland in 1865.

Hodgson Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Hodgson Names

Adam Hodgson, the son of
a slave trader, campaigned against slavery and was a prominent civic
leader in Liverpool in the first half of the 19th century.
Joseph Hodgson was a 19th
century physician, best remembered today by his name from Hodgson’s
Frances Hodgson was the
late Victorian writer of children’s stories such as Little Lord Fauteroy and The Secret Garden.

Select Hodgsons Today

  • 35,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Lancashire)
  • 4,000 in America (most numerous in Florida)
  • 17,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)



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