Hodge Surname Genealogy

Hodge is a pet form of Roger, a
name introduced to England by the Normans after the
Conquest. The root of Roger is hrod meaning “renown” and gari “spear.” It
is said that some of the native English could not get their mouth
around the Norman “R” and “R” became “H” or “D”
instead. Hence Hodge or Dodge as a surname.
In the cook’s prologue in Chaucer’s Canterbury
, the cook calls himself Hodge, but is addressed by the
host a few lines later as Roger. Roger in medieval times was also
a slang name for a farm laborer; as was Hodge.  Hodge,Hodges, and Hodgson are all surnames, Hodges and Hodgson being “son of Hodge.”

Select Hodge Resources on The Internet

Hodge Ancestry

Early Hodge spellings were
fairly variable and remained so for a
considerable period of time. The surname history which
follows concentrates just
on the lines named Hodge.

England. There was early
reports of a Hodge family in Northumberland who moved northwards and
established themselves in Scotland. The Hodge name lived on
locally in the legend of the Hodge of Ferryhill.
However, later numbers of Hodges in this part of England were small.

SW England The
main numbers instead were to be found in the southwest of the
country, in particular in Devon and Cornwall. A William Hogge was
recorded in Cornwall in 1297. The name was especially evident in
the Helston area and was often described as a Bodmin name because of
the number of Hodge mayors there in the late 1600’s. Other
Cornish sightings
included a Francis Hodge who held Quaker meetings at his house in
Falmouth at that time and Hodge families of St. Levan and St.
Ives dating from the early/mid 1700’s. There were as well many
Hodges working on the farms of south Devon, in and around Totnes.

William Hodge, the grandson of a Liskeard tanner, made it as a banker
and merchant in Plymouth in the early 19th century and was able to
establish himself amongst the local gentry.

“The 1851 census enumerator was shown
into the study of Pounds Mansion House, Pennycross where William
Chappell Hodge was now head of the family. He gave his occupation
as landed proprietor and banker. His staff included a governess
for the children, a butler, cook, coachman, and footman.”

Scotland. There were
Hodges in Glasgow in the early 17th century where Thomas Hodge
established himself as a merchant in 1625. However, there seem to
have been more Hodges in Fife. One family line traces itself back
to George Hodge in Crail in 1686. John Hodg, deacon of trade in
Fife in 1701, was the son of Alexander Hodg and other Hodges in trade
there date from that time. A later cluster of Hodges was to be
found in Ayrshire.

America. Early records
can be confusing as the names may switch from Hodge to Hodges or vice
versa within a family. What follows here are mainly Hodge

Notable Hodge starting points in America have been:

  • John Hodge, born in Connecticut in 1643, and his brother Charles,
    the sons of immigrant Richard Hodge. John died in Lyme,
    Connecticut and his descendants were to be found in various places
    around the state.
  • Robert Hodge, who was born in Virginia at around the same
    time. It is believed that his line connects to Henry Gustavas
    Hodge who moved with his parents as a small child to Edgecombe county,
    North Carolina in the 1750’s. Hodges from this family migrated to
    Kentucky in the early 1800’s and Blount Hodge prospered there as
    a merchant.
  • Three Scots Irish Hodge brothers – William, Andrew and Hugh – who
    came to Philadelphia in 1730. Hugh was an eminent physician, as
    were a number of his descendants. From his line came the Rev.
    Charles Hodge, the great 19th century theologian of Princeton, New
  • John Hodge, probably Scots Irish as well, who was in Pennsylvania
    by the 1730’s. His grandson Alexander Hodge, born there in
    1760, migrated to Georgia, Arkansas, and then, in 1828, to Mexican-held
    Texas. He died in 1836 just as the battle for Texas was won.
  • Francis
    , born around 1750, who fought in the Revolutionary
    War under Washington at Brandywine and Yorktown and later moved to
    Davidson county, Tennessee. His two-storey log home there, built
    in Percy Warner
    Park around 1795, still stands.

Hodge name is extensive in the Caribbean islands and appeared at an
early time. The first of these Hodges was said to have been an
Irishman who came to Anguilla around 1700. Antigua and Anguilla records of 1727
showed a number of people named Hodge. One line, through Bazaliel
Hodge, moved from Anguilla to Tortola (part
of the British Virgin Islands today) and acquired a number of estates
there. Arthur W. Hodge was another early settler. In 1811
his son was sensationally tried and hanged for cruelty to his slaves:

“Arthur W. Hodge was the first and only
plantation and slave owner to be put to death by hanging for his
repeated and relentless cruelty to his slaves. Hodge is said to
have been responsible for the deaths of over 60 people, including that
of his third wife Ann. His once grand plantation house has long
since been destroyed by the elements and all evidence of its existence
buried by the lush Tortola vegetation.”

In a curious twist his black grandson Samuel was awarded the Victoria
Cross for his bravery on the battlefield in 1866 whilst serving with
British Army in West Africa.

Another Hodge plantation owner was Langford Lowell Hodge (and his son
of the same name) who owned estates in Antigua and British Guiana from
the late 1700’s. Today the Hodge name is readily found in
Antigua, Anguilla, St. Martin, and in St.Croix on the US Virgin

and New Zealand.
A Hodge family from St. Ives in Cornwall,
getting away from the mining slump there, arrived in Newcastle, NSW in
1867 and then sailed on to Port Chalmers, New Zealand. The Rev.
Charles Hodge was a Congregational minister from Cornwall who
eventually settled with his wife in South Australia. And other
Hodges from Cornwall headed for the Moonta mines there.

Melville Hodge, a farm laborer from Fife in Scotland, boarded the Joseph Rowan in 1854 at the age of
51 for a new life in Australia. Sadly, his wife Janet died seven
days out on the voyage. However, he was able to attract the
attention of a 22 year old woman also emigrating and they married soon
after their arrival. They settled in the Barossa valley of South
Australia, but Melville lived for only another six years. Their
son David later prospered as a grain merchant.

Hodge Miscellany

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

Select Hodge Names

Hodge was Samuel Johnson’s cat.
Rev. Charles Hodge of Princeton
was a leading
Calvinist in 19th century America.
W.V.D. Hodge was a Scots-born
mathematician whose development of the Hodge theory in the 1930’s has
had a major impact on the study of geometry.
Sir Julian Hodge, born in
London, grew up in Wales and developed his business empire, the Hodge
group, there. He created the Bank of Wales in 1972.

Select Hodges

  • 12,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in London)
  • 18,000 in America (most numerous
    in South Carolina)
  • 10,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia).



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