Hodges family immigrated from England in early 1600s

Published 2:26 am Saturday, April 14, 2018

There was an earlier column which featured a certain Hodges family, but today’s writing will focus on an unrelated one. The emigrant ancestor of this line was identified to be John W. Hodges who was born in 1580 in Danetry, Northamptonshire, England. He died in 1623 in Isle of Wight, Va. He and his wife Mary were the parents of Robert Hodges Sr. who was born in 1638 in Isle of Wight and died in 1687 in New Port Parish, Isle of Wight. Robert was married to Ann Matthews, and he possibly had other wives. He and Ann were the parents of Robert Hodges Jr. who was born in 1664 in Virginia and died in 1742 in Bertie County, N.C

Robert Hodges Jr. was married to Ann Branch, and a son, Richard Hodges, was among their children. Richard was born in 1692 in Isle of Wight, Va. and was married to Sara Vann. He died in 1752 in Beaufort County, N.C. or Marlboro, S.C., and Sara is listed as dying in 1760. Among their children was a son named William Henry Hodges Sr.

William Henry Hodges Sr. was born in 1720 in Beaufort County, N.C. and died in 1802 in Effingham, Ga. He had married Mary Cherry with whom he had a son named William Henry Hodges Jr. William Henry Jr. was born circa 1750 in Beaufort County, and he later moved his family to Washington County, Ga., during the early 1800s. He was married to Marcella Ann Louisa Keel (1821-1869). They were the parents of a son named Jordan Hodges was born to them in 1786 in Beaufort County, N.C. In 1821, Jordan was married to Mary Miller (1803-1848), daughter of Lewis Miller and Mary Groome. Mary Miller was born in Washington County, Ga., and died there in 1848, one year before her husband, Jordan, who died there in 1849.

Jordan and Mary Hodges were the parents of a son named Wiley Franklin Hodges who was born in 1822 in Washington County, Ga. He was married in 1846 to Margaret Jane Smith, daughter of English Smith (1798-1861) and Margaret Dean (1802-1829). Margaret Dean is reported to have been born at sea as her parents made the journey from England to America. Margaret Jane’s grandfather William Smith came from Bristol, England, and settled in Fauquier County, Va. He was a cousin to the famous jurist, John Marshall, who became the first Supreme Court Justice under President Thomas Jefferson.

Wiley Franklin Hodges worked as a farmer and farm manager where he first lived in Stewart County, Ga. He next lived in Dale County, Ala., and then in Thomas County, Ga., in the late 1850s. In 1861, Wiley and Margaret Hodges returned to Washington County, Ga., to operate the farm left to them by Margaret’s father.

In August 1863, Wiley Franklin Hodges and his oldest son, John English Hodges, enlisted in the Confederate Army. They were assigned to Company D, 66th Georgia Infantry Regiment. They fought side by side beginning at Missionary Ridge and continued through the Atlanta Campaign on into Tennessee. There, John English was severely wounded which would affect him for the remainder of his life. Wiley Franklin continued to fight in the battles at Spring Hill, Franklin and Nashville, Tenn., and on into North Carolina. He was killed just before the Battle of Bentonville outside of Goldsboro, N.C., on March 11, 1865. He was buried in the Raleigh Confederate Cemetery.

Margaret was left as a fairly young widow with at least six of their surviving children. John English was disabled from his injuries during the war, but he returned and helped his mother as much as possible to manage the farm for supporting the family. Margaret lived on until 1907 and was listed as residing in Brewton, Ala., at the time of her death.

Wiley F. and Margaret Hodges were the parents of the following children: John English, b. 1847, d. 1895, m. Suzie E. McGowin (1857-1907); James J., b. 1848, d. 1849; Margaret V.E., b. 1849, d. 1856; Mary Frances “Molly,” b. 1851, d. 1926, m. William Arthur Rawls (1850-1896); Eugenia S., b. 1853; William Arthur, b. 1853, d. 1856; Wilda Torrence, b. 1855, d. 1945, m. Alonzo Robinson (1854-1941); Henry Key, b. 1858, d. 1934, m Harriett Saphronia ?; Alexander Lavor, b. 1859, d. 1937, m. (1) Winnie Adams (2) 1906 Mattie Hines; Thomas L. or J., b. 1861; and Wiley Jefferson, b. 1863, d. 1952, m. Mary E. ? (1870-1946).

As mentioned earlier, the oldest son, John English Hodges, returned from the war in a disabled condition, but he helped his mother with the farm. Later, he was married to Susan “Susie” E. McGowin, daughter of James McGowin II and Eliza Straughn. They were the parents of the following children: Lavior, b. 1875; Beulah, b. 1877; Margaret Elizabeth “Maggie,” b. 1878, d. 1972, m. 1902 Thomas Edgar Watson (1876-1957) son of Thomas Grant Watson and Louisa Catrett; and Corine, b. 1885. Some family trees list additional children including a daughter named Sallie Mae. John English Hodges died in 1895 in Brewton, Escambia, AL.

The second daughter, Mary Frances “Molly” Hodges, was married to William Arthur Rawls, son of David and Sarah Rawls. William was born in 1850 in Laurens County, Ga., and came to Alabama circa 1885. He died in 1896 in Covington County. He and Molly were the parents of the following five children: Minnie Lee, b. 1873, d. 1957, m. Richard Henry; Arthur F., b. 1880, d. 1932, m. Nannie Cook; Wiley Hodges, b. 1884, d. 1984, m. Mary Frances Davis; David, b. 1885; and Mary Volusia, b. 1888.

The daughter named Wilda Torrence Hodges was married to Alonzo Robinson. They were the parents of the following nine children: Ethel, b. ?, m. Henry Tritt; Eula Frances, b. 1877, m. Dave Crook; Ben Hill, b. 1880, d. 1966, m. Lida Belle Pittman (1882-1976); William A., b. 1882, d. 1967, m. Hattie Strickland; Joseph, b. 1884, d. 1958, m. Mae Williams; Tolula Eugenia, b. 1888, d. 1975, m. George Willis Lundy; Willie E., b. 1891, d. 1935, m. W.D. Curt Hodges; Bess Elizabeth, b. 1895, m. Edward Lovelace Padgett; and John, b. ?.

The sources for this writing included Ancestry.com and a family story written by Don Hall of Norcross, Ga., for publication in The Heritage of Covington County, Alabama.

Anyone who might find an error in the above genealogy is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.