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Descendants of Thomas Hodges

Generation No. 1

1. THOMAS1 HODGES was born Abt. 1750, and died Bet. 1810 - 1820 in NC. He married BETSEY COTTRELL Abt. 1781, daughter of THOMAS COTTRELL and SUSANNAH. She died Bef. 1820.

Notes for T
Sources: 1. Information from Carl Lewis.
      2. Heritage of Watauga Co., NC, Vol. 1, 1984, p. 251.
      3. Ken Hodge
      4. Gerry Hackley, information shared on the Hodges Chat Group via the Internet.
      5. Peggy Mannes personal information.
      6. Bill Cook personal information.

From source 1: "Thomas enlisted in the Army 26 May 1777 to serve three years and was discharged 30 April 1780. He served as a private. Thomas Hodges married in Virginia. They first settled in Surry County, NC soon after the Revolutionary War and then to what is now Watauga County in the year 1785. He was the third family to settle in Watauga County. Thomas and his family settled in what is still know as Hodges Gap, near west Boone (what is now called Valle Crucis). He built a cabin there in 1781 and well did James Holtzclaw. The 1790 census shows him with a wife, four sons and five daughters. Only three of the daughters have been placed."

The State Census of NC 1784-1787, Wilkes Co., under A List of Inhabitants in Capt. Thomas Farguson's Dist. 1787, Taken by William Lenoir shows:
Thomas Hodges 1 WM 21-60 yrs.; 4 WM under 21 & above 60; 6 WF all ages. Also shows before Thomas Hodges a Thomas Cottral 1 WM 21-60; 3 WM under 21 & above 60; 5 WF all ages, is he related to T. Hodges' wife??

The December 1992, issue of the Watauga Ancestry, has reprinted the Wilkes Co., NC Taxables 1797 from Capt. Ayres District. The list is in order of households visited and in the 34th house is a Thomas Hodges, Sr.

Possibly could his wife's last name (or a second wife) be ? Norris(Morris)? One guess is that Cottrell is her maiden name and that Norris is the last name of her first husband, Thomas being her second.

Source 3 states that Thomas Hodges was from Wales and migrated to America without his parents, but came with three brothers; John, David, and Joseph. They came from Wales to Philadelphia, PA and possibly maybe from the same family of the Hodge shipbuilding. There have been rumors that the Hodges left behind quite a bit of wealth when they came to America, I have never been able to prove any of this, but Ken Hodge stated the following, "Two of the brothers went against their father's wishes and joined the American side in the Rev. War while Thomas and John did not, staying out of it by moving to the mountains. Later, Thomas's son, Gilbert, hired lawyers in Philly to claim inheritance from his Grandfather's estate in Wales. England had confiscated their money and the legal battle went on for years. "

Was Thomas a Tory?? At this time the information is inconclusive as to which side he was on during the War. Just a guess, but did he tell people his opinions based on what he thought they wanted to hear???

KEN HODGE sent the following info he got from Hodges Family History Traced by Maiden, NC, Member of Clan, by Dr. J.E. Hodges, Maiden, NC.
"When Tom Hodges unloaded his two pack horses and two milk cows, on whose backs were transported all the worlds goods he brought over the mountains, all the territory of what is now Watauga County was a howling wilderness.

He had left the scattered settlement on the Yadkin far behind. Many miles down the Watauga, about Sycamore Shoals, was the Watauga settlement. In the Valle Crucis section, Sam Hix and his son-in-law, James Holtsclaw, had a cabin and stockade, but it is doubtful if Hodges ever knew they were there. In fact, he was where the foot of white men had seldom trod, with nature for his companion.

Just west of Boone he built his camp, for that is just what it was a faced camp, in the language of the frontier. It was built of logs with back and ends solid, roof sloping front to back and front open. The big fire for cooking and warmth was built in front of the open side.

The small amount of bedding brought along, soon supplemented by bear skins, was spread on forest leaves in the back of the camp for sleeping and rolled up out of the way in the day time. This camp had to answer all of the purposes of a home till the pioneer could build a cabin of round logs, covered with split logs and fitted with a big rough stone chimney.

Soon after the cabin was completed and enclosed with a rail fence, the family received quite a scare when the head of the house was away with the dogs and his rifle on a bear hunt. Had he stayed at home there would have been no need for a hunt, for an enormous black bear came into the clearing and proceeded to investigate this intrusion into his domain. Reaching the fence that surrounded the little cabin, he stood erect and placing both front paws on the top rail quietly, an for some time, surveyed the surroundings till satisfied, and went on his way, to the great relief of the wife and children."

#4 Quoted from Dr. J.B. Hodges of Maiden, NC: "Since our Family Line began with the four brothers who landed in Philadelphia in 1750, it is important to trace their ancestry. The father of John, David, Thomas and Joseph Hodges was named THOMAS. He was a very wealthy man and live near the outskirts of London. A portion of the real estate was within the city limits as loyal to the crown (not Loyalists in the Rev. but fought with the Colonists) that he declared they nor their sons nor their grandsons should ever enjoy his property. So, by some means, according to English law, he entailed it for 99 years. This period expired in 1877, when accounts of it was published in the Philadelphia papers. A group of descendants of some of these men sent an attorney to England to investigate the matter. His report was, that while the property was worth many millions of dollars, the burden of obtaining documentary proof of the birth and descent of every possible heir would render it next to impossible to secure possession of the property during the then existing generation. So, the matter was dropped. We do not know the name of Thomas Hodges wife. (the above are established facts and not the idle conjecture that frequently follows such conditions. The entire affair was well known to the late Col. John Hodges of David County. His daughter who lives in Brooklyn, NY has also done considerable research into this part of the family history.)

(It is not known when the above information was written.) The four brothers came to Philadelphia in 1750, John is supposed to have been the oldest; Thomas the youngest. John was in the French and Indian War and was under Washington at Braddock's defeat. According to Dr. Hodges, 'The War Department informs that John served as captain in the Pennsylvania Militia; David, as Private in Capt. James Bell's Company, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Militia; Thomas as private in Capt. Elijah Blackman Company, in Co. Sherburne's detachments of Foot, in the Continental Line (enlisted May, 26, 1777 for three years; discharged April 30, 1780.); no war record for Joseph -(and as one of the these brothers is said to have gone South, settled in Georgia, and established a name there, it is thought to have been Joseph.)'

A Mr. A.L. Hodges, Halifax Co., VA told Dr. J.B. Hodges over twenty years ago that his grandfather told him about Thomas Hodges who came to the county during the Rev. and fought with the local militia. Mr. A.L. Hodges of Halifax Co., VA, a descendent of William Hodges, informed me that Thomas Hodges' first trip into NC was as a member of a company of Militia that united with some NC militia and fought in a battle where no regular troops were engaged, but was between Tories and militia troops. At the time, I knew of only one such battle-King's Mountain-so I supposed he fought at King's Mountain. I have learned since that time, of the Battle of Shallow Ford, and as it was in the border of Surry Co., I am now inclined to believe it was the latter battle. Until recently, I thought the military service of my ancestor was confined to the militia-and I devoted considerable energy to establishing that service. I applied to the War Department for some evidence, if the Dept. should have it, of that service. Instead, they furnished evidence of his service in the Continental line.

The following from the Adjutant General, January 25, 1950: Thomas Hodges served in the Rev. War as a private in Capt. Elijah Blackman's Company, in the detachment of the Regiment of Foot, commenced by Col. Henry Sherburne, Continental Troops. He enlisted May 26, 1777 to serve three years and was discharged April 30, 1780. That established without question, the military service of Thomas Hodges, or Hodge, as then spelled.

It was in 1780 that Thomas Hodges came to NC as a member of company of mounted militia, commanded by Maj. Cloyd, and fought with about sixty Surry Co. militia at the Battle of Shallow ford. Col. Gidson Wright had embodied some 300 Tories and was trying to get through the bands of Whits who were watching him, and to join the British under Cornwallis. Wright had 300 Tories to face the 160 Whit militia. The battle, in open woods, lasted the greater part of the day-when the Tories retreated. The patriots lost only one man, killed, while the Tories lost more than 100. They found 14 dead Tories, while they carried off their wounded. Capt. Benjamin Burke, a Tory officer, was killed. The battle was fought October 14, 1780.

Thomas Hodges liked Surry Co., and in a few months moved his family there. Why he moved to Surry and then crossed the Blue Ridge and settled west of Boone in not known. He settled in Hodges Gap prior to 1785."

#6 Hodge/Hodges info sent by Bill Cook.
"Philip Smith had purchased 500 acres in 1763 from the executors of Thomas Cottrell, Sr. as Smith's wife was named Susannah, it seems like that she was a daughter of Thomas Cottrell, Sr. and wife Susannah, and a sister of Thomas Cottrell Jr. (the Buffalo Cove pioneer) and to Nancy (Cottrell), wife of Thomas Hodges.

In 1773/74 Thomas Hodges removed to Surry (later Wilkes) County, NC, followed later by Thomas Cottrell (1779), Gilbert Cottrell and James Cottrell. Another sister of the Cottrells presumable came to Wilkes with the Hodges family as she married JOHN NORRIS of Beaver Creek about 1775."


#6 from "Dr. Hodges Tells Origin of Own Family, Facts Relating to Local Clan" by Dr. J.E. Hodges, Maiden, NC, Watauga Democrat, July 13, 1950.

"The first of the name I've learned of came fromNormandy across the Channelto England with William the Conqueror and fought at the Battle of Hastings, October 14, 1066. He was knighted on the field, remained in England and established a family there.
This first Hodges name was spelled Hoegges and pronounced ho-edges. The name has gone through every conceivable variation of spelling. All the names a Hodges, Hodge, Hodgis, Hodgins, Hodgson, Hogge, and others all come from the Hoegges of the old Norman, who came to England so long ago."

#6 from "Notes From Allan L. Poe, Lenoir, NC" "Thomas Hodges and Nancy Cottrell were probably married by 1768; the earliest record I found of William in Augusta County was 1790 Census returns suggest they had five or six daughters of whom Nancy (born ca 1787) married David Greer) was the youngest. Sally Morris is the only other one I can identify, but I think that Rhoda, wife of John Northern, who went to Jefferson County, TN, MAY have been one."

Notes for B
Sources: 1. Heritage of Watauga Co., NC, Vol. 1, 1984, p. 251. 2. Carl Lewis
      2. Bill Cook, information about Hodge/Hodges family.

Is she same as Nancy Cottrell who married John Norris?????

Charles M. Casey stated that the Cottrell family was from Amherst, VA.
Children of T
2. i.   SUSANNA2 HODGES, b. 1771, Virginia; d. Bet. 1840 - 1850, Elk Creek, Wilkes Co., NC.
3. ii.   WILLIAM "BILLIE" HODGES, b. 1782, Wilkes Co., NC; d. Abt. 1855, Stony Fork, Watauga Co., NC.
4. iii.   JOHN HODGES, b. 1784; d. Wilkes Co., NC.
5. iv.   NANCY HODGES, b. 1788, Wilkes Co., NC.
6. v.   JANE "JENNIE" HODGES, b. 1790.
7. vi.   GILBERT HODGES, b. 1795, Wilkes Co., North Carolina; d. December 1862, Watauga Co., North Carolina.
8. vii.   GRACE/SALLY HODGES, b. 1795, NC.
9. viii.   JESSE HODGES, b. 1800, Ashe Co., NC; d. 1864, Johnson Co., Tennessee.
10. ix.   ELIZABETH HODGES, b. 1806, Wilkes Co., NC; d. Aft. 1850, Watauga Co., NC.

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