Ralph Hodges born 12 January 1830

Ralph Hodges was born 12 January, 1830, the second of nine children of Jonathan and Ruth (Taylor) Hodges.  The family lived in the Morristown area of Aylesford Township, Kings County, Nova Scotia.

When he was 22, Ralph married his cousin Mary, daughter of John C and Rachel (Parker ) Hodges.  United Church of Canada – Aylesford Pastoral Charge (Film 181-X) This is to certify that Ralph Hodges, Bachelor of the township of Aylesford, County of Kings, and Province of Nova Scotia, and Mary Hodges, spinster of the township, county, and province aforementioned were married by the publishing of banns the fourth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-two, by me, C. Lockhart, Wesleyan Minister.  Witness:    (none listed). 

Ralph and Mary had 11 children.  Sadly, three of the four last children died as infants. 

Ralph was a farmer. His home was on Morristown Road (now called Prospect) adjacent to the Morristown school, and is still there, although not occupied by a family member. 

On 1869 Ralph Hodges sailed on the schooner Daniel Norton from Margaretville to Boston, arriving 6 July 1869.  The record indicates he was a farmer, intending to settle in the US.  I did not locate him in the 1870 census in the US, and in 1871 he was back in Canada as recorded in the census, with his wife and nine children.

Ralph was in the 1881 census, living in South Aylesford (Morristown) with the four children who were still at home.  Ralph listed his ethnic origin  as Irish (his father was from County Cork), and his religion as Baptist.    

The 1891 census lists Ralph, 61, Mary 62, and their youngest daughter, Hattie, 16.  Son Aaron is next door.  Ralph’s religion was listed as Free Will Baptist, with father’s birthplace Ireland, and his mother’s birthplace Nova Scotia.  Their location was recorded as Millville.  There were a number of small named communities in the immediate area, such as Millville, Morristown, and Factorydale.  It is possible that the names changed without the families actually moving.

The 1890-1897 McAlpine’s Nova Scotia Directory lists Hodges, Ralph, farmer, Morristown.  The 1896 Canadian Genealogy Index lists Ralph Hodges as a farmer in the Lake George district of King’s County.        

The 1901 census of Canada includes the dates of birth for all people listed.  Ralph and Mary are living with son Wesley and his family, and Mary’s orphaned nephew Alva. Mary died in 1901.  The 1902 directory doesn’t list Ralph.  He was probably living with Wesley, but not the head of household.

The death register for 1910 reports that Ralph Hodges, male, died March 6, 1910, at age 80.  He was a resident of Morristown, farmer by occupation, and widowed.  The record says he was born in Morristown, and a Baptist.  He was buried at Morristown. 

There are no headstones for Ralph and Mary Hodges at Morristown.  A Hodges cousin who lives there said that in the 1960s, numerous headstones were vandalized.  It is likely that markers for Ralph and Mary were destroyed.

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