Jonathan Hodges b 1793

Jonathan Hodges was born about 1793 in Ireland. I have not been able to find a birth record, or a record of his parents or exact birth place.  He was Protestant.

He and his brother John C Hodges immigrated to New Brunswick.  According to my Internet research, two most significant areas in Ireland from which New Brunswick immigrants came during this period were West Ulster in the north, and County Cork in the south. One of the driving forces behind this emigration was from Ireland was the advent of the industrial revolution in the only part of Ireland which ever was industrialized-the north. The technological changes in the linen industry eventually put hundreds of weavers out of work and forced them to seek new livelihoods in the new world. Many family groups established themselves on small holdings that would eventually, after much hard labor, become farms.

1819 Jonathan and John applied for a land grant from the lots lying on the north side of the road leading from Hammond River in Kings County NB, to Hopewell, in the County of Westmoreland, in New Brunswick.  This description covers a lot of area, and I am not sure exactly where their land grant was located. There were four petitioners – Jonathan, John, Thomas Hailes, and Robert Clark Thomas.  The application says that all are natives of the County of Cork and have resided there until verly lately they emigrated to this Province.  Clark and Hailes were married and had families of children, but Jonathan and John were single.  Their application was approved.

In about 1823, they left New Brunswick and moved across the Bay of Fundy to the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. 

Jonathan married Ruth Taylor, daughter of Stephen Taylor and Tamson Morton, about 1823.  Chute’s history of the area says that Ruth was Jonathan’s second wife but apparently mother of all eight children. 

In 1826, Jonathan Hodges received a land grant of 200 acres in the area of Liverpool Road and Dalhousie Settlement, near Wilmot in Nova Scotia.  The record states he has resided in the province three years, is married, and has an aged mother to support.  It also states that he has never received land from the Government.  Allan Parker (probably Henry Alline Parker, John C’s father-in-law) and John C. Hodges also applied for land there. I have not located a death record for Jonathan’s mother.

Dalhousie East and Dalhousie Road are parts of a settlement which extends into Kings County along the road which was opened by Governor Dalhousie for the settlement of disbanded soldiers from the War of 1812. The road and the military settlement was named for him, and approximately five miles of it runs through the south-west corner of Kings County. Land at Dalhousie East was granted in 100 acre lots to disbanded soldiers on Oct. 26 1821.

The 1827 census lists John Hodges, Methodist, farmer, in Wilmot, 2 males, 5 females, no male or female servants, for a total of 7 in the family.  There were no births in the family for the year ending 1 Oct 1827, no marriages of female members of the family, and no deaths.  This is the correct number of people if John and Jonathan, their wives, their first children (both daughters) and Jonathan’s mother were all in the household.  His application for land the year before said he had an aged mother to support.

The census of Aylesford in 1838 lists Jonathan as a shoemaker, with 6 in the family. Here were two males under six (William and Jonathan), one male under 14 (Ralph), one female under 14 (Mary Ann) and one female over 14, his wife Ruth. 

In 1840, Jonathan and John C both brought property from Henry VanBuskirk.  Both wives also signed the deed book.  This was probably the property in Morristown, in Aylesford Township of Kings County Nova Scotia.  This settlement is just south of Berwick.  The first Baptist church was dedicated in 1855, and was replaced by a church dedicated on 1874.  Morristown had a school as early as 1839.    Farming and lumbering were basic industries.   

Jonathan probably owned the property next to the Morristown school.  The current house on that site was built by his son Ralph, and occupied by Ralph’s son Wesley, and Wesley’s son Charles, whose children were born there. 

Jonathan’s family is listed in the 1851 census of Aylesford Township, listed as married and over 50.  The 1861 census lists him as married, between 50 and 70.    

Jonathan died 25 June 1869, in Morristown.  The record called him yeoman (which meant he was a land-owning farmer), age 76 (so born about 1793).  Cause of death was “gravel’, or what we would now call kidney stones.  The death record says he came from Ireland. 

The will of Jonathan Hodges identifies his children, and their bequest:

Ruth beloved wife, use of house & property

Jonathan son, left 1/2 of farm if he returns from US

Silvanus Boardman son, left 1/2 of farm

Rebecca Lavina already got her shares, left 5 shillings

Tamson Ermina daughter, 7 pounds worth of furniture when married

Ralph son, already has portion, left 5 shillings

William Henry son, already has portion, left 5 shillings

Mary Ann Stevens daughter, left 10 pounds

Stephen T Hodges son, left 10 pounds

(son John Wesley was born in 1842, and probably died young as he was not mentioned.)

Will was written in 1868 with Jonathan, Jr; William Henry and Benjamin Robertson appointed executors.

Ruth and Jonathan were probably buried in the Old Morristown Cemetery.  Jonathan’s sons Jonathan and William, and daughter Tamson are there.  Ralph is probably there.  His brother John C is there.  In the 1960s, a group of teenagers vandalized the cemetery, knocking some stones down, and breaking many beyond the point of being repaired.  The cemetery was at one time surrounded by birches and roses.

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