Stephen Taylor Hodges b May 1843

Stephen Taylor Hodges was born May 1843 in the Aylesford area of Nova Scotia, the seventh child of Jonathan Hodges and Ruth Taylor.  He was named after Ruth’s father Stephen Taylor, whose grandfather, great grandfather, and great great grandfather were also called Stephen Taylor.

The family lived in Aylesford Township of Kings County.  The location names changed with each census, but I’m not sure if the family moved that much, or if the place names changed as the small communities were formed. 

Stephen moved to Massachusetts in 1863.  Stephen’s father died in 1869.  The farm was split and bequeathed to Stephen’s brothers, Jonathan and Boardman.  Stephen inherited £10.   It appears that this would have been worth about $50 at the time, or about $850 today.  (If someone can better calculate the Canadian pound in to US dollars from 1870 to 2010, please check my math!)

Stephen married Sarah M Orne in Marblehead, MA on 20 January 1870.  His occupation was carpenter.  The marriage register lists his parents as Jonathan and Ruth (Taylor) and her parents as Benjamin P and Sarah (Johnson).  It was nice of the registrar to provide the mothers’ maiden names.  This was first marriage for both, and they were married by a Justice of the Peace.  Stephen and Sarah were counted in the 1870 census in Marblehead.  They lived with Sarah’s family, and Stephen listed his occupation as working in a shoe factory.  Two of Sarah’s brothers were listed as shoemakers.  Perhaps a shoemaker made the entire product, while factor workers performed one portion of the work needed for the product.

Sarah M Orne Hodges died 3 November 1870 in Marblehead, of consumption.  She was only 20 years old.  Stephen and Sarah had no children. 

Stephen married 27 October 1871 to Mary E Orne, Sarah’s younger sister. She was 18, he was 27.  His occupation was listed as shoemaker.  Stephen and Mary eventually had three children:  Edward Taylor born in 1872, Sarah Maria (named after Stephen’s first wife) born in 1874, and Annie Hooper born in 1881. 

The family lived in the Orne household in 1880, in Marblehead.  Stephen’s occupation was “shoes heeler”, Mary E was “keeping house” and Edward and Sarah were “at school”. 

Marblehead city directories of the era list Stephen T Hodges, shoemaker, living on Selman, or at #11 Selman.  He also lived in nearby Bradford on Colby, occupation shoe trimmer. 

Stephen eventually ended up in Haverhill MA, probably in the mid 1890’s, then moved to Bradford again in 1895. 

Stephen was counted in the 1900 census in Haverhill MA.  He was listed as head of the household, although his mother-in-law was also there, and the family included his brother-in-law Charles Orne. 

The 1905 directory lists Stephen at what would be his home for the rest of his life, 15 Claremont, in Haverhill.  He was a shoe trimmer.  His mother-in-law was also at that address, and probably lived there until she died in 1914.  This house was built in 1900, so was pretty new when the family moved in.  (It is currently listed as being on a 1.3 acre lot, the house described as nearly 2000 square feet on two floors.)

The 1910 census lists the Hodges/Orne household in Haverhill.  Stephen worked in a shoe factory.  By this time, Stephen’s children Edward and Annie were married and starting their own families.  City directories continue to list Stephen, Mary E, and daughter Sarah M at 15 Claremont, with him listed as a shoe trimmer when occupations were listed. 

In 1920, the Orne/Hodges family was still at 15 Claremont, although now Stephen’s brother-in-law John Orne was head of household.  Stephen, now 75, was an edge trimmer in a shoe shop.  His daughter Sarah was a housekeeper at a baby hospital. 

The 1920 Haverhill directory lists Mary E Hodges separately, although at the same house, with occupation “shoes”.  The 1921 and 1922 directory also lists her as “shwkr”. 

The 1926 directory has an interesting entry for Stephen, as it lists him as a carpenter at W Palm Beach, Fla, but boarding at #15 Claremont.  Mary E Hodges is listed in the city directory in 1928, I didn’t find 1929 on line, and by the 1930 census, Stephen is listed as widowed.  He is living with his brother-in-law Charles Orne, still on Claremont Street.  At age 85, he is listed as a mechanic on a farm.  Charles is a poultry farmer according to the census, but a violin maker according to the city directory.  Stephen’s daughter Sarah age 56, is still in the household.  The census indicates that she has adopted a son named William H Hodges, born about 1921.  Perhaps he was from the baby hospital where she was working ten years earlier.   

(Note to self – this 1930 census was a new find today, thanks to  The names were hard to read, and they were indexed incorrectly in Ancestry, which has now been notified of the correct alternate spellings.  It pays to look both places!)

Stephen was listed in the 1930 and 1932 Haverhill directories, occupation carpenter.  The 1933 and 1934 directories are not on Ancestry.  In 1935, daughter Sarah is listed but Stephen is no longer in the directory, so best guess is that he died about then.  Stephen’s brother-in-law Charles was a violin maker in later years, and brother-in-law John was a florist.  I would like to think that the Orne/Hodges household at #15 Claremont benefited with flowers and music.


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