Monday, July 7, 2014

52 Ancestors: #27, Silas Marchant Hillman Hodsdon

My great-grandfather, Silas Marchant Hillman Hodsdon, was born 31 March 1847 in Byron, Maine, the sixth child of Isaac Hodsdon and Abigail Greene.1

He holds the record for my longest-named ancestor (not counting those French-Canadians "dit" names). He was apparently named for his uncle, Silas M. H. Greene – who in turn was apparently named for his uncle by marriage: his aunt, Rebecca Greene, had married Silas Marchant Hillman.

Silas Marchant Hillman "March" Hodsdon, probably Andover, Maine, date unknown2
According to family tradition, my great-grandfather hated the name Silas, and dropped both Silas and Hillman from his name. It may well be true that he hated the name, but unless he was extremely precocious in his name preferences, it would appear that his parents were actually the ones who pruned his plethora of names right from the start; he was, after all, only three when he was listed in the 1850 census as just "Marchant".3 In any case, he did indeed go by Marchant or simply "March" all his life, using Silas as his middle name.

1850 U.S. census, Byron, Oxford, Maine, Isaac Hodsdon household
Death record of Marchant S. Hodsdon
March married Kate Maria Rand in Byron on the 25th or 29th of November 1876.4 They had six children:
  1. Luther Marchant Hodsdon, b. 1877, married 1) Charlotte Barker, 2) Grace Parker, 3) Ruth Hall
  2. Sadie Elizabeth Hodsdon, b. 1879, married Harrie P. Hall
  3. Mary Milliken Hodsdon, b. 1882, married Chester F. Kirk
  4. Essie Gertrude Hodsdon, b. 1884, married John J. Sennett
  5. Grace Hodsdon, b. 1887, married Henry L. Thomas
  6. Gardner P. Hodsdon, b. 1895, d. 1908

March Hodsdon was a farmer. He and Kate lived in Byron until sometime in late 1879 or early 1880, when they moved to a farm in Andover.

March died of an embolism on 4 October 19115 and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Andover.6

Marchant Hodsdon family gravestone, Woodlawn Cemetery, Andover, Maine

My descent from March Hodsdon:
  • Silas Marchant Hillman Hodsdon and Kate Maria Rand
  • Mary Milliken Hodsdon and Chester Frank Kirk (my paternal grandparents)

(Note: This post is in response to Amy Johnson Crow's "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks" challenge at No Story Too Small.)

  1. "Maine, Births and Christenings, 1739-1900," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 7 Jul 2014), Silas Merchant [sic] Hillman Hodsdon, 31 Mar 1847.
  2. Photo of Silas Marchant Hillman "March" Hodsdon, probably Andover, Maine, date unknown; Kirk-Murphy Family Collection, privately held by the author, Virginia Beach, Virginia. This print appears to be made from a scan of the original (or perhaps of a photocopy), and was probably provided by Jean Constantine Noyes, great-grandaughter of March Hodsdon, to the author's brother Marshall Kenneth Kirk. Whereabouts of the original is unknown.
  3. 1850 U.S. Census, Oxford County, Maine, Byron, p. 409 (penned) p. 205 (stamped), dwelling 42, family 45, Isaac Hodsdon household; digital images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 10 Mar 2012).
  4. "Maine, Marriages, 1771-1907," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 17 Jan 2014), Marchant S. Hodsdon and Kate N. [sic] Rand, 25 Nov 1876, Byron, Maine. Jean Noyes, comp., "Silas Marchant Hillman Hodsdon", undated computer printout, Marshall K. Kirk Research Files, privately held by the author, Virginia Beach, Virginia; gives 29 Nov 1876 as the date of their marriage.
  5. “Maine, Death Records, 1617-1922,” database and digital images, ( : accessed 27 Apr 2012), Marchant S. Hodsdon, 4 Oct 1911. 
  6. Woodlawn Cemetery (Andover, Oxford County, Maine), Marchant Hodsdon family monument, read and photographed by the author, 15 Aug 2012.

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