Friday, February 8, 2019

Isaac Hodsdon (1812-1890): 52 Ancestors #72

Isaac Hodsdon, my great-great-grandfather (#20 in my Ahnentafel), was born on 3 May 1812 in Hollis Center, York County, Maine, the third of six children of Jacob Hodsdon and Sally Huston.1 (This surname has two variants, Hodsdon and Hodgdon, which are somewhat interchangeable. Jacob and his descendants generally used the Hodsdon variant, as seen in Isaac's birth and marriage records.)

Family record of Jacob and Sally (Huston) Hodsdon, with birth of Isaac Hodsdon, May 3rd, 1812

Isaac Hodsdon-Abigail Greene marriage, 30 Dec 1834, Hollis, Maine

Byron, Oxford County, Maine, 1858 (detail area outlined in white)

In the early 1830s, Isaac and his older brother John moved from Hollis to Byron, Oxford County, Maine, and married the Green sisters, Abigail and Adeline, of nearby Wilton, Franklin County. John and Adeline married first in 1833 in Wilton, while Isaac and Abigail on 30 Dec 1834 in Hollis.2 The two couples farmed near each other on what was then called "Hodsdon Hill" in Byron. This map3 from an 1858 Oxford County atlas (which, alas, does not show the Hodsdon Hill name) gives names of property holders, including I. "Hodgdon" and J. "Hodgdon." (An example of the variant mentioned above.)

Detail of 1858 map of Byron, showing I. Hodgdon and J. Hodgdon homes

Isaac and Abigail had nine children (all born in Byron):
  1. Jacob H. Hodsdon (1836-1921), married (1) Lydia Merrill, (2) Persis A. Mitchell
  2. Mary Abigail Hodsdon (1837-1865), married Charles Cole
  3. Luther Merrill Hodsdon (1840-aft Jun 1860), unmarried
  4. Isaac Winfield Hodsdon (1843-1917), married Octavia Merrill (sister to Lydia)
  5. Francis Ireland Hodsdon (1844-1921), married Emma Ireland
  6. Silas Marchant Hillman Hodsdon (1847-1911), married Kate Rand (my great-grandparents)
  7. Matilda Ann Hodsdon (1849-1938), married Alvarado Reed
  8. Sarah [Arabelle?] Hodsdon (1851-aft Jun 1860), unmarried
  9. Charles L. Hodsdon (1853-1922), married Mary Gilcrease
The first seven were recorded in this 1849 family record in the Byron town record book.4 The record was never updated with the other two children, and there seems to be no other record of their births, but they are captured in the 1860 census, while the two oldest are gone from the household by then.5

Family record of Isaac and Abigail Hodsdon, 1849, Byron, Maine, town record book

1860 U.S. census, Oxford County, Maine, town of Byron, Isaac Hodsdon household

Isaac died 22 Jan 1890 in Byron,6 and was buried in the Byron Village Cemetery.7 The family monument includes inscriptions for his wife Abigail and for two of their children who died young.

Isaac Hodsdon death record, 22 Jan 1890, Byron, Maine

Isaac Hodsdon family monument, Byron Village Cemetery, Byron, Oxford Co., Maine

While Isaac's death year on the monument is correct, I can't vouch for others – I haven't found death records for any of them in the Byron town records – and those of the two children (Luther in 1859 and Sarah in 1855) are certainly wrong: The 1860 census lists both Luther and a 9-year-old girl named Arabelle, the same age that Sarah would have been (assuming the 1851 birth year on the gravestone is correct), so probably is the same child, though frustratingly, there is no birth record (or any other record besides the census and the gravestone) for either a Sarah or an Arabelle. I can only conjecture that the children's graves were unmarked until the monument was erected for Isaac and Abigail, presumably in 1890 or later, and some thirty years after the fact no one could remember exactly when they had died. (They might even have misremembered the girl's name.)

My descent from Isaac Hodsdon:

  1. Hollis, Maine, Town and Vital Records, 1781-1893, vol. Births 1785-1877: 26, Isaac Hodsdon birth, 1812; digital images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 30 Jan 2019), image 254; imaged from FHL microfilm 7,595,714.
  2. Hollis, Maine, Town and Vital Records, 1781-1893, vol. 1820 Record of marriages and intentions of marriage: 109, Isaac Hodsdon-Abigail Greene marriage, 1834; digital images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 30 Jan 2019), image 457.
  3. Henry Francis Walling and J Chace, Map of Oxford County, Maine (New York: Gillette & Huntington, 1858); image, Library of Congress ( : accessed 1 Feb 2019).
  4. Byron, Maine, Town and Vital Records, 1821-1891, vol. 1848-79: unpaginated (3rd page from end), family record of Isaac and Abigail Hodsdon; digital images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 30 Jan 2019), image 433; imaged from FHL microfilm 7,595,323.
  5. 1860 U.S. census, population schedule, Maine, Oxford County, Byron, p. 33, dwelling 219, family 188, Isaac Hodgdon household; digital images, Ancestry ( : accessed 10 Mar 2012).
  6. Byron, Maine, Town and Vital Records, 1821-1891, Births, Deaths, and Marriages register [1880-92]: unpaginated, Deaths section [p. 1], Isaac Hodsdon death, 1890; digital images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 3 Feb 2019), image 447.
  7. Byron Village Cemetery (Byron, Oxford County, Maine), Isaac Hodsdon family monument, read and photographed by the author, 13 Oct 2013.

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