Monday, February 25, 2008

Follow up email on Sebastian HODGE

Hi Veronika,

Thanks for the email! Sebastian seems to be a Hodge name... I wouldn’t be surprised if both Hodge’s are related. The UK census shows a couple of Sebastian Hodge’s.

There were two weddings for a Sebastian Hodge in NSW:


Amazing. Two Sebastian Hodge’s married two girls with the surname Smith. I have the mariage certificate for Sebastian Hodge and Harriet Smith, though unfortunately it must be one of the LAST weddings not registered – so I have no information on where they were born:

NSW Marriage Certificate
Number: 41 Vol: 82
Grooms Details
Name: Sebastian HODGE, Bachelor
Member: Presbyterian Church of Scotland
Abode: Sydney
Brides Details
Name: Harriet SMITH, Spinster
Member: Not stated
Abode: Sydney
When married: 16 March, 1855
Where married: Sydney
Minister: James Fullerton L.L.D., Minister Scots Church, Pitt St.
Religion: Presbytyrian
Abode: Sydney
J. Lawler of Sydney
William Smith, of Sydney

The State Records NSW indicate a Sebastian HODGE arrived on the ‘Rose of Sharon’ in 1855 (without any other family), and there are no cogent births in the NSW BDM, which leads one to ponder how NSW had two.

So here is the most interesting thing I’ve ever found in censuses!

UK 1841 census: Three Sebastian Hodge men in Barnstaple, Devon., born 1786, 1807 and 1830 (three generations of the same family), all born in Devon, England.

In the UK in 1851 there were two Sebastian Hodge’s – father (with wife Susanna) and son (from above) in Barnstaple, Devonshire, England. Sebastian the older was born in 1808 and appears in later censuses – i.e. He never moved to Australia. The Devonshire probate records available online show a Sebastian, son of Sebastian and Sarah Hodge baptised 30 Mar 1808 in Devon: Barnstaple - Parish Register, 1538-1812.

Sebastian the younger was single in 1851. Both father and son have the occupation of ‘house joiner’, but in 1861 Sebastian is no longer living in England. I believe this to be one of the two Sebastian Hodge’s in Australia, as one death matches the


However the 1861 census for England, amazingly, shows my Sebastian Hodge!!

It transpires that my Sebastian Hodge was a Private. The 1861 census for Portsmouth, District First Battalion 11th Infantry Regiment shows:

Hodge, Sebastian. Married. Soldier. Age 27 (so born about 1834). Rank: Private. Born: Island of Zante, Mediterranean. British Subject.
Hodge, Harriet. Married. Wife. Age 27 (so born about 1834). Born: Ireland.
Hodge, William. Son. Age 5 (so born about 1856). Born: New South Wales, Sydney.
Hodge, Mary. Daughter. Age 3 (so born about 1858). Born: Kent, Dover.

The birth of William in Sydney is on the BDM, and matches with my Sebastian and Harriet. The fact that their daughter Mary was born in Kent suggests that he is related to the Kent Hodge’s I’ve heard so much about – if you can fit it into your tree I’d be most interested to hear of it. The Island of Zante (Zakynthos) was under British control from the time it was wrested from Napoleon in 1798 till 1864 when it was incorporated into the Greek State. So Sebastian himself may be the son of a soldier.

I know they returned to Australia – they had a child in Sydney 1855 (William), were in England in 1861 and then their next child in Sydney was in 1863 (Phillip E). His military career also fits with early entries in the NSW Sands Directory:

1865, p235 - Hodge, Sebastian, janitor and drill master, Sydney Grammar School, College-Street
1866, p 252 - Hodge, Sebastian, teacher, Stanley St
1868, p 288 - Hodge, Sebastian, drill instructor, Stanley St

I’ve e-mailed Grammar archives to see what they’ve got. I also need to learn about the First Battalion 11th Infantry Regiment.

This clearly leaves me with a lot to do! My Sebastian probably doesn’t appear on NSW immigration records if he arrived as a soldier, leaving the other likely Sebastian as the one born on Devonshire.

I’ll let you know when I learn more.



Anonymous said...

Hi Matt,
I wonder if you are aware that Sydney Grammar is on the corner of College & Stanley & also that Sebastian Hodge was the Proprietor of the 'Royal Arcade Hotel' on the corner of Pitt & Market - well at least he was in 1875.


Anonymous said...

Matt, further to my earlier posting Sebastian moved to the 'Commercial Hotel' by 1880.


Anonymous said...

Matt, I meant to add the 'Commercial Hotel' in Castlereagh Street.


Steve said...

Hi Matt,
I think your Sebastian Hodge was the first son of William Hodge, a Seargent in the 11th Regiment. There is some info on him here.

I believe I'm descended from Sebastian's younger brother William so I'd be interested in comparing notes.

m@ said...

Hi Steve,

Send me an email at cispt2 at gmail dot com and i'll let you know what i have.


Susan said...

Hi Matt
The "other" Sebastian Hodge didn't marry a SMITH.

He married Emma Eliza "MILLS".

The listing as Emma Eliza SMITH is incorrect (I'll advise NSWBDM).
descendant of the "other" Sebastian Hodge

Matt Hall said...

Thanks Susan,

We've definitely learnt a lot more about the HODGE family since this post... my tree has Sebastian as marrying Emma Eliza MILLS.

Do you have this bio of him yet? I'd like to learn more about this arm of the family. I've often wondered about the contact between the two Sebastians... they were cousins after all. When 'your' Sebastian arrived in NSW he stated he had no relations in the colony.


Aldine’s Centennial History of NSW 1888
Biographical Volume.
Entry for Bathurst (part 2) (no pagination)

Sebastian Hodge

Mr Hodge was born in Barnstaple, England in 1829 and educated in the Blue Coat School of that town. He learned the trade of carpenter and joiner and came to the colony in 1854, settling in Bathurst immediately thereafter. He commenced by engaging himself to be a cabinetmaker and undertaker and 18 months later was enabled to purchase the business to which he added a timberyard. His trade rapidly increased, till the house became the most important of its kind in Bathurst, thus affording an example of what may be achieved in the colony by perseverance and integrity for Mr Hodge arrived in Bathurst with only a sovereign in his pocket. In 1882 Hudson Brothers bought the business from Mr Hodge for a considerable sum. In 1881 Mr Hodge revisited England for the benefit of his health and returned shortly thereafter. In 1857 he married and now has a family of 10 children, his sons being all well established in various trades and occupations.

Taken from State Library of NSW material – Fiche 12 – 15