Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The children of Sebastian HODGE (1833-1889)

This post is akin to the posts I've written on the children of the two Yass families of William HALL and George BLISS. But this time it's different - it's a family on my maternal line, and it's a true Sydney family (though the births are scattered around).

Sebastian was born in 1833 'off the Isle of Zante in the Meditteranean' according to his death certificate, the son of William HODGE of the 11th (North Devonshire) Regiment of Foot, and Mary Ann GUTRIDGE. When the 11th arrived in Australia (mainly in 1845), so too did Sebastian, and as a young boy of 16 he joined the 11th himself, stationed in Sydney and a member of the regimental band. He married Harriet SMITH in 1855 at Scots Church in Sydney. Harriet's father was also a member of the regiment, and her mother was the daughter of a member of the regiment.

Sebastian and Harriet had nine children, first in Australia, then after sailing in 1857 in England and Ireland while still with the 11th. Sebastian then left the 11th in 1861 and the family returned to Australia on the 'Tiptree' (arriving 3 Jan 1863).

With this background accomplished, this article is not about Sebastian and Harriet or their accomplishments in Sydney. Instead in focuses on their nine children. As with the HALL and BLISS projects, I'd like to identify the burial place of each child with a view to identifying headstones.

Part of the reason for undertaking this project is that, despite the many offspring produced, I'm not in contact with any descendants of Sebastian and Harriet, and would like to unearth some. As such, the short bio based on what I've found includes information on their children. Please contact me to add info on any of the following.

1. William Sebastian 'Bass' HODGE (1855-1942). Born in NSW (Sydney). Sailed to England with his parents and appears in the 1861 England census with his family, in Portsmouth in the list of the 11th Regiment. Returned to Australia with his family in 1863 (one of 'three children'), and married Isabel Carrisa ROGERS, 'Isabel Carrisa, only child of the late Captain William Rogers, of H.M. 47th Regiment' (SMH 13 Mar 1882) at St James', Sydney, on 27 Feb 1882. They had only one child, Richard Hamilton HODGE (1883-1899) who died 'suddenly, at Colombo Plains, Urana, N.S.Wales' (SMH 5 Apr 1899). Numerous articles in Sydney papers point to his career as a musician ('Professor of Music), including bankruptcy proceedings in 1887. In 1887, Isabella and William were in court for divorce. Several articles relating to the divorce proceedings indicate that the legal process bankrupted Bass - "The action was for judicial separation from the husband on the grounds of cruelty, the respondent being an hotelkeeper at Hurstville" (SMH 2 Mar 1887) - he sold the license to the Hurstville Hotel that same year.

In 1899 their only child, a son Richard Hamilton, died aged 16 at 'Colombo Plains, Urana, NSW' according to the death announcement (SMH 5 April 1899). Isabella died in 1934, buried at the Church of England Cemetery, Botany (location ADD - Anglican FM DD - Grave 102). Her death index and burial entry and given as HODGE - it is not clear whether the divorce was not proceeded with, or if Isabella chose to retain her married name after divorce.


In 1914 an article indicated that William had opened a studio that overlooked Hyde Park (Sunday Times 21 Jun 1914). During World War 1 Bass wrote a patriotic song entitled 'She Who Gives Her Son' that was widely reported in Australian newspapers - the cover of the published sheet music (held by the National Library of Australia, shown below) indicates it was 'sung with immense success throughout Australia by Tilly Dunbar'. The Australian National Archives holds two references for Copyright for W Bass Hodge for musical works. The first, titled “Daughter of the Empire”, was registered 17/3/1922 and the second, “Musical Letter Card ” was registered 28/1/1924. The Sydney Morning Herald of 4 Feb 1926 notes that 'Mr. W. Bass Hodge, the well-known Sydney musician, has received a certificate and medal from the British Empire Exhibition authorities for his exhibit at the exhibition of his song, "Daughter of the Empire," and a music educational letter card.'

A 1916 article in 'The Newsletter' (15 Jan 1916) noted that William, who had recently turned 60, "was born in the Victoria Barracks when it was quite a young building. His father was Sebastian Hodge, who was in the band that, with the 11th Regiment, was the first to occupy the barracks. He was, as an infant, taken with the regiment to England in a sailing ship, but brought back in the early sixties by his parents. He was a William-street and Grammar School boy, and became a professor of music, being at one time organist at Penrith music master at Oaklands, Mittagong. As a capable musician and a good colonist he is known the State over, and is an interesting  link between the present and the past."

Like his father, Bass was a Mason. Electoral rolls show he lived in various places in 'West Sydney' and Darlinghurst. William died in 1941 according to the NSW Probate Index, but his registration appears in the 1942 NSW BDM index. A funeral notice (but not death notice) appears in the Sydney Morning Herald (18 Apr 1942), placed by Masonic United Service Lodge No. 24, indicating a grave-side funeral at the Methodist Cemetery at Rookwood.  The independent cemeteries index at Rookwood indicates that he is buried there (Section 5B Grave 0000210), but my father Andrew HALL visited the cemetery in May 2014 and could find no headstone at the plot.

2. Mary A LITTLE nee HODGE (1858-1906). Born/baptised in Hougham, Kent (England)  in March 1958 and appears in the 1861 England census with her family, in Portsmouth in the list of the 11th Regiment. Arrived in Australia with her family in 1863 (one of 'three children'), and married Henry Walter LITTLE (b. Tyrone, Ireland, died 1920 registered Redfern NSW) at St James' church on 6 Mar 1878 (SMH 16 Mar 1878). They had three children all born in Sydney, though the family appears to have lived in Redfern later:
a. Florence Maude (1879-1964), married Julius AGRATI in 1932.
b. Harriet May (1881-1929), married Albert G EDWARDS in 1907 at St. Barnabas' Church.
c. Henry S (1884-1927), married Mabel TOWNSEND in 1918.
Mary died at the Prince Alfred Hospital (now Royal) on 4 Jan 1906 (SMH 6 Jan 1906) and was buried at the C of E section of Rookwood cemetery (Area : AN, Section : 05, Number : 0000342). It is assumed she converted to Catholicism at some point, as her daughter Harriet also marred in the Catholic church the following year. Her death announcement indicated she would  be buried at the Necropolis (Catholic) but her burial was actually in the C of E section. Mary's husband Henry died in 1920, and he was buried in the same plot as his wife.
My father Andrew HALL visited the grave site in 2013 (grave 0000342), and found a grassed area with NO HEADSTONE. The actual plot was adjacent to a roadway and may have suffered damage as a result.

3. Sebastian HODGE (1861-1866). Born Curragh Camp, Ireland (according to regimental birth index), and did not appear on the 1861 census with his family as he was born later in the year when the 11th Regiment was stationed there. Returned to Australia with the family in 1863 (one of 'three children'). Died on 2 Jul 1866 (NSW BDM 805/1866). According to the death certificate, Sebastian died at a residence on Stanley St where his father worked for the Grammar School. The cause of death is not clear, but had been apparent for 18 months suggesting a chronic illness. According to the death certificate, Sebastian was buried at Camperdown Cemetery (now much reduced in size). Burial records are held by the Australian Society of Genealogists.

4. Philip Ernest HODGE (1863-1937). Born in Sydney after the family returned there (1847/1863), at their residence on Stanley Street. By 1891 he was in Queensland, where he married Mary Ellen MCKENNEY (abt 1867-1916), where he had moved as an employee of the Bank of New South Wales, becoming a bank manager. They had five children, all born in that State:
a. June Ellenor HODGE (1892-?), fate unknown
b. Lucy HODGE (1892-1969), married Louis Wilson John HOEY in 1921 in Qld.
c. Clarice HODGE (1897-?), fate unknown.
d. Phyllis Mary HODGE (1905-1924), buried Bowen Qld cemetery.
e. Mildred Ernestine HODGE (1907-?), fate unknown.
Mary died in 1916, and has a headstone at Bowen cemetery. Philip died in 1937 at Bowen Qld, and is probably buried at that cemetery also. An obituary published in the Townsville Daily Bulletin (21 Jul 1937) summarizes his career: "One of Bowen'e oldest and most respected citizens, Mr. Philip E Hodge, passed away on Tuesday morning. Deceased had been confined to his bed for over two years and his end, though deeply regretted, was a happy release. The late Mr. Hodge was for 24 years manager of tho local Bank ot New South Wales, and until the time of his retirement, he was President of the Chamber of Commerce for 17 years, of the School of Arts till the time of his death, of the Kennedy Hospital for several years and the Bowen Turf Club for some years and many other Institutions. He took an active part In the opening of the Bowen coalfields, the formation of the Bowen Harbor Board, etc. Before going to Bowen he was tor many years in Charters' Towers and then in Cooktown and Georgetown as manager of the Bank of New South Wales and In each town he filled many honorable positions."

5. John Albert HODGE (1865-1892). Born in Sydney, and died in 1892. His tragic death at 27 was described in the Sydney Morning Herald (28 Jun 1892): "ACCIDENTALLY KILLED. The circumstances of the death of a carter named Hodge, who died in the Sydney Hospital on Saturday night, formed the subject of an inquest held yesterday afternoon by the City Coroner in his court at Chancerry Square. It appears that on Thursday evening last deceased, who was in the employ of a butcher named Thomas Josslyn, was driving a cart along Bourke-street, Surry Hills, when the horse, becoming frightened, bolted, and Hodge was thrown from his seat from the jerk caused by passing over a drain. The cart-wheel passed over one of his legs and he received severe injuries to his head. He was picked up unconscious, and remained so till his death.  The jury returned a verdict of accidental death." His funeral announcement stated that he was buried at Waverley cemetery, but no details of the burial have yet been uncovered.

6. Harriet Emma M HODGE (1869-1941). Born in Sydney in 1869, she married Robert William LENEHAN (of Cook's River) at St Ignatius' Chapel, Riverview (SMH 16 Mar 1889) the month before her father died. Lenehan was a solicitor and military man (probably much to Harriet's father's satisfaction and was commanding officer of the Bushveldt Carbineers at the time of the incident that led to the court martial of `Breaker' Morant and others in 1902). They had at least seven children, registered in the Ryde and Hunter's Hill areas of Sydney:
a. Robert Eric LENEHAN (1890-1916), died in Sydney after serving in Gallipoli with the AIF.
b. Marie Gladys LENEHAN (1892-1972), married John L MARONEY in 1917 in Sydney.
c. Maurice J LENEHAN (1895-?), fate not known.
d. Marcia Elizabeth LENEHAN (1897-1970), did not marry.
e. Pretoria Sarah LENEHAN (? - 1967). Probably named for being conceived in South Africa during the Boer War - suggests the family was based there.
f. Jospeh L LENEHAN (1902-?), fate not known.
g. Roger I LENEHAN (1905-?), fate not known.
Robert died in 1922. Harriet died in 1941, 'of Badham Avenue Mosman widow of the late Colonel R W Lenehan'. She is buried at Field of Mars Catholic Cemetery, Ryde (Section E, Grave 1) with her son Eric.  Her husband is adjacent (Grave 3).

7. Thomas Reid HODGE (1869-1930). Born in Sydney 1869, and lived in the Edgecliff area in the 1920s according to electoral rolls, and newspapers indicate he was an Alderman on Paddington(?) Council. In 1930 he is registered as marrying Ada Victoria WEINERT (7289/1930), however in December that year he died at the Coast Hospital (primarily dealing with infectious diseases). The NSW Coroner's Inquest entries (available on ancestry.com) indicate that Thomas died of "heart failure, whilst under an anesthetic, open ether, for a surgical operation - ether was properly administered". He is buried at the Eastern Suburbs Cemetery (GA - General FM A - Grave 205). Ada PEDLER had been previously married to Jno WEINERT in Victoria in 1906, however while living in in 1923 WA she abandoned her husband and twin sons, and divorce was granted in 1928. After Thomas' death she returned to WA, married George GLENDENNING in 1935 and died in Perth in 1958, interred at Karrakatta Cemetery.

8. Walter Herbert HODGE (1871-1956). My ancestor, and last of the siblings to survive. Born in Sydney in 1871. He was a valuer and auctioneer by trade, and married Grace SMITH (1870-1934) in 1897 at St John's Church, Darlinghurst. They had two children:
a. Eileen Helen HODGE (1900-1947), married Samuel Litson BORDER at St John's Church, Darlinghurst in 1922 (see picture).
b. Annie Victoria HODGE (1902-1904). Born at 383 Liverpool St Darlinghurst (SMH 20 Aug 1902), died at the same residence aged 2 years 4 months (17 Dec 1904). Buried at Waverley cemetery, no headstone identified yet.
Walter lived in the Paddington and Eastern Suburbs area till the 1940s, then moved to Cremorne, then Clovelly for the last few years of his life. Grace died in 1934 'at a private hospital, Vaucluse' (SMH 5 Mar 1934), buried at Waverley cemetery. After her death, Walter married Edith Bessie WEBBER the same year, and Edith died in 1944. She was cremated at the Eastern Suburbs Crematorium, listed as 'buried in accordance' - I am not sure what this means.
Walter died 7 Apr 1956, aged 84 (SMH 9 Apr 1956), with no surviving children, but with four grandchildren and a number of great grandchildren. This is the only photo I am aware of, on the wedding day of his daughter Eileen. It is assumed that he is buried at Waverley, but no burial/headstone has been identified.

9. Sydney Sebastian HODGE (1874-1928). Born in Sydney, 1874. I've found little about him - he is shown as a Groom in the 1903 Electoral Roll, living at 68 Hunter St Sydney. His death was registered in 1928 in Orange, NSW (21411/1928). An advert placed in the Sydney Morning Herald the following year states 'HODGE -In memory of my brother Sid who departed this life December 16 1928. After life's fitful fever he sleeps well -Macbeth. Inserted by his loving brother Thomas Reid Hodge' (SMH 16 Dec 1929).

It occurs to me now that there were no male descendants of Sebastian and Harriet, though surely there are many descendants with the surnames listed above, such as EDWARDS, AGRATI, LENEHAN, BORDER (my line), MARONEY, etc.

The next step is to try and get insight into hedastones that may exist at the Eastern Suburbs Cemetery.

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