This is the learning of one of the Hodges families in the Hodges-Hodge project - a Lineage I family. I am writing it for my cousins and their descendants
Richard Allen Hodges lived in Anderson County TX after he ran away from home as a teenager. His family tried to find his ancestry and wondered about his story. His Grandson, Jerome Anderson Hodges and great-grandson, Clyde Weston Hodges, lived in the Crosbyton area when I was a boy. They were my Grandfather and Uncle. This story is dedicated to them.
We tested Clyde's yDNA as one of the very first men to test in the Hodges Surname DNA Project. Mother, Lynn and I split the cost of Clyde's test. Other families were also testing a male Hodges in their family. None of the families had paper trail connections to each other.
Clyde's yDNA came from his father (our grandfather, Jerome Anderson Hodges), who got his yDNA from his father (Robert Francis Hodges), who got his yDNA from his father, (Richard Allen Hodges)
At the time of testing, I was wondering if Clyde's Great-grandfather - Richard Allen Hodges, b 1833, TN (who ran away from home as a teenager) - was really a Hodges - or if he was really from Tennessee, as neither Pop nor Dorothy could find Richard's family in Tennessee. (Note: Clyde called his great-grandfather "Dick".)
Well, the very first two results back in the Hodges project matched. One was Clyde and the other Hodges man's family was from Arkansas, dead-ending at a similar time and that family was also looking for their kin. These two men had matching yDNA - which means that they have a "recent" common ancestor. (recent is a vague term - and could be 100 or 3-400 years ago)
So - our very first learning was that Richard Hodges really was a Hodges by ancestry! (but we still can't connect paper trails with the Arkansas family)
Over time, more Hodges men tested and we found that many of the southern Hodges families were our kin. It's very possible that Richard's family lived in Tennessee, though they could have been living in any southern state.
We started the Hodges-Hodge Society about 4 years ago and Mother was quite struck by the founding President (Nelson Hodges), as he looked amazingly like my cousin, Ricky. We can't connect paper trails with Nelson or any of the other Hodges men that we match - but did find that our genetic kin are really nice people. (and that at least one of them looks like at least one of us)
Eventually, two of the men we matched had paper trails back to England - to the same small area in Kent England, south of London and west of the Medway River. Two months ago, while I was in England, I met one of those men (Robert Hodges) who showed me his ancestor's village - Brenchley, their church and the headstones in the cemetery. Then, we went to the ancestral church of the other Hodges we match (who lives on Australia). His ancestor (Moses Hodges)’s home church- Saint iMichael and All Angels - is out in the country in a place named "Offham". This small church was built in the 1400s and is charming. I feel it is highly probable that our ancestry connects to this family sometime between 1200 and 1600 AD and that some of our early Hodges ancestors worshipped in this church. (This is speculation, based on the yDNa matches that point to this area and the lack of any other alternates - at least so far)
Nelson and other researchers focused on the history of the people living west of the Medway and found that they are originally "Friesan" - from the low lying coastal area of Holland/Denmark/Germany (called Friesa) which flooded about 250 AD by rising seas. The Friesans left their home and settled in England. Prior to their settling along the Friesan coast, they had lived North of the Rhine River in what is now Germany. When they lived there, they were the only one of the Germanic tribes to defeat the Roman army in battle.
So - we have a Hodges history that goes back over 2000 years - and a paper trail that stops in Tennesse in 1833. Hopefully, we will someday connect the missing parts.